Chambers UK Bar 2019 London  Family: Children


This is a summary of chambers' rankings in Chambers UK Bar 2018.




Family: Children

Band 3

Harcourt Chambers draws acclaim for its strength across the spectrum of children law proceedings, and has a strong bench of barristers who are experienced in public and private law issues of the utmost severity. An area of particular strength for the chambers is Hague Convention cases involving international relocation and abduction. It also houses members who act in financial remedy proceedings, including those with pensions and Inheritance Act aspects to them.


Client service 
One source notes: "I can pick up the phone and have an answer to my question within 30 seconds. If not, they'll call me back in five minutes. They treat you like a colleague, rather than a paying customer." Simon Boutwood serves as chambers director.



Francis Judd QC

Band 2



Highly experienced silk focusing on children matters, whose practice has an emphasis on complex public law cases involving non-accidental injury, sex abuse, forced marriage and child trafficking. Commentators further note her expertise in international abduction, relocation and surrogacy matters. She appears in courtrooms across London, the South East and beyond.


"She commands enormous respect from judges, and has an attractive and easy style of advocacy. When she stands her ground, everyone listens."


John Vater QC

Band 2


A public law specialist known for his expertise in medical cases containing extensive expert evidence. Vater is particularly proficient in cases involving non-accidental injury to young children. He is commended for his technical knowledge and skill at cross-examination.


"A ferocious advocate who absolutely fights his client's corner. One of his great skills is his forensic cross-examination of expert evidence."


Nick Goodwin QC

Band 3

A relatively new addition to silk who maintains a broad family law and Court of Protection practice. His caseload includes financial remedy matters as well as public law children issues, in which he appears both on behalf of parents and guardians and the local authority. He sits regularly as a Deputy High Court Judge.


"He has a brain the size of a planet, and is very clear thinking. His cross-examination is excellent."


Edward Devereux QC

Band 2

A new appointment to silk who is considered to be a leading expert in the international movement of children, particularly through abduction. He has been involved in landmark cases that have shaped the country's laws and appears in the most complex cases in the Supreme Court, the ECJ and the US Supreme Court. He has particular expertise in child abduction matters, alongside a strong domestic practice involving serious issues of abuse and complex medical evidence.


"His intellect is impressive, and his documents are fantastic. Ed makes the most complicated issues of law seem simple and accessible, and is extremely good with clients, whether you're a millionaire or Joe Public."


Recent work: Appeared before the ECJ in a case considering the proper interpretation of 'habitual residence.' The case concerned a Greek mother who resided in Italy, but travelled to Greece in the late stages of her pregnancy, before deciding to remain in Greece after her child was born. The father, resident in Italy, applied for the summary return of their daughter.


Jonathan Sampson

Band 4

Called to the Bar in 1997, he has extensive family law experience under his belt. Sampson handles a wide range of cases including both public and private law children matters and financial disputes. His public law practice sees him handling matters related to child death and complex medical issues.


"He's excellent, and his advocacy is very intelligent, perceptive and subtle."


Mehvish Chauhdry

Band 2

Junior family barrister renowned for her expertise in international child movement, who regularly appears in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She possesses a wealth of knowledge of child abduction, forced marriage and care cases in South Asia.


"Mehvish is incredibly good at cross-examination. She's never flustered, and her polished performance and the way she'll respond to a curve ball is impressive."

"She's completely fearless and has a wonderful demeanour with clients."


Edward Bennett

Up & Coming

He is already amassing a reputation well beyond his call for international children issues. His practice has already taken him to the High Court and Court of Appeal. Sources are quick to highlight his impressive intellect and calm approach.


"Ed is down to earth, calm and has phenomenal intellectual ability without being stuffy or pretentious." "He's quiet but deadly."


Rob George

Band 4

Legal academic and barrister who is recognised for his particular expertise in international family law issues, such as child abduction and relocation, as well as jurisdiction disputes. His work in children's cases has taken George to both the Court of Appeal and the High Court.


"Although he's only a few years' call, you can throw him to the lions with a very senior opponent and he'll hold his own. He's ferociously bright, and judges appreciate his intellect, which he has in spades."


2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559


0207 353 6961


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