Practice Profile

Background

Mavis graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge with an B.A. in Law and then went on to take a Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, USA, before being called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 2013.

 

As a Pegasus Scholar, Mavis undertook a period of secondment working for Vorzimer Masserman – a leading Fertility Law Firm in Los Angeles, where she advised the firm’s UK clients on issues pertaining to UK Surrogacy Law and Parental Orders. Through this secondment, Mavis developed a thorough understanding of Californian Surrogacy Law to supplement her knowledge of UK Surrogacy Law and has since published articles on Law reform and spoken at a recent Surrogacy Law Conference.

 

 

Practice

Mavis’ practice encompasses all areas of Family Law, including Private Children cases (both domestic and international), Public Children Proceedings and financial proceedings arising from relationship breakdown.

 

As an advocate, Mavis conveys an air of calm which helps to put clients at ease, whilst still maintaining a robust and thorough approach to each case within the courtroom. In addition, Mavis is keen to provide considered and realistic advice as early as possible within proceedings to ensure that the client’s best possible case can be put forward.

 

Mavis is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme in appropriate circumstances.

 

Private Children and International Law

Mavis practises in all areas of Private Children Law, including Surrogacy and Modern Families, and Section 8 applications. Mavis has a particular interest in, and experience of cases with an international element, including applications under the Hague Convention and the law regarding internal and international relocation, abduction and wardship. Mavis’ experience of International Family Law encompasses work at both the County Court and High Court levels (including appeals).

 

Public Children Law

Mavis has acted in a wide range of Public Law cases, and is regularly instructed to act for parents, grandparents and vulnerable parties. Mavis has previously worked on cases involving jurisdiction disputes, serious physical harm and applications for leave to oppose adoption orders.

 

 

Financial proceedings

Mavis has represented clients at all stages of financial relief proceedings, from First Appointment through to contested Final Hearings. Mavis’ previous work has also included TOLATA applications and cases concerning the admissibility of foreign marriages and divorces in English Law. 

 

 

Notable Work

Re A (2016 High Court) – Private Children Law: Represented the Respondent Mother in a child abduction case after she had unilaterally removed the parties’ children to Nigeria. The Mother also cross-applied for retrospective leave to remove the children from the jurisdiction. The mother was granted the retrospective permission - the court finding that it was in their welfare to remain in Nigeria and that the Father’s application for return and to spend time with the children was merely an attempt to bolster his immigration application

 

Re U (2017 High Court Appeal; Pro Bono) – Private Children Law: Successfully appealed the decision of the lower court who had found that the Father could not use the court of England & Wales to make an application for return of his children following their wrongful removal, as the court no longer had jurisdiction. The appeal court found that the decision was plainly wrong and that jurisdiction had been retained under Art 10 BIIa – a provision which the trial court had failed to consider.

 

Re T (2017 and 2018) Private Children Law: Obtained findings against the Father of serious abuse upon the Mother, following which the court acceded to the Mother’s position of no order for contact. Successfully defended the Father’s subsequent appeal.

 

Re G (2018) – Public Children Law: Represented a vulnerable Mother with learning disabilities who successfully had her child returned to her care at the conclusion of proceedings

 

Re B (2018) - Matrimonial Finance: Successfully argued both a conduct and contribution case in favour of Applicant Wife. The court also accepted the Wife’s position that an adverse inference should be made against the Husband regarding his pension and monthly income. The Wife was subsequently awarded 85% of proceeds of sale of FMH.

 

 

Publications

Surrogacy and legal parentage: let intentionality prevail : a 2-part series (March and May 2019 – Jordans Family Law)

 

Placement and adoption: if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well (June 2015 – Family Law Week)

 

 

Prizes and Scholarships

  • Pegasus Scholarship (Inner Temple, 2018)
  • Inner Temple Major Exhibition Award and Michael Hodge Scholarship for BPTC (2012)
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean’s Scholarship and Potts Scholarship for LLM (2011)

 

 

Memberships

Family Law Bar Association

Child Abduction Lawyers Association

Bar Council Young Barristers’ Committee

Bar Council Law Reform Committee

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple 

Bar Pro Bono Unit (Panel Member)

School Governor

 

 

Other Activities and Interests

Mavis is passionate about widening access to the profession and encouraging students from all backgrounds to consider a legal career. As a result, Mavis is involved in a number of Social Mobility programmes wherein she acts as a mentor to aspiring lawyers and regularly speaks in schools and at careers conferences for underrepresented groups.

 

Mavis is also a keen traveller and musical theatre enthusiast.  

 







London

2 Harcourt Buildings
Temple
London
EC4Y 9DB
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961

Oxford

Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
OX1 1BN
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559

Contact

0207 353 6961
clerks@harcourtchambers.co.uk

 

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