Damian Garrido KC

Call: 1993 / Silk: 2015

"He is such a calming presence and very much understands how to approach cases for particular clients and how to explain complicated legal principles to lay clients."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

Damian is a leading family law specialist, listed in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. His appointment as King’s Counsel is a recognition of excellence in written and oral advocacy in the higher courts.

He provides sound, practical advice in all aspects of family law, conducting skilful negotiations to achieve consensual outcomes and undertaking robust advocacy in court when necessary. He is known for his devastating cross-examination and focused submissions. The breadth of his experience in both child and financial family law applications is welcomed by clients seeking a holistic solution to the problems of relationship breakdown. In silk, he has developed considerable expertise in appellate advocacy.

Damian will provide early neutral evaluations and act as a private FDR judge for parties with children and financial disputes who wish to avoid the court process. He is also a Recorder sitting as a judge in the Family Court and sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division.

To instruct Damian or for more information…

Call: 020 7353 6961
Email: clerks@harcourtchambers.co.uk

Practice Areas

Damian has considerable expertise in applications for financial remedy following relationship breakdown, notably where complexities arise due to the nature and value of the parties’ assets and sources of income (e.g. private businesses or family trusts), an international element and/or third-party intervention. He is experienced in cases involving nuptial agreements, cohabitation, child maintenance and civil partnerships.

Notable Family Finance cases

NN v AS & Ors (Rev 1) [2018] EWHC 2973 (Fam), [2019] 1 FLR 1397

Financial relief after overseas divorce.

Morris v Morris [2016] EWCA Civ 812, [2017] 1 WLR 554

Variation/Judgment summons

Damian has been recognised as a leading expert on international children law. He often represents clients in the difficult and sensitive area of international child abduction, international relocation and international adoption. He has co-authored the leading textbook Relocation: A practical guide, now in its second edition.

Notable International Family Law cases

Re L v F [2017] EWCA Civ 2121, [2018] 4 WLR 141, [2018] 2 FLR 608

International relocation.

Re S & T (Children) [2015] EWHC 1753, [2015] Fam Law 884

International adoption.

Damian also brings his forensic skills to domestic private law cases, particularly where serious allegations are raised against a parent or in cases of alleged parental alienation. He also has particular expertise in applications for internal relocation, having appeared in the leading Court of Appeal authority of Re C.

Notable Private Law Children cases

Re M-A (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 896
Re C [2015] EWCA Civ 1305, [2016] 3 WLR 1

Internal relocation.

Damian’s child-care practice encompasses the most complex and sensitive cases including those involving alleged radicalisation, serious injury or death, sexual exploitation, the youth or incapacity of a parent and/or issues of publicity, non-disclosure and public interest immunity.

Notable Public Law Children cases

K (Children) (Powers of the Family Court) [2024] EWCA Civ 2

Care proceedings. Appeal by mother against refusal by Circuit Judge to grant injunction, on the basis that she did not have power to do so. Appeal allowed. This case was reported in Local Government Lawyer.

S (Children: Findings of Fact) [2023] EWCA Civ 1113

Represented the Father who was opposing an appeal by the local authority against a fact-finding decision of HH Judge Wicks. The appeal raised important and interesting legal issues concerning the rehearing of previous findings of fact, the relevance of propensity and ‘hindsight bias’, and the caution to be applied before making exculpatory findings. This case was reported in Local Government Lawyer.

“strongly enhanced by oral argument from Mr. Garrido, who persuasively identified ways in which it might be possible … to uphold the judge’s decision” – HH Judge Wicks

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council v VW & Ors [2022] EWFC 83

Representing a vulnerable mother, where the local authority pursued lengthy allegations including FII, in circumstances where care and placement orders were unopposed and significant threshold concessions had already been made. The Court determined that a five day fact-finding hearing on the unadmitted allegations was not justified, and explored the applicable factors concerning whether or not to conduct a fact-finding exercise.

Somerset County Council v NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group & Ors [2022] EWFC 31

Damian advised and represented the Clinical Commissioning Group for Somerset in protracted High Court litigation relating to breaches of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 (AAR 2005) – specifically a failure by its Agency Decision Maker to adhere to the regulations relating to the provision of medical reports from the Agency Medical Adviser. In this final judgment, it was decided by the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, that although breaches of AAR 2005, reg 15/17 had occurred, an application for a declaration as to the validity of existing placement orders or adoption orders was not required or appropriate, because (a) such orders remained valid unless and until overturned and (b) in most cases where these occurred, there would rarely be a health issue, both significant yet unknown to the ADM and/or the court, that could undermine the orders’ validity.

Somerset County Council v NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group & Anor [2021] EWHC 3004 (Fam)
A Local Authority v W (No 2) (Finding of Fact Hearing) [2020] EWFC 68
AA & 25 Ors (Children) [2019] EWFC 64
Re Y & E (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 206
C (Children - Fact-Finding) [2018] EWCA Civ 801
Re L (Children) (Rev 1) [2017] EWCA Civ 1137, [2017] 4 WLR 141
BCC v FZ & Ors [2012] EWHC 1154, [2013] 1 FLR 974

Damian will provide early neutral evaluations and act as a private FDR judge for parties with children and financial disputes who wish to avoid the court process. He is also a Recorder sitting as a judge in the Family Court and sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division.

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


What the directories say

"Damian Garrido has an amazing ability to distil a case into something really simple and focused." "He is very on the ball and very good at cross-examination." "He's such a calming presence and is someone who very much understands how to approach cases and how to explain complicated legal principles to lay clients." "He is able to distil complicated issues simply and effectively, and he has a beautiful turn of phrase."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

‘Damian is an excellent advocate - unhurried, cerebral and detail-focused. He effortlessly commands a courtroom whilst also having an excellent manner with clients. He is a popular advocate both with clients and the court.’
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2024

"Damian Garrido commands the attention and respect of both his opponents and the court. He's reassuringly knowledgeable, has a keen eye for detail when handling the most complex of cases, and produces advocacy that is smooth, compelling and engaging."
Chambers UK Bar 2023

"He gives clients his full attention, and provides advice in a sensitive, practical and accessible manner."
Chambers UK Bar 2023

‘Damian's knowledge is breathtaking, and he instills such confidence in clients. He is utterly brilliant as an advocate, a master of strategy, and achieves outstanding results.’
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2023

"Damian's advocacy is impeccably prepared, unhurried and delivered with calm authority. He is the perfect foil for agitated opponents and as a result is popular inside and outside of a courtroom. Clients love his good-humoured expertise and experience and he is a go-to for complex children matters."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

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