Julia Cheetham KC

Call: 1990 / Silk: 2015

"Julia takes an extremely thorough approach and has an incredible eye for detail, leaving no stone unturned. She is very calm and patient and deals with the client in a calm and friendly way, which puts them at ease."
Chambers UK Bar

Julia’s practice involves complex proceedings relating to children including care proceedings, adoption, wardship and judicial review. Julia was appointed as a Recorder in 2008 (Public Law Family, Private Law Family and Civil). Julia is head of the family team at Deans Court Chambers and Deputy Head of Chambers.

Julia regularly gives seminars to professionals working within the field and has been involved in expert witness training. She sits as a Recorder in Public and Private Law Family and Civil cases and is authorised to sit as a High Court Judge pursuant to Section 9 (1). Julia was recently approved as an advocacy trainer for the FLBA vulnerable witness training programme.

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

To instruct Julia or for more information…

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

Practice Areas

Julia regularly appears in cases which involve complex medical evidence relating to the death or serious injury of children including sexual abuse and abnormal illness behaviour. She appears in the High Court in cases involving serious medical treatment issues and complex packages of care (including the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment) and in the Court of Protection.

Cases where one parent has killed the other are a particular area of expertise for Julia. She regularly represents children, parents and local authorities in such cases, many of which have involved high profile criminal proceedings and/or serious case reviews. She has represented the children in cases involving alleged removal of children from the jurisdiction to Syria.

In 2018 and 2019 Julia represented respondents in two of the largest cases of alleged sexual abuse which have been heard in the Family Court.

Julia has an interest in disability issues and Human Rights, in particular those relating to deaf and learning-disabled parents. She has significant experience in cases involving transgender children and represented the father in the ground breaking case of Lancashire County Council v TP [2019] EWFC 30.

Notable Public Law Children cases

A Local Authority v X & Ors (Need for Finding of Fact Hearing) [2023] EWFC 121

Care proceedings concerning 11 year old boy. Judgment considering whether fact finding hearing required to determine cause of death of the boy’s niece.

Derbyshire County Council v Shannon Marsden & Ors [2023] EWHC 1892 (Fam)

Application by three media organisations for release of documents relating to care proceedings concerning two children, one of whom was killed by his parents.

BR & Ors, Re (Transparency Order: Finding of Fact Hearing) [2023] EWFC 9
Re G (Child Post-Mortem Report: Delays) [2022] EWFC 55

Judgment by the President of the Family Division to highlight the unsatisfactory delays in the provision of post-mortem reports in suspected child homicide cases, and to describe possible alternative ways for the Family Court to proceed.

AA & 25 Ors (Children) [2019] EWFC 64

Largest public law family case that has been litigated.

Re P (Sexual Abuse - Finding of Fact Hearing) [2019] EWFC 27
Re M (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 607

The Court of Appeal refused the mother (“M”) permission to appeal an earlier decision to refuse to admit expert evidence obtained by M without the court’s permission and without notice to the other parties. M’s actions were a clear breach of s.13 Children and Families Act 2014.

X (A Child) and Y (A Child) [2016] EWHC 2271 (Fam)

Two cases as to whether an English court can making secure accommodation orders, under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 or the Court’s inherent jurisdiction, for a child to be placed in a unit in Scotland, and whether the orders would be enforced in Scotland.

Y (Children) (No 3) [2016] EWHC 503 (Fam)

Mother accused of attempting to take her children to Syria.

Re X & Y (Children) (No2) [2015] EWHC 2358

Case involving the security measures to be put in place following the interim hearing in X (Children) below.

XBC v X & Others [2015] EWFC B7

Case involving secure accommodation and good practice for the provision of mental health services to vulnerable young people.

X (Children) & Y (Children) (Emergency Protection Orders) [2015] EWHC 2265

Case involving the provisions to be made for children where it is alleged there is a flight risk to Syria.

Cumbria County Council v Q (Injuries to an infant with bone disorder) [2015] EWFC

Case involving injuries to a young child with vitamin D deficiency and a metabolic bone disorder.

Blackpool v A (A Child) [2015] EWFC 9

Case involving the killing of a two year old by the mother’s boyfriend.

Julia accepts instructions in all aspects of private law children work.

Julia has significant experience of work in St Helena and is on the roll of advocates of the Supreme Court of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan de Cunha. She has undertaken work in the UK for the Falkland Islands and St Helena Governments. She has a particular interest in jurisdictional issues affecting the overseas territories and in 2018 presented a paper at FCO to the British Overseas Territories Steering Group on family law. Julia has also represented local authorities in high profile cases involving jurisdiction issues with Scotland.


What the directories say

"She never fails to impress me with her knowledge and expertise, her calming manner and her proactive, hands-on approach in difficult circumstances."
Chambers UK Bar 2020

"Dogged in her pursuance of her client's case."
Legal 500 UK Bar 2020

"Julia's client care skills are second to none. In court she is always courteous, well prepared and able to present her case clearly and effectively."
Chambers UK Bar 2019

"Very experienced in cases of serious injuries and sexual abuse involving children."
Legal 500 UK Bar 2018

"Her practice includes wardship, care and adoption matters."
Legal 500 UK Bar 2017

"Highly experienced in complex children law proceedings."
Legal 500 UK Bar 2016


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