Cliona specialises in the law concerning children, particularly where there is an international element. Clients like her robust and creative approach, note her attention to detail and commend her thoroughness


Year of Call: 1994


BA MA (National University of Ireland, University College Cork)
LLB (National University of Wales, College of Cardiff)

Qualified Collaborative Lawyer


Cliona is an experienced, expert barrister working as an advisor and advocate in all aspects of children law.  These include:

  • Arrangements for children after divorce or separation, including intractable disputes and those involving allegations of violence or abuse;
  • Specific issues regarding children’s upbringing, including schooling, medical treatment and change of name;
  • Requests to take children abroad, either temporarily or permanently;
  • Enforcement of (and changes to) existing orders regarding children, including those made abroad;
  • Children cases with an international dimension, including child abduction; and
  • Cases where the local authority is involved in arranging the children’s care, including those with a foreign aspect.

Cliona represents clients before all levels of the family court, including at the Central Family Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. She is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer. She inspires confidence and combines an approachable, straightforward style with excellent attention to detail and tenacious advocacy.

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple
Child Abduction Lawyers Association


“One of the most outstanding barristers I have ever had cause to instruct and one who is an unparalled marvel in determination and focus in acting for clients in children cases.”
Andrea Boulter, Wheelers Law

“My partner applied to the court for permission to take our two very young boys to New Zealand. I engaged Cliona prior to my first evidence statement, and she provided invaluable support during drafting of this and further responses to the court. She followed the case through and represented me in person during the final hearing. I cannot highly enough recommend Cliona; she helped me focus on the key issues throughout and provided guidance on the process, keeping my focus on what was most important. She was excellent in court against a similarly highly experienced barrister, and I have no doubt that her involvement led to a great outcome for me and my boys, where not only was the leave to remove not granted, but my contact was substantially increased. I would have no hesitation in engaging or recommending Cliona; my family and I will be forever grateful to her.”
Direct Access Client

“ Miss Papazian is always well prepared and her knowledge and expertise in the field of International Abduction is second to none. She is extremely supportive throughout her involvement in a case and offers realistic and sensible advice. She is an extremely tenacious advocate who will do all she can to ensure her client’s case is presented to the highest level”
Anthony Parrish
Jones Myers

“I have instructed Cliona regularly over the last 8 years on a variety of children matters and complex international children matters. Cliona prepares cases to an extremely high standard and her knowledge within the area of international child abduction and children law is second to none. Cliona gives sensible and practical advice and presents her client’s cases very well. Cliona is a pleasure to work with and I would have no hesitation in recommending her instruction.”
Gemma Kelsey
Associate Solicitor
Brethertons LLP

[2023] EWHC 246 (Fam)
[2023] EWHC 2412 (Fam)
[2023] EWHC 83 (Fam)
[2023] EWHC 1247 (Fam)
[2023] EWHC 2209 (Fam)
2022] EWHC 3397 (Fam)
[2022] EWHC 1429 (Fam)
[2021] EWHC 14 (Fam)
: [2021] EWCA Civ 1223, [2021] WLR(D) 452, [2022] 1 FLR 186, [2022] Fam 237, [2022] 2 WLR 275
[2014] EWCA Civ 1519
[2014] EWHC 759 (Fam)
[2013] EWHC 1353 (Fam)
[2010] 2 FLR 1577 : [2010] 3 FCR 131 : [2010] Fam Law 932 : [2010] EWHC 1346
[2009] EWHC 3477 (Fam)
[2007] EWHC 544 (Fam) ; (2007) 1 WLR 2531 : (2007) 2 FLR 326 : Times, April 20, 2007; AC9901177