Barry has the rare ability to really think through all scenarios in a fact finding, and to drill down to what really happened and why people acted as they did.
Legal 500, 2022
Barry has unique ability to remain focused in the most complex cases, can "jump in and jump out", and not lose his place. He has a terrific brain, is a fine advocate and can think several questions ahead on cross examination.
Legal 500, 2023

Barry McAlinden is a family law specialist. He deals with a range of cases concerning children in the public and private law jurisdictions. These include:

  • care and supervision orders
  • adoption orders
  • secure accommodation orders
  • child assessment orders & child arrangements orders
  • parental responsibility orders
  • contact activity orders
  • prohibited steps specific issue orders, and
  • financial remedies upon divorce or in respect of children.

He appears regularly in cases concerning the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, cases with an international element and cases of serious harm, but also appears in all tiers of the Family Court.

Barry is a qualified Direct Access barrister and is able to accept instructions from members of the public within his specialist areas.

He is joint head of chambers’ family law group.

If you would like more information about Barry’s practice, please contact his clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Advocate 25 for 25 pro bono hours


Children law

Barry has extensive experience of representing clients in cases involving:

  • forced marriage and FGM
  • death/killing of a parent and cases involving accidental death of a parent
  • factitious illness
  • parental alienation, and the underlying causes for this e.g. parents suffering from personality disorders
  • unlawful removal from the jurisdiction/abduction
  • serious vulnerability due to cognitive or mental impairment, including acting for suicidal clients and those at risk to themselves
  • serious psychiatric disorders, including personality disorders
  • serious physical and emotional harm to children.

Notable cases:

  • Re O (Children) (Privilege against Self-Incrimination) [2023] EWFC 14 – the case considers how principles around the privilege against self-incrimination should be applied. Barry persuaded the court that the proceedings should conclude notwithstanding that criminal proceedings against the father for assault and coercive control of the mother (Barry’s client) were ongoing.

Financial provision

Barry deals with claims under:

  • Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989
  • Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
  • Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 Claims -financial provision following a foreign divorce
  • Intervenor claims within divorce proceedings.

Notable cases:

  • Aldoukhi v Abdullah [2023] EWHC 3438 (Fam) – Barry acted for the former husband in subsequent enforcement proceedings concerning orders made in 2021 under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 / Part III Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.
  • Aldoukhi v Abdullah [2021] EWHC 3086 (Fam)  – Barry represented a Kuwaiti businessman in High Court family provision proceedings after an overseas divorce. This is the 1st reported case where jurisdiction was founded on section 15(1)(c) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.


Family Law Bar Association


  • An Gaeilge – working proficiency
  • French – working proficiency
  • Italian – working proficiency


  • Inns of Court of Inner Temple
  • Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
  • BA Cambridge Fitzwilliam College

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