Michael specialises in cases concerning children, principally in public law but also in private law cases. His areas of expertise include care, adoption, fostering, residence, contact, Special Guardianship and applications for leave to relocate to live outside England and Wales. He represents children, Children’s Guardians, parents or Local Authorities in public law cases and children or parents in private law cases, at all court levels.
Children (public law)
Michael consistently handles cases involving allegations of chronic neglect, very serious injury, sexual abuse, violence, psychiatric or psychological disorder or substance misuse – both at fact finding hearings and as part of main or final hearings over a number of court hearing days.
He has experience of the many additional issues that can arise within and overlap with both public (and private law) cases: immigration; mental health and mental health legislation; the Mental Capacity Act 2005; fostering services; abduction; restraints on publicity and other injunctions; judicial review; considerations and requirements for placement of children abroad; human rights implications; local authority processes and police investigative processes.
Children (private law)
Michael has appeared in many private law cases, acting on behalf of parents, children or other parties or relatives – principally now for children when a Children’s Guardian is appointed in those proceedings. These have included cases of chronic parental disputes, allegations of serious abuse of parent or child, parental alienation, permission to relocate outside the jurisdiction, abductions and other aspects of parental rights and responsibility.
Judicial review & administrative law
Michael deals with matters of judicial review, principally in instances linked to ongoing public or private law children cases but also more widely.
International family law
Michael regularly acts in cases involving international elements and issues of jurisdiction, whether as a result of the subject child being a foreign national, consideration of placement of a child abroad, abduction to or from this jurisdiction or replication of safeguarding provisions outside the jurisdiction.
Re X (A Child)(Reporting Restrictions: Guidance)  EWHC 1668 (Fam)
Re T (A Child)(Suspension of Contact)(Section 91(14) CA 1989)  EWCA Civ 719
Re Hancock  EWHC 2324 (Fam)
LCC v KP & Ors  EWFC B129 (03 October 2014)
N & V (Inflicted injuries: Rehabilitation)  EWFC B157 (12 June 2014)
SCC v H & Ors (Supervision Orders)  EWFC B51 (23 May 2014)
Re W (Children)(Abuse: Oral Evidence)  UKSC 12  1 FLR 1485
R (J and P) v West Sussex CC and Wiltshire CC  EWHC 1143 (Admin)  2 FLR 1192
Re N (Contested Care Application)  2 FLR 992
Re T (Termination of Contact: Discharge of Order)  1 WLR 393  1 FLR 517 CA