Chambers UK Bar 2020 London  Family: Children


This is a summary of chambers' rankings in Chambers UK Bar 2020.



Family: Children

Band 3

A respected family set which remains a popular choice for high-profile children matters. Individuals here have practices that encompass the full range of public and private law cases, and handle matters with both domestic and cross-border issues. Chambers has great strength in serious adoption and abuse cases, and its members are noted for assisting parents, children and local authorities with grave matters, many of which involve medical evidence. Harcourt Chambers also houses practitioners with experience in matrimonial finance cases, a number of which concern high-value assets.


Client service: The clerks are "friendly and offer an excellent service." They are "helpful and always able to assist." Matthew Molloy is the senior practice manager.



Nick Goodwin QC

Band 2



A barrister with a caseload that includes public law children cases, in which he appears on behalf of parents, guardians and the local authority. His practice covers international leave to remove and serial sexual abuse matters, and he has experience with cases involving unusual religious aspects. Goodwin sits regularly as a Deputy High Court Judge.

Strengths: "An incredibly diligent barrister; when you have him as an opponent you know the judges will respect him. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge and is enormously experienced." "Nick is bright but wears his intelligence lightly. He's practical and is able to get complex arguments over to the judge in a straightforward manner."


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.

Strengths: "Funny, relaxed and preternaturally confident, he is a fearless advocate who is hyper-articulate. He has a broad experience of all work involving children and is dedicated to achieving justice in the most difficult and complex public law cases." "John has a good knowledge of the medical science that underpins the law in his area and is an effective cross-examiner."


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 appeared in the most complex cases in the Court of Appeal and the ECJ. Devereux has particular expertise in child abduction matters which attract significant media attention.

Strengths: "Has a first-class intellect which he applies in the appellate court." "He's one of the titans when it comes to cross-border children work."

Recent work: Represented the UK in the Court of Justice of the European Union in C.E. and N.E. and others. The case considered a number of complex issues of interpretation within Brussels II Revised, the European wide Regulation which deals with matrimonial and children jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement.


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. His public law practice sees him handling matters related to child death and serious abuse.

Strengths: "An incredibly experienced barrister, who always commands the attention of those around him." "He is resourceful and utterly determined."


Mehvish Chaudhry

Band 2

Junior family barrister renowned for her expertise in international child movement, who regularly appears in the High Court. She possesses a wealth of knowledge of child abduction and leave to remove cases with jurisdictional complications.

Strengths: "On top of all the current case law, she sets out her case in an incredibly persuasive and focused way." "Incredibly hard-working and someone with great forensic ability."


Edward Bennett

Band 4

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.

Strengths: "Experienced and steady as an advocate, he is tactically impressive and tenacious but he also cares for his clients." "He is incredibly knowledgeable and good at identifying incredibly esoteric points which few would pick up on."


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 him to the High Court.

Strengths: "Able to combine a brilliant academic approach with really hands-on advice for clients." "He's good with clients, and very bright and enthusiastic."


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