Martina van der Leij

Called 2001

Martina specialises in family law.  Before coming to the Bar, Martina worked as a clinical research scientist.  She has a PhD from UCL, and completed a postdoc at KCL. This background and the critical, analytical approach it cultivated has served her well when dealing with complex care cases that have significant medical or expert evidence.  She is regularly instructed by Local Authorities, parents and Guardians in cases involving infant death, shaken babies, other non-accidental injuries and sexual and physical abuse of children.  Martina has a particular interest in cases involving factitious or induced illness, cases where there are conflicting medical opinions or where there are mental health issues.

Martina also accepts instruction in private law cases and ancillary relief, as well as Court of Protection cases and matters involving the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  She is developing her interest in surrogacy matters

Martina is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public within her specialist areas.

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

Family & children

Martina is regularly instructed to advise and represent local authorities, parents and children in often complex and sensitive public law proceedings involving allegations of non-accidental (unexplained) injuries and sexual abuse of children.

She also regularly represents parents in private proceedings involving disputes over contact, residence, removal from the jurisdiction

Financial provision

Martina has acted and advised in a broad range of ancillary relief matters, including more complex cases involving interveners, insolvency, or company assets  She is also instructed in cases dealing with financial provision for children, cohabitation and civil partnership disputes.  She has advised on pre-nuptial agreements.

Martina has appeared in a number of contested divorces and nullity proceedings, as well as declarations as to the validity of foreign marriages.

Additional information

Before coming to the Bar, Martina worked as a scientist in both academia and industry.  Her first degree was a joint major in Zoology and Botany, and she completed a Masters in Biotechnology in 1991.  She was awarded a PhD (biological sciences – membrane transport) by UCL in 1995.  In addition to carrying out research and field work in Africa and India, she worked in the Biodiscovery Division of Rhone Poulenc, and as a clinical scientist for a company conducting clinical trials, before retraining as a barrister.  In addition to her areas of work, she has an interest in all aspects of science and law, in particular genetics and ethics, and environmental issues.

Martina is a qualified Public Access barrister.

 

Notable case
  • Tomer v Atlantic Cleaning Service Ltd & Anor (2008) EWHC 1652 (QB) – Claim for damages after a workplace accident struck out
Education

PhD (biological sciences) UCL 1995

Professional memberships
  • FLBA
  • CPBA
  • EUKELA
  • South eastern bar circuit
  • PNBA
  • PIBA
  • Member of Inner Temple