Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Family/Matrimonial - London (Bar)
1 Garden Court is a premier set undertaking the full range of family law, including matrimonial and related finance issues, and is especially lauded for its work involving children law. It houses nearly 40 members whose expertise covers the full gamut of public and private law children matters, as well as forced marriage and big-money cases involving complicated trusts. The set's clerking team, led by senior clerk Howard Rayner, comes in for special acclaim, with many highlighting it as being "very friendly and helpful."
Client Service "They are on the ball, very organised and well structured."
Charles Geekie QC
Widely respected for his expertise in all areas of children law, including abduction, abuse, adoption, and public and private law cases.
Expertise: "A very well-versed barrister, he is to the point, courteous and succinct. He's a terrific and highly effective advocate," who's "a top children's silk."
Alison Ball QC
A founding member of 1 Garden Court, Alison Ball QC is a long-established and highly respected authority on private and public law children cases. She is also highlighted for her expertise with family finance work.
Expertise: "A really proactive leader who shows great attention to detail. Her knowledge of the law is impeccable and she's very good at analysing cases."
Janet Bazley QC
Joint head of chambers Janet Bazley QC has a sterling reputation for undertaking children law cases. She also handles the full spectrum of family finance.
Expertise: "She is really good with clients and is a brilliant advocate."
Recent work: She recently successfully appealed to the Supreme Court in a case concerning a costs order in childcare proceedings.
Jane Crowley QC
While handling a broad range of family law matters, Jane Crowley QC is particularly praised for her experience with public law children cases and in all matters relating to child abuse.
Expertise: "She has an excellent manner with clients, especially when handling difficult cases."
Sarah Morgan QC
A highly regarded expert in both public and private children law, and covers everything from parental and custody disputes to abuse and injury matters.
Expertise: "Very good; she is an effective and forceful counsel."
Alison Russell QC
Has an excellent, wide-ranging practice involving family, children and human rights matters.
Leading junior Andrew Bagchi's expertise encompasses an array of family law matters. He is particularly good on incapacitated adults' health and welfare matters and children law cases.
Expertise: "A very good barrister undertaking great work."
Comes highly recommended for a wide range of work, including children law, but is particularly highlighted for handling matrimonial finance matters.
Expertise: "He is innovative and continually provides an excellent level of service. He understands high-value and complex cases."
Specialises in childcare law, and is strong on cases involving non-accidental injury and abuse. She acts on behalf of children, local authorities and parents.
Expertise: "Her advice and her judgement are both superb."
Has an excellent and broad-ranging family law practice, with particular focus on private law work involving children and matrimonial finance issues.
Expertise: "He is very calm, he always prepares thoroughly and he has an excellent rapport with clients."
Handles a wide array of children law issues, including abuse, honour killing, medical and wardship matters. She further has experience of acting for high-profile clients in the entertainment industry in cases receiving large amounts of media attention.
Expertise: "Very impressive both in terms of her preparation and advocacy."
A new entry into this year's rankings, Sally Stone is a family law specialist with particular expertise in children matters, who primarily focuses on care proceedings and adoption. She represents parents and children, but most frequently acts for local authorities.
Expertise: "She is always good with clients. They find her to be supportive and sympathetic."
Handles a range of cohabitation disputes, matrimonial finance and private law children matters.
Expertise: "He's well prepared, thorough, has a good courtroom manner and will go the extra distance in a case."
One of the set's rising stars, Richard Jones is receiving increasingly positive feedback from the market. His expertise lies in private and public children law matters.
Expertise: "Totally reliable and a hard worker, he always fully reads the papers and memorises them. Clients think he is simply superb."
Recent work: Appeared in Essex County Council v Tulloch, a care order case in respect of three children.
Debuts in the rankings this year. She handles all types of family law, and has particular experience of representing parents in both public law and private law children matters.
Expertise: "She has a good career in front of her. She is really empathetic towards her clients when they are going through a difficult time."
Recent work: Recently appeared in the Supreme Court in a case concerning serious allegations of sexual abuse.
1 Hare Court is without doubt in the very top rank of matrimonial finance sets in the country. Its superb complement of leading silks, backed up by a tremendous stable of juniors, comes in for consistently high praise from solicitors, clients and competitors. Specific praise is reserved for its clerking team, headed by Steve McCrone: "The set has a very well-run clerks' room; the clerks are extremely businesslike." Referring to the set as a whole, one commentator stated: "1 Hare Court is the best. There is consistency there that you don't get at other chambers; you will always get talent there whomever you instruct." Also worthy of praise is the fact that the set has expanded its private dispute resolution practice. It now offers 12 mediators, two arbitrators, two collaborative lawyers and five senior barristers, who are available for private financial dispute resolutions.
Client service: "Steve McCrone is a very fine senior clerk who runs a very impressive ship. You always feel you can rely on the words of the clerks there."
Nicholas Cusworth QC
Head of chambers Nicholas Cusworth QC is the current chair of the Family Law Bar Association. He is considered one of the country's leading experts in high-value financial remedy cases, and also has tremendous experience with private law children matters.
Expertise: "He is excellent." "He has a lovely manner with clients, and you get superior advocacy when you instruct him."
Recent work: Appeared in Court of Appeal case Alyami v Musallam.
Nigel Dyer QC
Recommended as one of the foremost experts in financial remedies cases, particularly those involving complex multinational elements.
Expertise: "He gives you complete confidence that you will get a first-rate performance."
Martin Pointer QC
A luminary in the field of family law and one of the country's leading authorities in high-value private ancillary relief cases.
Expertise: "He is very hard-working, very clever and a very good cross-examiner."
Recent work: Appeared in the highly publicised Petrodel v Prest matter, which concerned the piercing of the corporate veil, and also acted in re T, the largest ever divorce case in Hong Kong. He also appeared both in Jones and in K v L, the leading Court of Appeal authorities on non-matrimonial assets.
Richard Todd QC
Leading matrimonial silk Richard Todd QC is praised for his excellence at handling financial disputes, including those with international and trust-related aspects.
Expertise: "He has a first-class intellect and is a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: Richard Todd QC was leading counsel in the Supreme Court in Petrodel v Prest and also acted in the two largest cases in Hong Kong; Re T and Re W.
Deborah Bangay QC
An expert in sophisticated and high-value matrimonial finance matters, including prenuptial agreements. She also undertakes private children law and inheritance-related work.
Expertise: "Simply stupendous." "In terms of her client handling she is just phenomenal."
Recent work: Acted in Re: Y, which involved the location of assets said to be worth between £100-120m.
Bruce Blair QC
A highly respected and experienced family law practitioner, particularly in the area of financial remedies. He is also a qualified arbitrator who is a member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.
Expertise: "Has very, very sound judgement as a result of the many years he's spent at the top of the profession."
Timothy Bishop QC
Has extensive experience across a range of matrimonial finance private children law cases.
Expertise: "A barrister who is keen to be thoroughly involved in his cases, and who pushes to develop matrimonial law. He is a forceful opponent and a true professional."
