Areas of experience

  • Representing local authorities, parents and children (directly or through their children’s Guardian) and others in applications by local authorities to take children into public care
  • Adoption
  • Special guardianship orders
  • Wardship and inherent jurisdiction of the High Court
  • Alleged parental injury to children and complex medical evidence
  • Judicial review of post-adoption and special guardianship support
  • Human rights claims involving local authorities and other public bodies
  • Enforcement orders in England and internationally
  • International transfer of care proceedings and placement of children with their extended families overseas Appeals to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court

36 Family: an introduction

Our barristers, including 4 King’s Counsel and 29 juniors has the depth and breadth of expertise and experience to deal with the full range of family work through its main specialist sub–groups: Family Finance, Children & Modern Families and Care proceedings. From the most complex disputes to smaller and lower value ones, every case is treated with the utmost importance and respect.

Our approach is professional, friendly and flexible.

We also provide a full and bespoke out of court Dispute Resolution service which utilises the expert skills of our family barristers as mediators, arbitrators and through neutral evaluation (private FDR hearings).

The expertise of several members is recognised by the most prominent directories, Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

36 Family have the best clerking team headed by the very personable Danny Chapman with best supporting actor Adam Cope. Together they are the dream team and go above and beyond when it comes to being helpful and accommodating. It’s the little things like always getting back to you when they say they will, sending you the court listing the day before so you know which Judge and court room you are in and being flexible on fees, when required.

Public Law – Care Proceedings

Members of 36 Family’s Children Team have dealt with many of the most difficult disputes over children’s welfare and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of child law.

The Children Team is recognised and particularly commended for its approach in dealing with cases of a sensitive nature.

Many of our barristers have experience of free–standing adoption proceedings, including international adoption, as well as adoption within the context of care proceedings.

Our members appear at every level of the family courts, including regular appearances in the most complex cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Our members have appeared in many of the important reported child law cases of the last 20 years.

Members of the Children Team also train social workers in court skills and often present lectures to the judiciary and local lawyers in ongoing training and skill development. Examples of the work that we have regular experience of doing, include:

  • Care Proceedings
  • Wardship and the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court
  • Special guardianship
  • Adoption
  • Disputes between parents over children’s health care
  • Resolving conflicts with local authorities over children in care (including judicial review)
  • Enforcement of orders in England and internationally
  • NAI cases

Members of 36 Family (Care) have been in some of the outstanding cases public law care cases decided over the past 5 years at the highest levels, for instance:

  • Re J v H & Ors [2022] EWHC 862 (Fam) 
  • Re A (Final Hearing: Threshold not met) [2018] EWFC 63
  • London Borough of Barnet v AG (A Child) & Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2022] EWCA Civ 1505.
  • H-W (Care Proceedings: Further Fact-Finding Hearing) [2023] EWCA Civ 149
  • H-W [2022] UKSC 17
  • H-W (Children: Proportionality) [2021] EWCA Civ 1451 (07 October 2021)
  • Re W-A (children)(foreign conviction) [2022] EWCA Civ 1118, [2022] All ER (D) 25 (Aug)
  • Re P (A Child: Fair Hearing) [2023] EWCA Civ 215
  • O (A Child): Interim Care Order [2019] EWCA Civ 583 (28 March 2019)
  • Y (Leave to Oppose Adoption), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 1287 (07 October 2020)
  • A & B, Re (Parental Alienation by the Non-Resident Parent) [2022] EWFC B8
  • Re H-D-H (Children); Re C (A Child) [2021] EWCA Civ 1192, [2021] 4 WLR 106, Court of Appeal: King & Peter Jackson LJJ & Sir Patrick Elias
  • Wakefield MDC v HR, IG and a Child [2020] EWFC 100, Cohen J
  • Re K (Threshold: Cocaine Ingestion: Failure to Give Evidence) [2020] EWHC 2502 (Fam), [2021] 2 FLR 349, Williams J
  • Re A Local Authority v The Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1233 (Fam), [2020] 2 FLR 1093, Williams J
  • Re C (Children) (Covid-19: Representation) [2020] EWCA Civ 734, [2020] 2 FLR 1137, Court of Appeal: Peter Jackson, Eleanor King and Asplin LJJ
  • Re M (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 1364, [2019] 4 WLR 115, [2020] 1 FLR 50, Court of Appeal, McFarlane P, Simon & Davies LJJ
  • Re M (Children) (Disclosure to Police) [2019] EWCA Civ 1364, [2019] 4 WLR 115 [2020] 1 FLR 50, Court of Appeal, McFarlane P, Simon & Davies LJJ
  • Northants. County Council & AW v The Lord Chancellor (via The Legal Aid Agency) [2018] EWHC 1628 (Fam), [2019] 1 FLR 169, Francis J
  • Re F (A Child: Placement Order: Proportionality) [2018] EWCA Civ 2761, [2019] 1 FLR 779, Court of Appeal: Longmore, Jackson & Asplin LJJ
  • Re B (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 20, [2018] 2 FLR 1, Court of Appeal: Sir James Munby P, Davis & Underhill LJJ
  • Re F (A Child: Placement Order: Proportionality) [2018] EWCA Civ 2761, [2019] 1 FLR 779, Court of Appeal: Longmore, Jackson & Asplin LJJ
  • T and J (Children) [2020] EWCA Civ 1344
  • London Borough of Barnet v AG [2022] EWCA Civ 1505
  • R (McConnell and Anor) v Registrar General for England and Wales [2020] EWCA Civ 559

Our Ethos

We aim to provide the highest levels of service, with the emphasis on quality, approachability and accessibility. We pride ourselves on our friendly and approachable manner. We recognise the pressures that our solicitor clients face daily and the emotional pressures upon our lay clients. Our objective is to ease the burden on both.

As a team, we hold regular meetings and conduct in–house training to build expertise and excellence through shared experience. We also provide updating for our regular solicitors through our quarterly newsletter and lectures (in–house by arrangement – please contact us). Our regular newsletters are praised and much sought–after. Click here for the most recent publication. Many members of the team also blog and tweet on issues of family law. You will find links to their social media feeds on their profile pages.

Support Team

The team and those instructing us are supported by our highly regarded clerking team. The team consists of a Family Practice Manager, Danny Chapman, our dedicated experienced family clerks, and we are supported by our fees clerks and administrative team.

Back to 36 Family