Practice Profile

Martha specialises in cases concerning children and vulnerable adults in the Family Court and the Court of Protection, many with an international dimension.  Martha regularly represents family members, public authorities and the Official Solicitor in both courts.  Since January 2020, she has been an editor of the Court of Protection Law Reports. 

 

A large part of Martha’s practice involves cases with an international element.  She is currently instructed in a high profile case concerning two missing children which has attracted national media attention.  She is regularly instructed in international abduction, forced marriage and stranded spouse cases in the High Court.  Martha also has experience of international public law cases involving such issues as radicalisation, sex trafficking, international adoption and the placement of children abroad.  In addition, Martha has extensive experience of complex public children work including cases of non-accidental injury and human rights claims.  She has particular skill in cases involving incapacitated or learning disabled parents.  Martha also has extensive experience within the private law field including cases involving relocation, surrogacy and assisted reproduction and mental health issues.

 

Much of Martha’s work is at the interface between family and Court of Protection work including applications under the inherent jurisdiction, medical treatment cases and cross-border issues.  Her Court of Protection practice is focussed exclusively on health and welfare disputes concerning vulnerable and incapacitated adults.  She has experience of a wide range of cases involving disputes regarding residence, care, contact, deprivation of liberty and serious medical treatment including end of life care.  Martha regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and writes widely in the field, editing and contributing to the Court of Protection Law Reports and other publications.

 

Notable Cases

Re J (Care Proceedings: Placement in Bangladesh) [2020] EWHC 490 (Fam): Complex international care proceedings concerning the appropriate legal framework for the placement of a child with family members in Bangladesh.

 

Re R [2020] EWHC 73 (Fam): Highly unusual factfinding in a child abduction case involving children declared missing, which led to the making of summary return orders under the court’s inherent jurisdiction and publicity orders.

 

A Local Authority v CD & Ors [2016] EWHC 1769 (Fam): Complex factfinding in a case involving the death of a young child.

 

Re Z (Application for Release of DNA Profiles) [2014] EWHC 1999 (Fam): A high profile case in which the father had murdered the mother and disclosure of DNA profiles taken from the crime scene was sought in order to establish the children’s paternity.

 

Publications

Deprivation of Liberty: The Question of Consent (April [2019] Fam Law 402)

When Can Judges Change Their Minds? The Supreme Court’s Judgment in L and B (Children), February 2013, 

http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed112000

 

Education

Martha read history at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Prior to coming to the Bar, Martha interned at the Center for Equal Justice in New Orleans and at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi.  In 2010 and 2011 she was made a Diplock Scholar of Middle Temple.  She won the Rosamund Smith Mooting Competition in 2011 and was a finalist in the City University Mooting Competition in the same year. 

 

Appointments and Memberships

Member of the Ethics Committee of the Bar Council

Member of the Family Law Bar Association

Member of the Court of Protection Bar Association

Full member of the Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association







London

2 Harcourt Buildings
Temple
London
EC4Y 9DB
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961

Oxford

Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
OX1 1BN
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559

Contact

0207 353 6961
clerks@harcourtchambers.co.uk

 

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Legal Ombudsman’s Decision Data

 

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