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UK Guide

Children: Public Law Matters — London (Firms)

From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Industry leaders in all matters relating to children law, both public and private, engaging in the most pressing current issues in this area. Houses a burgeoning matrimonial practice that acts for clients in high-value, contentious divorce proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I would unhesitatingly recommend Bindmans to anyone involved in public law children's cases. I would rank them as the one of the top firms in the country."

"They really make their clients feel like they've been fought for."

Notable practitioners  

Amy Rowe is "a real specialist in international children cases" and has built a strong reputation through her work in significant public and private cases in the Supreme Court. Sources describe her as a "star of the department" and someone who is "smart, knowledgeable and seriously hard-working."

"Absolute legend" Katherine Gieve possesses an unshakable reputation in public and private children law, with sources describing her as a "long-standing player" in the industry who "you want on your side." She has historically been instrumental in law-making cases in the area and continues to advise on domestic and cross-border public law children cases.

Liz Dronfield is an associate on the team who splits her practice between complex cross-border and public law children work. Commentators note: "She is very efficient, reliable, child-centred, hard-working and approachable. Her knowledge of the law is excellent."

Tammy Knox predominantly handles cross-border issues for vulnerable clients and has experience conducting her own advocacy in court. One source comments: "She was excellent: she had really good attention to detail, a great way with clients, and was confident and fair with the advice that she gave."

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From the Chambers UK guide

What the team is known for Public law specialists offering parents, guardians, children and local authorities advice on the full spectrum of complex children cases. Also handles other sensitive matters relating to family and mental health.

Notable practitioners  

Louise Creighton acts for a broad clientele in sensitive adoption and care proceedings. She is known for her representation of guardians and children in non-accidental injury and abuse cases.

Tony McGovern is known for his deep experience in complex adoption and care proceedings and all related Children Act matters. He additionally acts as collaborative lawyer and mediator for families in both financial and children cases.

Emma Hall devotes her practice to childcare proceedings, mainly representing parents. She is noted for her expertise in non-accidental injury cases.

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong all-round offering in public and private children law. Also advises on contentious, high-value divorces, with dedicated departments operating for each area. Renowned for housing a collection of leading experts in cross-border issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are straightforward, reliable, prompt and very human. They explain what's going on and are supportive in stressful and frightening situations. You know that they are working on your behalf."

"They are excellent, knowledgeable, approachable and welcoming, from the wonderfully efficient receptionist to the secretarial staff. One gets the impression that, as a client, you are known beyond the staff you are engaged with."

Notable practitioners  

"The go-to person for cross-border matters," Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE is a tremendously experienced practitioner with an international reputation for all children issues, continuing to act in the most significant cases. Sources describe her as "a force of nature and leader in her field," adding: "She knows pretty much everything there is to know about international cases."

Kate Allen is a collaborative matrimonial practitioner dedicated to reaching settlements for her clients, who include City professionals and other businesspeople. Sources say she "has got a huge amount of intellectual vigour, is completely unafraid of a fight and cares enormously about her clients."

Rhiannon Lewis advises spouses and cohabitants on separation issues, and has particular expertise in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Sources say she has a "very calm presence" and is "clever, emotionally intelligent and someone who can always see the bigger picture."

Russell Bywater handles complex breakdowns of relationships, including child maintenance and financial remedy matters. Sources say: "He is incredibly clever, quick-thinking, and very down-to-earth with clients. He builds an excellent rapport with them."

Carolina Marín Pedreño is "absolutely superb: very sure-footed and authoritative" and "provides certainty in the labyrinth of EU law on relocation and child abduction cases," according to commentators. She is qualified in both the UK and Spain and is an industry expert in multi-jurisdictional child issues.

Zoë Fleetwood is a recent partner at the firm specialising in public law issues where EU regulations are concerned. One impressed source comments: "She's fantastic, handles a heavy caseload really well, works incredibly hard, is really good with clients and is very impressive." 

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
-1 partner
-7 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Robust offering in the cross-border and public children spheres, with noted strength exhibited in international issues, particularly in child abduction and leave to remove cases. Committed to representing vulnerable individuals and making their services affordable.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very supportive and knowledgeable. They were able to offer me options for any scenario that came up."

