Martha Gray

Call: 2012

'Martha is a calm yet persuasive advocate. She is exceptional on her feet and has command of the courtroom. She is excellent for care proceedings. Her written work is exemplary, as is her client care.'
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2024

Martha specialises in proceedings concerning children. She is instructed in complex private and public law proceedings, many of which have an international dimension. Martha frequently appears in the High Court, as well as recent appearances in the Court of Appeal. She has been shortlisted for 2024’s International Family Lawyer of the Year.

Alongside this, Martha specialises in cases concerning the health and welfare of vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection. She is a recognised practitioner in the field, having just been appointed as a contributor to the “bible” on Court of Protection law (the Court of Protection Practice).

To instruct Martha or for more information…

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

Practice Areas

Martha has extensive experience of complex public children work including cases of non-accidental injury and human rights claims. She has particular skill in cases involving incapacitated or learning disabled parents.

Notable Public Law Children cases


Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v NM & Ors [2024] EWFC 48

Care proceedings. Hearing to determine whether there should be a fact finding with respect to allegations made by the mother against the former allocated social worker.


N (Refusal of Placement Order) [2023] EWCA Civ 364

Represented First Respondent Mother in appeal by local authority against refusal of application for a placement order in respect of a child, who is aged rising three. Appeal dismissed.


Prospective Adopters v a County Council [2021] EWHC 91 (Fam)

A case concerning the extent of any legal obligation under the Vienna Convention to notify foreign consular authorities of an application for an adoption order in relinquished babies cases with a view to identifying the birth father and/or wider family.


OCC v C [2020] EWFC B47

Care proceedings involving parents and children with learning disabilities.


OCC v L [2018] EWFC B13

Care proceedings in a case of long-running and chronic neglect.


A Local Authority v CD & Ors [2016] EWHC 1769 (Fam)

Complex fact finding in a case involving the death of a young child.


Re Z (Application for Release of DNA Profiles) [2014] EWHC 1999 (Fam)

A high profile case in which the father had murdered the mother and disclosure of DNA profiles taken from the crime scene was sought in order to establish the children’s paternity.

Martha has extensive experience within the private law field including cases involving relocation, surrogacy and assisted reproduction and mental health issues.

A large part of Martha’s practice involves cases with an international element. She is currently instructed in a high profile case concerning two missing children which has attracted national media attention. She is regularly instructed in international abduction, forced marriage and stranded spouse cases in the High Court. Martha also has experience of international public law cases involving such issues as radicalisation, sex trafficking, international adoption and the placement of children abroad.

Notable International Family Law cases


Re A (Article 13b, Ukraine) [2023] EWHC 3524 (Fam)

Hague 1980 case concerning the wrongful removal of a child from Ukraine in which Martha was successful in achieving the return of the child to Ukraine.


WB v VM [2024] EWHC 302 (Fam)

Application for a return order under the inherent jurisdiction in respect of a two year old who had been been removed to Jordan.


NG v CJ [2024] EWHC 338 (Fam)
Successful application by mother for return of child to Pakistan, the child having been brought to England by his father in July 2023.

Z and X, Re (Children: Article 13(b): Return to Kyiv) [2023] EWHC 602 (Fam)

Application by F for permission to withdraw application for summary return of 2 children to Ukraine, M and children having fled following Russian invasion.

An article on this case appeared in The Law Society Gazette.


Y (A Child) [2023] EWHC 583 (Fam)

Mother’s application for a stay of an order for the summary return of child to Romania, pending determination of an appeal in Romanian court.


Y (A Child) (Abduction: Romania: Art. 13(b)) [2023] EWHC 1676 (Fam)

Application by F for return of child to Romania. Return ordered, unless M obtained permission from the Romanian court to remain in the UK, by 24 February.


Prospective Adopters v A County Council [2021] EWHC 91 (Fam)

A case concerning the extent of any legal obligation under the Vienna Convention to notify foreign consular authorities of an application for an adoption order in relinquished babies cases with a view to identifying the birth father and/or wider family.


Re J (Care Proceedings: Placement in Bangladesh) [2020] EWHC 490 (Fam)

Complex international care proceedings concerning the appropriate legal framework for the placement of a child with family members in Bangladesh.


Re R 2020 EWHC 2586 (Fam)

Public law proceedings in which the court was invited to make findings of international child trafficking.


Re R [2020] EWHC 73 (Fam)

Highly unusual factfinding in a child abduction case involving children declared missing, which led to the making of summary return orders under the court’s inherent jurisdiction and publicity orders.

Much of Martha’s work is at the interface between family and Court of Protection jurisdictions including applications under the inherent jurisdiction, medical treatment cases and cross-border issues. Her Court of Protection practice is focussed exclusively on health and welfare disputes concerning vulnerable and incapacitated adults. She has experience of a wide range of cases involving disputes regarding residence, care, contact, deprivation of liberty and serious medical treatment including end of life care. Martha regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and writes widely in the field, editing and contributing to the Court of Protection Law Reports and other publications. First editing and contributing to the Court of Protection Law Reports and more recently being appointed as contributor to the Court of Protection Practice (the “bible” of Court of Protection law).

Notable Court of Protection and Medical Treatment cases


Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AH [2021] EWCOP 64

Application by Trust seeking a declaration that it is no longer in AH’s best interests to receive ventilatory support and treatment. A previous judgment in this case had been set aside by the Court of Appeal for procedural reasons.

 

What the directories say

'Martha has a fantastic manner with difficult clients and is tenacious in court on their behalf.'
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2024

'Martha is meticulous in preparation of a case, always prepared with research to support her argument. Her advocacy skills are impressive, and she thinks quickly on her feet. She is emphatic and can build a rapport with clients from all backgrounds.’
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2023

"Organised, thorough and very personable: always a pleasure to work with."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

Related News

Martha Gray in Re A (Article 13b, Ukraine) [2023] EWHC 3524 (Fam)

Martha Gray, instructed by Russell Cooke Solicitors, represented the applicant father in Re A (Article 13b, Ukraine) a child abduction case concerning the wrongful removal of a child from Ukraine…

Nick Goodwin KC and Martha Gray in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v NM & Ors [2024] EWFC 48

Nick Goodwin KC was instructed by the Applicant Local Authority and Martha Gray was instructed by Dawson Cornwell in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v NM & Ors [2024] EWFC…

Martha Gray in NG v CJ [2024] EWHC 338 (Fam)

Martha Gray was instructed by Dawson Cornwell solicitors for the Applicant in NG v CJ [2024] EWHC 338 (Fam); a successful application for the summary return of a child to…

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