With over 40 years of experience in all areas of family law,
John now specialises in public and private law cases that involve children. He
acts for parents, children and for local authorities. Although based in London
and on the Western Circuit, his practice takes him to a wide range of court
centres throughout England and Wales.

He has a particular depth of experience in cases that
involve complex medical evidence or serious or unusual injuries to children;
the overriding of consents to treatment, withdrawal of treatment and

He is often requested to represent parties where there are
sensitive and difficult ethnic or cultural dimensions, cults, religious groups
and cases where the parents have learning or other emotional or mental health
difficulties (acting for the OS on occasions).

He has maintained a strong interest in finding imaginative
approaches to contact issues where there have been problems with domestic
violence, sexual abuse, drugs or mental health.

He has valued experience in cases with international
dimensions, abduction and adoption.

He regards issues of personal autonomy and human rights for
children and parents, especially in the medical and litigation arenas, as an
important part of his work.

Lay and professional clients appreciate his considerate and
sensitive approach that combines with an ability to argue and present
arguments, on their behalf, robustly and effectively.

Past peer review (Leaders at the Bar) in Chambers
& Partners has described him as "totally unflappable; he really
puts in the hours”, "king of the care courts….and is particularly lauded
for his abilities in cases where children have been seriously injured” and
in the 2015 edition as "absolutely amazing on complex cases”. 

Notable cases:


Re G and W (report in preparation) Declarations of breaches of
human rights of parents by a local authority; unlawful removal and
withholding of evidence; naming of social workers against whom findings
had been made; funding of an intermediary.

LA v M and F
X&Y – Re X&Y Disclosure of Judgment to Police 2014 EWHC
278. Disclosure of a father’s confession during care
proceedings to Police.

re X&Y&Z
Minors 2014 EWHC 87 COP - A deputy for a Mother had
that had sustained brain injury authorised to make payments to a nanny to
care for the children living nearby.

(A Child) 2014 EWCC B67 - Complex medical evidence on
brain injuries to a child; alleged perpetrator with severe ADHD and the
use of an intermediary.

Wiltshire CC V
N, J & A 2013 EWHC 3502 CA - The special measures
required in care proceedings for an adult with learning difficulties.

re L
& M 2013 EWHC 1569 - Medical
issues in an enquiry within care proceedings to multiple fractures to the
skull of a 6 month old baby.

2012 EWCA
Civ 105 Re M a child - Adult with learning
difficulties, use of intermediary.

Re G 2FLR 944 (Adoption) - Ordinary residence of a child.

Re L,V,M,H 2 FLR 3444 (Contact/Domestic Violence)

White v White [1998] 2FLR 310 - Landmark case: Acting for
the Wife in her in her appeal for equality and non-discrimination in
ancillary relief.

Re A 1FLR 697 (Protection from Offenders regulations)

2 FLR 1124 Re X (adult sterilisation)

Re M 2 WLR 314 (Care Order Jurisdiction) Jurisdiction over a
Scottish HR child in England.

Re A 1FLR 599 (care: Discharge by a child)

Re G 2FLR 301 (care: Leave to place outside the Jurisdiction)

Hooper v Sherman Ct Appeal LTL 13/3/2001 and 1994 NPC 153 - Fax
exchanges as a basis for the validity of an exchange of contracts.

Re M 1FLR 822 (Sexual abuse: Evidence) - The Oxford coven
case – allegations of satanic ritual abuse.

More information


Trinity College, Cambridge


Family Law Bar Association

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