"They all work to a very high standard - they all know their stuff."

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Nina Hansen is an experienced lawyer who acts in the most serious of public law matters on behalf of extremely vulnerable clients. One source lauds her approach, saying: "She is charm personified and, on behalf of her clients, is forceful and immovable."

Laura Coyle is an associate of the firm and is considered by commentators to be "a star by any standards; one of the very best junior solicitors that exists anywhere." She handles both complex public and international matters, and sources say that "nothing passes her by."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded children practice that handles serious cases relating to non-accidental injuries and abuse, often requiring technical medical examination. Also engaged in significant international cases in developing areas of law, including surrogacy and adoption.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The firm's reputation for excellence, tenacity and commitment to achieving the best for their clients is well founded and entirely accurate."

"I can't thank them enough for the guidance and support throughout what was a very stressful and emotionally draining experience."

Notable practitioners  

Kevin Skinner is "a real high-flyer" and "very dynamic," with a specialism in international abduction cases. He also has a growing reputation for public law children cases. He is known in the market for his client-facing skills, with sources saying: "Clients are able to relate to him and he can build a trusting relationship very quickly."

Janet Broadley is an associate who is heavily involved in cutting-edge cross-border children matters, including cases involving jurisdictional challenges. Sources laud her, describing her as a "very bold, creative lawyer who is not afraid of pushing the boundaries of developing law." 

Founding partner Peggy Ray has an outstanding reputation for her contributions to children law. She has specialism in cases involving complicated medical evidence.

Emma Sherrington is known for her representation of parents in cases involving serious allegations of abuse and fabricated illness. Her public law work includes both domestic matters and care proceedings involving more than one jurisdiction. One source describes her as "tactically astute with an excellent knowledge," adding: "She has impressed me as a focused and unflappable lawyer."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Committed public law practice representing adults and children in matters of the highest sensitivity, often involving an international element. Noted for its pro bono contributions and dedication to helping individuals receive access to justice.

Notable practitioners  

Laila Bhunnoo is a key contact at the firm.

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Versatile, well-regarded family department representing clients in issues ranging from high-value financial disputes to serious public law children matters. Possesses noted expertise in public care and safeguarding work, including forced marriage. Also experienced handling international child relocation and adoption cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were superlative - thoughtful, considerate, knowledgeable, experienced and clever."

"They handled themselves with intelligence and legal acumen. The team did a great job, and was pragmatic and strategic about the whole thing."

Notable practitioners  

James Carroll predominantly handles the financial side of matrimonial disputes, focusing on issues relating to tax and trusts. He is regarded as a "very strong tactician" who "gives first-class advice and works incredibly hard for his clients, maximising what can be achieved in a case." He is also a mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Kate Hamilton handles both financial remedy and private children proceedings for married and unmarried couples. Sources say she "is absolutely first-rate and gives no-nonsense and straightforward advice that inspires confidence," as well as being "super intelligent, quick and effective."

Fiona Read is a well-known mediator and is also trained in collaborative law methods. She advises on financial settlement and childcare arrangements in the context of relationship breakdown. She also sits as a part-time District Judge and hears private law children disputes.

Camilla Thornton covers the full spectrum of family matters, exhibiting particular expertise in collaborative law and negotiating prenuptial agreements. She is "measured and considered," according to market sources, and clients praise her for being "supportive whilst remaining pragmatic."

Samantha Little is an "extremely experienced solicitor and advocate" in the public law and international adoption space, and is considered "a real leader in this field." Market commentators say she is "a superstar care practitioner" and "an excellent tactician."

"Exceptional public lawyer" Sarah Richardson focuses on public children matters, particularly in the field of adoption, where she offers services including mediation and court advocacy. She is considered "phenomenally committed" by sources and has an "excellent grasp of the law and ensures the client understands what will happen every step of the way."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 28 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Large team offering clients support across a wide range of family issues, including nuptial agreements, ancillary relief and private law children proceedings. Exhibits notable strength in public law care work, with deep expertise in abuse and adoption cases. Remains committed to taking legal aid-funded cases.

