Practice Profile


Julia Shillingford studied law (jurisprudence) at Oxford.


Julia is a family law specialist. She lives and is based in Oxford and has strong links with London where she was raised and educated.


Julia is a native French speaker, and has basic Russian.




Julia is a family law specialist accepting instructions in all areas of private law family work, including matrimonial finance, dissolution of civil partnerships, cohabitee disputes, applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, and all aspects of the Child Arrangements Programme.


In all cases Julia is focused on giving practical and realistic advice to parties and achieving settlement wherever possible. When matters cannot be resolved by negotiation and consent, Julia is a fearless and tenacious advocate. She has a forensic approach to documents and her preparation is thorough and conscientious.


Financial Relief

Julia has a particular interest in financial relief both upon divorce and dissolution of civil partnership. In matrimonial finance cases she has extensive experience in acting for parties from First Appointment, through Financial Dispute Resolution and up to Final Hearing when necessary. Julia also represents parties in applications for maintenance pending suit and variations of maintenance.


Julia is experienced in acting in cases involving high net worth individuals and complex assets including business assets, shareholdings and investments, multiple real properties, development property, overseas assets and family trusts. She regularly acts in cases where income is comprised of bonuses and dividends, and where assets are asserted to be non-matrimonial, whether premarital, inherited or otherwise.


She also acts in difficult cases where assets are exceedingly limited, or where conduct is an issue including allegations of the utmost seriousness. She will consider representing parties pro bono in appropriate cases.


Julia has been instructed by the Official Solicitor in cases where parties are considered not to have capacity.



Julia has extensive experience in all areas of Children Act law, now governed by the Child Arrangements Programme, including disputes about:


  • With whom a child lives;
  • Contact with a parent or grandparent;
  • Specific issues and prohibited steps &
  • Special guardianship.


Julia deals with fact finding hearings in cases where allegations are raised either of domestic abuse or of significant harm to a child including physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect.


Julia has a particular interest in both internal and external relocation cases and where leave is sought to move a child from the jurisdiction. Julia has successfully represented parties both seeking to relocate and opposing relocation of a child.


Family Law Act

Julia regularly represents parties in Family Law Act proceedings where parties allege domestic abuse and/or are seeking to exclude another from the family home. Her extensive experience in acting for victims and alleged perpetrators has enabled her to understand the patterns and behaviours involved and to establish a rapport with parties.


Reported Cases

Birch v Birch [2015] EWCA Civ 833

Julia acted for the Respondent husband in this case, concerning variation of a provision contained in a matrimonial finance order, at first instance and successfully resisted two subsequent appeals. Permission has recently been granted for a further appeal, this time to the Supreme Court. The case considers and refines the circumstances in which a term contained in a final order may be varied or set aside. In this case the court is concerned with an undertaking given by the wife to sell the matrimonial home, in default of achieving the release of the husband from the mortgage. The argument centres in whether considerations of welfare can ever properly outweigh certainty and finality in financial orders. The case is due to be heard in the Supreme Court early next year. For the full judgment please see:


Re B (a child) 2015 EWCA Civ 974

Julia appeared at first instance and subsequently prepared the skeleton and grounds for permission to appeal, which were duly granted. She also prepared the appeal for the Court of Appeal.




Jules Thorn Scholar and Harmsworth Exhibitioner, Middle Temple



Family Law Bar Association  

Honourable Society of the Middle Temple



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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