Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial
is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
1 Garden Court's strength in the ancillary relief market may have waned recently but it remains a serious player on the children law front. It has a number of talented barristers at all levels of call who undertake important care and adoption work, and handle challenging surrogacy cases and novel parental authority disputes. The members have also secured themselves an enviable reputation for handling international private children law work, and are the first choice of many for leave to remove applications and for arrangements for children that require negotiation across boundaries. Commentators say that all the barristers here are "very results-driven."
Client service: The clerks, led by Howard Rayner, are "very good at communicating with you. They are hands-on and make sure things are run across to court."
Charles Geekie QC
Practises at the highest level in significant children law cases, acting in both the public and private arenas on behalf of parents, children, guardians and local authorities. His cases often involve international aspects and circumstances of physical and emotional abuse.
Strengths: "He picks things up and spots things early, gently guiding the case in the direction that he wants it to go." "Completely up on the law, he's very good with the clients, and has quiet authority."
Recent work: Acted in a significant Court of Appeal case pertaining to the interplay between the courts and local authorities before, during and after care proceedings.
Sarah Morgan QC
Instructed in relation to both private disputes between parents and very challenging public law proceedings, for which she receives particular praise. Her public law practice often involves cases concerning non-accidental injuries and complex medical circumstances.
Strengths: "What she brings is the light touch. It's very tempting to become polarised in these cases, and the mixture of her light touch, high intelligence and humour often prevents this happening." "Clients love her, and she can get the best out of a witness."
Janet Bazley QC
Tackles both cross-border ancillary relief proceedings and significant children law matters. Her children cases often involve complex international relocation considerations and circumstances of physical injury.
Strengths: "Always calm and in control, yet at the same time strong and firm." "She combines empathy with the parents with deep knowledge of the difficult issues involved in the case."
Recent work: Acted in Re H-L (A Child), a Court of Appeal case looking at Rule 25(1) FPR 2010 for the purpose of the court permitting the instruction of an expert in a children case.
Jane Crowley QC
Instructed nationwide by clients seeking her expertise in the spheres of private and public children law. Her cases regularly concern care proceedings involving children with complex medical considerations, often in abusive circumstances, as well as challenging international relocation disputes.
Strengths: "She is understated but very effective, hard-working, and careful in her approach."
Recent work: Instructed by parents in a case relating to a young child with severe medical needs, which resulted in the local authority in question returning the child to its parents.
Alison Ball QC
A long-serving and well-respected figure at the Family Bar. She serves clients in both complex children law proceedings and significant matrimonial finance cases.
Strengths: "Her client care, her thoroughness, her preparation and her advocacy are all excellent." "Her depth of knowledge and ability to master the most complicated of details in a complex case are impressive."
Deirdre Fottrell QC
Has a strong children law practice that is often international in nature, and is also an expert on cases involving human rights. She is often instructed at the highest level in cases relating to complex medical evidence and allegations of abuse.
Strengths: "She is very, very bright on the law, and presents it in a way that is completely understandable. She is totally in command of what she does."
Recent work: Instructed in a novel case in which the age of a child was brought into question and medical evidence was required to be examined in relation to the welfare jurisdiction.
Andrew Bagchi QC
Tackles complex areas of family law, including both international and domestic children law disputes, as well as cases pertaining to the wellbeing of incapacitated adults.
Strengths: "Knowledgeable and constructive in his advice and guidance."
Specialises in public law children proceedings concerning highly complex non-accidental injury and psychological as well as sexual abuse.
Strengths: "She has common sense, and doesn't take stupid points for the sake of it. She knows when to push something and when to leave something."
A good choice for both private and public children law matters, and someone with a particular strength in international proceedings such as child abduction cases. He is regularly instructed by local authorities, guardians and parents in public law proceedings relating to non-accidental injury and the emotional abuse of children.
Strengths: "He gets on well with the clients, takes a lot of trouble with his cases, and is now someone with a strong following."
Strong in public law children cases, and a lawyer with a developing private law practice, she is instructed by local authorities, parents and guardians.
Strengths: "Her passion, technical knowledge and preparation of cases inspire confidence in both solicitors and clients."
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel on behalf of a local authority in a case relating to two orphaned children and the question of whether they should be put in the care of extended family.
Her practice embraces both private and public law cases, although there is a particular emphasis on the latter. She regularly represents individuals and local authorities in care proceedings relating to non-accidental injuries, as well as complex adoption matters.
Strengths: "She is as thorough as it's possible to be - she doesn't miss a single point." "She's very sharp, hard-working, diligent and good on her feet."
A rising presence in chambers who deals in both public law and private law matters, and predominantly acts on behalf of parents in cases concerning alleged neglect and physical violence.
Strengths: "She's a very committed public law barrister who works very hard for her clients. She is a very good technical lawyer."
Recognised for his talent in the field of matrimonial finance, he handles international disputes including those involving jurisdictional complexities and the examination of offshore assets. Strengths: "Innovative, precise in his advice and a barrister who continually provides an excellent level of service. He understands high-value, complex cases, and has extensive knowledge of the interaction between company, trust and tax, and family law."
Members at 1 Hare Court are "specialists in their field, who give great quality advice, produce sterling written work and are excellent in court." "Prompt and efficient in all their dealings," they tackle the most high-value and complex matrimonial finance cases, such as Prest v Prest, but also cater to a client base that ranges across all classes and income brackets. The set is active across the country and is noted not just for the top-quality work it undertakes but also for its provision of an annual seminar. Commentators also praise its specialist private dispute resolution practice - it has 18 mediators, eight arbitrators, two collaborative lawyers and ten senior barristers and previous members of the judiciary, all of whom are available for private FDRs.
Client service: "The clerks, headed by Steve McCrone, really do bend over backwards to help us, and they always turn up with something. They are always lovely to deal with."
Nicholas Cusworth QC
Specialises in very high-value financial remedy cases, but also has expertise in private law children matters. His cases generally relate to disputes concerning inherited assets and substantial wealth accrued during marriages. Many of them have cross-border aspects.
Strengths: "He's an excellent all-round silk. He's good with clients, likeable, a great advocate and very bright." "Nick is a tough fighter. He's a very effective advocate, but he's not histrionic. He also has gravitas."
Nigel Dyer QC
Handles very complex family cases and substantial financial remedy proceedings, particularly those with cross-border and trust considerations.
Strengths: "He never misses a trick and is very good at cross-examination."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the husband in a High Court case relating to the ownership of very valuable shares. The matter also concerned issues relating to constructive trusts.
Martin Pointer QC
Deals with the largest and most complex divorce proceedings both in the UK and abroad, in places such as Hong Kong. He regularly represents high net worth clients.
Strengths: "Undoubtedly one of the finest silks at the Family Bar. You go to him and he makes the points that you don't think of yourself." "You can't beat Pointer if you have a real battle on your hands."
Recent work: Represented the wife of a Russian oligarch in a case that the press has called the largest ever divorce payout.
Richard Todd QC
Thrives when handling the most complex matrimonial finance disputes, particularly those with multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is an expert in Trusts of Land Act disputes and Inheritance Act claims, and has been called ad hoc to the Bars of the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Strengths: "He'd be my first choice in every big money case as he's a very clever, imaginative fellow. He's always doing the best work and he always looks after the clients in the best way. He knows the judges well, he knows other barristers well, and he's a good negotiator."
Recent work: Appeared in the Supreme Court in a significant case dealing with piercing the corporate veil and matters pertaining to beneficial ownership of matrimonial homes.
Timothy Bishop QC
Frequently instructed by the most prestigious firms in London for high-profile and very high-value cases, particularly those concerning sizeable international assets and other cross-border complexities.
Strengths: "His sound practical advice and relaxed style make him a popular choice with clients."