Recent work: Appeared in the first case in the Court of Appeal adjudicating over the settlement of a same-sex partnership.
Katharine Davidson QC
Backed by her experience in banking and accountancy, Katharine Davidson QC is an excellent choice for complex and high-value ancillary relief cases.
Expertise: "Very approachable, she is committed and always available to help."
Recent work: Appeared in G-S v L, successfully representing a wife in a Spanish post-nuptial case with disputed expert evidence.
Ann Hussey QC
Undertakes high-value matrimonial finance work, and is particularly well versed in farming-related cases.
Expertise: Has "a clear-cut approach when handling complex cases."
Valentine Le Grice QC
The eminently experienced and qualified arbitrator Valentine Le Grice QC handles finance work, as well as private law children matters. He is especially knowledgeable when it comes to nuptial and non-nuptial trust issues.
Expertise: One instructing solicitor said: "He's a lawyer with a very good brain. When you use him you feel confident he'll do a better job than you would yourself."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal in Arif v Zar and Rehan.
John Wilson QC
An expert focusing on high-value ancillary relief, and TOLATA and family provision claims, amongst other issues.
Expertise: "He's methodical, well prepared, and has the ear of the court."
Recent work: He recently acted in Carter v King, appearing on behalf of the fiancée of a premiership footballer in a case relating to a number of properties.
A premier junior in the matrimonial finance world, and is highlighted in particular for her expertise with cases involving hidden or offshore assets.
Expertise: "She has great mastery of law and facts. She is very good at providing authoritative advice, and clients really like her."
Recent work: She recently acted in Lawrence v Gallagher, the first civil partnership financial remedy case to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
Wins plaudits as a leading junior for ancillary relief issues, particularly those involving nuptial agreements, marital assets and offshore trusts.
Expertise: "He is plainly destined for the top. His remarkable technical ability and fearless approach to litigation make him a real quality barrister."
Recent work: Appeared in M v M, a long-running case concerning offshore nuptial trusts.
The highly respected Stephen Trowell undertakes a broad range of family law, but has a practice predominantly focused on financial matters and child provision.
Expertise: "A very good advocate, who is fast-thinking, able to identify the best presentational points and never frightened of judges."
An eminent junior, who handles complex financial work. He is highlighted in particular for his expertise with international matters, and has undertaken cases involving Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Jersey.
Expertise: "He is a brilliant and polished advocate, who is extremely impressive on the technical side too. He is diligent and methodical but also invariably comes up with interesting insights into any case he is instructed in."
Recent work: Appeared in Shagroon v Sharbatly, a case concerning a billionaire businessman.
Earns tremendous amounts of praise across the board. He specialises in high-value ancillary relief disputes, and also handles private law children matters.
Expertise: "Mixes a genial manner with steely resolve to get absolutely the best deal for his client. His approachability makes him popular with solicitors and clients alike."
A highly respected expert in high net worth ancillary relief cases, and also handles children law, Inheritance Act claims, and pre and post-nuptial agreements.
Expertise: "He is an excellent tactician and a real team player, who provides incisive advice."
Renowned for her expertise in private law family disputes and cases involving international elements.
Expertise: "She has one of the foremost intellects at the Family Bar. She is the go-to for complicated family cases because of her academic background."
Has an excellent, broad-ranging family law practice encompassing financial remedies and children law cases.
Expertise: "Really great," "he is excellent on the financial side."
Has experience in a range of family law issues, and is particularly recommended for her expertise in high net worth ancillary relief cases, especially those involving corporate and trust matters.
Expertise: "Very helpful, easy to work with and very clear in her views."
Rebecca Carew Pole
An expert in matrimonial finance issues, who often handles big-money cases. Her practice also takes in private law children matters, as well as domestic violence and cohabitation property disputes.
Expertise: "She has a measured, calm approach, which is much appreciated by clients. Her knowledge of the law is fantastic and her performance in court is polished and impressive."
Highlighted for his experience with high net worth ancillary relief cases and Inheritance Act disputes. He is also recognised for his international expertise and is admitted to practice in the Cayman Islands, having formerly worked there as a litigation attorney.
Expertise: "He is competent, solid and reliable."
Increasingly recommended for financial remedy work, but also undertakes private law children matters.
Expertise: "He has absolute attention to detail, and is meticulous in his preparation."
Recent work: Acted in O’Farrell v O’Farrell, representing a German wife in a complex case relating to the enforcement of German maintenance orders in the UK.
1 King's Bench Walk is one of the best sets in the country for matrimonial finance work. It also maintains a widely respected children law offering, and covers private and public children law and child abduction matters. Commentators say that "the barristers here are consistently talented; they are the actual and future heavyweights of the Family Bar." Instructing solicitors are very keen on the set and also note the presence of a strong ADR team that includes 16 mediators, 12 collaborative counsel, and five silks and a junior, providing first-rate early neutral evaluation.
Client service: The clerking team, led by senior clerk David Dear, comes in for particularly high praise from solicitors. "The clerks are fantastic and really go out of their way to help and deal with things with minimal fuss." "They are really good from a client management perspective."
Deborah Eaton QC
A pre-eminent authority in children law for many years, she frequently handles some of the most significant and far-reaching cases in this sphere, including those with an international angle to them. She is also highly respected in the matrimonial finance field, and has tremendous experience in ancillary relief cases and prenuptial agreements.
Expertise: "A brilliant and very powerful advocate." "She is extremely assertive, and very good with clients. She rolls her sleeves up and puts up a good fight."
Charles Howard QC
Predominantly active in high net worth financial matters. His practice, however, further encompasses children law matters including child abduction and childcare cases.
Expertise: "He is incredibly erudite and immeasurably insightful. He is liked by the judiciary and his unflappable and persuasive manner in court makes him unsurpassed as an advocate."
Recent work: Appeared in Imerman v Tchenguiz, an ancillary relief case involving around £250 million of assets.
Barry Singleton QC
One of the finest matrimonial finance practitioners around. He has a particular focus on ancillary relief and jurisdictional matters, and undertakes complex cases involving offshore and trust-related issues.
Expertise: "Barry is a formidable advocate with unerring instincts." "He's a ferocious advocate and a great fighter."
Recent work: Appeared in McTaggart, a big-money ancillary relief case in the Cayman Islands.
James Turner QC
An eminently experienced family law silk, who has particular expertise in high net worth financial ancillary relief matters, and has appeared in the House of Lords and the Supreme Court. His work often involves jurisdictional, trusts, tax and corporate issues. He is also particularly experienced in international child abduction matters.
Expertise: "He has a massive intellect." "He is a very effective advocate, and has a breadth of legal knowledge and experience that is probably unrivalled."
Recent work: Appeared in Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman.
Richard Anelay QC
Head of chambers Richard Anelay QC is a prominent expert in big-money matrimonial finance cases. He also has experience handling public and private law child work.
Expertise: "Has a great ability to cut through the nonsense and concentrate on the heart of a case to the advantage of the client."
Recent work: Appeared in K v K, a financial relief case involving £100 million of assets.
