2 Harcourt Buildings
London EC4Y 9DB
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0844 561 7135

Churchill House
3 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 0844 561 7135

Edward Devereux

Print Profile

Called: 2001



Edward Devereux was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2001 and practises in all areas of international family law.


In the current edition of the Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession (published in November 2016) he is the only junior barrister in England and Wales practising in the law relating to children to be ranked in the category of "star individual". He is described in that guide as:

"A renowned family junior…He has been involved in landmark cases that have shaped the country’s laws…He has a great strategic mind…He is probably the leading junior in international children’s work."


In 2015, he won Junior Family Barrister of the Year at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards.


In 2014, he was shortlisted (as one of only four) for International Family Lawyer of the Year at the Family Law Awards.


Together with Henry Setright QC, he recently acted for Rocco Ritchie in Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie (No 1) and (No 2).


Many of the cases in which Edward has argued (whether at trial or at appellate level) have significantly changed the law in the United Kingdom or elsewhere around the world. Often the cases in which he appears attract significant media attention or are regarded as the most complex of their type to ever come before the courts. He has appeared in over 55 cases reported in the Family Law Reports.


Over the course of his career he has appeared before, or presented submissions to, a wide range of national and international courts including the House of Lords, the UK Supreme Court (on nine occasions), the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, and the United States Supreme Court.


Edward was one of the barristers profiled in Family Law Advocacy How Barristers Help the Victims of Family Failure, Mavis Maclean and John Eekelaar (2009, Hart Publishing, Oxford).


He was the only barrister to attend, as part of the UK government’s delegation, both parts of the sixth special commission meeting of the Hague conference on private international law which took place in the Hague in June 2011 and January 2012 and which reviewed the practical operation of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the 1996 Hague Protection of Children Convention.




“Renowned family junior considered to be a leading expert in the international movement of children, particular through abduction.  He has been involved in landmark cases that have shaped the country’s laws…His extensive knowledge of EU law is impeccable.  He has a great strategic mind and will have a good plan from day one.  He is probably now the leading junior in international children’s work”

Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2017. 


“His intellectual ability in a field which is highly intellectually demanding is second to none and his utter familiarity with his subject matter means he is quick off the mark in arriving at innovative and accurate solutions”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2016.


“Robust, hardworking, talented and intellectually curious”: The Legal 500, 2016


“He has a razor-sharp mind and excellent advocacy skills”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2015.


“He has particular strength in child abduction cases”: The Legal 500, 2015.   


“Brilliant. Knows so much and instils the utmost confidence. Continues to be highly renowned for his work in cross jurisdictional children’s cases.  He is very good on child abduction matters”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014.


“Well respected”: The Legal 500, 2013.


“Edward Devereux of Harcourt Chambers is well known for his expertise in international children law cases and is a recognised authority on child abduction”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2013.


“Keenly intelligent and innovative”: The Legal 500, 2012.


“Edward Devereux focuses his practice on international family work and is described by sources as ‘a master of child abduction cases’”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2012.


“Very intelligent, tenacious and creative”; “one of the rising stars of international children work”: The Legal 500, 2011.


“Edward Devereux has an ever growing reputation for international child abduction”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2011.


“Recommended”: The Legal 500, 2010.


“Viewed as a rising star of the Family Bar”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2010.


“Edward Devereux is highly recommended as an exceptional junior with an impressive in depth knowledge of international children’s law”: The Legal 500, 2009.


“An expert on child abduction”: Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession, 2009.




Edward read history at Peterhouse, Cambridge (where he was an exhibitioner), was a scholar of the Middle Temple, and was runner up (in 2001) in the Rosemund Smith competition for mooting (ie legal argument) in his year of call in the Middle Temple.


He principally practises in the following areas:


  • International movement of children (with a particular focus on 1980 Hague Convention cases and non Hague Convention cases)


  • International disputes relating to divorce jurisdiction


  • Proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction


  • Proceedings involving Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27  November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and in Matters of Parental Responsibility (Brussels II Revised/Brussels II bis)


  • Complex private law Children Act 1989 proceedings (with a particular focus on relocation disputes)


  • Forced marriage cases


  • Complex care and adoption proceedings (usually involving an international dimension) 


  • Publicity and disclosure proceedings


  • Proceedings relating to vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection


  • Proceedings concerning financial support for children (principally under schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989)


During his time at the Bar, Edward has appeared before every level of civil or criminal court in England and Wales and before many other specialist tribunals including the Parole Board, the Court of Protection (in its current and previous form) and various licensing, educational and employment tribunals.


Edward was instructed by the Official Solicitor as the advocate to the court in D v N and D (by her Guardian ad Litem) [2011] 2 FLR 464.