John Wilson QC
Specialises in complex, sizeable matrimonial cases, particularly those relating to trusts of land and cohabitation disputes.
Strengths: "An unrivalled authority on cohabitation claims." "He has a formidable intellect. A robust and astute negotiator, he is particularly good with cases involving complex business issues and trust assets."
Recent work: Acted for a husband's mother who claimed an interest in the matrimonial home through proprietary estoppel.
Deborah Bangay QC
Deals in high-value matrimonial cases concerning sizeable assets. A number of her matters are international in nature, and she is a noted expert on prenuptial agreements.
Strengths: "Simply brilliant. A tremendous proponent of her client’s cause, she is very responsive to clients and an assertive advocate." "She is special. When you need someone to fight your corner, she is unparalleled."
Recent work: Instructed in a complex financial remedy application concerning the distribution of assets held in Liechtenstein.
Bruce Blair QC
Handles challenging financial remedy cases, often those containing complexities pertaining to the accrual of assets during a marriage and after separation.
Strengths: "A man who is very good on the detail." "He shows very sound judgement, and has very many years of experience at the Family Bar."
Katharine Davidson QC
An attractive choice for high-value ancillary relief cases, as she marries her past history in banking and accountancy with her strong legal experience. Her work often relates to complex cross-border matters and the examination of prenuptial agreements.
Recent work: Acted in G-S v L, representing a wife in a Spanish postnuptial case that involved disputed expert evidence.
Ann Hussey QC
Deals with complex matrimonial finance disputes, and has a particular interest in the complexities arising from trust structures. Commentators note that she is particularly good on agricultural cases.
Strengths: "She's excellent in high-value cases, as she takes a detailed approach to examining business assets."
Valentine Le Grice QC
Predominantly handles financial cases, but also provides counsel in private law children matters. The financial matters he deals with generally involve trust elements and jurisdictional complexities.
Strengths: "He's just really clever. He's very good on his feet, and very good in court. He's got a deep knowledge of family trust issues." "Knowledgeable, confident, articulate and decisive."
Justin Warshaw QC
Receives extensive praise for his skill in handling substantial financial remedy proceedings. He is often sought out for his expertise in very complex and high-value multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "He is fantastic, a real force to be reckoned with, and excellent for high-value cases." "He is as tenacious as a terrier with a very large rat."
Stephen Trowell QC
Specialises in high-value financial disputes, particularly those involving international dimensions, overseas assets and complicated corporate structures.
Strengths: "He has an authority that people respect and clients like." "He is very diligent, a fantastic advocate, and someone whose preparation for hearings is second to none."
A highly respected junior with a growing financial practice. He deals with complex, cross-border ancillary relief proceedings and challenging maintenance orders on behalf of some of the most prestigious firms in London.
Strengths: "He is a junior but has a courtroom style and a wisdom that would suggest much more experience. He has the gift of making anything seem reasonable and attractive." "District judges love him. Give him something and he just gets it immediately."
Deals in high-value matrimonial finance disputes, often involving assets hidden in overseas jurisdictions. She is very good on cases concerning complex trusts.
Strengths: "She's feisty, fantastic on her feet, thorough and very pragmatic. She has good all-round skill and is a delight to deal with."
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal in the first civil partnership financial remedy case.
Manages a very respected practice and works on substantial matrimonial disputes. His cases often contain complexities relating to premarital assets, overseas holdings and contested nuptial agreements.
Strengths: "A persuasive advocate who is able to put forward all the salient points in a concise and articulate manner." "He's very good and calm. He gives advice clearly and is straight down the line."
Garners much acclaim for his extensive matrimonial finance practice, and simultaneously displays an aptitude for private law children matters. His cases typically concern substantial assets and complex prenuptial agreements.
Strengths: "He is worth his weight in gold." "You won't find a harder worker and he has a wonderful bedside manner."
Undertakes complex matrimonial disputes relating to high-value divorces and partnership dissolutions, as well as private law children matters. His cases often involve multi-jurisdictional disputes and the examination of challenging pre- and postnuptial agreements.
Strengths: "An excellent tactician who gives incisive advice and is a real team player." "He is very charming and very calm, and he has a wonderful and appropriate sense of humour."
Maintains an extensive matrimonial finance practice dealing with complex and high net worth cases that typically concern asset schedules and corporate structures. Many of her cases have international elements.
Strengths: "She's fantastic to work with, and you can't fault her on the law. She's also incredibly personable and easy to approach." "Always so well prepared and her attention to detail is second to none."
Singled out for his skill in complex financial remedy proceedings concerning difficult aspects of private equity and trust structures. He is also recognised for handling matters involving the tracing of overseas assets.
Strengths: "He's incredibly urbane and charming. Very methodical and very polite, he is respected by judges." "Firm, scrupulously fair and compassionate."
Rebecca Carew Pole
Appears in complex cases dealing with such matters as inherited wealth, and offshore corporate structures and assets. Also handles some contentious private law children disputes.
Strengths: "She is very forceful in her presentation to the court, amazingly thorough, and has the patience of a saint."
Undertakes both financial remedy and private law children proceedings on behalf of high net worth parties. Shows particular strength in the preparation of nuptial agreements and when handling multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "A solid performer with excellent court skills who has a keen eye for detail. He produces flawless paperwork for the court and for solicitors." "Very approachable, knowledgeable and helpful. He gives good, clear advice to clients."
Handles European and multi-jurisdictional financial disputes, applying her extensive experience as a legal academic to her practice with great effect.
Strengths: "She is an expert on jurisdictional matters and European work. Her knowledge of the law is second to none in terms of those areas, and she's a very good cross-examiner."
An excellent junior barrister dealing with a broad family practice concerning financial remedy disputes and private law children proceedings. He also specialises in complex trusts of land matters.
Strengths: "An extremely competent junior barrister with excellent client care skills, he's well able to deal with complex issues quickly and give good pragmatic advice."
1 King's Bench Walk remains unmatched among its rivals in being able to offer representation at all levels of call in all four areas of family law. Its members, many of whom are the authors of leading family law textbooks, can handle all manner of matrimonial finance, private and public law children work, and child abduction cases. "Highly competitive in terms of their skills and representing great value for money," they are all "very approachable and hands-on - working with them is a collaborative experience." Commentators feel that, under the stewardship of two new heads of chambers, the set is "poised to further reinforce its strong standing in the market."
Client service: "They're good from top to bottom, and the clerks, led by David Dear, are really helpful and really friendly."
Deborah Eaton QC
A deeply respected practitioner who handles a diverse practice, and deals with cases at the highest level in both the matrimonial finance and children law arenas. She is one of the few leading barristers who has the intellectual force to deal with both sides of the Family Bar.
Strengths: "She probably has the best reputation at the Bar of anyone dealing with children issues. Clients love her, judges love her, and she speaks with immense authority and expertise." "She has a really good perception of clients' needs, feelings and wishes, and she displays a lot of empathy."
Richard Harrison QC
Deals in both children law and finance matters, and receives praise from peers for his skill in both. His cases often concern complex international matters in both the private and public law children arenas, and he is an expert on relocations, abductions and high-value divorce proceedings.
Strengths: "He's very agile in his thinking. When he is advocating in court, he doesn't give up on a point if the judge pushes him back. He's quite persistent and makes sure that the client's case is put across."
Recent work: Acted in Mohan v Mohan, a case which is now the leading authority on the admissibility of documents and answers obtained by compulsion in judgment summons proceedings.
Charles Howard QC
A very experienced advocate who is strong on complex children and matrimonial finance law matters. Many of his matters are high-value international cases.
Strengths: "He's extremely clever and handles masses of reported cases."
James Turner QC
Manages a sophisticated practice and is an expert in challenging multi-jurisdictional matrimonial finance matters and in cases pertaining to international abduction. He is a veteran of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Incredibly clever, very user-friendly and very happy to take original points." "He loves grappling with complex legal issues, and has the expertise to put cases to bed."