Anthony Kirk QC
Brings his considerable expertise to bear in a range of children law cases. He handles childcare, international abduction, abuse, mental health and adoption matters.
Expertise: "He has the ability to put everyone in court at ease, whilst making some very big points. He has an excellent way of extracting information from even the most hostile witnesses. His advocacy skills are something to behold."
Recent work: Appeared in the Supreme Court in a case concerning an application for the summary return of a child to Australia.
Christopher Pocock QC
A long-time specialist in matrimonial finance, he undertakes a whole host of high-value, complex disputes involving offshore, business and multi-jurisdictional elements. He is also well versed in prenuptial matters.
Expertise: "He is very effective and very good at dealing with difficult issues." "He has a razor-sharp intellect, and offers down-to-earth, practical advice."
Recent work: Acted in Imerman v Tchenguiz.
Richard Harrison QC
Commended for having made the transition from junior well since taking silk in 2012. He is highly respected across a broad range of children law and matrimonial finance cases, and has had recent experience in the Supreme Court. He is particularly good on forum disputes,
Expertise: "He is prodigiously clever and never fails to dazzle clients with his superlative analytical skills and the ease with which he navigates around obscure points of law."
Philip Marshall QC
Has established himself quickly since making silk in 2012. He focuses predominantly on matrimonial finance, and is particularly experienced at handling international jurisdiction disputes.
Expertise: "He is extremely popular with clients. He is painstaking in his preparation of a case and is an incredibly polished advocate."
Pamela Scriven QC
Experienced across a wide range of private and public children law, and is especially well versed in complex cases involving sexual abuse.
Man of the moment Harry Oliver is one of the most capable juniors at the Bar when it comes to matrimonial finance. His expertise encompasses a range of ancillary relief cases, and he regularly handles high-asset cases.
Expertise: "He is brilliantly incisive and meticulous, and has a phenomenal head for numbers." "He's full of energy and willing to fight hard for the clients."
Recent work: Appeared in Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman.
A prominent figure in matrimonial finance, and is highlighted in particular for his work involving complex trusts and international jurisdictional issues.
Expertise: "He has a razor-sharp intellect. He's a great negotiator, who is robust and works tirelessly for clients."
Recent work: Acted in M v M, an ancillary relief case concerning substantial trust assets.
A leading junior for matrimonial finance disputes, many of whose cases involve substantial offshore assets.
Expertise: "A tenacious advocate and negotiator." "One of the best matrimonial juniors at the moment."
A key part of the set's superb matrimonial finance offering, Deepak Nagpal frequently handles cases involving high net worth and high-profile individuals. Many of his cases have international jurisdictional and offshore issues.
Expertise: "Probably one of the most intellectually able barristers of his generation." "He really thinks about cases, and comes up with solutions no one thinks about."
Continues to make waves as a leading junior. While predominantly handling high-value matrimonial finance disputes, he also maintains a respected children law practice.
Expertise: "Exhibits fantastically strong analysis." "He's an outstanding advocate who understands both his clients and the realities of life and business."
An expert in matrimonial finance, but also handles a wide array of other family law work including private law children matters.
Expertise: "Very precise in his advice, and also easy in his manner and well able to relate to clients."
One of the set's leading children law juniors. She handles both private and public law cases, and represents an array of local authorities, guardians, parents and children.
Expertise: "A fine choice for the most difficult of children matters."
A former clinical psychologist working with children, Nicola Fox is an excellent choice for private law children cases, but is also very good at matrimonial finance. In the children field, she is particularly well versed in relocation matters.
Expertise: "Very competent and experienced at children work." "She is reserved and adopts a firm approach, making her great for tough cases."
Undertakes a broad range of both private law children work and high-value financial remedy cases, as well as Schedule 1 and Inheritance Act matters.
Expertise: "Extremely able and good at both children and difficult financial work." "She cares about her clients and her cases."
Handles a wide array of family law cases, and is especially knowledgeable in private children law work. International relocation questions and same-sex parenting issues are particular strong suits of hers.
Has a broad-ranging family law practice. His expertise in matrimonial finance is particularly commended.
Expertise: "He's very good at client care and is a thoroughly nice bloke." "He's proactive in his approach to cases."
Highly respected for her children law practice, which encompasses adoption, abuse allegations, mental health issues, abduction and relocation, among other things.
Expertise: "A very steady performer who always has a good grasp of her cases."
Recommended for both her matrimonial finance and private children law expertise. Her experience covers a range of ancillary relief and TOLATA disputes, as well as Schedule 1 and relocation issues.
Expertise: "She is extremely competent and can handle complex cases beyond her years of experience. She is industrious and insightful in her written work, and in her preparation for court. She also has excellent client-handling skills."
Undertakes a range of family law cases, including financial remedy, private law children and abduction matters.
Expertise: "An extremely intelligent and able advocate, who has the capacity to pick up and take on board large amounts of complex information. He is very good at thinking on his feet."
Recently joined 1 King's Bench Walk from 1 Garden Court Family Law. He is an expert in matrimonial finance and TOLATA matters, as well as Schedule 1 issues and intervener cases.
Expertise: "He is very, very good, and a go-to barrister."
Her excellent and wide-ranging family law practice covers matrimonial finance and private law children cases, including residence and contact disputes.
Expertise: "She has a natural air about her, and her calm and reassuring manner is perfectly suited to nervous clients."
Undertakes a broad variety of both matrimonial finance and children law, and is highlighted in particular for her ancillary relief expertise.
Expertise: "An extremely safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Appeared in Re: PJ, a High Court child abduction case
14 Gray's Inn Square is a family law set whose barristers are all experts in public and private children law work, and many of whom are also highly experienced in matrimonial finance matters. It maintains an impressive and broad range of both publicly funded cases and private client work, and is noted by solicitors as having "a good range of abilities," and being "very solid on childcare."
Client service: The clerks, headed by Geoff Carr, are "excellent and very helpful."
A pre-eminent junior handling a range of matrimonial finance issues, including trusts-related cases and cohabitation disputes. He is also highly respected for his expertise in public and private children law.
Expertise: "Michael is one of the standout barristers of his generation. He is clever, practical, empathetic and a team player." "He's extremely good with clients and a tough negotiator."
Head of chambers Sarah Forster is recognised for her fine work on behalf of children, local authorities and parents. She also handles ancillary relief work.
Expertise: "She is excellent with clients; very empathetic."
Commended for her specialist children law expertise. She is highlighted in particular for her strong performances in court, and for the experience she brings having been a former solicitor.
Expertise: "A very experienced childcare lawyer." "Because she was a solicitor, she appreciates all the difficulties her instructing solicitors have to put up with."
Debuts in this year's rankings. He has a strong, broad-ranging family law practice, that is predominantly focused on matrimonial finance work.
Expertise: "He is a knockout." "He is thorough and able, and provides quality representation."
New in the rankings this year. She has tremendous experience, and specialises largely in private and public law children cases.
Expertise: "She is very thorough, shows great attention to detail, and is very calm and very organised. She really has her finger on the pulse."
