The team of family law barristers at 5 St Andrew's Hill has expertise in all areas of family law with a strong emphasis on practical advice and effective court advocacy. Our barristers understand how sensitive family cases can be.  The team are friendly and approachable and treat all enquiries in complete confidence.

The team of family law barristers at 5 St Andrew's Hill has specialist expertise in all areas of family law with a strong emphasis on practical advice, effective court advocacy and a focus at all times, on the outcome for the client. 

International Family Law

The team have considerable experience in international family law including:

  • Child abduction (involving Hague and non-Hague countries).
  • International surrogacy or adoption.
  •  Applications to remove from the jurisdiction.
  • Jurisdictional disputes involving children, including advising on immigration in this context.
  • Vulnerable or trafficked children.
  • Stranded spouses.

The team are able to make urgent applications including out of hours and recognise that often time is of the essence to protect children through emergency relief.

Forced Marriage and FGM

The family lawyers are able to provide advice and representation to those at risk of female genital mutilation (female cutting) or of being forced to marry another against their wishes. The team are experienced at applying for Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) and Female Genital Mutilation Orders (FGMPO).

An FGM Protection Order can extend to people who are, or may become, involved in female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as those who commit or may attempt to commit a genital mutilation offence against a girl. The orders put in place a series of measures designed to prevent FGM from taking place.

Although forced marriage predominantly affects young females, the team recognise that young men and homosexuals of both genders are being forced into marriage without their consent. The court has the power to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order to protect a person facing forced marriage or who has been forced into marriage. The order can include prohibitions, restrictions or requirements to protect that person from a family member or anyone involved. The court can attach a power of arrest to the order, empowering the police to arrest anyone who they have reasonable suspicion to believe are in breach of the order.

The team regularly advise and provide training for the police and local authorities on how to proceed with the applications for a FMPO or a FGMPO. The team also represent individuals who are the subject of such orders through the appointment of a Guardian.

Members of the team provide representation for breaches of the orders at committal proceedings.

The team understand the need for swift action and will apply for a package of orders alongside the FMPO and FGMPO to prevent an individual from being taken abroad to be married or cut.

5 St Andrew’s Hill regularly runs seminars on how the law is dealing with the issue of forced marriage and FGM.

Family Finance

Family finances is a niche area of law but the specialist barristers at 5 St Andrew’s Hill (recognised by Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and our contemporaries and clients alike) are some of the best family finance practitioners at the Bar.

The team can assist in all areas that concern family finance from the straight forward division of marital assets to the complex dissemination of family owned assets on divorce (including overseas dynastic family trusts, family businesses, third party owned assets and international assets).

What sets the team apart from other family barristers is, firstly, our friendly, warm, client based approach; and secondly, our team consists of barristers who practise in criminal law and are able to assist in cases involving the police or CPS (such as where assets are subject of restraint orders or one party is subject to criminal proceedings).

The team covers the full spectrum of matters relating to the breakdown of a relationship, or married and unmarried couples and those in same sex civil partnerships. We also represent third party interests in the financial proceedings (including the CPS). The team can assist in arbitration, mediation, court proceedings or advice generally.

Other areas include:

  •  Interlocutory applications, freezing orders, maintenance pending suit and applications for legal service cost orders.
  • Schedule 1 Children Act claims.
  • Trust of Land Act claims.
  • Inheritance Act claims.
  • Civil partnership dissolution
  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

The barristers will cater for your individual needs during the difficult, emotional breakdown of your relationship with a keen eye on minimising costs and stress.

Children

It is a sad fact that in the aftermath of the breakdown of a relationship not only can many not agree the division of their assets but also the division of time that each will spend after separation with their children. Arguments between parents, and the extended family members, over children are all too often highly emotionally charged and therefore difficult to deal with for any person without assistance.

The family team includes exceptionally gifted but down to earth barristers who will assist families in their difficult arguments over their children. The law has moved away from ruling on custody and access, to addressing how the child will have contact with it’s parents and extended family. We represent mothers, fathers, step parents, grandparents and extended family alike as well as guardian work for the child in pre-application and court proceedings concerning children. Often we represent the parents in both their financial disputes and their children disputes providing continuity of Counsel.

The focus within the team is on assisting you to obtain a child arrangements agreement (including where needed a Special Guardianship) that suits you and your child at a cost and timescale that suits you both. We have experience of the straight forward cases (involving disputes over the child arrangements, change of name, change of school, holidays abroad etc) to the complex cases (involving issues of sexual abuse, domestic violence, neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, abduction, relocation abroad and cross jurisdictional applications). All applications and all clients are treated equally.

Areas include:

  • Residence and contact.
  •  Adoption and surrogacy and same sex parenting.
  • Law surrounding assisted conception.
  • Urgent cases involving injunctions, wardship and the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
  • Removal from the jurisdiction, change of name/ birth certificate. 
  • Representing police authorities in applications for disclosure.
  • Media applications in respect of privacy and media reporting restrictions.

The team of lawyers are particularly skilled at dealing with cases where there have been allegations of domestic violence.

Court of Protection

The team of family law barristers can advise on and represent in the Court of Protection whether it concerns the protection of children or adults. Areas of expertise include:

  • Decisions relating to the care, property and affairs of those lacking capacity including through dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a stroke. Including the legal issues surrounding placing an individual in a care home.
  • Cases settling the appropriate residence, medical decisions, deprivation of liberty of incapacitated adults and contact matters that arise.
  • Financial Deputyship.
  • Protection of vulnerable adults from family members or others who pose them some risk.
  • The return of vulnerable adults who may have been abducted, including from abroad.
  • The legal issues surrounding disability and consent and decision making.

If you are looking for a lawyer for a family hearing or to advise you on a decision relating to your family, the team at 5 St Andrew’s Hill are able to provide advice and representation either in consultation with a solicitor or directly with a member of the public.