Practice Profile

Legal academic and barrister who is recognised for his particular expertise in international family law issues, such as child abduction and relocation, as well as jurisdiction disputes. His work in children's cases has taken George to both the Court of Appeal and the High Court.


"Although he's only a few years' call, you can throw him to the lions with a very senior opponent and he'll hold his own. He's ferociously bright, and judges appreciate his intellect, which he has in spades."

Chambers UK Bar 2019


Shortlisted for “International Family Lawyer of the Year” at the Jordans Family Law Awards 2017.



Dr Rob George is a leading expert on international family law, particularly in relation to relocation disputes, child abduction, jurisdiction, and international and domestic surrogacy cases. He has published numerous books and papers on these subjects, and been involved with many cases in related areas.


Rob is happy to give advice in any of his areas of expertise. He is particularly experienced in considering relocation disputes (whether for the applicant or the respondent) and at advising in relation to case strategy, overall outcome and appeals. Rob is always happy to talk to solicitors on an informal basis at any stage of a case, and to arrange an early conference in cases where that is of assistance.


Rob undertakes hearings at all levels of the Family Court and in the High Court, as well as appeals to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He brings a calm and thoughtful manner to his advocacy, developing complex arguments in an intelligible manner, and always going the extra mile with client care. Rob’s written work has been described as “impressive” by the Court of Appeal, and his academic writing was cited with approval in Re C (Older Children: Relocation) [2015] EWCA Civ 1298.


Alongside his practice at Harcourt Chambers, Rob works as a Reader in Family Law at University College London, teaching family law and children’s rights, as well as conducting research into the family justice system. Rob’s internationally acknowledged academic expertise in family law issues allows him to bring real depth to his advice and advocacy work.


Rob is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public in appropriate cases, and welcomes enquiries about such matters at all stages of proceedings, including appeals.


Recent Notable Cases

  • Re L (Relocation: Second Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 2121 – a second appeal in a relocation case where Rob was led by Damian Garrido QC, successfully overturning the decision of Russell J at the first appeal on 5 separate grounds and restoring the order of the trial judge
  • Re B and C (Change of Name: Parental Responsibility: Evidence) [2017] EWHC 3250 (Fam) – an unusual case where Rob successfully sought orders to allow his client to change children’s identities and restrict the father’s exercise of his PR following international child abduction and abuse of the children in Iran
  • S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 (Fam) – an international relocation application involving older children and a change of the main carer alongside the move, where Rob was led by Edward Devereux QC
  • C v G [2017] EWHC 762 (Fam) – a child abduction matter involving the clandestine removal of two young children to Madagascar, in which Rob obtained a return order on behalf of the left-behind mother and then freezing orders by way of enforcement action
  • Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam) – a high-profile case in which Rob represented a 14-year-old girl with terminal cancer who successfully obtained orders enabling her to have her body cryo-preserved following her death
  • Re N (Adoption: Jurisdiction)[2016] UKSC 15 – Supreme Court decision on transfers of proceedings between EU States under Article 15 of the Brussels IIA Regulation
  • Re J (A Child) (1996 Hague Convention)[2015] UKSC 70 – Supreme Court decision on the jurisdiction of the English courts in child abduction proceedings under the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention
  • Re C (Internal Relocation)[2015] EWCA Civ 1305 – leading Court of Appeal case on the correct approach to proposed relocations within the United Kingdom
  • Camden Borough Council v NJ and others[2015] EWHC 3751 (Fam) – application to discharge an interim care order in the High Court, involving allegations of a stranded spouse in Afghanistan and risk of forced marriage
  • SF v HL[2015] EWHC 2891 (Fam) – High Court decision on the jurisdiction of the English courts and forum conveniens where a child had been in this country for only 3 weeks when proceedings began


Rob also has recent experience of committal proceedings in family court proceedings, successful applications for interim leave to remove a child from the jurisdiction, cases involving applications for children to give evidence in private law proceedings, and complex High Court international surrogacy cases. These cases sit alongside his frequent involvement in providing advice and representation in international and internal relocation disputes.



BA Jurisprudence, Trinity College, Oxford (2005)

MSc Social Policy, Trinity College, Oxford (2006)

DPhil Family Law, Lincoln College, Oxford (2010)

College of Law, London (2013)



Rob has published numerous books and papers on family law issues. His books include:



As well as his regular column in the leading journal Family Law, Rob’s recent journal articles and other research papers include:


  • “Legal Professionals’ Knowledge and Experience of Autistic Adults in the Family Justice System” (2018), Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law – with Dr Anna Remington and others
  • “Relocation: A Spanner in the Holistic Analysis” (2017), Family Law
  • “How Do Parents Experience Relocation Disputes in the Family Courts?” (2016), Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 
  • “How Do Judges Decide International Relocation Cases?” (2015), Child and Family Law Quarterly
  • “‘Alas Poor Payne, I knew him...’: An Interpretation of the Court of Appeal’s Decision in Re F (International Relocation Cases)” (2015), Family Law – with Edward Devereux
  • “When Will the Supreme Court Put Us Out of Our Payne?” (2014), Family Law – with Edward Devereux
  • “Children’s State of Mind and Habitual Residence in Abduction Cases” (2014), Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
  • “Relocation Disputes in England and Wales: First Findings from the 2012 Study” (2013), Oxford Research Papers
  • “Reviewing Relocation?” (2012), Child and Family Law Quarterly
  • “International Relocation, Care Arrangements and Case Taxonomy” (2012), Family Law


Lectures and Seminars

Rob frequently speaks at conferences and seminars for practitioners and Judges, and runs a highly-rated CPD course on relocation disputes. Since 2015, he has been giving seminars for the Judicial College on international relocation disputes and jurisdiction in family cases. Rob is also happy to be approached about doing bespoke events, and has done a number of such talks recently, including several solicitors firms, Resolution, the ALC and the FLBA.








2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0844 561 7135
Fax (020) 7353 6968


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 0844 561 7135
Fax (01865) 791 585


0844 561 7135


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