Chambers & Partners 2017

2nd November 2016

We are delighted to have a record number of barristers recommended in this years Chambers and Partners directory.  We have over 30 members of chambers recognised for their Matrimonial Finance and Children Work.


A powerhouse of family law that offers unparalleled depth in all public and private law children-related issues, both international and domestic. The set further has a growing matrimonial finance practice, and its members service high net worth clients in complex disputes concerning large assets.

Client service: “The clerks are incredibly user-friendly; they’re great for solicitors, they’re flexible, they’re reasonable on fees, and they’re prepared to adapt. They know their barristers really well.” The senior clerk is Michael Reeves.


Henry Setright QC
Extraordinarily experienced children law specialist who is widely regarded as the ultimate expert on international children matters, particularly abduction. He is routinely in the Supreme Court, leading the most significant, law-changing cases.
Strengths: “The supreme master of all aspects of abduction law. He has unparalleled knowledge of the law, tactical supremacy and an advocacy style that none can match.”
Recent work: Achieved a successful application in a landmark 1980 Hague Convention/Article 8 human rights case run for an Argentine father against a Romanian wife.

Alex Verdan QC
Head of chambers and indubitably a force in the field of children law. His expertise encompasses all issues, including the most severe and complex of children issues, and he is routinely instructed by the top family firms.
Strengths: “A fierce advocate who is very efficient on his feet and whose cross-examination is off-the-scale impressive: he already knows the answers to all his questions.”

Jo Delahunty QC
Highly sought-after specialist children silk entrusted with the most significant and demanding national cases. She has particular expertise in matters concerning a large amount of complex expert evidence following investigation.
Strengths: “She is exceptional in every way and has an attention to detail beyond any other silk right now.”

Teertha Gupta QC
Focuses on international children disputes, both public and private, many of which involve forensic investigation. He is universally commended for his personable advocacy style and his prowess in the courtroom.
Strengths: “He’s charm personified, is fantastic with clients and is very friendly. He’s also a brilliant strategist and tactician.”

David Williams QC
A leading silk widely respected for his knowledge regarding complex applications of the Hague Convention. He has appeared in both the Supreme Court and the ECJ.
Strengths: “He is completely meticulous and is an extremely able advocate. One of the best Hague Convention specialists.”
Recent work: Engaged in a Supreme Court case seeking to establish a new legal framework for the exercising of wardship jurisdiction based upon the nationality of a child.

Catherine Wood QC
Recognised for her expert international children practice, particularly when it comes to matters concerning abduction, parental alienation and sexual abuse. She brings her experience as a judge to bear when handling complex cases.
Strengths: “An excellent advocate with superb judgement who is at home dealing with complicated children’s cases. She never gets it wrong; she absolutely nails it in one sentence.”

Charles Hale QC
Renowned family silk who specialises in complex matters in both the private children and matrimonial finance spheres. He routinely handles significant cases on behalf of an impressive client base of high-profile individuals.
Strengths: “A very commanding presence in the courtroom. He’s wonderfully pragmatic, very persuasive and very thorough. He has one of the best client manners going.”

Alison Grief QC
Children law specialist who offers services in complex children cases and demonstrates noted expertise in those matters requiring expert medical evidence. She has a strong private law practice and is noted for her handling of alleged sexual abuse cases.
Strengths: “She works exhaustively to ensure the very best result for her client. She is a specialist in non-accidental medical cases.”

Christopher Hames QC
Has a notable international children practice and deep expertise in matters concerning the application of the Hague Convention. His growing financial practice sees him representing high net worth individuals in divorce proceedings.
Strengths: “He’s easy to work with, relentless in court, fearless, incredibly knowledgeable and very persuasive. A superb advocate.”
Recent work: Acted in Cambra v Jones, a case concerning the failure to return two children to Spain under the Hague Convention.

John Tughan QC
Has expertise in both public and private children proceedings. He possesses great experience of handling complex cases concerning abuse and relocation.
Strengths: “Tenacious, hardworking and willing to push the boundaries for his clients.”

Jonathan Cohen QC
Financial silk with a wealth of experience of handling high-value disputes for clients following relationship breakdown. He sits as both Recorder and Deputy High Court Judge in the family courts and is widely commended for his judgement.
Strengths: “She’s smart, clever, tactical and a pleasure to listen to in court. Judges really pay attention to him and he has excellent judgement in financial cases.”

Marcus Scott-Manderson QC
Private children law specialist who is recognised for his extensive experience and knowledge of issues concerning the Hague Convention. He mainly focuses on international cases and is solid in proceedings concerning expert evidence.
Strengths: “If you have a Hague Convention problem, he has encyclopaedic knowledge.”

Michael Sternberg QC
Extremely experienced family practitioner who focuses on complex ancillary relief proceedings for high net worth individuals. He is additionally noted for his specialism in matters relating to pensions.
Strengths: “He’s very thorough and meticulous in his preparation. He’s a thoughtful strategist who focuses on the best interests of the client.”


Joy Brereton
Highly experienced children law barrister who is recognised for her work in cases concerning the movement of children internationally. She additionally exhibits strength in matters concerning issues of criminal offences and abuse.
Strengths: “She’s marvellously authoritative, and can deal with both clients and the judge beautifully.”

