Cliona specializes in the law concerning children, particularly where there is an international element. Clients like her compelling advocacy and creative approach, not her attention to detail and commend her tireless efforts on their behalf.


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


“I have had the privilege of instructing Cliona on numerous complex matters over the years including multiple successful Court of Appeal cases and she is simply first rate. Her expertise in international matters and complex private law disputes is renowned, especially those requiring a forensic approach and clear and concise written legal argument. Even when dealing with voluminous paperwork, she never misses a trick and can always spot the winning argument for a client which can turn a case in your client’s favour, often against the odds. She is extremely well respected by the judiciary and across the legal profession. Cliona always strives to achieve the best outcome for her clients and works tirelessly on their behalf. Her breadth of knowledge across her practice , her experience and her advocacy skills mean that she is always in demand and at the cutting edge of legal precedents, particularly in cases with an international element.”
Laura Coyle, Partner Freemans Solicitors

“ I have worked with Cliona Papazian for several years in her capacity as an International Family Law Barrister. I have always found her to be an extremely thorough and tenacious advocate. She is a formidable opponent and shows a genuine interest in every case she is involved in .”
Simon Craddock, Partner Brethertons Solicitors

“I regularly instruct Cliona in respect of international children cases and complex private law cases. Cliona is always thoroughly prepared and has extensive knowledge and experience in respect of international children law and complex private children matters. Cliona is a gifted advocate and strategically always on point. Cliona is great to work with and has always considered a case from every possible angle.”
Gemma Kelsey Partner LDJ Solicitors

“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 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

[2023] EWHC 3299 (Fam)
[2023] EWHC 3177 (Fam)
[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