Another of the set's newly ranked juniors, Christopher Miller is recommended in particular for his expertise with public law children cases. He frequently acts on behalf of guardians, local authorities and parents.
Expertise: "A solid practitioner, he is thorough and knows the law."
Focuses primarily on high-value ancillary relief matters. On the private law side, her cases often include disputes involving mental health issues.
Expertise: "Very good on her feet."
The up-and-coming Sally Gore handles a wide range of family law, but stands out in particular for her niche expertise in judicial review proceedings, especially as they relate to children law.
29 Bedford Row is a specialist family law set renowned for its barristers' strength in financial remedies work and its collective expertise in children law. Its barristers are frequently seen acting in complex, high-value cases which often have company and trust issues attached to them, as well as international elements. They also handle civil partnership and cohabitee disputes. "This is an effective and efficient set. The members are just great people to deal with."
Client service: Headed by senior clerk James Shortall, the clerking team is praised as being proactive, prompt and helpful.
Nicholas Francis QC
Head of chambers Nicholas Francis QC consistently ranks alongside some of the best silks in the country for big-money matrimonial finance disputes. He has been especially active recently handling complex prenuptial matters on behalf of high-profile and high net worth individuals.
Expertise: "Good with clients, he is persuasive and intelligent." "He provides very clear, helpful and useful advice."
Timothy Scott QC
One of the UK's best matrimonial finance practitioners, particularly in relation to cases with international elements.
Expertise: "Very good on jurisdictional points." "He's really calming with clients, and is authoritative without being bossy."
Recent work: He recently handled an amicus curiae brief in a US Supreme Court case relating to a child who had been returned to Scotland after a hearing in the USA under the Hague Convention on international child abduction.
Paul Storey QC
A pre-eminent expert in public law children work. His cases frequently relate to mental disability issues, allegations of abuse and artificial insemination.
Expertise: "He goes above and beyond," and is "very strong indeed."
Recent work: Successfully acted for mother Jenny Gray in London Borough of Sutton v Gray and Butler.
Patrick Chamberlayne QC
Has a superb practice focusing on high-value ancillary relief, civil partnership and Schedule 1 claims. His cases often involve international and jurisdictional issues.
Expertise: "He is really good with clients and brilliant on his feet. He is confident and produces really good work."
Recent work: He recently acted in H v S, a case involving a landmark decision recognising Saudi Arabian divorces under English law.
Robert Peel QC
A leader in the matrimonial finance field, who regularly handles high net worth cases with trust and cross-border aspects.
Expertise: "A charming but firm advocate, who is much respected by the judges." "He is very good with clients, and also good on technical points of law."
Recent work: He recently acted in Y v Y, a High Court financial remedy case involving inherited assets.
Christopher Wagstaffe QC
Eminently respected for his matrimonial finance work, he is especially renowned for his expertise with complex trusts matters.
Expertise: "Very confident and tactical in his approach."
Recent work: His recent work includes acting in Prest v Petrodel, a High Court case involving properties owned by a company said to be in the possession of a Nigerian oil millionaire.
Philip Cayford QC
Highlighted for his expertise in complex financial remedies and prenuptial agreements, among other matrimonial finance issues, and is well versed in Schedule 1 and leave to remove from jurisdiction matters.
Expertise: "Very smooth, and highly regarded by the judiciary. He always puts clients first and provides good service."
Piers Pressdee QC
Specialises in children law, and undertakes both private and public law cases involving relocation, contact, allegations of abuse, residence and surrogacy issues, among other things.
Recent work: He recently acted in the High Court care case of Sutton London Borough Council v Gray and Butler. He represented the children's guardian.
Jonathan Southgate QC
Having made silk in 2013, Jonathan Southgate QC continues to rise in prominence in the matrimonial finance arena. He wins tremendous praise from fellow barristers and instructing solicitors.
Expertise: "A great advocate." "He is very thorough."
Star junior Brent Molyneux is a highly lauded expert in high net worth financial remedy cases, including those with complex international aspects.
Expertise: "He is a deeply impressive barrister." "He really puts his mark on a case and he's really good with clients."
Increasingly recognised for her excellence in matrimonial finance work, especially those cases involving trusts, company disputes, nuptial agreements and international matters.
Expertise: "She has always been great; she is excellent on her feet." "A great negotiator."
Specialises in high net worth financial remedy work, and is especially knowledgeable when it comes to cases under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
Expertise: "Utterly superb." "He has exceptional technical knowledge, and is very good with flustered clients."
Highly respected for her complex ancillary relief work. She is also experienced with Schedule 1 matters and prenuptial agreements.
Expertise: "A good, user-friendly advocate who is a commanding presence in court."
Handles private children law work, and is particularly experienced in cases with complex international dimensions. She is particularly good in relation to abduction, jurisdiction and relocation issues.
Recent work: She recently acted in an international relocation case in which the Court of Appeal revisited and clarified guidance provided in the landmark Payne v Payne case ten years prior.
An expert in a broad range of matrimonial finance issues, and is highlighted in particular for his specialist knowledge of Schedule 1 Children Act proceedings.
Expertise: "The Schedule 1 guru; he is knowledgeable and experienced. Clients love him."
Has wide-ranging family law expertise, and is especially recommended for his strength in private and public children law cases.
Expertise: "He really understands children work. He really gets to the heart of what the case is all about."
A respected junior with a broad family law practice, but who proves particularly strong on high net worth ancillary relief cases.
Expertise: "Phenomenally thorough, he is excellent with clients and supportive of their cost constraints."
Family law specialist Richard Bates is predominantly focused on financial remedy cases on behalf of high net worth individuals. Many of his cases involve trust, business and pension fund issues.
Expertise: "Richard's personable approach relaxes anxious clients, placing them at ease. He is very knowledgeable and accomplished in all he does."
His practice is centred around complex financial cases, particularly those with a trusts element to them.
Expertise: "He's an incredible fighter who shows no fear. He's not short of confidence."
Recent work: Appeared in McRoberts, an application to annul a lump sum order made in matrimonial proceedings.
Undertakes complex ancillary relief cases, frequently involving international aspects, and is also noted for his knowledge of private law children cases.
Expertise: "A very good junior who is very impressive, very thorough and highly intelligent."
Noted for her expertise in financial remedy cases, and also handles private law children work.
Expertise: "Always a very capable and steady pair of hands."
A savvy matrimonial finance expert with particular experience of tackling business issues involved in divorce proceedings.
Expertise: "A go-to guy for complex areas of law."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal case Davies v Davies, which concerned a dispute concerning a London hotel worth £8 million.
An expert in ancillary relief and TOLATA issues. He has particular knowledge of offshore wealth issues, trusts, companies and bankruptcy.
Expertise: "An excellent advocate, who is strong on paperwork and shows great attention to detail. Clients feel he really fights their corner."
Has a practice largely focused on matrimonial finance issues, but has experience in a wide range of private family law matters.
Expertise: "Thorough and prepared to fight her client's corner."