Anthony Kirk QC
Specialises exclusively in the field of children law, and is particularly good on complex international cases and challenging care proceedings. He is a fine choice for cases concerning abduction, and the infliction of serious injury on children.
Strengths: "He's amazing. He's so eloquent, he doesn't even have to look at his notes. I could sit and listen to him all day when he's on his feet."
Recent work: Acted in a case where a young girl had suffered very serious physical trauma. There were issues surrounding allegations towards the parents and the misdiagnosis of some injuries.
Pamela Scriven QC
Specialises in complex care proceedings where there have been serious injuries inflicted on young children. She is good on cases with difficult jurisdictional issues.
Strengths: "She is quietly persuasive and a very safe pair of hands."
Christopher Pocock QC
Has an extensive matrimonial finance practice, and handles a number of complex and high-value disputes concerning substantial trust assets, offshore structures, contested prenuptial agreements and diverse business holdings.
Strengths: "He's really good with figures, really understands businesses and has a very persuasive way of writing and talking." "He has a razor-sharp intellect, and offers down-to-earth, practical advice."
Richard Anelay QC
Has extensive experience of tackling both substantial matrimonial finance disputes, and complex public and private law children cases, including those relating to international abduction and adoption.
Strengths: "An elder statesman of the Family Bar who still appears in big cases."
Philip Marshall QC
Deals exclusively with very high-value divorce proceedings involving complex corporate and trust structures and contested pre-nuptial agreements.
Strengths: "He provides sound, clear advice and is prepared to argue his corner. He's very accurate in assessing the quantum of financial settlements." "A thorough and determined counsel."
Barry Singleton QC
Undertakes substantial ancillary relief proceedings as well as contentious private law children matters. He often appears in cases relating to multi-jurisdictional disputes and disguised asset holdings.
Strengths: "I think he's phenomenal. If you have a complex case and you need someone to think outside the box, Barry's your man."
A respected senior junior dealing with both matrimonial finance and children law cases. She often handles substantial ancillary relief disputes and challenging private law matters relating to international complexities.
Strengths: "Nicola is fast-thinking and robust in her advocacy, whilst also being extremely personable and popular with clients." "She is outstanding, and a pleasure to both work with and learn from."
Specialises in substantial financial disputes and private law children proceedings. Some of her cases concern challenging questions of international relocation and parental responsibility in respect of young children.
Strengths: "She takes a thorough, no-nonsense approach when handling both children and financial issues." "Caroline is immensely skilled in representing clients who are experiencing emotional difficulties as a result of the breakdown of their relationships. She leaves such clients in no doubt as to whose side she is on whilst always remaining realistic about possible outcomes."
A rising talent, who deals with all facets of family law, and has a particular strength in private law children matters. Her cases often relate to complex issues of international relocation, surrogacy and allegations of abuse towards children.
Strengths: "She is modest but you know that nothing will escape her. She is an effective but gentle cross-examiner who provides quiet assurance that comforts the clients."
Specialises in both matrimonial finance and private law children cases, and is particularly respected for her skill in dealing with contentious matters. She handles challenging disputes where there have been allegations of neglect made against parents, as well as high-value financial proceedings.
Strengths: "Her people skills make her so adept at children work. She is able to put forward and grasp what the client wants to say and is very persuasive." "She's very direct when she needs to be, and also very sensitve."
Manages a diverse children law practice dealing with both public and private law proceedings. She routinely represents local authorities, guardians and parents.
Strengths: "A highly experienced counsel with a perfect skill set for complex children's proceedings. She is an effective advocate with a patient and creative negotiating style who remains calm and unflappable regardless of the toxicity of the case."
Principally undertakes significant matrimonial finance cases, but also handles challenging private law children matters. His cases often contain complex cross-border and trust considerations, and regularly concern very substantial, disputed assets.
Strengths: "He is pragmatic, sensible and a formidable advocate." "He definitely has a fine brain, is very hard-working and very thorough. He fights hard and serves his clients well."
Manages both complex private law children matters as well as substantial financial disputes. He is good on cross-border cases pertaining to child abduction as well as matrimonial finance cases, and also has particular expertise in human rights law.
Strengths: "Extremely well prepared, very approachable, and impressive to clients." "A clever chap who is meticulous and well prepared. He's one of the rising stars."
Undertakes both matrimonial finance and private law children cases at a high level. She frequently represents parents in complex and acrimonious residence disputes and in matters where there are challenging mental health considerations. Also tackles sizeable financial remedy cases.
Strengths: "She is extremely well prepared and great with the clients. She is second to none at preparing paperwork, and she's very good at grasping the nettle of a complicated point."
Deals exclusively in high-value matrimonial finance cases, often those involving very complex business structures, family trust holdings, and jurisdictional issues.
Strengths: "Exceptionally numerate. A man with a big personality, and someone with a bright future ahead of him." "Simultaneously charming and forthright, he makes complex situations and scenarios more simple to understand."
Specialises in complex financial disputes, and is often called upon as an expert on offshore jurisdictions such as Jersey and Gibraltar. His cases frequently concern interests in high-value property, as well as trust assets.
Strengths: "Always on top form. He's efficient, he cuts through the issues and he's deadly in cross-examination."
Exclusively handles financial disputes between high net worth parties, and often appears in cases relating to extensive real property holdings and complex business structures.
Strengths: "A great person to have on your side. He's effective in court and on paper, and is respected by judges and opponents." "He's a straight talker and is hugely practical."
Has great knowledge of matrimonial finance, and is frequently instructed by prestigious firms in relation to complex cases concerning jurisdictional disputes, substantial corporate assets and elaborate prenuptial agreements.
Strengths: "He has got a phemonenal brain" and is "very good on obscure bits of the law."
Recent work: Acted for a wealthy businessman in a case arguing the legal validity of an Islamic marriage ceremony in London and a talaq in Saudi Arabia.
Marries expertise in matrimonial finance and cohabitation disputes with an extensive knowledge of private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "Has a direct approach which finds favour with most clients and judges. In addition, his knowledge of obscure cases and law appears limitless, and he is particularly good on matters which have novel and complex features." "The judges are very respectful of his learning."
Has expertise in both matrimonial finance disputes and private law children matters, and is frequently called upon for cases which involve elements of both fields. He is very strong on cases concerning international relocations and issues of residence in Hague jurisdictions.
Strengths: "Very good with clients and very much a team player."
Handles financial remedy and cohabitation disputes, and is especially good on cases involving complex issues relating to trusts of land and company structures.
Strengths: "Alex is a rising star whose intellect, advocacy and communication skills are excellent." "Meticulous in his preparation, he responds quickly to instructions and is pragmatic and sensible in his advice."
Susan Wilkins Manages a diverse family practice dealing with financial disputes beside private and public law children cases and challenging care proceedings.
Strengths: "She's extremely thorough and never lets you down." "Susan in particular is highly competent in both children and finances."
A specialist family law junior whose practice has a particular emphasis on complex matrimonial finance proceedings and challenging international private law children matters.
Strengths: "His mind can deal with any complexity of problem. He has an academic approach to his submissions which judges find appealing." "He has a fighting spirit."
Recent work: Acted in the Supreme Court for the leading child abduction charity, Reunite, as an intervener in proceedings.
Anna McKenna A leading children public law junior who is particularly strong on care work. A number of her cases have involved infanticide and sexual abuse.
Expertise: "She eloquently delivers sound, focused arguments and is a woman of great dynamism."
Recent work: Appeared before the Supreme Court in a televised hearing of a case dealing with the legal definition of 'significant harm' and the possibilities of future harm to a newborn child.
