Call: 2001 / Silk: 2017
“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.”
Chambers UK Bar 2021
Edward was the youngest specialist family barrister to be appointed a QC in the last twenty years and he remains the youngest family law QC in England and Wales. He is widely regarded as one of the leading barristers of his generation.
He has been variously 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)) and “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)).
He has a wide-ranging practice in family law with a particular emphasis on cases with an international dimension. Many of the cases in which Edward has argued (whether at trial or at appellate level) have significantly changed the law in the UK or around the world.
Over the course of his career, he has appeared before, or presented submissions to, a large number of national and international courts, including the UK Supreme Court (on ten occasions between 2019 – 2019), the House of Lords, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and the United States Supreme Court. He has appeared in over 75 cases reported in the Family Law Reports. A full list of his reported cases can be found here.
Edward is an author and editor of the foremost book on the conflict of laws, Dicey, Morris and Collins, The Conflict of Laws (where he writes the chapters on domicile and residence, children, legitimacy, legitimation and adoption, and mental incapacity). He is also an author and editor of Clarke Hall and Morrison on Children (where he writes the chapters on confidentiality, information and disclosure, representation of children and Cafcass, evidence and appeals, judicial review, complaints and other remedies). With His Honour Judge Hess and His Honour Judge Dancey, he authored the Standard Family Orders Handbook, volume 2, Children and Other Orders (2018). He also wrote the chapter on child abduction for Child Case Management Practice (editors, Lord Justice Ryder and Iain Goldrein QC, third edition).
In 2015, Edward won Junior Family Barrister of the Year at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards. In 2014, he was shortlisted (as one of only four) 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 acted for Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s son, Rocco, in Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie  4 WLR 60 and Madonna Ciccone v Guy Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie (No 2)  1 WLR 3545 and, in the Court of Appeal, for the recipient of the largest ever reported monetary award in the UK in a case involving an unmarried couple: In re A (A Child) (Financial Provision: Wealthy Parent)  3 WLR 48.
In 2018, he acted for the mother of a child with global brain damage seeking to resist applications by a Hospital trust to withdraw life support for that child: see, Re HK (Serious Medical Treatment), Nos 1, 2 and 3  1 FLR 1241, 1251 and 1256. In that case, he drafted the guidance which was endorsed by the court as to how the child’s and the family’s rights should best be given respect and dignity in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the child’s life sustaining treatment.
Edward has also appeared as sole counsel for the United Kingdom before the Court of Justice of the European Union in a number of important cases in recent years. In December 2019, he was the principal author of an Amicus Brief for Reunite International Child Abduction Centre in the matter of Monasky v Taglieri (No.18-935) before the United States Supreme Court. He was represented one of the parties in the landmark alternative dispute resolution case of AI v MT (Alternative Dispute Resolution)  2 FLR 371.
A full list of his reported cases can be found here.
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:
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)  1 WLR 4326 (Court of Appeal)).
Jurisdiction in a children’s case.
Recognition of a foreign order.
Recognition of a foreign order.
Guidance for Judges meeting with children.
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.
How long can a care order last for.
Was the permanent removal a child from a mother justified.
Adoption and transfer of proceedings abroad.
Interim care order.
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.
"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."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2021
Chambers UK Bar 2020
"Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2020
"An erudite silk."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019
"A leading expert in the international movement of children…a superb and formidable barrister."
Chambers UK Bar 2018
"He has a compelling style of advocacy, which is delivered with sheer eloquence."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2018