Lynsey Cade Davies
Up and coming, she is making a mark handling ancillary financial relief cases. Commentators say she is good on cases with international elements.
Expertise: "A tenacious and a very good advocate."
A matrimonial finance junior already turning heads thanks to a run of recent successes, including a number in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
Expertise: "Incredibly hard-working and has wonderful judgement."
Recent work: She recently acted in the Golubovich v Golubovich High Court and Court of Appeal cases between two members of the Russian oligarchic class.
This set houses a wealth of talent and has firmly established itself as a leading set for family law. Complex public and private children disputes are areas in which it particularly excels, and it enjoys a fine track record for cases concerning child abduction, child protection and international relocation. In addition, 4 Paper Buildings is also routinely sought after to handle high-value matrimonial disputes. Solicitors say of the barristers here that they are "very innovative in their approach and very holistic in their advice."
Client service: The clerking team, under senior clerk Michael Reeves, receives ample praise from the market, with one source commenting: "They have the best clerks in the business - their clerking is head and shoulders above the rest."
Henry Setright QC
Continues to be regarded by market sources as pre-eminent in international children matters, especially child abduction cases.
Expertise: "Superb and very good with clients." "He is excellent in cases requiring technical aspects of the law."
Recent work: Appeared in Quila Bibi and Aguila v SSHD, a watershed case in the Supreme Court concerning forced marriage and restrictions on marriages for under-21s. The case has been instrumental in changing English law, causing the abandonment of UK immigration policy regarding restrictions on entry for that class.
Alex Verdan QC
Remains one of the most celebrated barristers doing children work and is well versed in the most complex private and public law cases.
Expertise: "He is sublime. He is fantastic in court and his bedside manner is second to none. If he has a difficult children case, he is very caring and understanding. Added to this, he is an absolute fighter in court."
Jo Delahunty QC
Specialises in children law. She has handled some complex and often controversial disputes involving child death, and ritualised and sexual abuse.
Expertise: "Superb. She has one of the sharpest brains I know, and is very forensic and tactical." "Exceptional. She works incredibly hard, is excellent at cross-examination and great at presenting a case at court."
Recent work: Delahunty represented a teenage mother who was falsely accused of inflicting multiple fractures to a newborn baby, killing him by shaking/impact. The case involved cross-examining 40 medics and 16 experts.
Marcus Scott-Manderson QC
Maintains an excellent track record in cross-border child abduction cases.
Expertise: "Has a detailed knowledge of technical aspects of law and is a well-respected international children practitioner."
Recent work: Successfully argued a test case on the conflict between ECJ and English definitions of habitual residence in the context of Hague Convention abduction.
Michael Sternberg QC
Comes much recommended for his broad-ranging family law practice and draws much praise for his work in both high-value ancillary relief matters and complex child cases.
Expertise: "An excellent QC to work with. He's very meticulous, provides lots of feedback and works well as part of a team."
Catherine Wood QC
Has gone from strength to strength since taking silk in 2011 and is particularly noted for her efforts in serious private law children cases, especially those concerning sexual abuse and parental alienation.
Expertise: "A great advocate. She manages clients' expectations and achieves good results. She's very focused, very organised - the all-round package."
Teertha Gupta QC
Has thrived since taking silk in 2012 and is highly respected for his work on cross-jurisdictional children cases.
Expertise: "A joy to work with, he's knowledgeable and so very on the ball. He focuses on issues in order to ensure he gets a result for the client." "He's always available to talk and is very innovative in his solutions to problems."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of CAFCAS in the Supreme Court in Re: T. He successfully persuaded the Law Lords that the Court of Appeal was wrong in its analysis that costs follow the event in care cases.
Jonathan Cohen QC
In addition to having a highly esteemed matrimonial finance practice, Cohen is also noted for his wealth of experience in serious children cases.
Expertise: "Sometimes it's difficult to justify the cost of a silk, but he's worth every penny."
David Williams QC
Has established himself as a go-to advocate for Hague Convention matters, and is particularly noted for his strengths in cases involving abductions and reciprocal enforcement.
Expertise: "A favourite for complex jurisdictional disputes, he knows the technical issues really well."
Recent work: Successfully handled a case in the Court of Appeal regarding the proper interpretation of ‘habitual residence’ in Hague Convention cases.
Excels in international children cases and is especially noted for her expertise in matters relating to surrogacy and adoption.
Expertise: "Tells it exactly how it is: she is very straight, very sensible and calm." "Her attention to detail is great."
Recent work: Successfully acted for a father who is the respondent in a private law case brought by a mother who wanted to relocate to Brazil with the parties' child. The matter involved issues concerning a shared residence order for the child, as well as religious and cultural factors, the impracticality of contact and a review of the case law.
Elicits much acclaim for his work on both the matrimonial finance and children law sides, and is routinely sought out for his strengths on high-value divorce cases and large-scale cross-jurisdictional children disputes.
Expertise: "His delivery is well judged and he is very easy to work with. He inspires a lot of confidence."
Recent work: Hale acted on behalf of the Grandparents Association in a widely publicised Supreme Court appeal regarding the liability of a local authority to pay the costs of a party to care proceedings.
Represents a fine choice of counsel for matters pertaining to residence and contact, and is widely respected for her expertise on international matters.
Expertise: "She is absolutely fantastic. She is very thorough in the way she prepares and executes her arguments. I always walk into court in the knowledge that with Justine as my barrister I will get first-class representation."
Draws much praise for her work in complex care cases, including those matters concerning sexual abuse and parents/children with mental health problems.
Expertise: "Outstanding. She's a brilliant advocate, who is incredibly bright and good at handling clients. She is just your dream counsel."
Maintains a fine track in cases concerning cross-jurisdictional issues, child abduction, adoption, abandoned spouses and lawful relocation.
Expertise: "Has excellent knowledge of all areas of family law matters."
Recent work: Recently handled child abduction proceedings in the High Court involving five children, three of whom were returned to Spain.
Wins plaudits for her work in private and public children law cases, particularly those relating to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Expertise: "A very sound and sensible advocate, who will always impress a judge."
Represents children, parents and local authorities, among others, in complex and high-profile care cases, and enjoys a fine reputation for his work on matters pertaining to death, injury and sexual abuse.
Expertise: "He is focused and tenacious - a real fighter and an excellent advocate."
Principally focuses on public law disputes and is well versed in all areas of children matters, from deaths and non-accidental injuries to fabricated/induced illness and sexual abuse cases.
Expertise: "Absolutely phenomenal, she's an expert in her field. She makes you feel like you are with a heavy hitter. Watching her perform in court is amazing."
Continues to go from strength to strength in the children law arena and is being increasingly sought after to handle cases concerning international abduction, international and domestic relocation, and forced marriage.
Expertise: "He has a quality of practice that is well beyond his call. He is loved by judges, is a delightful opponent and is forensically really mature."
Recent work: Acted for the biological mother in connection with a case concerning two children conceived by insemination by an anonymous donor during the parties' lesbian relationship. During the course of the proceedings that followed, the shared residence order previously granted to the non-biological mother had been discharged. The mother appealed, and the order was overturned.