"Sound from the bottom upwards and a set with a very good spread of experience," 29 Bedford Row is a key player in the matrimonial finance market, and a chambers that also enjoys a good reputation in children law. Its members have handled many complex, multimillion-pound finance cases, and have established a strong reputation for themselves due to their provision of clear advice on issues relating to civil partnership, cohabitation and pre- and postnuptial agreements. Innovative in its approach, this chambers was the first to train in collaborative law, and has continued to involve itself in the latest trends in the market. By way of example, it has become one of the sets best known for providing private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings (FDRs). Commentators say that the barristers here "pride themselves on being with it and very accessible. From very early on they have been very approachable and very switiched on, and it's easy to use them. You get the feeling that the barristers are working with you to get a result. They are really easy to use."
Client service: "The clerks' room, headed by senior clerk James Shortall, is exceptionally well managed. They are an excellent, friendly bunch."
Paul Storey QC
A revered children law practitioner who receives great praise for his work in the field of public law proceedings, and often appears in the Supreme Court. His care cases involve complex medical considerations and frequently relate to serious circumstances of non-accidental injury.
Strengths: "He is a powerhouse when it comes to non-accidental head injury cases, and he is a joy to work to work with." "He often destroys the arguments of local authorities when representing parents."
Piers Pressdee QC
A dedicated children law specialist who places particular emphasis in his practice on private law cases. He frequently represents high-profile clients, and is instructed by the very best solicitors' firms in the country.
Strengths: "He knows the law inside out, and wrote the book on Children Act law. He's accessible, and really gets invested in his cases." "Extremely thorough and very good in front of clients."
Jonathan Southgate QC
A dedicated matrimonial finance silk who has particular expertise in cases pertaining to substantial assets, premarital holdings and complex nuptial agreements.
Strengths: "He's a wizard who has great judgement and offers fine client-handling and advocacy skills." "Good with figures, he makes the complex appear simple."
Nicholas Francis QC
Garners exceptional praise for his skill at handling complex matrimonial finance disputes. He is strong on handling cases pertaining to the distribution of substantial premarital and postmarital assets, and those with significant multi-jurisdictional considerations.
Strengths: "He's got terrific attention to detail and is deadly in cross-examination. He doesn't miss anything." "He is approachable, highly knowledgeable and astonishingly good with even the most difficult of business clients."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal on a case dealing with the distribution of assets between a couple where the husband was a successful entrepreneur in the computer software industry.
Timothy Scott QC
Frequently appears in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, representing clients in respect of complex international financial and private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "In terms of the Europe scene and jurisdictonal arguments, there is no better." "He's very confident and he knows the law so well."
Recent work: Represented a husband who challenged the jurisdictional basis of his wife’s divorce petition. The case raised complex issues about the domicile of both parties and the circumstances in which a person acquires a domicile of choice.
Philip Cayford QC
Very busy matrimonial silk who represents high net worth and high-profile clients in complex financial proceedings pertaining to maintenance orders, family trusts and significant postmarital assets.
Strengths: "He's just superb in court, and very good at reasssuring the nervous and sometimes undermined wives of wealthy men."
Recent work: Instructed in a case relating to two long-divorced parties, where the husband had created a very successful green energy business following their separation and the wife sought maintenance.
Patrick Chamberlayne QC
Maintains a diverse and very well-respected practice dealing with complex and substantial ancillary relief matters, as well as civil partnership and Schedule 1 claims. Many of his cases involve cross-border considerations.
Strengths: "Calm, cool and personable." "He's a very accomplished advocate who's very good on his feet. Clients feel confident with him because he obviously knows what he's talking about. He's a class act."
Recent work: Instructed in a complex jurisdictional dispute concerning a couple of Indian descent resident in Singapore who were trying to establish legal domicile.
Christopher Wagstaffe QC
Involved in numerous international financial disputes pertaining to complex trust and offshore asset holdings.
Strengths: "Christopher is extremely approachable and good to work with. His client care skills are second to none and I have never had anything less than an excellent experience with him and glowing feedback from clients." "The go-to person for company and trust aspects."
Recent work: Acted in Shield v Shield, a complex financial case complicated by the parties’ own son intervening to claim that the family business was almost entirely owned by him.
Robert Peel QC
Deals with complex financial disputes concerning substantial assets and property holdings.
Strengths: "A hugely inspirational advocate who's abreast of all the changes in the law." "He's just excellent in every way. Extremely bright and user-friendly, he's measured and sensible in his approach."
An extremely experienced private law children practitioner who receives praise for her skill in international abduction cases and proceedings relating to allegations of hostility.
Strengths: "She has an amazing amount of enthusiasm for this work, and really does fight for every single case." "A very safe pair of hands in difficult and emotional children cases, who has very good client-handling skills."
Recent work: Successfully represented a father in the Court of Appeal who countered the decision to terminate his direct contact on what were ultimately groundless fears of abduction.
Specialises in both matrimonial finance and private law children cases, and carries particular favour due to his knowledge of prenuptial agreements. His cases involve high-value financial disputes and complex Schedule 1 Children Act proceedings.
Strengths: "He's absolutely charming and completely committed. He has a lovely manner with clients and they warm to him." "Excellent family practitioner with particular skill in the drafting and negotiating of prenuptial agreements."
Recent work: Represented the father in a significant cross-border Schedule 1 Children Act case concerning complexities of jurisdiction and the correct law to apply.
Manages a diverse practice relating to matrimonial finance as well as complex private and public law children proceedings. Some of his cases concern difficult circumstances of physical and emotional abuse and the examination of medical and police evidence.
Strengths: "His breadth of knowledge is incredibly helpful, and he has an understanding of how conflict can affect clients."
Garners exceptional acclaim from the market for his skill in deeply complex financial remedy cases, especially those containing international issues and trust complexities.
Strengths: "He's very good with his figures. He gets to the point very quickly, and clients feel confident in him."
A strong junior for complex cross-border financial disputes and international private law children matters.
Strengths: "She is the complete deal. She is sensationally good at picking up papers and gets what the issues are. A brilliant advocate who has just got the lot."
A favourite among solicitors for high net worth financial remedy work involving substantial business holdings and the accrual of pre- and postmarital assets.
Strengths: "His grasp of the law is phenomenal. His greatest talent is the depth in which he will go into a case. When I send him a brief I know he'll read it twice and be 100% prepared. I've never seen him flounder in court or not know a page number. He is a phenomenal comfort to those that instruct him."
Recent work: Appeared in a substantial financial remedy case dealing with issues of special contribution, premarital assets and the sharing of risk.
Focuses on matrimonial finance disputes, particularly cases concerning Schedule 1 relief applications.
Strengths: "She gives very sensible advice, and is not afraid to pack a punch when she needs to."
Deals with high net worth ancillary relief proceedings, and is noted for having particular skill in handling cases with a farming background. He also has substantial recent experience of handling Children Act Schedule 1 matters.
Strengths: "He pays a great deal of attention to the legal groundwork, and he's quite subtle and skilful in cross-examining witnesses." "He's measured, very thorough and also makes himself readily available. I was very impressed with his advocacy. He pitched it absolutely right."
Maintains a high profile in family and civil proceedings, and is particularly adept at cases relating to Inheritance Act claims and international divorces.
Strengths: "He's great. A properly determined and punchy barrister who prides himself on doing a great job."
Handles the examination and preparation of nuptial agreements alongside complex ancillary relief proceedings, including those involving special contributions and non-marital assets.
Strengths: "A real character. He's a man with a great brain who is a brilliant strategic planner. A first choice for top-end work."
Recent work: Involved in a big-money case that involved consideration of special contribution, the care needs of disabled children, and contested and complex valuation evidence.
Manages a diverse family practice that takes in both high-value financial disputes and complex private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "Very competent and extremely thorough. No one prepares as well as him." "Lovely to work with, he's very dependable, mature, and patient with clients."
