Edward Bennett

Call: 2013

"Judges adore him because of his advocacy, which is strictly limited to what the court needs to hear."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

Edward’s practice focuses on international disputes concerning children or vulnerable adults.

Edward is one of the editors of the leading practitioner work Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children. He sits on the editorial board of the International Family Law Journal and was its General Editor from 2015 – 2020. He is a member of the Legal Working Group of the leading child abduction charity Reunite and of the Head of International Family Justice’s International Family Law Committee. In 2015, he was named Young Family Law Barrister of the Year at the Jordans (now Lexis Nexis) Family Law Awards.

Edward previously trained as a solicitor in the London and Prague offices of Allen & Overy. On qualification, he spent a year as the Judicial Assistant to the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Lloyd in the Court of Appeal and a further year as Legal Secretary to the Head of International Family Justice for England & Wales, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Thorpe.

Outside the bar, Edward spent two years alongside his legal practice as a Research Assistant at the College of Arms.

To instruct Edward or for more information…

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

Practice Areas

Edward has significant experience in cases of international children cases at first instance and appellate level.

Notable International Family Law cases

K v E [2023] EWHC 2890 (Fam)

Application by father for summary return of child to Germany. Edward acted for the successful Respondent mother. Defences of consent and harm made out and application dismissed.

Z (A Child) (1980 Hague Convention), Re [2023] EWHC 2696 (Fam)

Application by mother for summary return of child to the Czech Republic. Return ordered, notwithstanding child’s objections.

D (A Child), Re (Abduction: Child's Objections: Representation of Child Party) [2023] EWCA Civ 1047

Appeal by child against return order, raising issue as to role of a “solicitor-guardian” in 1980 Convention proceedings.

TMS v AVS [2023] EWHC 1620 (Fam)

Edward, instructed by Dawson Cornwell, appeared on behalf of the successful Applicant mother in this application brought under the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention by mother for summary return of children aged 12 and 6 to Russia. Return ordered, despite older child’s objections. Reported in Care Appointments.

N & A (1996 Hague Convention: Article 13) [2023] EWCA Civ 623

Represented successful Appellant father. Appeal from order relating to return of children to this country, whilst corresponding measures had been requested from the authorities of Ukraine.

Re B (children) (abduction: consent: oral evidence) (Article 13(b)) [2022] EWCA Civ 1171

International child abduction/oral evidence in child abduction proceedings

S (A Child : Costs), Re [2022] EWHC 2604 (Fam)

Application for costs by mother, represented by Edward, in children proceedings. Costs order made, in light of unreasonable litigation conduct by father.

Re S (A Child) [2022] EWHC 1720 (Fam)

International child abduction/1996 Hague Child Protection Convention

Re S (A Child) (1980 Hague Convention Stranding) [2022] 2 FLR 792

International child abduction/transnational spousal abandonment

CC v ME [2021] EWHC 3506 (Fam)

International child abduction/calculation time period to engage the 1980 Hague Convention settlement ‘defence’

WX v YZ and Another [2021] 1 FLR 118

International child abduction

Re BS (A Child) (Child Abduction) [2021] EWHC 2643 (Fam)

International child abduction

Z v D (Art 13 Refusal of Return Order) [2021] 1 FLR 210

International child abduction.

Re S [2020] EWHC 2940 (Fam)

International child abduction/recognition and enforcement.

Re PT (Abduction: Coronavirus: Grave Risk of Harm) [2020] EWHC 834 (Fam); [2020] Fam Law 822

Child abduction during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Re S (Abduction: Dismissal of Application) [2019] 1 FLR 354

International child abduction.

AH v AMH (Summary Return of Child to Sudan) [2018] EWHC 2981 (Fam)

Child abduction/first reported occasion a child returned to Sudan.

Re GP (A Child) (Abduction: Consideration of Evidence) [2018] 4 WLR 16

International child abduction.

Re H (A Child) (International Abduction: Asylum & Welfare) [2017] 2 FLR 527

International child abduction.

Re D (Children) (Child Abduction: Practice) [2016] 4 WLR 62

International child abduction.