  • Re G (Care Proceedings: Placement for Adoption) [2006] 1 FLR 47 (Court of Appeal)


  • MM v VM [2007] Fam Law 888 (High Court, Roderic Wood J)


  • In the matter of M (Children) [2007] 3 FCR 564 (Court of Appeal); (“Abducted girls returned to Africa”, BBC News, 12 September 2007)


  • In re M and another (Children) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2008] 1 AC 1288 (House of Lords)


  • Re C (Abduction: Separate Representation of Children) [2008] 2 FLR 6 (High Court, Ryder J)


  • BG v BG (Abduction: Acquiescence) [2008] 2 FLR 965 (High Court, Coleridge J)


  • F v M and N (Abduction: Acquiescence: Settlement) [2008] 2 FLR 1270 (High Court, Black J)


  • F v M (Abduction: Grave Risk of Harm) [2008] 2 FLR 1263 (High Court, Ryder J)


  • Re S (Abduction: Children’s Representation) [2008] 2 FLR 1918 (High Court, Charles J)


  • Carlson v Switzerland (no. 49492/06), 8 November 2008, (European Court of Human Rights)


  • B v D (Abduction: Inherent Jurisdiction) [2009] 1 FLR 1015 (High Court, Baron J)


  • Re A (Family Proceedings: Electronic Tagging) [2009] 2 FLR 891 (High Court, Parker J); (“Court orders mother in child residency dispute to be tagged…extraordinary family court ruling”, The Times, 16 May 2009)


  • Y v I and QI [2009] Fam Law 805 (High Court, His Honour Judge K Barnett sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)


  • RS v KS (Abduction: Wrongful Retention) [2009] 2 FLR 1231 (High Court, Macur J)


  • Re I (A Child) (Jurisdiction: Habitual Residence outside European Union) [2009] Fam Law 1134 (Court of Appeal)


  • Re H (Abduction: Jurisdiction) [2010] 1 FLR 598 (High Court, Ryder J)


  • In re I (A Child) (Contact Application: Jurisdiction) (Centre for Family Law and Practice and another intervening) [2010] 1 AC 319 (Supreme Court)


  • W v W (Abduction: Joinder as Party) [2010] 1 FLR 1342 (High Court, Baker J)


  • Re W (Abduction: Acquiescence: Children’s Objections) [2010] 2 FLR 1150 (High Court, Black J)


  • Re W (Abduction: Child’s Objections) [2010] 2 FLR 1165 (Court of Appeal); (“Girl, 6, makes legal history as judge in child abduction case allows her to choose whether to live with her mummy or daddy”, The Daily Mail, 15 April 2010; “Legal first as girl, 5, consulted in ‘tug of love’ court case”, The Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2010)


  • Re A (Abduction: Interim Directions: Accommodation by Local Authority) [2011] 1 FLR 1 (Court of Appeal)


  • WF v RJ and BF and RF (Abduction: Child’s Objections) [2011] 1 FLR 1153 (High Court, Baker J)


  • Islington London Borough Council v E [2011] 1 FLR 1681 (High Court, Eleanor King J)


  • C v S (Divorce Jurisdiction) [2011] 2 FLR 19 (High Court, Hedley J)


  • Re E (Children) (Abduction: Custody Appeal) [2011] 2 FLR 724 (Court of Appeal)


  • In re E (Children) (Abduction: Custody Appeal) [2012] 1 AC 144 (Supreme Court)


  • Re AJ (Brussels II Revised) [2012] 2 FLR 689 (High Court, Baker J)


  • A v B [2012] 1 FLR 768 (High Court, Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division)


  • FVS v MGS (Habitual Residence) [2012] 1 FLR 1184 (High Court, Holman J)


  • In re S (A Child) (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2012] 2 AC 257 (Supreme Court)


  • In re L (A Child) (Recognition of Foreign Order) [2013] Fam 94 (Court of Appeal)  


  • X v Latvia (no. 27853/09), 10 October 2012, (European Court of Human Rights)


  • ZA and PA v NA [2013] 1 FLR 1041 (Court of Appeal)


  •  AI v MT (Alternative Dispute Resolution) [2013] 2 FLR 371  (see, for example, “High Court opens the way to Sharia divorces”, The Times; “Sharia divorces could be allowed after legal ruling”, The Daily Telegraph; and “Divorce cases could be settled by Sharia and religious courts after landmark High Court ruling over Jewish couple’s dispute”, The Daily Mail) (High Court, Baker J)


  • Lozano v Alvarez, September 2013 (United States Supreme Court)


  • A v A and another (Children: Habitual Residence) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre and others intervening) [2014] 1 AC 1 (Supreme Court)


  • Cambra v Jones [2014] 1 FLR 5 (see, for example, “Judge asks for help finding missing children abducted by mother”, The Guardian; “Tug of love mother arrested as she is found with her four children after five days on the run”, The Daily Mail; “Child kidnap mother has done it before”, The Sunday Times; and “Tears of tug of love mother who went on the run with four children as she loses battle to keep them”, The Daily Mail), (High Court, Theis J)