Has developed a strong matrimonial finance practice taking instructions in London and the South of England in high-value, complex ancillary relief proceedings concerning trust assets and inherited wealth.
Strengths: "He's a very impressive individual. He's tough, he's helpful to lawyers and he's a lot of fun to work with. He has a good sense of humour and he's very attentive to clients' needs."
Recent work: Acted for the intervener owners of an Edinburgh property portfolio who are the wider family of the husband and subject to freezing orders obtained by the wife. The case involved complex jurisdictional and property issues.
One of the best young juniors in the world of complex matrimonial finance. Her cases often concern issues of beneficial ownership of marital and overseas assets.
Strengths: "She's a wonderfully talented young lady who's very poised and very nice to work with."
Recent work: Instructed in a case concerning the beneficial ownership of company shares worth in the region of £25 million.
Lynsey Cade Davies
Deals principally with complex matrimonial finance disputes, particularly those concerning multi-jurisdictional dimensions.
Strengths: "Phenomenal, particularly in court appearances. He's forthright and extremely knowledgeable." "A very safe pair of hands and one of the brightest stars of her call at the Family Bar."
Does well receiving instructions on complex ancillary relief and private law children disputes.
Strengths: "Very bright, quick to grasp the nettle, and able to provide pragmatic advice based upon both what the client wants and needs."
Specialises in both financial and private law children matters, and is strong on cases involving multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "She's very quick to pick up something. She grasps it, absorbs it and runs with it. She can step into the breach and get the result."
A gifted family law practitioner dealing with complex matrimonial finance proceedings.
Strengths: "A very careful preparer of his papers, who also has a great deal of commercial acumen. He is very good at financial analysis."
Regularly handles high-value disputes, many of which are international in nature.
Strengths: "She's always done a very good job, and she offers very thorough, sensible and practical advice."
Receives strong praise for his skill in handling complex matrimonial finance disputes and private law children cases.
Strengths: "Has a proven track record in complex financial matters. Always calm and reassuring to his client," he is "highly approachable and very sympathetic."
Manages a strong matrimonial finance practice, and deals principally in cases relating to complex forum disputes and multi-jurisdictional concerns.
Strengths: "She's able to handle the most complex matters with confidence. She's a tenacious negotiator who always commits to her client’s cause." "She has a good-quality brain, and adopts a lovely style with clients."
Recent work: Acted in a complex contested forums case involving substantial assets. The case concerned jurisdictional, tax and trust issues.
Specialises in public and private children law and is also an expert on abduction cases.
Strengths: "A really good advocate who knows her way round international conventions."
4 Paper Buildings is a renowned set of chambers dealing with the most complex children law proceedings. Both private and public law children matters are accounted for, and members are expert in everything from paternity disputes to international abduction, parental authority, and serious injury to children cases. Members of the public, local authorities and solicitors all beat a path to its door in order to avail themselves of the superior representation on offer here. The set also has four experienced silks and a number of juniors who handle finance work. They have been involved in leading recent cases, including Young v Young.
Client service: Led by Michael Reeves, "the clerks are immensely helpful. They are realistic and honest and they always try to do what they can."
Henry Setright QC
Revered for his talents in the field of abduction law. He is frequently involved in the most significant and ground-breaking children law cases at an international level.
Strengths: "Among the international children cases, he's God basically. He is utterly pre-eminent in what he does." "An absolute class above. His tactics are second to none."
Recent work: Instructed in a landmark international case on the approach to the 1980 Hague Convention. The matter marked a major change in human rights law.
Alex Verdan QC
Negotiates a highly touted children law practice, and receives great praise from his peers. He has more than two decades' experience in both private and public law proceedings, and has handled numerous cases involving complex international considerations, allegations of significant physical injury, and the death of children.
Strengths: "He's a gifted advocate who can turn the impossible into the possible."
Recent work: Represented appellant parents in the Supreme Court in a case relating to risks of future psychological and emotional harm.
Charles Hale QC
Deals with both very high-value matrimonial finance proceedings and complex children law matters. He is regularly sought out for cases pertaining to cross-border children disputes and for his advice to alternative families.
Strengths: "Charles is the ultimate negotiatior. If there is a good deal to get, he will get it." "When he speaks people are drawn to what he says; he's a very persuasive and powerful advocate. His bedside manner is great, and he captures the trust of a client instantly."
David Williams QC
A specialist in international law relating to children, who is particularly strong on complex cross-border abductions and relocation cases involving both Hague and non-Hague jurisdictions.
Strengths: "He is just superb. He's got a very good manner with clients and solicitors, and when it comes to overall tactical skills he's very good."
Recent work: Was instructed in the first appeal to the Supreme Court in a Hague Convention case relating to the 'best interests' of children under Article 13.
Catherine Wood QC
Has a deeply respected children practice focusing principally on complex and very contentious private law proceedings. Her cases often relate to the relocation and abduction of children.
Strengths: "She is very sharp-witted and her advocacy is very skilful. She's a rising star and a lot of people here like her approach." "She has a fantastic bedside manner with clients, and an incredible eye for detail. Also, in the nicest possible way, she can destroy someone in cross-examination."
Jo Delahunty QC
A dedicated children lawyer who focuses on difficult public law matters and care proceedings concerning allegations of sexual and emotional abuse. Also handles cases involving the death of children.
Strengths: "A first port of call for care work," "she is extremely hard-working, knowledgeable and very committed to the client that she represents. Jo is a very tactical and effective advocate, who is good to observe and learn from."
Teertha Gupta QC
A widely respected barrister who deals with the most complex and testing multi-jurisdictional matters. Child abduction cases are his strong suit.
Strengths: "A very smooth operator with gallons of charm and a great mind to match." "We appreciate Teertha’s considerable experience and his ability to understand the nuances of each specific case and advise accordingly. He is both approachable and pragmatic, and clients always warm to him."
Marcus Scott-Manderson QC
Enjoys a position of authority as a respected private law practitioner dealing with cross-border children law work.
Strengths: "I've done a lot with him on international work. He has a genuine passion for that type of work. He also has an incredible brain for it and is able to use that brain power to the best effect."
Michael Sternberg QC
Highly recommended by peers for his work on both high-level matrimonial finance disputes and contentious children law matters.
Strengths: "He's very proactive. If you've got a case on with Michael you know all the t's will be crossed and the i's will be dotted. He's very demanding of his solicitors and he's excellent in his preparation."
Jonathan Cohen QC
Lauded for his skill in the field of very high-value financial disputes. He regularly handles cases with complex jurisdictional matters attached to them.
Strengths: "Jonathan combines a fierce intellect with a depth of experience and a quiet authority. He commands the respect of his clients, peers and the judiciary."
Christopher Hames QC
Maintains a strong private law children practice, and works in cases relating to residence, relocation and abduction in both Hague and non-Hague jurisdictions.
Strengths: "Brilliant for complex, difficult cases. Great on the attention to detail, he's very thorough, good with clients and highly personable."
Recent work: Instructed before the High Court in a case pertaining to the abduction of five children by their father.
Alison Grief QC
Has a broad practice that encompasses complex areas of public and private law children matters, including allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, the death of children and international relocations.
Strengths: "Has the ability to grasp complex medical evidence and get straight to the issues. Alison is very experienced in complex cases, particularly those involving deaths of children. She is extremely hard-working, thorough and very approachable."
John Tughan QC
Deals with both public and private law proceedings, including cases of serious or fatal injury or sexual abuse, or those concerning challenging medical evidence.
Strengths: "He believes in them and will fight for them however hopeless the case seems."
Has a wide practice dealing principally with complex private law children proceedings and overlapping matrimonial finance disputes, including high-value ancillary relief cases and international relocation matters.
Strengths: "She's relatively junior and up against people a lot more senior than her. A tenacious advocate, she's very strong in court, and can go up against anyone."
