Harcourt is a leading specialist family law chambers.

Our barristers have reached the highest levels in the profession; we are home to some of the leading silks in the country, and former members now occupy some of the highest levels of the judiciary. Our barristers have accumulated a wealth of experience appearing in all courts and have appeared in many of the leading and most important family law decisions of recent years in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Many of our team bring their experience of sitting as part-time judges (Deputy District Judges, Recorders and Deputy High Court Judges) to their advocacy.

We were recognised as “Family Law Chambers of the Year – London” at the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2018 and “Family Set of the Year” at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016. Harcourt has been ranked as a leading set in both Chambers UK Bar, which says “the set is full of talent, from top to bottom” and Legal 500 UK Bar which describes us as having “very intelligent, knowledgeable, articulate and eloquent barristers.”

Our reputation is built not only on our skills as advocates, but also on our ability to provide an efficient and approachable service to our professional and lay clients. Alongside legal expertise, Harcourt provides a highly responsive, friendly clerking service, ensuring that instructing solicitors and clients have early access to the most appropriate representation.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality, most cost efficient, and easily accessible legal advice, representation and service to individuals, organisations and our professional clients.

Awards

In recognition of our commitment to providing the highest standards of advocacy and service to our clients we have received a number of important industry awards in recent years:

  • Winners of Family Law Chambers of the Year – London, and shortlisted for Young Barrister for the Year (Naomi Scarano), LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2018
  • Shortlisted for Family Law Set of the Year, Clerking Team of the Year and International Barrister of the Year (Rob George), Jordan’s Family Law Awards 2017
  • Winners of the Family Law Set of the Year, Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016
  • Winners of Family Barrister of the Year (Edward Devereux QC), Chambers UK Bar Awards 2015
  • Shortlisted for Family Silk of the Year (John Vater QC), Jordan’s Family Law Awards 2015
  • Winners of Young Family Barrister of the Year (Edward Bennett), Jordan’s Family Law Awards 2015
  • Winners of Young Family Barrister of the Year (Mehvish Chaudhry) at the 2013 Jordan’s Family Law Awards

Directories


Members at Harcourt Chambers offer a full family law service, but are especially adroit in assisting a range of clients with all manner of children’s law proceedings, garnering particular praise for their expertise in international abduction and relocation cases. They are known for their expert representation of local authorities, parents, and guardians in complex public law cases, a number of which relate to abuse, non-accidental injury and child death. While such cases form a large part of the set’s work, a number of individuals are on hand to also undertake divorce and financial remedy proceedings.

Harcourt Chambers is a standout set with operations in London and Oxford, which has long held sway as the leader on the South Eastern Circuit for an array of family and matrimonial cases. Its pre-eminent members are instructed in all aspects of family law, being able to tackle everything from high net worth financial remedy issues to complex care and adoption proceedings, as well as cases involving serious criminal charges.

A respected family set which remains a popular choice for high-profile children matters. Individuals here have practices that encompass the full range of public and private law cases, and handle matters with both domestic and cross-border issues. Chambers has great strength in serious adoption and abuse cases, and its members are noted for assisting parents, children and local authorities with grave matters, many of which involve medical evidence. Harcourt Chambers also houses practitioners with experience in matrimonial finance cases, a number of which concern high-value assets.

A top set offering strong capabilities across the range of family and matrimonial matters operating out of both London and Oxford. Its barristers handle highly complex children cases that cover both public and private law, including those involving allegations of abuse. It also fields expertise in high-value matrimonial finance matters. “The set is full of talent, from top to bottom,” comments an interviewee.