Notable practitioners  

Maud Davis possesses "great experience and expertise" in public care proceedings, representing vulnerable parents and children. She has higher rights of audience and has appeared as an advocate in the family courts.

Alison Leivesley heads the public law practice and has significant expertise in cases involving FGM, forced marriage and 'honour'-based violence. She is described as a "fantastic lawyer" who is "completely committed" and "can make really complicated law very easy for people to understand."

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Senior Statesmen

Bindmans LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Absolute legend" Katherine Gieve possesses an unshakable reputation in public and private children law, with sources describing her as a "long-standing player" in the industry who "you want on your side." She has historically been instrumental in law-making cases in the area and continues to advise on domestic and cross-border public law children cases.

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Band 1

TV Edwards LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Maud Davis possesses "great experience and expertise" in public care proceedings, representing vulnerable parents and children. She has higher rights of audience and has appeared as an advocate in the family courts.

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Band 1

Freemans Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Nina Hansen is an experienced lawyer who acts in the most serious of public law matters on behalf of extremely vulnerable clients. One source lauds her approach, saying: "She is charm personified and, on behalf of her clients, is forceful and immovable."

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Band 1

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers UK guide

Samantha Little is an "extremely experienced solicitor and advocate" in the public law and international adoption space, and is considered "a real leader in this field." Market commentators say she is "a superstar care practitioner" and "an excellent tactician."

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Band 1

Goodman Ray

From the Chambers UK guide

Founding partner Peggy Ray has an outstanding reputation for her contributions to children law. She has specialism in cases involving complicated medical evidence.

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Band 1

Venters Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

June Venters QC of Venters Solicitors is a highly regarded criminal and family silk, handling public and private family cases of the highest severity. She appears as advocate on behalf of parents and children in challenging public law cases involving sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

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Band 2

Creighton & Partners

From the Chambers UK guide

Louise Creighton acts for a broad clientele in sensitive adoption and care proceedings. She is known for her representation of guardians and children in non-accidental injury and abuse cases.

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Band 2

Dawson Cornwell

From the Chambers UK guide

Zoë Fleetwood is a recent partner at the firm specialising in public law issues where EU regulations are concerned. One impressed source comments: "She's fantastic, handles a heavy caseload really well, works incredibly hard, is really good with clients and is very impressive." 

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Band 2

Creighton & Partners

From the Chambers UK guide

Emma Hall devotes her practice to childcare proceedings, mainly representing parents. She is noted for her expertise in non-accidental injury cases.

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Band 2

TV Edwards LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Alison Leivesley heads the public law practice and has significant expertise in cases involving FGM, forced marriage and 'honour'-based violence. She is described as a "fantastic lawyer" who is "completely committed" and "can make really complicated law very easy for people to understand."

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Band 2

Creighton & Partners

From the Chambers UK guide

Tony McGovern is known for his deep experience in complex adoption and care proceedings and all related Children Act matters. He additionally acts as collaborative lawyer and mediator for families in both financial and children cases.

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Band 2

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers UK guide

"Exceptional public lawyer" Sarah Richardson focuses on public children matters, particularly in the field of adoption, where she offers services including mediation and court advocacy. She is considered "phenomenally committed" by sources and has an "excellent grasp of the law and ensures the client understands what will happen every step of the way."

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Band 2

Goodman Ray

From the Chambers UK guide

Emma Sherrington is known for her representation of parents in cases involving serious allegations of abuse and fabricated illness. Her public law work includes both domestic matters and care proceedings involving more than one jurisdiction. One source describes her as "tactically astute with an excellent knowledge," adding: "She has impressed me as a focused and unflappable lawyer."

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Star Associate

Freemans Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Laura Coyle is an associate of the firm and is considered by commentators to be "a star by any standards; one of the very best junior solicitors that exists anywhere." She handles both complex public and international matters, and sources say that "nothing passes her by."

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Star Associate

Bindmans LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Liz Dronfield is an associate on the team who splits her practice between complex cross-border and public law children work. Commentators note: "She is very efficient, reliable, child-centred, hard-working and approachable. Her knowledge of the law is excellent."

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