Comes highly recommended for his representation of parents, children and guardians in cases relating to child abduction, relocation and public law.
Expertise: One solicitor commented: "He knows more about family law than some of the judges."
Highly experienced in private and public law children work and is especially recognised for her work regarding adoption and child relocation. She also handles cases involving issues for consideration such as education and religion.
Recent work: Featured in a high-profile case involving a decision concerning the upbringing of five children from the Chassidic community. This concerned a disagreement between the parents over the education of the children which would entirely affect their whole way of life and rules for living.
Has developed a much-admired practice focusing on private law cases and Children Act Schedule 1 disputes.
Expertise: "She has tenacity and knows what she is doing - she prepares cases very thoroughly."
Enjoys a fine reputation for his work in cross-jurisdiction children matters, particularly those concerning child abduction, surrogacy and forced marriage.
Expertise: "I use him a lot for cases with complex issues; he sits down and gives 100% effort and dedication. He is good to work with and really approachable."
Commonly called upon to handle high-profile and complex sexual abuse and non-accidental injury matters.
Expertise: "Very good; he is a calm and competent advocate."
In addition to her strength in children cases, she is highly esteemed in the matrimonial finance arena, and handles complex and high-value cross-border matters.
Expertise: "She has been excellent, and is very good with clients. She is very tough and deals with everything really well. She is also great on her feet."
Debuts in the rankings this year and is gaining much recognition for her work relating to financial remedy cases and trusts of land applications.
Expertise: "A star of the future, who gives her all to clients and works incredibly hard to get the right result."
A new entrant in the rankings this year, who is noted for his handling of high-profile cases concerning abduction and the international movement of children.
Expertise: "He knows the law and will put together good arguments at really short notice."
Recent work: Recently appealed in the Court of Appeal in Re: J, a Hague abduction case.
Seen as a rising star in cross-jurisdiction children matters, and has been frequently sought after to handle cases relating to child abduction, relocation and international custody/access.
Expertise: "She has an excellent practice and is wise beyond her years of call."
Comes recommended for his representation of local authorities, parents and guardians in public children cases.
Expertise: "He is a charming man and a safe pair of hands. He presents cases in a fair way and will always work hard and do things decently."
Recent work: Handled a case looking at the legality of a local authority’s plan to remove a child from its mother immediately after birth without informing the mother of the intention to do so.
This excellent common law set has a fine reputation, and houses barristers skilled in every area of private and public law children work. Its tenants come especially highly regarded for their strengths in non-accidental injury, abuse and abduction cases. The set offers "good-quality barristers, who are very approachable and friendly. They are very strong as a team and what draws us to them is their strength and depth."
Client service: Senior clerk Alan Brewer has many years of experience under his belt, and is "a friendly chap who is open and direct in his dealings." He leads a team which is described as "always efficient. The clerks are very helpful, are always available to help us and always provide a good choice of barristers."
Tina Cook QC
Represents an excellent choice of counsel for parents, guardians and local authorities faced with serious child care cases, including those involving non-accidental injury and fatalities.
Expertise: "She's very good in court and can produce the most theatrical, highly effective cross-examinations."
Recent work: Cook acted on behalf of a local authority in a significant High Court case concerning parental responsibility for twins, both of whom were physically abused, resulting in the death of one of the twins and serious injury to the other.
Frank Feehan QC
Continues to go from strength to strength, and expertly handles complex private and public law children cases. He is increasingly establishing himself as an authority on disputes concerning cross-jurisdictional issues.
Expertise: "The type of work he is doing is extraordinary." "He is very thorough and is very good when it comes to the medical complexities of cases."
Recent work: Feehan appeared in Traversa v Freddi, a case concerning an interpretation of the Brussels II Convention. He obtained a successful verdict allowing his client to seek relief in a foreign jurisdiction.
Has established herself as one of the leading juniors handling private and public law childcare cases. She is regularly sought out for her expertise in infanticide, sexual abuse, factitious disease and intractable contact/parental alienation cases.
Expertise: "She is efficient and personable, and there are no doubts about her ability."
Recent work: McKenna represented West Sussex County Council in a matter relating to a child who had been placed with their maternal grandmother, having been previously considered at potential medium to long-term risk of harm.
Has a fine track record handling public law care proceedings. He is noted for his wealth of experience at all court levels.
Expertise: "A refreshingly nice opponent with a good sense of humour who has no airs and graces." "He is an effective advocate, with great common sense and good judgement. He doesn't show off; he is there to help people."
Recent work: Bennett appeared in the High Court, acting on behalf of Peterborough City Council in care proceedings involving the death of a child and the possibility of risks to a surviving child.
Acts for local authorities, parents, guardians and children in serious public law childcare matters, and is a renowned expert in adoption cases.
Expertise: "A confident but not aggressive barrister who is very thorough. He likes to include the solicitor in all aspects of the case, and his advice is spot-on. He's also very courteous."
Practices exclusively in children matters and is frequently called upon to handle complex cases involving physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. He is also increasingly known for his work concerning immigration issues and matters regarding alternative jurisdictions.
Expertise: "A very well-prepared and extremely good advocate, who is very good at cross-examination."
Recent work: McCormack was instructed on behalf of two children in complex High Court non-accidental injury proceedings.
Handles public law children cases in London and across the South Eastern Circuit. He is a good option for matters concerning international and complex cultural issues.
Expertise: "He has gravitas, good judgement, and is a very skilful advocate."
Continues to see her star rising in the public law care arena. Her practice has a particular emphasis on complicated non-accidental injury cases and matters involving vulnerable adults or separately represented children.
Expertise: "Very impressive. Her advocacy is very good, she has an exceedingly pleasant manner and is very effective."
Frequently called upon by parents, guardians and local authorities in large-scale public law children cases, predominantly in London and Sussex. She has handled a wide variety of serious non-accidental injury matters, including those resulting in the death of children, physical and sexual abuse, neglect and emotional harm.
Expertise: "I like her - she's a really strong advocate."
Recent work: Taylor acted in the interests of a 13-year-old girl, through her guardian, in a case concerning chronic intergenerational sexual and emotional abuse.
Has a wealth of experience in international child abduction and adoption cases.
Expertise: "An effective advocate," and was one of the pioneers in the abduction field.
Coram Chambers is a civil and family law set highlighted for its juniors' excellence in private and public children law work. Its collective expertise takes in adoption, international abduction and relocation, childcare and wardship cases, amongst others. Solicitors say: "Coram has the right approach to children cases. They also have excellent client care skills and are exceptional when handling their many cases."
Client service: Paul Sampson leads an impressive clerking team. "The clerking is always extremely efficient."
Head of chambers Martha Cover is a specialist in cases relating to serious injury or death of children, and is especially known for her knowledge of issues relating to traumatic infant brain injury.
Expertise: "She is respected by the judiciary and has a clear understanding of local authorities."
A new entry in this year's rankings, she has a practice focusing on private and public law children work, with particular expertise in international child law matters and issues relating to abduction, relocation and international adoption.