The Legal 500 UK Bar 2020 / 2021 – Set Overview

Harcourt Chambers is ‘the number 1 set for children work, both domestic and international’, which offers ‘a wide choice of very high-calibre advocates providing clear and accurate advice and great advocacy’. When it comes to family law, the set has ‘a number of first-class barristers whose rates are more reasonable than some chambers which are better known for finance work’. Chambers has a ‘very organised and approachable’ Oxford office. In recent news, Francis Judd QC has been elevated to the Family Division of the High Court and Victoria Flowers has joined from Field Court Chambers. The clerks are seen as ‘friendly, hardworking, and go out of their way to assist instructing solicitors’. Simon Boutwood is the chambers director, Judith Partington the senior practice manager in Oxford, and Matthew Molloy the senior practice manager in London. Offices in: London and Oxford

The Legal 500 UK Bar 2020 / 2021 – London

Harcourt Chambers is a ‘first-rate set of chambers with great strength in depth, a very good range of barristers at different levels of call, from hugely experienced QCs to extremely talented juniors, meaning that it will always have a barrister who fits the needs of the case.’ The set ‘has quickly risen to form a strong identity, commanding respect and oozing experience.’ Among the ‘huge pool of high calibre children barristers’ is Edward Devereux QC who in a recent highlight led the successful appeal against a first instance decision to return a child to a third state pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention. Jonathan Sampson is a new silk appointment, further strengthening chambers at the senior end, while the future of the set looks bright with impressive rising stars Dr Rob George and Edward Bennett.

The Legal 500 UK Bar 2020 / 2021 – South East

‘A formidable set armed with fantastic advocates’, Harcourt Chambers is a specialist family set with barristers available at all levels of call. Members of chambers, which is based in both London and Oxford (where it has ‘a good strength of knowledge across its members and gets involved in the local community’), are instructed across the piece, including private law children issues with international elements, as well as complex family finance matters (‘a go-to chambers for money cases’ according to one solicitor) and public law child work for both parents and local authorities. Jonathan Sampson QC is a 2020 silk appointment, joining top end that includes the likes of Damian Garrido QC and John Vater QC, with the set featuring a strong junior bench including Jane Campbell, Simon Miller and Sara Granshaw for child law matters, and Fiona Hay, a notable senior junior for family finance.


Chambers UK Bar 2019 – London

A respected family set which remains a popular choice for high-profile children matters. Individuals here have practices that encompass the full range of public and private law cases, and handle matters with both domestic and cross-border issues. Chambers has great strength in serious adoption and abuse cases, and its members are noted for assisting parents, children and local authorities with grave matters, many of which involve medical evidence. Harcourt Chambers also houses practitioners with experience in matrimonial finance cases, a number of which concern high-value assets.

Client service: The clerks are “friendly and offer an excellent service.” They are “helpful and always able to assist.” Matthew Molloy is the senior practice manager.

Chambers UK Bar 2019 – South Eastern Circuit

A top set offering strong capabilities across the range of family and matrimonial matters operating out of both London and Oxford. Its barristers handle highly complex children cases that cover both public and private law, including those involving allegations of abuse. It also fields expertise in high-value matrimonial finance matters. “The set is full of talent, from top to bottom,” comments an interviewee.

Client service: “The clerks are really helpful and really approachable, and they’ll always try to help. They go out of their way to find someone for me.” “Simon Boutwood is the head clerk, and he’s brilliant and client-focused.”


The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019 – Set Overview

Harcourt is ‘the number 1 set for children work, both domestic and international’, which offers ‘a wide choice of very high-calibre advocates providing clear and accurate advice and great advocacy’. When it comes to family law, the set has ‘a number of first-class barristers whose rates are more reasonable than some chambers which are better known for finance work’. Chambers has a ‘very organised and approachable’ Oxford office. In recent news, Francis Judd QC has been elevated to the Family Division of the High Court and Victoria Flowers has joined from Field Court Chambers. The clerks are seen as ‘friendly, hardworking, and go out of their way to assist instructing solicitors’. Simon Boutwood is the chambers director, Judith Partington the senior practice manager in Oxford, and Matthew Molloy the senior practice manager in London. Offices in: London and Oxford

The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019 – London

Harcourt Chambers has a ‘very solid and dependable range of barristers’ who are all considered by clients to be ‘talented and hardworking.’ Chambers is recognised for its work on severe cases of physical as well as sexual abuse and child abduction/Hague Convention cases thanks to having a ‘number of excellent cross-border children specialists’. Frances Judd QC has recently been assigned to the Family Division of the High Court.

