Care & adoption

The Care and Adoption team represents all parties in public law proceedings including local authorities, parents, children, interested parties as interveners, prospective adopters, officers of CAFCASS and the Official Solicitor.

Members of the team have considerable expertise in cases involving serious non-accidental injuries, disputed medical evidence, fabricated illness, removal from the jurisdiction, sexual abuse and chronic neglect. We can deal with short-notice applications for emergency protection orders, secure accommodation, wardship and the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the courts.

We are also experienced in representing parties to adoption proceedings and applications under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 involving domestic and international adoptions.

A number of local authorities regularly instruct members of chambers to advise and represent them on all aspects of care proceedings and related issues. Chambers is an approved provider of family legal services to the Croydon 10 a framework agreement and other local authorities. A broad cross section of private solicitors also instructs members of chambers to represent parents, children and related parties.

Members of chambers have frequently been asked to advise on related matters, such as judicial review, housing, immigration and adult welfare matters falling under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. This is only one example of the advantages of the complementary nature of the practice groups within Chambers.

Individual members of the team accept instructions directly from lay clients in suitable cases under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme.

The team regularly organises seminars and training for legal and social work professionals. We are accredited by the Law Society to provide CPD points.

Reported cases involving members of Chambers include:

  • Re H (A Child) [2005] EWCA Civ 1059 – considered the standard of proof required in findings of fact made in care proceedings.
  • Re LM (a child) (care proceedings witness summons) [2007] 1 FLR 1698; 2007 All ER (D) 108 (Jan). Decision of the Court of Appeal concerning whether a child should give evidence in care proceedings.
  • Re A (Adoption: Removal) [2009] EWCA Civ 41 [2009] 2 FLR 597 and ECC (The Local Authority) v SM – [2011] 1 FLR 234 – considered the arrangements required for adoptive placements overseas.
  • A City Council v DC, JW and JWW [2013] EWHC 8 (Fam) – considered the revocation of a freeing order.
  • Re IA (2013) EWHC 2499