Edward has wide-ranging experience of all private law children matters including, serious medical treatment, international child custody, relocation, forced marriage and stranded spouse cases, and international commercial surrogacy.

Notable Private Law Children cases

KN & Anor v RN & Ors [2023] EWHC 712 (Fam)

Recognition of foreign adoption at common law/human rights.

Re (A Child : Findings of Fact) [2022] EWCA Civ 1652 (15 December 2022)

Appeal by mother in private law proceedings from findings of fact arising from allegations of domestic abuse, including transnational marriage abandonment.

Re S (A Child) (Jurisdiction) [2022] EWHC 1720 (Fam)

Parallel proceedings in England & Wales and Antigua and Barbuda

CS v FB [2020] COPLR 76
V v M (Child Arrangements Order: International Relocation) [2020] 2 FLR 387
Re HK (Serious Medical Treatment) (No 3) [2018] 1 FLR 125

Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. Whether there should be police presence at the bedside when withdrawal of treatment is carried out.

MS v PS C - 283/16

Court of Justice of the European Union – international child maintenance.

P v P [Case No 1 of 2016]

International relocation – the first international children’s case ever before the courts of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Re C & D (Children) (Parental Order) [2016] 2 FLR 446

International commercial surrogacy.

AA v TT (Recognition & Enforcement) [2015] 2 FLR 1 - 1980

European Custody Convention.

Edward has significant experience representing all parties in public law cases, in particular in relation to child protection cases with an international element, and those where questions of serious medical treatment arise.

Notable Public Law Children cases

Re X (Care Proceedings: Jurisdiction and Fact Finding) [2021] 2 FLR 449
Re T (A Child) (Association of Lawyers for Children and others intervening) [2021] UKSC 35; [2021] 3 WLR 643

Supreme Court appeal about the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise secure accommodation for vulnerable children.

Edward has significant experience in representing all parties, including Sovereign States, in Court of Protection cases and cases concerning vulnerable adults.

Notable Court of Protection cases

D (A Child: deprivation of liberty) [2015] COPLR 209

16/17-year-olds and deprivations of liberty.

Edwards accepts instructions in ecclesiastical law.

Having spent two years at the College of Arms, Edward is one of the few juniors of the bar to have experience of contested peerage and baronetage disputes

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


What the directories say

"Edward Bennett is a very fine advocate with unrivalled knowledge of even the most niche areas of children and family law. His presentation is subtle and skilful." "He provides very clear, efficient, eloquent position statements to the court."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

‘Edward is an excellent advocate. The way he puts his client's case always sounds eminently reasonable, as though it must be the correct outcome, successfully persuading judges and magistrates alike to decide in his client's favour. His written submissions are also second to none.’
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2024

'the epitome of polite effectiveness'
Legal 500 UK Bar 2023

“Ed Bennett is a calm performer who is very responsive and accessible.”
Chambers UK Bar 2023

“Has good knowledge of the law and shows great empathy when working with emotional parent clients.”
Chambers UK Bar 2023

"His case preparation is meticulous and he gets to grips with information quickly. He is calm and collected, which is needed when doing international abduction work. Edward handles his clients with the utmost support and care. He is kind, polite, hard working, and really knows his stuff”
Chambers UK Bar 2022

Related News

Edward Bennett in K v E [2023] EWHC 2890 (Fam)

Edward Bennett, instructed by Freemans Solicitors, represented the respondent mother in K v E [2023] EWHC 2890 (Fam) and successfully resisted the father’s application for the child’s summary return to Germany.…

Jason Green, Rob George, Edward Bennett, Natasha Miller and Fazeela Ishmael in D (A Child), Re (Abduction: Child’s Objections: Representation of Child Party) [2023] EWCA Civ 1047 

Edward Bennett and Natasha Miller, led by James Turner KC, instructed by International Family Law Group LLP, represented the Appellant child D. Jason Green, Rob George and Fazeela Ishmael, instructed…

We are delighted to announce that Harcourt Chambers and several of our members have been selected as finalists in a number of categories for the forthcoming LexisNexis Family Law Awards

Harcourt Chambers and five of our members have been shortlisted in the following seven categories: 

Family Law Chambers of the Year – London

Children Law Team of the Year



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