Expertise: "She is extremely able and very bright."
Handles a variety of child law cases covering abduction, childcare and relocation.
Expertise: "He has great client care skills and is very meticulous."
Recent work: He recently acted in a case concerning a mother's application for summary return of children to Australia after their abduction by the father.
Has a broad-ranging family law practice, and particular expertise in private and public law childcare cases on behalf of guardians, local authorities and parents.
Expertise: "She is a really good person, and a real fighter, who is very tenacious."
Recent work: She recently acted in Richmond London Borough Council v B, W, B and CB. These were care proceedings involving disputed expert evidence regarding alcohol abuse.
Focuses exclusively on matrimonial finance and family property cases and maintains a fine track record in matters concerning the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
Expertise: "Has real knowledge of cohabitee cases."
Queen Elizabeth Building has a superb reputation in the matrimonial finance arena and comes particularly recommended for its strengths in complex ancillary relief cases. The set also has a wealth of experience in all other areas of family law, including jurisdictional disputes, foreign divorces, forced marriage, Inheritance Act claims, disputes between former cohabitees and children law cases. Solicitors comment: "We use a lot of barristers there and they are outstanding. They are all academically and technically on point."
Client service: The clerking team, led by senior clerk Ivor Treherne, was described by one enthusiastic source as "simply amazing. It's a who's who of wonderful, charming clerks and the service is superior. It's a very warm and friendly chambers."
Tim Amos QC
Elicits a wealth of praise from the market and is considered a pre-eminent figure in family cases, especially cross-border disputes. He draws plaudits for his excellent manner with clients, and his incisive and detailed approach to matters.
Expertise: "A truly exceptional matrimonial barrister with a commercial head for business matters, who understands completely the mood and thinking of the family judges in the High Court."
Recent work: Appeared in the landmark Prest v Petrodel case, acting for a range of companies of which the husband in the divorce proceedings is the controller.
Lewis Marks QC
A luminary in the family arena, Marks is considered more than a safe pair of hands when it comes to the most complex and high-value of cases. He is especially lauded for his work pertaining to ancillary relief and international divorce matters.
Expertise: "He is brilliant. A brain on legs, he's frighteningly clever. He knows papers inside and out and is very learned generally." "Has a wonderful manner. He gets to the heart of issues very quickly and always comes up with a sensible approach."
Recent work: Marks appeared in Z v Z, a watershed case and the first in which it was successfully argued that a wife should be held to a foreign marriage contract electing separation of property.
Lucy Stone QC
Commands much respect for her cutting-edge advice on ultra high net worth matters.
Expertise: "She is a real intellectual heavyweight, who is approachable and a good team worker." "She's a superstar. She has real skill and a real grasp of the issues."
Recent work: Stone recently completed a case that was the first occasion on which the interface between Radmacher and Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 had been considered.
Charles Hyde QC
Has 15 years of experience in the family law arena and is routinely sought after to handle complex, high-value work on both the matrimonial and children sides.
Expertise: "He has a really good manner with difficult clients. He is very measured and will take the time to really get to know the client and work out the best approach with them."
Jennifer Roberts QC
Specialises in high-value international matters, often concerning complex tax elements, and is also routinely called upon to advise with regard to pre and post-nuptial agreements.
Expertise: "She is marvellous with clients. A tough negotiator, she is very able on her feet, and hugely respected by solicitors and the courts."
Stewart Leech QC
Principally concentrates on ancillary relief, civil partnership and cohabitee matters, in addition to Inheritance Act cases. He is noted for his particular strengths on disputes with a cross-border dimension.
Expertise: "Great: he's very hands-on and very well liked."
Recent work: In HMRC v Charman, Leech successfully defended an application by HMRC to have sight of the evidence filed in the ancillary relief case between Mr and Mrs Charman.
Without question one of the most distinguished juniors handling matrimonial finance matters, she is particularly good on cases concerning offshore trusts.
Expertise: "Well prepared, concise and effective." "She's just so on the money in dealing with anything you ask her. She's a real no-nonsense barrister and will give you a reality check so you that know what you are likely to achieve."
Recent work: Clarke acted against Lucy Stone QC in a landmark dispute concerning the impact of Radmacher on Part III cases.
Excels in complex financial disputes involving substantial assets, tax and valuation issues, and trust structures. She enjoys an excellent reputation for her work handling cases with an international dimension.
Expertise: "Has good judgement and is very good at mastering the detail of complicated financial situations." "Excellent on jurisdictional matters, she has very good judgement, and a broad and practical understanding of all her cases.
Recent work: Cowton appeared in F v F, a financial hearing concerning the impact of financial rearrangement implemented during a marriage. The case concerned complex trust and company valuation issues.
Comes recommended for his expertise in both matrimonial finance and private law children work, and is noted for his adept handling of cases featuring complicated trust structures.
Expertise: "Very approachable, he has a good manner with clients and is extremely well prepared."
Recent work: Brooks appeared in Kim v Morris, acting as junior to Tim Amos QC. The case involved considerations of complicated law relating to adultery petitions and supplemental petitions.
Well renowned for his expertise in matters pertaining to ancillary relief and prenuptial agreements.
Expertise: "He has a very pleasant and urbane manner. His court skills are first-class: his approach is deceptively smooth, but underneath there is a fist of iron." One solicitor commented: "He was very efficient and his answers given in cross-examination were incredibly astute and eloquent. He was very adept at picking out all of the hard-hitting and salient points of my case."
Recent work: Handled a financial application concerning a dispute as to the true beneficial ownership of assets.
Commended for his strength in matrimonial cases, he is well versed in matters involving complex asset structures, trusts and internationally held assets. He also undertakes private law children work.
Expertise: "James is a top performer and an excellent communicator. He helps simplify a case and can focus the judge's attention on the relevant points."
Recent work: Ewins appeared in Arif v Anwar, arguing on behalf of the wife before the Family Division, Bankruptcy Court and Court of Appeal.
Recognised for his broad-ranging family law practice, which covers matrimonial finance and public and private law children cases.
Expertise: "He is great. He's extremely careful, very detailed, and very good when it comes to thinking of the strategy in a case."
Predominantly focuses on financial remedy proceedings, but is also regularly engaged in children cases.
Expertise: "She's very responsive, gives pragmatic advice and produces good paperwork."
"She's extremely bright and very good at handling massively complicated cases. She understands the family dynamic as well as the legal dynamic in a case."
Remains highly renowned for his superb skill in matters relating to ancillary relief.
Expertise: "He is incredibly conscientious and misses nothing."
Continues to make strides in both the matrimonial finance and private child law arenas.
Expertise: "She is a junior who punches above her weight in terms of her seniority. She is very diligent and helpful."
Represents a fine choice of counsel for matrimonial finance matters as well as private law children work, including Schedule 1 and relocation cases. Also routinely advises on pre/mid/post-nuptial agreements.
Expertise: "Does complex work really well. She's a star in the making!"
