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Family Law


Legal 500 2016 - 'Family work is at the heart of 37 Park Square, where members are ‘always willing to go the extra mile’. Chambers is well known for public law children work, particularly highly sensitive and difficult cases, but counsel are also adept at handling financial remedy cases. Court of Protection cases are an increasing source of work.


37 Park Square have a strong Family team which includes practitioners from the very junior end through to highly skilled silks in all of the following areas: Private Law Children, Public Law Children, International Children Cases, Forced Marriage Cases, Wardship/Inherent Jurisdiction, Judicial review cases and Domestic Abuse Cases.

All members of the family team are Public Access Accredited including the silks and all regularly undertake complex cases on a Public Access basis.

Private Law Children Cases encompass all aspects of Child Arrangement Orders. These are a new type of order, which used to be called residence and contact orders, and now cover issues including the amount of time a child spends with family members and the relocation of a child with their primary carer. These are often highly emotional and complex cases, and issues such as sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional and mental abuse are regular features in cases handled by members of the family team who each display a high degree of expertise, skill and knowledge.

Two members of chambers Jacqui Thomas and Sarah Blackmore have written an authoritative guide on the new Children and Families Act with contributions from Taryn Lee QC, the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby and Lord Justice Ryder.

Public law children cases are undertaken on a daily basis by all members of the team and include representation of Local authorities, parents, carers, grandparents, interveners, vulnerable adults via the official solicitor and children either through their Guardian’s or directly for the children themselves (were appropriate).

Members of chambers are regularly involved in cases dealing with issues such as death, smothering, drowning, poisoning, burns, significant physical injury including multiple fractures, bruising, internal injuries, non-accidental head injuries and Triad cases. Members also regularly deal with cases involving issues of sexual abuse, both historical and familial, emotional abuse, neglect cases including issues such as failure to thrive, and complex factitious illness cases were there are often pre-existing medical complexities for the child involved.

In addition, where a child needs the protection of the Court, members of the team have experience of wardship applications, as well as Forced Marriage applications. Cases can be brought in the High Court for child protection under the inherent jurisdiction.

Where necessary, our team of family barristers can advise on claims against the Local Authority, and Judicial review applications. These can include issues like the payment of residence and Special Guardianship allowances, and whether or not Local Authorities are meeting their statutory duties. 

International Children Cases are frequently undertaken by members of chambers and issues such as mirror orders and conflict of law issues and regularly lecture on such matters.

All members of the family team are highly skilled, with a vast range of experience and knowledge in their field. They appear in all levels of the Family Court including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the High Court.

Members of the family team are also experienced in applications to the Court of Protection, when family members disagree with the Local Authority or health care providers about the care package provided or proposed for a member of their family. This can include disputes about the appropriate placement, arguments about contact with family members, and disputes about proposed medical treatment. The family team has been involved in cases of elderly care, dementia, end of life planning, and refusal of medical treatment.

The family team’s experience includes cases of young people in transition to adulthood, such as care leavers. The team can advise on the services and packages available for young people in need of support from statutory services.

All members regularly deliver seminars in all the key areas and provide training to local authority social workers.

Deserving cases are undertaken on a pro bono basis, members of chambers believing that the huge cuts to public funding should not deny access to justice by the most vulnerable in society.

If you need to discuss any aspects of the Family Law Team please do not hesitate to contact Leigh Royall the Senior Clerk, Donna Gaughan or Jennifer Bridgeman our Family Clerks.

Legal 500 2014 - 'Children law is a staple at 37 Park Square, where members often act in cases involving non-accidental injuries and sexual abuse. Cases involving a jurisdictional element such as relocation disputes also continue to flow and chambers also marks a recent increase in adult care work.'

Family E-lerter

The fortnightly Family Law upadate, edited by Sarah Blackmore and Jacqui Thomas, provides the latest news, stats & case reviews in Family Law. Going strong since 2011 and with an ever growing readership, the service has proved a popular and reliable resource with professionals in the field.

You can subscribe now to the Family Elerter or look back on previous featured articles here