Victoria Flowers

Called 2009

Victoria is a specialist family practitioner in both children and money cases. She has particular interests in applications to remove children from the jurisdiction (both temporarily and permanently) and the law concerning surrogacy arrangements. Victoria has co-authored the text “Surrogacy: Law, Practice and Policy in England and Wales”, published by Lexis Nexis in March 2018.

Victoria is sensitive to the emotional backdrop of family proceedings, and adept at reassuring clients whilst providing clear advice and advocating firmly on their behalf. Victoria is an experienced trial advocate.

Victoria has been the recipient of a Pegasus Scholarship from the Inner Temple Pegasus Trust and undertook a placement at the Crown Law Office, Wellington, New Zealand during which she assisted with a wide range of work, including family cases.

Victoria is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public.

If you would like any further information regarding Victoria’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Family

Public Law

Victoria has considerable expertise and strength in care and placement order proceedings representing local authorities, parents, grandparents and the subject children. She has acted in cases involving issues of alleged non-accidental injury, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, drug and alcohol abuse (including in the FDAC), emotional harm (and the risk of future emotional harm), mental health difficulties and capacity to conduct the proceedings.

Victoria regularly appears in public children law cases with international aspects, and has led a successful seminar on the topic: “International Aspects of Care Proceedings – The Key Issues” for MBL Seminars Limited.

Victoria has appeared in a complex contested jurisdictional dispute in the Family Division which raised issues of jurisdiction between an EU member state and an alternative jurisdiction in a non-Member State, as well as the circumstances in which a child’s habitual residence cannot be established.

Victoria has experience of forced marriage protection orders, secure accommodation orders, and applications to revoke placement orders. She has appeared in cases involving issues of designation between local authorities and whether a child should give oral evidence in care proceedings. She is also familiar with the interplay between the inherent jurisdiction and public law children proceedings, and the steps that can be taken should a child be abducted whilst in the interim care of a local authority.

Victoria has appeared at all stages of care and placement proceedings including applications for emergency protection orders, contested interim care order hearings, contested section 38(6) Children Act 1989 applications, fact finding hearings (including as junior counsel in a multi-day hearing concerning alleged non-accidental injuries) and lengthy final hearings requiring cross-examination of expert witnesses.

Victoria represented the Local Authority in an application for a Reporting Restriction Order following care proceedings which attracted media interest: Re J (A Minor) [2016] EWHC 2595 (Fam). Hayden J decided that the Local Authority should not be named and the mother should be prevented from speaking in the media about any aspect of “gender dysphoria or gender identification” in so far as they related to the child.

Victoria has undertaken the Advocacy and the Vulnerable training, delivered by Middle Temple.

Private Law

Victoria is skilled in representing clients in private children law cases involving child arrangements orders, prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders.

Victoria has a particular interest in proceedings concerning removal of children from the jurisdiction, both on a temporary and permanent basis. She has acted in disputes involving both Hague and non-Hague states. She has experience of representing clients in permanent relocation cases which raise questions of mirror orders due to the fear of non-return for contact. She will be speaking on permanent relocation at a Chambers seminar in June 2018.

Victoria appears at all stages of private law proceedings from emergency ex parte applications, to fully contested multi-day hearings and also has experience of appealing (successfully) in a private children law case.

Victoria has been instructed in cases involving allegations of serious domestic abuse, and has considerable experience of representing clients in fact finding hearings.

Surrogacy

Victoria has a particular specialism and strength in surrogacy law and has appeared in applications for parental orders with international dimensions. She is experienced in advising upon the issues that may arise, including difficult domicile issues, the application having been made after the six month time limit, and the retrospective authorisation of payments made to the surrogate.

Victoria has co-authored a book “Surrogacy: Law, Practice and Policy in England and Wales” published by Lexis Nexis in March 2018.

Victoria has led or co-presented several well-received seminars on surrogacy law to legal colleagues. The speakers of one such seminar were described as “extremely knowledgeable, as well as enthusiastic and approachable”.

Victoria is always pleased to be able to assist and advise from an early stage in preparation for these complex applications which are of fundamental importance to clients and the child concerned.

Financial Remedies

Victoria is adept at advising and appearing in financial remedy proceedings from first appointment to contested final hearing, including the vital FDR appointment. She aims to secure the most advantageous resolution for the client, whilst providing realistic and reassuring advice throughout.

Victoria has appeared in cases involving allegations of serious non-disclosure, conduct arguments, and very short as well as very long marriages. She has experience of maintenance pending suit applications, and has advised in cases involving issues including variation, enforcement and the impact of separation agreements.

Victoria is also well-versed in applications brought under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, and child maintenance matters.

Family Law Act 1996

Victoria represents clients in matters arising out of Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996. She appears in applications for non-molestation and occupation orders, from emergency ex parte hearings through to contested final hearings.

Court of Protection

Victoria has a keen interest in Court of Protection work, and has also co-authored a text “Dementia and the Law” (published by Jordans) which addresses a wide range of the legal issues that arise in respect of individuals with dementia.

Victoria appeared as a junior in the case of Birmingham City Council v D [2016] EWCOP 8 which concerned issues of deprivation of liberty in relation to 16 and 17 year olds who lack capacity.

Whilst a judicial assistant at the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Victoria assisted with AVS v A NHS Foundation Trust and B PCT [2011] EWCA Civ 7 and her article “Disputes Between Family and Doctors: How Far is the Court of Protection Willing to Go?” was subsequently published by the Elder Law Journal (ELJ 2011, Volume 1, 432).

Education
  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence (Law with Law Studies in Europe): Jesus College, University of Oxford
  • Erasmus Visiting Student at Leiden University, Netherlands (European and International Law)
  • Lord Denning Scholarship: Lincoln’s Inn
  • Cholmeley Pupillage Studentship: Lincoln’s Inn
  • Pegasus Scholarship: Inner Temple Pegasus Trust
Professional memberships
  • FLBA
  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit 
Seminars and articles

Victoria has spoken at numerous seminars on issues including applications for parental orders, updates in the Court of Protection, and jurisdiction and enforcement in private international children law.

Victoria is a regular author of case summaries on the Family Law Week website.