In addition to his adroit handling of high-value matrimonial financial disputes, he is recognised for his expertise in children cases, where he handles anything from international relocation applications to international child abduction matters.
Expertise: "He is really impressive. Clients like him, he is very authoritative and he is an impressive advocate."
Recent work: Successfully acted in Nielsen v Nielsen, a divorce case touching on international jurisdiction issues.
Specialises in high-value financial remedy matters in divorce cases and is noted for his experience in proceedings that involve complex tax and trust elements.
Expertise: "He is a tenacious advocate and is always on hand to give sensible advice." "His drafting is really good and his advocacy is excellent."
Debuts in the rankings this year and continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to family law matters. She is regularly sought after to advise high net worth clients with complex financial arrangements.
Expertise: "Can handle very difficult and undesirable clients very well. She is extremely pleasant, but feisty and effective once in court."
The trilingual Charanjit Batt appears in some very large international family finance cases.
Expertise: "She is a very strong advocate, who is not intimidated by the opposition even if they're a lot more senior to her."
Recent work: Appeared in the leading international marriage and very high net worth finance case of Z v A.
Barbara Connolly QC of 7 Bedford Row
Enjoys a fine track record handling public and private children law cases. She comes recommended for her work representing vulnerable adults.
Expertise: "An excellent advocate, who is spot-on when it comes to cross-examination."
Anita Guha of 7 Bedford Row
Well versed in all areas of children law and renowned for her expertise in child abduction, relocation and overseas surrogacy cases.
Expertise: "She fights for her client and is willing to go beyond what is necessary in terms of hard work."
Recent work: Appeared in Nisa v Shah, a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of a circuit judge to order contact.
Rachel Langdale QC of 7 Bedford Row
Possesses a wealth of experience and is much noted for her work representing parents and interveners in cases relating to non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and adoption.
Expertise: "She is bold and courageous in making her points, but sensible with it too." "She is brilliant. She is very courteous in the courtroom and brings a sense of calm, but never lets go of the issues."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal case of Re: AB (A Child).
David Balcombe QC of 1 Crown Office Row
In addition to his clinical negligence and professional discipline work, he is renowned for his expertise in matrimonial finance and prenuptial agreement matters.
Expertise: "Impresses with his integrity and sensible approach."
Hannah Markham of 36 Bedford Row
Debuts in the rankings this year and comes recommended for her representation of children, parents and local authorities in serious abuse cases.
Expertise: "She is incredibly energetic, hard-working and very accessible."
Janet Mitchell of 4 Brick Court
Well versed in a variety of public and private children matters, from child death and non-accidental injury cases to adoption and abduction-related proceedings.
Expertise: "A fantastic advocate."
Maria Scotland of Clerksroom Barristers Chambers
Excels in private law children work and is also noted for her expertise in financial remedy cases.
Maggie Jones of Garden Court Chambers
Has a broad-ranging children practice and is well versed in complex public and private law disputes, as well as cases concerning immigration issues and foreign adoptions.
Expertise: "Tenacious and brilliant at cross-examination." "If your back is against the wall, she is a good person to have on your side."
Recent work: Jones represented two children in lengthy private law proceedings concerning a gay father and partner and lesbian mothers.
Malek Wan Daud of Garden Court Chambers
Represents local authorities, parents and children in complex care disputes concerning non-accidental injuries.
Expertise: "Clients like him - he is very approachable and always manages to speak to people at a level they understand."
Timothy Parker of 9 Gough Square
Represents an excellent choice of counsel for sexual abuse, adoption and non-accidental injury cases, and enjoys a fine reputation for his work with local authorities.
Expertise: "I was struck with his ability to remain calm under pressure. His advice has been realistic and well thought out, and he is very popular with clients."
Recent work: Parker featured in London Borough of Sutton v Gray, acting for the local authority at the re-hearing of a much-publicised alleged shaken baby case.
Tara Vindis of 9 Gough Square
Expert in non-accidental injury cases.
Expertise: "She is very clear in her thoughts and focuses on what is important. Meticulous in the preparation of cases, she is a very good advocate, who is calm and measured."
Edward Devereux of Harcourt Chambers
Continues to be highly renowned for his work in cross-jurisdictional children cases. He is very good on child abduction matters.
Expertise: "Brilliant. Knows so much and instils the utmost confidence."
Recent work: Devereux played a significant role in a case which examined the various provisions of the European Regulation Brussels II Revised.
Nicholas Goodwin of Harcourt Chambers
Has expertise in public and private children cases, including non-accidental injury and complex medical disputes. Also handles financial remedy matters.
Expertise: "I think he is brilliant. He is very, very good with clients and very good with medical evidence." "He is incredibly user-friendly and extremely well prepared."
Recent work: Goodwin successfully appeared in OxCC v Butcher, representing the mother in a non-accidental injury case.
Giles Bain of New Court Chambers
Draws praise for his work in both private and public law proceedings, and is also recognised for his expertise in financial remedy cases.
Expertise: "I highly rate him. He is a straightforward advocate, who will never make a bad point, will never overdo something and plays it straight down the line."
Damian Stuart of New Court Chambers
Predominantly focuses on public law children matters, such as sexual abuse and serious non-accidental injury cases. He is also noted for his experience in child abduction and private law children’s work.
Expertise: "Stuart is very knowledgeable and willing to take on difficult points. He handles extremely complex cases, is well prepared, and produces both good paperwork and fine oral arguments."
Christopher Poole of New Court Chambers
Has a fine track record in public law cases and Children Act matters, and is favoured by local authorities and guardians.
Expertise: "He is very hard-working, very fair and a nice guy to work with."
Sheena Cassidy of 3PB Barristers
Excels in ancillary relief cases and when handling disputes between cohabitants. She is also regularly instructed to draft prenuptial agreements.
Expertise: "Extremely able, dependable, conscientious and a pleasure to work with. Her understanding of confiscation and restraint proceedings makes her especially valuable in those ancillary relief proceedings where such aspects arise."
Jane Hoyal of 1 Pump Court
Focuses on public and private children law cases, and is frequently sought after to handle disputes regarding abuse, abduction and adoption.
Miranda Allardice of 5 Stone Buildings
Experienced in matrimonial finance matters and is particularly noted for her strengths in cases concerning Inheritance Act and probate issues.
Expertise: "A no-nonsense, let's-get-results barrister." "Very client-friendly, she is loved by clients." "A good team player, who is proactive and communicates well, she is a barrister who provides a really first-rate service."
Recent work: Handled a financial remedy case concerning a couple who had assets valuing more than £3 million, in a variety of investments.
Kerstin Boyd of Tanfield Chambers
Particularly noted for her strength in financial remedy cases.
Expertise: "She is very good with clients, very hard-working and always prepares well."
"She gets on with any client, is very down to earth and manages expectations extremely well. Always does a good job."
Roshi Amiraftabi of Renaissance Chambers
A new addition to the rankings this year and recognised for his expertise in public law children cases concerning sexual abuse, physical injury, child trafficking and child abduction.
Expertise: "Impressive and hard-working."