Children: Public Law


Harcourt Chambers’ outstanding reputation within the field of children law is well-established and continues to grow. We are frequently instructed across the country in the most complex and serious public law cases, most particularly in London, the South East, the Midlands and the West. These cases often involve allegations of severe physical and sexual abuse, factitious illness, child fatalities and chronic neglect.


Harcourt Chambers has many specialists in public law, including both leading and junior counsel recognised as amongst the most pre-eminent in this field. All of our Silks and many of our juniors have a high level of technical knowledge of child and infant head injuries, as well as fractures, burns and other serious injuries. Members of Chambers and are highly experienced in cases involving extensive and complex medical evidence and contested expert opinion, as well as public law cases with a significant international element.


Our barristers act for local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, members of the extended family, foster-carers and prospective adopters at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. Our public law team is extremely adept at dealing skilfully and sympathetically with children and vulnerable adults, as well as in working with professional colleagues at local authorities and with children’s guardians.


Members of Harcourt Chambers and our Clerks take pride in matching the most appropriate barrister to every case, very often at short notice in relation to Emergency Protection Orders and other urgent hearings.


Complementing  our expertise in care proceedings, Members of Harcourt Chambers are frequently instructed in the following areas:

  • all aspects of adoption
  • FGM prevention orders
  • forced marriage prevention orders
  • child trafficking
  • claims for damages in relation to public law matters


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


H (A Minor) v Northamptonshire County Council and the Legal Aid Agency) [2017] EWHC 282 (Fam) – successful claim for human rights damages on behalf of a child who had not been protected from abuse.


HK (Serious Medical Treatment) (No 3) [2017] EWHC 2991 (Fam) – dispute over medical treatment for a critically ill baby, with criminal law elements


Re D (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 196, Re D (A Child) [2017] EWHC 3075 (Fam) – appeal followed by a re-hearing of a 10-day fact-finding hearing in relation to allegations against the father






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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