Tackles a broad range of public and private law children work, including cases involving complex issues of surrogacy, non-accidental injury and the examination of complicated matters of medical evidence.
Strengths: "She has a confident and reassuring manner." "She has a wonderful hands-on approach to cases, and is a joy to work with."
Has great experience and a deservedly strong reputation for her work in private law children proceedings. She deals principally with international relocations and cases relating to same-sex families.
Strengths: "She clearly knows the law well and has a good, sensible down-to-earth approach. She works very well with clients." "She's measured and sensible, and tells it how it is."
Undertakes both private and public law children proceedings, and has a particular affinity for cases with an international angle to them, particularly those concerning international abduction, relocation and serious injury to children.
Strengths: "Very sensible, very realistic and incredibly effective as an advocate."
A rising presence among juniors at the Family Bar who handles complex international children law cases, including those concerning abductions, relocations and forced marriages in Hague and non-Hague jurisdictions.
Strengths: "He is a towering presence, both literally and figuratively, who is very strong on jurisidictional points and has a very good client manner."
An experienced advocate in both private and public law proceedings, whose practice has a particular focus on cases relating to the international movement of children. He regularly handles leave to remove matters in both Hague and non-Hague jurisdictions.
Strengths: "An unsung hero who is very self-effacing and just gets on with his work. Good in a crisis, he's very experienced and a safe pair of hands."
An accomplished junior who tackles both matrimonial finance and complex children law proceedings, and garners praise from peers and solicitors alike.
Strengths: "She's a real client favourite who has got what it takes to be a silk one day."
Has a specialised private law children practice dealing with cross-border disputes pertaining to international custody and abductions.
Strengths: "A ball of energy who is going to go far. She's certainly doing work well above her call, and is one of the leading people on abduction outside of silk." "Jacqueline’s appreciation and understanding of the complexities of child abduction cases ensure quick and client-focused outcomes."
Recent work: Represented the mother in a wardship dispute concerning children who were wrongfully retained in Russia by their father.
An experienced advocate who focuses on all aspects of private and public children law, as well as community care law. He is particularly strong on cases where there are allegations of sexual abuse or questions of parental authority and competence.
Manages a strong practice dealing principally with private law children matters, including surrogacy and parental authority cases.
Strengths: "Immensely helpful and very approachable."
A rising junior dealing with high-value financial disputes and contentious private law children matters.
Strengths: "A pleasure to work with and someone who is very on top of the facts. She's very good with clients."
Practises exclusively in the sphere of matrimonial finance, and is strong on cases concerning complex jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "He's got a terrific ability to get to the heart of a problem, and has exceptional reserves of common sense."
Recent work: Represented the husband in a much-publicised case in which the ex-wife commenced a high-profile relationship with international footballer Cesc Fabregas.
42 Bedford Row has a national reputation and is a full-service chambers dealing with all aspects of family law. It has great strength in both public and private children law cases, and has developed very strong relationships with local authorities, particularly in the South of England. It also acts for guardians and parents.
Client service: "The clerk's team has got it just right and always delivers." Alan Brewer heads the team and is "a clerk of substance whose many years in the job give him an edge over many of his rivals."
Frank Feehan QC
A silk whose star is in the ascendancy. He handles high-value matrimonial finance cases, but is best known for his work in both public and private children law proceedings. Many of his cases relate to difficult care proceedings and non-accidental injury, and he has, of late, been appearing in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Frank is a man who never gives up. He has dogged determination, and will never talk the client into settling something that they ought to contest."
Recent work: Instructed in the Supreme Court in a complex case that pitted the right of a vulnerable witness to maintain anonymity against the right of the alleged perpetrator to a fair trial.
Tina Cook QC
Specialist children barrister who principally handles public law care proceedings. Her cases generally concern allegations of serious physical injury, sexual abuse and the examination of challenging medical evidence.
Strengths: "Very affable and confident. She doesn’t let the other side rile her and is very good with clients in terms of giving them robust advice in a friendly manner." "Tina is a good fighter for the client's cause."
Specialises in public law children matters, and is effective at complex care proceedings. He has handled cases involving technical medical circumstances relating to serious injuries to, and the sexual abuse of, young children.
Strengths: "We instruct Jonathan for complex cases. He has a calm authority and a great breadth of knowledge and skill."
Deals with both public and private law proceedings, and regularly represents parties in cases relating to serious and fatal injuries to children. He is also proficient at divorce and matrimonial finance matters.
Strengths: "A strong, experienced advocate whose written documents are well formed and well reasoned."
Works exclusively in the sphere of public law children proceedings, handling cases relating to serious injury, alleged sexual abuse and complex medical evidence.
Strengths: "He's very personable and very well liked by judges."
Negotiates a well-respected practice across London and the South East of England. Public law children proceedings involving challenging circumstances of physical, sexual and psychological abuse are a particular forte.
Strengths: "He's a strong advocate with a real presence, who's good for complex cases."
Predominantly represents local authorities, parents and children in public law care proceedings concerning allegations of physical abuse and parties with complex health requirements.
Strengths: "A silk in the making who is completely on top of her case and able to put clients at ease."
Coram Chambers maintains a stable of excellent senior juniors dealing with all facets of family law work including cases relating to finance, children, abduction and social care. Its barristers are especially known for their particularly powerful grasp of medically complex public law proceedings, and for their contribution to the law in terms of their provision of seminars, articles and legal training.
Client service: "Their clerks, led by Paul Sampson, are excellent. They keep you informed and they don't mess you about."
Manages a strong practice representing local authorities, guardians and children in particularly complex care proceedings where there are circumstances of non-accidental injury. She also often represents older children in private proceedings, and takes cases involving complex human rights concerns.
Strengths: "She has a wealth of experience and is incredibly approachable." "She has a very solid public law practice and is absolutely trusted by the judges."
Recent work: Acted in complex High Court care proceedings concerning the father of a child who had been convicted of the attempted murder of its mother's partner.
Handles complex private and public children law proceedings, and is strong on cases involving contentious adoptions, cross-border abductions and non-accidental injury to young children. Strengths: "He's quite softly spoken, but very persuasive, and judges like that. He's not histrionic and he doesn't over-egg the pudding." "He is extremely reliable, well known, and tenacious in his approach."
Recent work: Acted in a case concerning an application for summary return of children to Australia after abduction by the father, who had submitted that it was unsafe for the family to return.
Adept at private and public law children proceedings, she represents local authorities, guardians, parents and children in cases relating to neglect, physical abuse and adoption.
Strengths: "She is a practical, down-to-earth advocate with a great breadth of experience."
Recent work: Acted in a case relating to a long history of child neglect that required the examination of complex medical evidence.
Practises principally in the field of international matrimonial finance, but also has extensive experience in private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "She'll go the extra mile and I can always count on her. Clients really feel that she's fighting for them."
Fourteen is a set that has done more than most in the recent past to adapt itself to the challenges facing the Family Bar. Over the last couple of years it has hired a number of individuals from rival sets and taken on new pupils in order to revivify itself. In 2014 it also undertook a rebrand, changing its name and improving its website. Accordingly, it can look forward to the future with confidence. The set is best known for its handling of complex public and private law children cases, but it does also have a significant amount of members handling finance matters. It also has a successful Court of Protection team and a growing international children team.
Client service: "Head clerk Geoff Carr comes back with solutions and just sorts things out."
Undertakes matrimonial finance work, but receives the greatest plaudits for her private and public law children cases. She is frequently instructed in contentious residence cases and complex care proceedings.
Strengths: "She is thoroughly professional and is very calm and in control in court."
Receives great praise for his skill in handling very complex and high-value financial disputes as well as international private law children cases.
Strengths: "He definitely punches above his weight. He is robust and tenacious when he needs to be and is quite dogged at pursuing points. I've been in cases where he's performed far better than silks ten years his senior. He's a very good lateral thinker too, and will find a way round a problem." "He brings great energy to a case."
