1 Garden Court

Practice Overview

Alison’s practice covers all legal issues concerning children and welfare decisions for adults in the Court of Protection.  Alison is regularly instructed in complex public and private law cases.  Alison represents local authorities, parents, young people who are competent to instruct their own legal representatives and Children’s Guardians.  Alison is particularly interested in cases concerning alleged non-accidental injury requiring complex expert medical evidence. 

Alison is regularly instructed in Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention abduction cases and has a particular interest in Warship and the use of the Inherent Jurisdiction.

Alison is the representative for family law on the Bar Council Law Reform Committee and regularly takes training courses for barristers and solicitors to qualify to conduct advocacy in cases involving vulnerable witnesses and parties who may be children or adults.

  • Children (public law)

    Alison is a specialist family practitioner with particular expertise in complicated public law matters including those involving serious physical abuse and non-accidental injury, terrorism related matters, shaken baby, vitamin D deficiency and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  Alison’s practice also encompasses cases of sexual abuse and trauma. Alison is very experienced in cross-examining medical experts.

    Alison has a particular interest in vulnerable witnesses and parties, including child witnesses.  She regularly trains other barristers and solicitors in the rules of advocacy for vulnerable witnesses.  Alison is experience in working with intermediaries and with clients with cognitive and literacy challenges. Alison is very experienced in working with intermediaries and with vulnerable parties where the services of an intermediary are not available.  She is particularly interested in making adjustments to the conventional court hearing to enable vulnerable parties to participate in proceedings to the best that they are able.

    Alison is regularly instructed to represent Children’s Guardians and competent children and also by the Official Solicitor to represent individuals who lack litigation capacity.

    Alison has a background practising in criminal law and the Court of Protection and can draw on this experience when acting in cases involving previous or current criminal proceedings or young people or parents who lack litigation capacity.

    Alison is regularly instructed in cases involving Wardship and the invoking of the Inherent Jurisdiction.

  • Children (private law)

    Alison is regularly instructed in complex private law matters on behalf of parents and children through 16.4 Guardians.  She has particular experience in parental alienation cases and is able to draw on her extensive experience in public law proceedings and lengthy contested hearings.

    Alison has an interest in cases of parental alienation and where false allegations of domestic abuse or abuse of children have been made.

  • Court of Protection

    Alison is regularly instructed on Court of Protection matters concerning adults who lack the capacity to make decisions as to their own welfare.  Her public law experience is relevant to this area of work and she has a particular interest in cases involving brain injury in adults and complex learning disability in young adults moving from local authority care and adults with learning disabilities.

  • International family law

    Alison is experienced in Hague Convention matters and non- Hague Convention matters representing both Applicants and Defendants.  Alison was recently instructed in a Hague Convention case on behalf of a Respondent where a full costs order was made against the Applicant when the application for summary return was dismissed.

  • Modern families & surrogacy

    Alison is instructed in surrogacy cases and is currently involved through the Bar Council Law Review Committee in the Law Commissions ongoing review of surrogacy law.

  • Reported Cases

    Re A v B (Hague Convention – costs) – awaiting citation.

    Re Q [2015] EWFC 36

    Surrey County Council v S [2014] EWCA Civ 601

    Re LRP (A child) (Care Proceedings – Placement Order) [2013] EWHC 3974 (Fam)

    CtL, CmL, TLP, ARP,MM and JB (Children)(Fact Finding: Protection from Sexual Harm) [2013] EWHC 2133 (Fam)

    A v A Local Authority [2009] EWCA Civ 1057

    A Local Authority v A mother & Ors [2009] EWHC 1574 (Fam)

    C(A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 72

    Lambeth v S,C,V & J [2005] 2FLR 1171