Margaret Styles MCIArb

Call: 2000

Margaret was called to the bar in 2000 after a civil service career in Whitehall and in recruitment consultancy for the public sector.

She accepts instructions in all aspects of children law and resolution of property issues on relationship breakdown including TOLATA applications and inheritance claims under the 1975 Act. She also appears in the Court of Protection.

Her background and experience have enabled her to assist in cases where clients are finding it hard to focus on central issues, or where distress or inability to cope with proceedings is causing especial difficulty.

Margaret trained early in her career as a mediator, and later as a collaborative lawyer. She qualified soon after the launch of the IFLA scheme as a family finance arbitrator. She uses the skills she has developed in her ADR practice to enable clients to consider all their options and to weigh up carefully how they want to proceed whether through litigation or out of court processes. She welcomes being brought in early in cases to assist and advise and to enable continuity of representation.

She regularly lectures on both children and financial issues for a wide range of audiences and is happy to contribute to larger events.

To instruct Margaret or for more information…

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

Practice Areas

Margaret has extensive experience of representing local authorities, parents, and children’s guardians in a range of public law proceedings.

Notable Public Law Children cases


Re EK 2020 EWFC 25

Remote hearing – use of intermediary.


Fact finding for large family where children attended the hearing 2019
Fact finding in case involving multi-generational abuse and modern slavery 2019
Re N [2015] EWFC 40

Interim removal of a child in an unusual dispute over religious upbringing.

Margaret advises and represents clients in all aspects of private law proceedings, and has particular interest in cases where there are highly contested issues of fact to resolve and/or where concerns over potential alienation of children arise.

Notable Private Law Children cases


Alienation case where parent able to make changes to effect restoration of relationship with child after removal.


Numerous cases for direct access clients to achieve cost effective and child focussed resolution in intractable disputes.


Frequent representation of Guardian in Rule 16.4 cases.

Margaret undertakes advice and representation in all areas of family centred financial disputes including where family business or settlement issues are involved. She also advises and appears in TOLATA disputes.

Notable Alternative Dispute Resolution cases


Arbitration in case involving assets in UK and abroad

Definition of ‘need’


Mediation in inheritance case leading to settlement

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

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