Call: 1994 / Silk: 2013
"He's an exceptional barrister."
Chambers UK Bar
Karl is a specialist in the law relating to children. He represents parents, children and local authorities in public law proceedings, having appeared at all levels of court. He is a very experienced appellate lawyer, appearing in the Court of Appeal several times each year.
A full list of his reported cases can be found here.
Karl has a particular interest in complex medical cases, including those involving death and serious injury. He has wide experience of defending parents against accusations of such alleged abuse which, ultimately, the court finds not to be proved. In addition, he has been involved in numerous cases of alleged radicalisation.
Karl has appeared in a number of reported cases in this area.
Succeeded for appellant father in a case which gave guidance as to the approach of courts hearing cases during the viral pandemic.
Successfully argued that a person could not retain habitual residence in a country which they had left under a deportation order and to which they could not lawfully return.
Karl led 2 counsel for the lead local authority in the largest public law family case that has been litigated.
Appeared for the appellant in the Court of Appeal and was successful in arguing that the first instance decision should be overturned.
Appeared for father accused of holding radical views; local authority withdrew proceedings part way into hearing.
Appeal in high-profile case representing a mother seeking the admission of fresh evidence not sanctioned by the court.
Appeared for the mother in reopened proceedings where an infant had suffered 26 fractures.
Represented child in finely-balanced adoption/SGO case where different orders had been made in respect of siblings in the same placement.
Rehearing of case following Court of Appeal overturning findings against client. Local authority failed to establish case at retrial of smothering and other alleged injury against him.
Represented child fostered abroad and brought to UK. Carer applied to adopt here; Egypt sought child’s return. Child adopted.
Representing a mother accused of support for ISIS: local authority withdrew its application for care orders as no evidence of radicalisation of children.
Appeared for a mother accused of attempting to take her children to Syria; President of Family Division did not make the finding sought by the local authority and the applications were dismissed.
Acted for the appellants in the Court of Appeal. The Court overturned a finding of fact that a person caused a child’s death and went on to give guidance as to the use of a finding of a lie in family cases.
A fact finding hearing in respect of the death of a baby who had been shaken.
The use of veracity assessments in cases where children have been ABE interviewed.
A fact finding hearing in respect of exceptionally serious step father and inter sibling sexual abuse.
Appearing for a mother accused of attempting to take her children to Syria; the President of the Family Division did not make the central findings sought and the care proceedings were dismissed.
Appeal by mother following a fact-finding hearing to determine allegations against the father. The appeal concerned difficulties including (i) the question as to which effective decision was under appeal and (ii) that there was no order giving effect to the judgment that the mother wished to challenge. Represented mother: appeal succeeded.
Interim return of children to parents who were suspected of attempting to travel to Syria with them.
Bar to permission under s.47(5) not higher where proposed adopters were child’s foster carers, but the court had to weigh not only the effect of ceasing to be a member of his birth family on the child but also the value of a relevant relationship continuing.
In private law proceedings Karl’s practice includes representing high net worth individuals in dispute with former partners as to where a child lives and whom the child should see (including such cases with an international element) as well as their religious upbringing and education.
"Highly regarded on the children side."
Chambers UK Bar 2019
"A talented silk with a keen eye for the details in a case."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019
"A children law specialist who has a wealth of experience advising on private and public cases. His areas of expertise include international adoptions and child death."
"I wouldn’t hesitate instructing him on children matters." "For children, he is just out of this planet. He is so impressive."
Chambers UK Bar 2018
"He has a rigorous intellect."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2017
"He is thorough and has a calm court manner." "He finds unusual arguments and angles to cases and uses them very skilfully."
Chambers UK Bar 2017