Specialist children practitioner dealing in both private and public law disputes, particularly those cases concerning allegations of violence and the fabrication of illnesses, as well as complex guardianship orders.
Strengths: "She's very approachable, very good with the client, and she produces very good paperwork. Very gutsy, she always puts the clients' interests first." "She reads everything in detail and is very persuasive in front of a judge."
Represents clients in both children law and matrimonial finance proceedings, including complex trusts of land cases and cross-border contact disputes.
Strengths: "He's very well prepared and isn't ruffled by judges or benches being fairly direct with him." "Very good at calming down an irrational opponent or an anxious client."
Represents parents, guardians and local authorities in public and private law children proceedings pertaining principally to allegations of serious non-accidental injury and sexual abuse. She also handles contested adoption cases.
Strengths: "She is extremely thorough and has an outwardly gentle approach to cross-examination that yields brilliant results." "She's really human and good with the clients."
Undertakes very serious public law children matters involving allegations of physical and sexual abuse, as well as cases concerning the distribution of child pornography. Also tackles international relocation disputes.
Strengths: "He's a dream to work with as he's highly conscientious."
His family law practice deals with contested financial matters alongside children law proceedings. The children cases often relate to serious physical abuse or guardianship disputes.
Strengths: "He's extremely hard-working, very fair and very good on his feet. He's always well prepared."
Handles complex financial remedy cases, including those with international dimensions or those concerning the examination of overseas assets. Also undertakes private children law proceedings.
Strengths: "Has an excellent client manner, and comes over as being sensitive and understanding. At the same time, she can be tough in court, and she generally achieves very good results for clients."
New Court Chambers handles matrimonial finance work but is more celebrated for its efforts on the children side. It acts for over a dozen local authorities and regularly represents a growing number of children’s guardians. Commentators believe the set has come along well in recent times, and praise it not just for the quality of its barristers but also for its provision of in-house training for social workers, team and senior managers and local authority lawyers. Those that instruct the set say: "The barristers here are very good at dealing with difficult clients" and "never lose sight of the fact that the child's welfare is paramount."
Client service: "The clerks are are willing to help outside of their remit. They're helpful, they try to sort out counsel straight away, and are friendly and reliable." Paul Bloomfield is the senior clerk.
Has a strong reputation in public law children proceedings, particularly in cases relating to medical negligence and serious physical and psychological abuse.
Strengths: "He's solid on the law and very good on his feet. He's always able to put the client at ease and represent them well. He'll go a long, long way."
A specialist children lawyer who handles complex care cases involving non-accidental injuries and sexual abuse. He is particularly good at cases which involve the examination of challenging medical evidence.
Strengths: "Giles is good in court, gives sensible advice to the client, and is good with judges. He has a sensible, matter-of-fact approach that gains respect."
Specialises in children cases and routinely appears for parents, guardians and local authorities. He has handled a number of serious cases involving allegations of non-accidental injury and sexual abuse.
Strengths: "A measured and thoughtful advocate who is calm under pressure, and presents things in a straight and fair way.
QEB barristers handle challenging domestic and international matrimonial finance proceedings as routine, and are regularly instructed by all the major solicitors firms in the market. They are skilled at all aspects of family law, including civil partnerships, jurisdictional disputes, Inheritance Act claims and foreign divorces, and are also deeply involved in all forms of alternative dispute resolution. Recently, they have welcomed back former Court of Appeal judge Sir Alan Ward to boost their capacity in this regard. Although universally commended for its skill at handling money cases, the set is also beginning to become noticed in the children law field as it attempts to recapture some of the ground lost when its leading children practitioners left for the Bench some years ago.
Client service: "The clerks, led by Ivor Treherne, are courteous and careful in finding solutions for instructing solicitors."
Lewis Marks QC
A specialist matrimonial finance silk managing very high-value disputes, who often appears in cases concerning complex business holdings and private equity funds.
Strengths: "He's the man for big money cases and those dealing with complicated areas of the law. He thinks very carefully about each issue, and is both thorough and pragmatic. He's very bright and very numerate, and he understands the nature of clients' businesses." "His command of maths is amazing."
Lucy Stone QC
A revered matrimonial finance silk who represents very high net worth clients in substantial, often cross-border, disputes. She is renowned for her skill in examining complex prenuptial agreements.
Strengths: One contented instructing solicitor comments: "When you want one of the best legal brains in the business, go to Lucy." Another comments: "With Lucy on board you'll know from day one that your client and your team are going to win."
Recent work: Advised on a case in the Hong Kong Court of Appeal, appearing on behalf of the appellant wife. The parties owned a world-famous collection of Chinese furniture worth HKD750 million, and had both been directors of and major shareholders in a Hong Kong publicly listed company.
Stewart Leech QC
Handles very high-value financial remedy disputes, many of which concern complex trust holdings and jurisdictional matters. He is particularly well versed in Anglo-French work.
Strengths: "He's always immacuately prepared, and is an extremely polished advocate with a great reputation among the judges. When he speaks they attach great weight to what he says." "He has an excellent intellect, and an ability to grasp the guts of a case quickly."
Tim Amos QC
A renowned international family law barrister who handles very substantial divorce proceedings, particularly those involving jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: "He is, in terms of European law, as good an adviser as one can have." "He's excellent, very detailed, thinks very carefully about everything, and is absolutely a go-to person for complex work."
Recent work: Brought in to resist the appeal in a landmark case where the appellant wife sought to apply the decision of the ECJ in Owusu v Jackson, so as to prohibit the English court from staying its own divorce proceedings in favour of parallel similar proceedings in a non-European jurisdiction.
A matrimonial finance expert whose cases often relate to complex disputes over family trusts, nuptial agreements or forum challenges.
Strengths: "He is very straightforward, no-nonsense and businesslike." "Absolutely charming – you couldn't fall out with him in a case if you tried."
Handles complex financial remedy disputes, often on behalf of international clients with significant overseas holdings and offshore trust assets.
Strengths: "She is the best finance barrister at the junior Bar." "She is engaging, energetic, very accessible, hugely clever and an impeccable advocate."
Manages a diverse practice involving complex finance disputes, the examination of nuptial agreements, and private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "She is robust and has great common sense. She displays amazing attention to detail, works very hard, and is fantastic with clients."
Receives strong praise for her complex matrimonial finance and private law children practice, and frequently handles cases involving very sizeable international assets.
Strengths: "She is a tigress. Incredibly hard-working, she never lets her levels drop."
Focuses principally on matrimonial finance disputes, particularly those cases concerning beneficial ownership in non-marital, premarital and overseas assets.
Strengths: "He is utterly charming and a very able advocate." "His preparation is first-class and the documents he prepares are faultless."
Respected family law practitioner who deals with very complex matrimonial finance proceedings and children law matters. Many of his cases involve jurisdictional concerns and contact disputes.
Strengths: "He is excellent on detail, and his paperwork is really good."
Recent work: Represented the wife in a complex matrimonial finance matter where the husband had declared bankruptcy and it was contested that the son controlled a beneficial interest in the estate.
Principally deals in complex, high-value financial disputes, but also undertakes private law children work, particularly residency and contact disputes where parents lack capacity.
Strengths: "Marcus offers a nice, calm, measured approach which is particularly good for very highly strung clients. He has good client care and is always keen to find a way to settle a case if at all possible." "His calm persona and gentlemanly manner put clients at ease. He gives top-quality, direct advice that provides clients with what they need to make a well-informed decision about their case."
Comes recommended for her strengths across the Family Bar in finance disputes and private law children proceedings, particularly in Schedule 1 cases.
Strengths: "Sarah is very stylish and an excellent advocate. She gives the clients the advice as she sees it, but is also prepared to push a point if that is what a client wants."
