Edward Devereux KC

Call: 2001 / Silk: 2017

"Edward exudes confidence and you believe everything he says. He has the ability to represent his client in a way that's very measured; he's not aggressive, but rather, calm and reassuring."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

Edward was called to the Bar in 2001 and was appointed a KC in 2017.  He was the youngest specialist family barrister to be appointed a KC in the last twenty years.  He is widely regarded to be one of the leading barristers of his generation.

He has been described as –

a titan” (Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession (2020))

one of the most impressive advocates at the family bar” (The Legal 500 (2021))

one of the heavyweights of family law, a phenomenal advocate…terrifying to the other side when he cross-examines” (Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession (2020))

a walking encyclopaedia on international children law” (Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession (2022))

A master of strategy, incredibly intelligent, and his advocacy is simply superb.  No one can touch him” (The Legal 500 2022))

Intellectually creative, always alive to appeal points and an excellent advocate” (Spear’s 500, 2022)

Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law” (The Legal 500 2020)

He has a compelling style of advocacy, which is delivered with sheer eloquence” (The Legal 500 2018)

 

Edward acted for Rocco Ritchie in disputes between his mother Madonna and his father Guy Ritchie (see Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie [2016] 4 WLR 60 and Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie (No 2) [2016] 1 WLR 3545), for the parents of Archie Battersbee in their efforts seeking to resist the application of a NHS Trust to withdraw life sustaining treatment from their son, Archie (see Barts Health NHS Trust v Dance and others, Court of Appeal, 6 July 2022, 25 July 2022 and 1 August 2022), and for the family of AH, who was said to be “the most complex Covid patient in the world”, who were also seeking to resist an application to withdraw life sustaining treatment from AH (see In re AH [2022] 1 WLR 2437).

Edward has a wide-ranging practice in family law.  Many of the cases in which Edward has argued (whether at trial or appellate level) have significantly changed the law in the UK or around the world.

Amongst many other significant cases, Edward represented one of the parties in the landmark alternative dispute resolution case of AI v MT (Alternative Dispute Resolution) [2013] 2 FLR 371; represented the applicant before the Court of Appeal in a case that concerned one of the largest ever reported monetary awards in the UK involving an unmarried couple (see In re A (A Child) (Financial Provision: Wealthy Parent) [2015] 3 WLR 48); led the legal team for the father before the UK Supreme Court in the recent case of G v G (Secretary of State for the Home Department and others intervening) [2021] 2 FLR 536; was the principal author of an Amicus Brief for Reunite Child Abduction Centre in the matter of Monasky v Taglieri (No. 18-935) before the United States Supreme Court; and has acted for the UK government in a number of domestic and international cases (see, for example, Regina (GA and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] 1 WLR 5966, H v R and another (No 2) (Attorney General for England and Wales intervening) [2021] 3 WLR 1175, Hampshire County Council v CE and another (Child and Family Agency and another intervening) [2019] 1 WLR 2019 (before the Court of Justice of the European Union).

Over the course of his career, he has appeared before, or presented submissions to, a large number of different national and international courts including the UK Supreme Court (on eleven occasions), the House of Lords, the Court of Justice of the European Union (on a number of occasions acting for the UK government), the European Court of Human Rights and the United States Supreme Court.  He has appeared in over 80 cases reported in the Family Law Reports.

Edward was an author and editor of the foremost book on the conflict of laws, Dicey, Morris and Collins, The Conflict of Laws (to which he contributed to the supplement to the fifteenth edition). He also, with His Honour Judge Hess and His Honour Judge Dancey, authored the Standard Family Orders Handbook, vol. 2, Children and Other Orders (2018) and wrote the chapter on child abduction for Child Case Management Practice (editors Lord Justice Ryder and Ian Goldrein KC).

In 2015, Edward won Junior Family Barrister of the Year at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards. In 2014, he was shortlisted for International Family Lawyer of the Year at the Family Law Awards.  Edward was one of the barristers profiled in Family Law Advocacy How Barristers Help the Victims of Family Failure, Mavis Maclean and John Eekelaar (2009, Hart Publishing). Edward has given many lectures on family law over the last twenty years to a wide range of different audiences.