The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019 – South East

Specialist family set Harcourt Chambers is well-known for its wide range of ‘formidable advocates’ at all levels of call. The set covers every aspect of family work, but is particularly formidable in high-value matrimonial finance and complex public law children work. Members have recently appeared in high-profile cases concerning fabricated/induced injury, sexual abuse, international abduction and undisclosed assets, among many others. Previously the head of chambers, Francis Judd QC has been elevated to the Family Division of the High Court.

  • “Respected family law chambers that offers real depth in public law children matters, but also has strength in private law proceedings. Its members are frequently involved in cross-border proceedings and are additionally committed to handling matrimonial finance work on behalf of high net worth individuals.”
  • “Harcourt Chambers is home to an impressive group of family law barristers…”
  • “…strong reputation for children matters and is regularly sought out for its expertise relating to child abductions and cases of physical and sexual abuse.”
  • “…recommended for its handling of complex financial matters. These encompass trusts, business assets and pension arrangements, and often have an international dimension.”
  • “The clerks are very friendly and helpful. They do their best to try and find suitable counsel and advise on who is best.”

  • “Family and civil chambers notably handling the most complex public law care and international children work.”
  • “The Harcourt clerks are helpful, great at what they do and are organised. They go above and beyond.”
  • “The set also boasts a team of financial specialists who regularly tackle high-value cross-border cases involving highly complicating factors such as trusts, company arrangements and convoluted pensions provision.”

  • “Harcourt Chambers has ‘great strength in depth’, and clerks who are ‘without exception responsive, pragmatic and available’.”
  • “Members have strengths in cases involving shaken baby syndrome, relocations and abductions.”
  • “A ‘top-drawer’ set for family work…”
  • “…Harcourt Chambers is particularly well known for children cases, including physical and sexual abuse and international matters.”
  • “…Financial remedy work is another key area of instruction.”
  • “Harcourt Chambers is well known in London and across the South of England as ‘a great specialist family set’”
  • “A great mix of knowledgeable silks and bright and ambitious juniors”
  • “Members have expertise in children law work, including serious physical and sexual abuse, shaken baby syndrome and child relocation/abduction matters. International family law work is another key area.”
  • “Simon Boutwood is an ‘exceptionally effective’ chambers director, ably assisted in Oxford by senior practice manager Judith Partington, who is described as chambers’ ‘secret weapon’ and ‘a brilliant clerk’. London practice manager Matthew Molloy ‘would never let you down’.”

  • “A tight-knit team with some extremely smart people.”
  • “A set going from strength to strength that has highly talented silks and highly regarded juniors.”
  • “A rival to the top five in London, with some extremely smart people forming a tight-knit team.”
  • “The clerking is excellent and chambers director Simon Boutwood is particularly fantastic. They are proactive about finding the right counsel and very receptive to clients’ needs.”

  • “Harcourt Chambers houses heavy-hitting counsel as well as ‘a highly skilled team of clerks.”
  • “Harcourt Chambers is an ‘excellent family set with depth and gravitas’. It is particularly strong in complex and sensitive children law disputes, including abuse cases. However, other areas of expertise include high-value finance matters and cases with an international element.”

  • “Highly regarded for family and children law work, this ‘delightful set’ is also adept at handling family-related property cases.”
  • “The barristers have an excellent combination of powerful intellect and the ability to approach a case in a pragmatic and humane way.”
  • “Many very intelligent, knowledgeable, articulate and eloquent barristers’ who are ‘willing and able to work at short notice.”
  • “Efficient and supportive, going the extra mile when needed”
  • “This delightful set is adept at handling family-related property cases”
  • “Senior practice manager Judith Partington and immensely helpful practice manager Matthew Molloy are the key contacts in Oxford and London respectively”

  • “The clerks provide an excellent service and will do their utmost to accommodate you in an urgent situation”

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