Michael Gration
Family junior fast developing a strong children practice with a focus on complex abduction cases. He has appeared before the Supreme Court and the ECHR despite his relatively junior level of call.
Strengths: “Unflappable and brilliant with clients and judges alike, he has knowledge, subtlety and a highly persuasive style of advocacy. Truly an expert within a highly specialised field, he knows how to pitch a case in a way that is far above his year of call.”
Recent work: Represented an appellant father who had sought the summary return of his child to Morocco.

Judith Murray
Balanced practitioner who divides her practice between representing high net worth individuals in complex financial remedy and cross-jurisdiction children proceedings. She routinely handles acrimonious proceedings concerning alleged sexual abuse.
Strengths: “She’s a ferocious advocate who is very punchy but calm in a crisis. She’s a number one choice for finance and children cases and has a wealth of experience in both.”

Justine Johnston
Renowned for her expertise in both complex family finance and children matters, she handles all issues flowing from relationship breakdown. She is recognised in particular for international leave to remove cases.
Strengths: “She is a real fighter and a ferocious advocate who is incredibly well thought of. Her advocacy and preparation skills are extremely good.”

Samantha King
Renowned family junior in high demand due to her deep knowledge of public and private law cases, both at home and abroad. She exhibits strength in public law cases concerning non-traditional families and surrogacy.
Strengths: “She is widely known as the best advocate around in children cases. Her cross-examination skills and eloquent submissions are second to none. She is direct and clear in her advice but caring and empathetic towards her clients.”

Barbara Mills
Highly regarded family barrister with recognised expertise in private children proceedings, in particular cross-border cases in the High Court. She also demonstrates strength in mediation and is a private judge.
Strengths: “Her preparation is excellent, her cross-examination is second to none and she is absolutely magical in court.”
Recent work: Represented the father in contested proceedings concerning the future care of a seven year old girl. The case involved allegations of maternal mental health, drug misuse, and both domestic and physical violence against the girl.

Jacqueline Renton
Focuses her specialised children practice on sophisticated conflicts centring on jurisdiction, relocation and abduction. She regularly appears in the High Court and the Supreme Court.
Strengths: “She is brilliant on children law and holds herself extremely well in court against much more senior barristers.”

Rebecca Foulkes
Manages a diverse children practice that sees her appearing in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in significant proceedings. She also has a growing reputation with regard to cases concerning assisted reproduction.
Strengths: “A leading junior in her field, particularly in public law. A tenacious and smooth advocate who is very intelligent.”
Recent work: Represented a mother who had sought to prevent the father from spending time with the children in Dubai, where he was based, for fear that he would seek to wrongfully retain the children there. The case involved consideration of expert evidence as to the safeguards that would be available within the legal system of the UAE and highly contentious oral evidence from each parent.

Brian Jubb
Brings extensive experience to bear in complex children proceedings. He has a specialism in public law cases representing vulnerable adults.
Strengths: “He’s a true gentleman. His detailed, understated advocacy gets him the ear of the court.”

Hassan Khan
Experienced children law junior who handles the full range of public and private children law cases. He is noted for his strength in matters relating to wardship and cross-border child abduction.
Strengths: “A real fighter and a high-quality advocate. He combines charm with great knowledge of the law.”

Mark Jarman
A cross-jurisdictional specialist who represents notable individuals in private children disputes. He mainly acts in cases concerning relocation, abduction and enforcement orders.
Strengths: “He is highly intelligent, calm, persuasive and very good with clients.”

Michael Edwards
Children law junior with a growing practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His public law practice consists of the most sensitive and severe cases concerning matters such as infant death and abuse.
Strengths:  “A rising star with a packed diary of complicated children cases. He’s a bright, well prepared and thoughtful advocate.”

Dorothea Gartland
Private and public law lawyer focusing on complex children issues, domestically and abroad. She is noted in particular for her expertise in cases involving issues of parentage.
Strengths: “She is a tenacious advocate who readily gets to grips with tricky, gritty cases. She is particularly recommended for her work with alternative family structures.”
Recent work: Represented the intervener Health Trust Barts in a case in which the applicant sought a declaration of parentage that he was the father of the child his partner had conceived at a fertility clinic.

Ruth Kirby
Experienced family and Court of Protection practitioner who has expertise in sensitive matters. She is praised for the strength of her advocacy and for the tenacity she shows on behalf of her client in court.
Strengths: “Quick on her feet and fantastic at client care. She’s always best in a fight; she sees the client’s interests and goes for it.”

Stephen Lyon
Respected senior junior who possesses a deep knowledge of matrimonial finance proceedings and services clients of significant wealth. He is additionally a qualified family arbitrator and sits in ADR proceedings.
Strengths: “His client care skills are phenomenal and he really has the ear of the court.”

Samantha Woodham
Family practitioner handling a variety of private law matters relating to both family finance and children. Her specialism lies in high-value matrimonial disputes, Schedule 1 and leave to remove cases.
Strengths: “She has a fantastic manner and goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

Henry Clayton
Up-and-coming family finance junior who handles matters including maintenance orders, Schedule 1 and CSA appeals. He routinely services high net worth clients and is commended for his grasp of complex issues despite his junior level of call.
Strengths: “He’s impressive for his years. He’s meticulous in his approach, produces incredible paperwork, is super bright and knows how to deal with senior silks. He shines in financial cases where his judgement stands out.”
Recent work: Featured in a case in the ECJ concerning the meaning of the word ‘established’ in the Brussels IIA regulation.