A full list of his reported cases can be found here.

To instruct Edward or for more information…

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

Practice Areas

For many years, Edward has been regarded as one of the leading barristers in the country practising in international family law.  The Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession has described him as “a leading expert in the international movement of children” and has said of him that “he has been involved in landmark cases that have shaped the country’s laws…his extensive knowledge of EU law is impeccable.  He has a great strategic mind…”      

Edward has appeared in many of the most important international family law cases in the UK in recent years.

He principally practises in the following areas:

  • The international movement of children (with a particular focus on cases engaging the 1980 Hague Convention and/or the 1996 Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention cases)
  • International disputes relating to children or divorce jurisdiction
  • Proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction
  • Proceeding involving European Regulations
  • Complex private law Children Act 1989 proceedings involving an international dimension such as temporary or permanent relocation or disputed jurisdiction
  • Care and adoption proceedings involving an international dimension

 

Notable International Law cases


J v E (Habitual Residence) [2024] EWHC 196 (Fam)

Successfully secured the return of a young child from Zambia, over 18 months after she was retained there by her mother.


A (A Child) (Habitual Residence : 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention) (Rev1) [2023] EWCA Civ 659

Successfully appealed a decision of the High Court concerning the jurisdiction of the courts in relation to a child wrongfully retained in Zambia. The case provides important clarification about habitual residence and the need to avoid over-simplification of the test, while also making clear for the purposes of the Family Law Act 1986 that it is the substance of the orders sought, not the form of the application, that matters. The case has been remitted for re-hearing on the issue of habitual residence at the date of the application.


Timokhin v Timokhina [2023] EWHC 58 (Fam)

Successfully resisted application to appeal.

Application by father for permission to appeal against stay of Schedule 1 CA application, pending conclusion of litigation between the parties in Russia.


Re A and B (Children) (Summary Return: Non-Convention State) [2022] EWCA Civ 1664

Successfully represented the father who sought his children’s summary return to Dubai.


Monasky v Taglieri (No. 18-935), (2020), (United States Supreme Court)
Hampshire County Council v C.E. & Another [2019] 1 WLR 2019, C-325/18 PPU and C-375/18 PPU (Court of Justice of the European Union)
Re W (A Child) (Return Order: Power to Set Aside) [2018] 4 WLR 149 (Court of Appeal)
OL v PQ, C-111/17 PPU, June 2017 (Court of Justice of the European Union)
Re C-W (A Child) (Contact Overseas: Risk of Non-return) [2017] 4 WLR 51 (Court of Appeal)
Re J (A Child) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre & Others Intervening) [2016] AC 1291 (United Kingdom Supreme Court)
Re D (A Child) (Supreme Court: Jurisdiction) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre and another intervening) [2016] AC 1117 (United Kingdom Supreme Court)
Ciccone v Ritchie (No 1) and (No 2) [2016] 1 WLR 3545 and [2016] 4 WLR 60 (High Court)
E v B (Case C-436/13) [2015] Fam 162, (Court of Justice of the European Union)
Re LC (Children) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre Intervening) [2014] 1 AC 1401 (Supreme Court)
Re K (A Child) (Reunite International Child Abduction Centre Intervening) [2014] 1 AC 1401 (Supreme Court)
AI v MT (Alternative Dispute Resolution) [2013] 2 FLR 371 (High Court)
Re A (Family Proceedings: Electronic Tagging) [2009] 1 FLR 891 (High Court)

Edward represents all parties (including parents, grandparents, and the children themselves) in disputes relating to children. Such disputes include matters relating to whom a child should live, how much time a child should spend with a parent and under what conditions they should spend such time, and whether a child should travel abroad either permanently or on a temporary basis.  Often the cases with which Edward deals have complex facts and/or medical evidence, physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse, or allegations that one party has alienated the child from, or is negatively influencing the child against, the other party.  Edward has a particular specialism in representing, or questioning, children in court (see, for example, the leading case on Judges meeting with children: In Re KP (Abduction: Rights of Custody) [2014] 1 WLR 4326 (Court of Appeal)).