Focuses principally on financial disputes relating to complex multi-jurisdictional cases.
Strengths: "He is committed, extremely clever and a delight to listen to." "He's very nice, very well organised, and takes a gentle, non-aggressive approach."
Frequently called upon to handle substantial finance litigation, and particularly strong in cases relating to very complex trust considerations.
Strengths: "Bright, quick on his feet, charming and liked by both judges and clients. He is very user-friendly and will not be a junior barrister for much longer." "He's tough, he's thoughtful and he gets to the point."
A successful junior barrister who tackles complex divorce proceedings, cohabitation disputes, the preparation of nuptial agreements, and private law children cases.
Strengths: "She is a star of the future." "She is approachable and tenacious, and has a good manner with clients."
A senior junior dealing principally in sizeable ancillary relief disputes.
Strengths: "Matthew is absolutely fixed on what he does. He knows the papers, and he's straight with clients. He's absolutely rock solid on the work."
Handles substantial ancillary relief claims on behalf of very high net worth clients. A number of her cases involve complex multi-jurisdictional battles.
Strengths: "She's a lovely advocate who is very organised, very calm, very confident, but never arrogant." "Provides detailed and technical advice in a clear manner, and quickly grasps the detail of a case. She definitely has the ear of the court."
A growing presence among junior juniors dealing in both matrimonial finance and private law children disputes. She is good on cases with cross-border dimensions.
Strengths: "She's very bright but down to earth and clients love her. She's very well prepared, and she manages to explain complex matters very easily to clients." "A prodigy. She is supremely clever and has the intellect of someone many years more experienced than her."
Recent work: Acted in a complex international financial remedies case, representing the husband’s companies, the key issue being whether the court could order the husband to transfer properties legally belonging to the companies to the wife as part of her award.
Manages a practice of equal parts matrimonial finance and private law children work, and has a particular specialism in Anglo-German work.
Strengths: "He is certainly somebody to keep an eye on. He's very, very good and has a gravitas that is beyond his years."
Enjoys a strong reputation for dealing with international family cases. He is adept at both financial remedy and private law children cases.
Strengths: "Very calm, very sensible, and someone with a good attitude to clients, she does not beat about the bush and gives clear and straightforward advice." "She is diligent and pragmatic."
A rising star among juniors who deals with all facets of financial remedy as well as private and public law children proceedings.
Strengths: "She's very hard-working and has a terrific future ahead of her." "She is highly intelligent, very personable, has very good common sense and is a meticulous lawyer."
Charles Hyde QC of Albion Chambers
Frequently instructed in sizeable financial remedy proceedings where there are complex overseas holdings and contested prenuptial agreements in issue. Also receives praise from peers for his expertise in the field of highly complex private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "Combines exceptional advocacy with total approachability."
William Tyler QC of 36 Bedford Row
Undertakes complex children law proceedings in both London and the East Midlands. His cases often involve child abuse, spousal abuse, international abductions and infanticide.
Strengths: "He has a huge brain and also a very nice manner about him. He is easy to deal with, thoughtful and really thinks about things from the client's perspective."
Hannah Markham of 36 Bedford Row
Specialises exclusively in private and public law children cases, and has particular expertise in matters concerning assessments of risk of future harm, serious physical abuse, contentious adoptions and international removals.
Strengths: "She provides excellent attention to detail. We had a huge amount of medical evidence and her mastery of it was fantastic." "She is clever, very capable and a fighter."
Barbara Connolly QC of 7BR
Tackles all facets of family law though specialises particularly in significant public and private law children matters. She is strong on cases relating to paternity disputes, non-accidental injuries and international child-trafficking.
Strengths: "She has a really good presence, is very articulate, and is an appealing advocate. If you start listening to her, you want to listen more."
Anita Guha of 7BR
A specialist in public and private children law matters who has extensive expertise in international abduction, care proceedings and wardship disputes, where she often represents parents.
Strengths: "Thorough in her drafting skills," she "is very diligent and shows good attention to detail."
Rachel Langdale QC of 7BR
A very experienced children law practitioner who deals with proceedings relating to allegations of non-accidental injury and infanticide.
Strengths: "She was excellent throughout our case. There was a lot at stake for our clients, and at times there was a need to be really quite assertive with some senior people. She handled the clients very well indeed and proved to be a skilful advocate at the inquiry."
David Balcombe QC of 1 Crown Office Row
Has a strong following among many of the best solicitors in the country, and handles matrimonial finance cases of weight and distinction.
Strengths: "Calm under pressure, very responsive and down to earth in his approach."
Recent work: Has been acting for Belgian hotelier Didier Thiry in connection with a multimillion-pound financial claim brought against him by Alisa Thiry.
Nicholas Goodwin QC of Harcourt Chambers
Involved in complex private and public law proceedings, many of which involve abuse and the exploration of challenging medical evidence. He is a fine choice for contentious parental authority and guardianship disputes.
Strengths: "He is just very smart and his client care is very good. He is a one-stop shop, as he does complex children matters and also finance work."
Maggie Jones of Garden Court Chambers
Has a broad children law practice dealing with public and private law matters, and regularly handles matters concerning significant emotional harm, serious physical injury and neglect. She is also good on contact disputes.
Strengths: "Her client care is outstanding."
Malek Wan Daud of Garden Court Chambers
Particularly noted for his handling of public law care cases that contain allegations of serious physical and sexual abuse, international abduction and child abandonment.
Strengths: "He's very enthusiastic about his work and has a delightful personality."
Timothy Parker of 9 Gough Square
Acts for local authorities in public law children proceedings relating to allegations of very serious physical negligence and abuse, cross-border abductions and issues of parental capacity.
Strengths: "He's very popular with local authorities."
Tara Vindis of 9 Gough Square
Deals principally in public law children matters, and is frequently instructed by local authorities. Her cases often relate to circumstances of domestic violence, serious physical abuse and the removal and adoption of young children.
Edward Devereux of Harcourt Chambers
A respected children law practitioner with a particular interest in international disputes, who has presented cases in the European Court of Human Rights, the USA and the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "He has a razor-sharp mind and excellent advocacy skills."
Helen Jefferson of 2-3 Hind Court
Manages a diverse family practice encompassing matrimonial finance and private law children matters. She is particularly good on contact disputes and complex remedy proceedings.
Strengths: "She is an excellent advocate with strong analytical skills, who has a first-rate bedside manner." "Very good when you need someone to fight for your client. She gives straighforward advice and is very good on her feet."
Gillian Geddes of 2-3 Hind Court
Specialist children law practitioner who often handles cases involving cross-border considerations, vulnerable parties, child trafficking and allegations of serious non-accidental injury.
Strengths: "Having previously worked as an in-house lawyer for local authorities, she has a very sound knowledge and experience of public law children cases, immigration and child trafficking issues. She is able to consider the cases she is involved in from all angles."
Sheena Cassidy of 3PB Barristers
Frequently undertakes complex matrimonial finance proceedings and cohabitation disputes on behalf of high net worth clients.
Strengths: "Great at negotiation and not pompous in her approach."
Jane Hoyal of 1 Pump Court
Handles both private and public law children proceedings. Cases concerning abduction, adoption and allegations of abuse all form part of her practice.
Miranda Allardice of 5 Stone Buildings
Marries expertise in international matrimonial finance law with skill in complex chancery cases. As a result she is often brought in on cases where trusts are an issue.
Strengths: "She is empathetic and able to give sensible and pragmatic advice. Her advocacy skills are great and she won't take any nonsense from opponents."
Kerstin Boyd of Tanfield Chambers
A barrister experienced at dealing with all facets of family law. Her practice has a particular emphasis on complex and sizeable financial remedy disputes, and challenging private law children proceedings.
Strengths: "She's very, very good with clients and a highly committed barrister."