Experience

Year of Call: 2008

Qualifications

MA (Cantab) History
GDL
BVC

Education

St John’s College, Cambridge (2003-6)
City University (2006/7)
Inns of Court School of Law (2007/8)

Profile

Chris specialises in proceedings relating to children whether public, private or international. He is regularly instructed – both in his own right and as a led junior – by local authorities, parents, guardians and other interested parties at all levels including the Family Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Chris has been involved in a number of high profile cases concerning contested adoption, the relinquishment of children and risk of radicalisation and his work was recognised as Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year at the Jordan Publishing Family Law Awards 2016.


Chris’ practice covers the full range of cases concerning children whether in the course of local authority initiated proceedings or in private applications. His practise encompasses cases of the utmost gravity – including sexual abuse and serious inflicted injuries –  alongside those with novel or contentious legal issue. He brings his experience, sensitivity and commitment to bear in ensuring that his clients – whether parents, professionals or others – are supported and represented through the litigation process.

Chris has been at the forefront of a number of cases concerning the risk of radicalisation in a family law context and has experience of representing both local authorities and parents. He was instructed in one of the first cases to use wardship in the context of teenage girls said to be at risk of travelling to Syria. He has an extensive knowledge of the issues involved as well as experience of contested applications concerning disclosure of sensitive material and reporting restrictions.

In his work relating to adoption Chris has been instructed in a number of contentious adoption application and has been involved in long-running  adoption proceedings, acting for a father seeking the rehabilitation of his daughter, heard by the President over 3-weeks following two hearings in the Court of Appeal. He has also developed a specialism in cases concerning relinquished infants where he has acted for, and advised, local authorities as well as having represented family members.

Chris is a reviewer and undertakes work for the Bar Pro Bono unit and is committed to ensuring that where his clients may be more vulnerable – by virtue of language, disability or geographical location – are properly protected and represented before the Court.

Chris writes and lectures regularly with a particular focus on public law proceedings, adoption and radicalisation.

Away from work Chris is a dedicated runner: he ran the 2016 London Marathon on behalf of St John Ambulance and is a regular parkrunner. (www.parkrun.com)

Away from work Chris is a dedicated runner he ran the 2016 London Marathon on behalf of  St John Ambulance. He helped set up a local Junior parkrun and is himself a committed parkrunner

Professional Memberships

Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Family Law Bar Association
Association of Lawyers for Children

Recommendations

“All the legal teams in these proceedings have worked tirelessly to ensure this hearing has remained effective. The challenges caused by the volume of disclosure and the management of ensuring only what was relevant was in the court bundle have been considerable… The local authority are to be commended for taking the necessary steps to ensure sufficient resources were available to manage this case. The court is particularly grateful to Miss Taylor and Mr Barnes for their part in the considerable logistical arrangements of this case.” – Judgment from a High Court Judge following a lengthy fact-finding concerning the death of a child acting as a second Junior for the Local Authority


“The parties have all been ably represented. I understand that those who represent Mother only had funding for this final hearing confirmed last week. I am bound to say that I have been greatly assisted by counsel for Mother, whose penetrating cross examination enabled the court to hear the full detail of the Local Authority’s difficulties in a way that might not otherwise have been achieved.” – Judgment from a Circuit Judge following a final hearing representing a mother seeking the discharge of a care order

12/04/17
[2017] EWHC 829 (Fam)
06/03/17
[2017] EWHC 829 (Fam)
11/01/17
[2016] EWHC 3171 (Fam)
09/09/16
[2016] EWCA Civ 937
03/03/16
[2016] EWHC 440 (Fam)
11/12/15
[2015] EWCA Civ 1284
20/08/15
[2015] EWHC 4159 (Fam)
03/12/14
[2014] EWFC B217