Children: Private Law


Harcourt Chambers’ outstanding reputation within the field of children law is well-established and continues to grow. We have expert private law children counsel at all levels of seniority, together with our excellent team of international family lawyers for cases with an international element. Harcourt Chambers’ private law children work contributes to our being recognised by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a Leading Set in London and the regions.


Harcourt Barristers are frequently instructed in the most sensitive and intractable private law cases involving all forms of parental dispute, parental alienation and child arrangements (contact and residence). In addition to our specialist expertise in child abduction and international and domestic relocation cases, we have many members practising in the following areas:


  • surrogacy cases
  • cases involving allegations of domestic abuse
  • claims for child maintenance under Schedule 1 of the Children Act
  • disputes about schooling
  • contested medical treatment
  • changes of children’s names
  • private law cases which intersect with public law proceedings
  • acting for guardians and children as parties to private law cases.


Barristers at Harcourt Chambers have extensive experience of children cases in the higher courts, and we are frequently to be found in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. We are also well known for providing robust and practical advice, both in writing and in conference.


Here is a selection of some of our most recent private law cases:


Re HK (Serious Medical Treatment) [2017] EWHC 1710 – dispute over medical treatment for a critically ill baby, with criminal law elements


Re Z (A Child) (FGMPO: Prevalence of FGM) [2017] EWHC 3566 (Fam) – FGM protection orders in private law children proceedings


Re GP [2017] EWCA Civ 1677 – international child abduction case featuring issues of criminal law


MS v PS C-283/16 (Court of Justice of the European Union) – case concerning Maintenance Creditors who have an order from an EU Member State and wish to enforce it can apply directly to the English court .


OL v PQ, C-111/17 PPU (Court of Justice of the European Union) – the proper interpretation of the critical concept of ‘habitual residence’ within the terms of the European Regulation, Brussels II Revised click here. for more information.


S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 – high-profile relocation application involving older children


Re L (Relocation: Second Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 2121 – international relocation case in which the Court of Appeal considered approach to be taken towards allegations of domestic abuse, and judges’ case management powers


Re B and C (Change of Name; Parental Responsibility; Evidence) [2017] EWHC 3250 – application for the father’s parental responsibility to be completely restricted and for the children’s names to be changed so as to prevent the father from ever finding them in the future


Re C (Child: Involvement in Jehovah's Witness Religion) [2017] EWFC B29 – extent to which a child should be involved the father’s Jehovah’s Witness faith, and the effect this was having or likely to have upon the child


P v P (Case No. 1 of 2016) – the first ever family case in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) courts, on the issue of relocation




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Tel 0207 353 6961


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38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559


0207 353 6961


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