Notable Private Law Children cases


Ben Jonas Alcott v Katy Elizabeth Ashworth & Anor [2022] EWHC 3687 (Fam)

Represented the first respondent mother, Katy Ashworth, a children’s television presenter, at a finding of fact hearing before Arbuthnot J. The Court found the vast majority of the 46 allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour by the father against the mother and others proved. The Court published the judgment as it was in the public interest to have this substantial fact finding judgment in the public domain and it did so in a largely unanonymised form to assist the mother to put the record straight as the long running dispute between the parties was the subject of distorted coverage online.


Re G & Another (Children) (Jurisdiction: Presence in England and Wales) [2018] 3 WLR 1679

Jurisdiction in a children’s case.


S v S (Relocation) [2018] 1 FLR 825 (High Court)

Permanent relocation.


Re C-W (A Child) (Contact Overseas: Risk of Non-return) [2017] 4 WLR 51 (Court of Appeal)

Temporary relocation.


Re D (A Child) (Supreme Court: Jurisdiction) [2016] AC 1117 (Supreme Court)

Recognition of a foreign order.


Re W (Jurisdiction: Mirror Order) [2014] 1 FLR 1530 (Court of Appeal)

Recognition of a foreign order.


Re KP [2014] 1 WLR 4326

Guidance for Judges meeting with children.


C v S [2011] 2 FLR 19

Divorce jurisdiction.

For many years, Edward has undertaken heavy-weight public law cases involving serious injuries to children, and/or disputed medical evidence, and/or complex facts. He acts for local authorities, parents, grandparents, family members accused of serious allegations and children. In 2019, he acted in a lengthy trial lasting about three months which concerned allegations involving endemic sexual abuse within a family and a community in the North East of England.  Often he is brought in to argue cases on appeal – whether before the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court – involving difficult issues of law.

Notable Public Law Children cases


Re Q (A Child) [2019] 2 WLR 1161 (High Court)

How long can a care order last for.


Re L (Children: Care Proceedings: Judge's Reasons) [2017] 4 WLR 141 (Court of Appeal)

Was the permanent removal a child from a mother justified.


Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) (Aire Centre & Others Intervening) [2016] 2 WLR 1103 (Supreme Court)

Adoption and transfer of proceedings abroad.


A v A (Abduction Children: Interim Care Order) [2014] 2 FLR 265 (High Court)

Interim care order.


Islington London Borough Council v E [2011] 1 FLR 1681 (High Court)

Should a care order or another order be made to facilitate the placement of a child abroad.

Edward acts in a range of different matters before the Court of Protection including matters concerning the assessment of capacity, the deprivation of liberty, and the international abduction of vulnerable adults.

Notable Court of Protection and Medical Treatment cases


Dance & Anor v Barts Health NHS Trust & Anor [2022] EWCA Civ 1055 (25 July 2022)
Barts Health NHS Trust v Dance & Ors (Re Archie Battersbee) [2022] EWCA Civ 935 (06 July 2022)

 

What the directories say

"Edward pays good attention to detail and his advocacy is very smooth. He is very good with the client."
Chambers UK Bar 2024

'Edward is one of the most skilled and persuasive advocates in international family law matters'
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2023

"A walking encyclopedia on international children law."
Chambers UK Bar 2022

"A master of strategy, incredibly intelligent, and his advocacy is simply superb. No one can touch him."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

"One of the most impressive advocates at the family bar, commanding respect from judges and opponents alike. A fearless cross-examiner with a penchant for seeing cases in a way that few others do, which more often than not find favour with judges." “One of the of the heavyweights of family law. He is a phenomenal advocate and terrifying to the other side when he cross examines. He absolutely demolishes experts and can turn cases on their head. Edward is incredibly talented.”
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

“a titan”
Chambers UK Bar 2020

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