  • In re L (A Child) (Custody: Habitual Residence) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre Intervening) [2013] 3 WLR 1597 (Supreme Court)


  • In re LC (Children) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre Intervening) [2014] 1 AC 1038 (Supreme Court)


  • In re K (A Child) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre Intervening) [2014] 1 AC 1401 (Supreme Court)


  • In re B (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Jurisdiction) [2014] 2 WLR 1384 (Court of Appeal)


  • R v A (Abduction: Habitual Residence) [2014] 1 FLR 969 (High Court, Parker J)


  • Re W (Jurisdiction: Mirror Order) [2014] 1 FLR 1530 (Court of Appeal)


  • A v A (Return Order on the basis of British Nationality) [2014] 2 FLR 244 (High Court, Parker J)


  • A v A (Abduction Children: Interim Care Order) [2014] 2 FLR 365 (High Court, Parker J)


  • In re Re KP (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2014] 1 WLR 4326 (Court of Appeal)  


  • Cambra v Jones (Contempt Proceedings: Child Joined as Party) [2015] 1 FLR 263 (High Court, Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division)


  • S v S (Abduction: Inherent Jurisdiction) [2015] 1 FLR 480 (High Court, Theis J) 


  • Cambra v Jones and another [2014] EWHC 2264 (Fam) (High Court, Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division)


  • Re D (Recognition and Enforcement of Romanian Order) [2015] 1 FLR 1272 (High Court, Peter Jackson J)


  • In re ED (Jurisdiction to Return Child) [2015] 2 FLR 1019 (High Court, Baker J)


  • E v B (Case C-436/13) [2015] Fam 162, (Court of Justice of the European Union)


  • In re A (A Child) (Financial Provision: Wealthy Parent) [2015] 3 WLR 48 (Court of Appeal)


  • Re J (A Child) (1996 Hague Convention) (Morocco) [2015] 2 FLR 513 (Court of Appeal)


  • In re R (A Child: Habitual Residence) [2015] Fam Law 1055 (Court of Appeal)


  • In re J (Jurisdiction: Abduction) [2016] 1 FLR 170 (Supreme Court)


  • SP v EB and KP [2016] 1 FLR 228 (High Court, Mostyn J)


  • Re N (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2016] 1 FLR 1082 (Supreme Court)


  • Re R (Jurisdiction: Habitual Residence) [2016] 1 FLR 1119 (Court of Appeal)


  • Re K (A Child) (No 3) (Forum Conveniens) [2016] 2 FLR 132 (High Court, Roberts J)


  • Re D (A Child: International Recognition) [2016] 2 FLR 147 (Court of Appeal)


  • Re D (A Child) (Supreme Court: Jurisdiction) [2016] 2 FLR 379 (Supreme Court)





Edward is the author of the chapter on child abduction in the volume, Child Case Management Practice, (general editor, The Hon. Mr Justice Ryder), (Jordans, second edition, 2012), and has written many articles for various legal publications including the following:


“Ethics and Legal Education”, Counsel, June 2002;


“An unlikely rebel: a profile of Mr Justice Andrew Collins”, Counsel, June 2003;


“Discretion, Settlement and Child’s Objections: Re M (Abduction: Zimbabwe)”, Family Law, March 2008;


“Lord Justice Thorpe: an appreciation by Reunite Child Abduction Centre”, International Family Law, No 2, 2013;


“When will the Supreme Court put us out of our Payne”, (with Dr. Rob George), Family Law, November 2014;


“Alas poor Payne, I knew him…an interpretation of Re F (International Relocation Cases)” (with Dr. Rob George), Family Law, October 2015;


“Re J: the 1996 Hague Convention in the Supreme Court”, International Family Law, No 1, 2016;


“Review of International Issues in Family Law – The 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Brussels IIa”, International Family Law, No 1, 2016;           


He frequently gives lectures on many different aspects of family law.  Recently, he has delivered lectures to the following, amongst others



  • The Butterworths-LexisNexis Child Care Law conference in London in September 2009


  • The International Bar Association conference in Madrid in October 2009


  • The Association of Lawyers conference in Manchester in November 2009


  • The Jordans Children Law and Practice conference in London in June 2010


  • The International Child Abduction. Relocation and Forced Marriage conference at London Metropolitan University in London in June 2010


  • The Butterworths-LexisNexis Child Care Law conference in London in January 2011


  • The Butterworths-LexisNexis Child Care Law conference in London in June 2011


  •  The Jordans Children Law and Practice Conference 2012 in London in June 2012


  • The Jordans International Family Law Conference 2012 in London in September 2012


  • The Hanson Renouf International Child Relocation Conference in Jersey in October 2015


He has also featured on a College of Law Legal Network Television DVD (Family: Children Private Law Update, May 2008) speaking on international child abduction.