Andrew’s practice covers all areas of family law (and some areas of traditional chancery), with a particular emphasis on matrimonial finance, cohabitation and cases involving the international movement of children. He is praised by clients for his attention to detail, his ability to analyse complex issues from multiple angles and his rigorous analysis of the legal issues.
Andrew has experience of appellate advocacy, having appeared on several occasions before the Court of Appeal both with and without a leader. Prior to tenancy, Andrew spent six months as a Judicial Assistant in the Court of Appeal, where he developed a detailed knowledge of the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.
Family Finance & Property
Andrew acts in a wide range of financial remedy proceedings, including Schedule 1 Children Act and Part III MFPA proceedings. He has experience of cases involving allegations of non-disclosure of assets, insolvency, misconduct by company directors, misappropriation of funds held on trust, and enforcement. He also regularly appears in family finance case with an international element. He is skilled at combining a rigorous legal analysis of any contractual, company or insolvency law issues with a pragmatic family law approach. Andrew has acted on behalf of intervenors asserting a beneficial interest in property and on behalf of trustees, and he is frequently instructed to draft statements of case in proceedings with intervenors.
Andrew is regularly instructed in cases proceeding under TOLATA, whether as between cohabitees or between members of the broader family. Andrew is regularly instructed all stages from pre-action advice, settling letters before action, drafting statements of case and witness statements, and advocacy through to trial. Prior to specialising in Family law, Andrew was a tenant at a large civil and family set where he developed significant experience of the strategy and practice of civil litigation.
Andrew has a detailed knowledge of the regulations governing statutory child maintenance. He regularly advises on and appears in appeals before the First Tier and Upper Tribunals in challenges to decisions by the child maintenance service. He has a particular interest in cases where diversion of income is in issue and where the tribunal has to evaluate unusual income and capital resources as additional income (particularly where a maximum assessment is sought).
International Family Law
A significant number of Andrew’s cases have an international element. He is regularly instructed in applications for summary return under the 1980 Hague Convention, applications in wardship, and applications for recognition and enforcement under Brussels II revised and the 1996 Hague Convention. Andrew has appeared in several international relocation cases.
Andrew also has experience of forum disputes upon petition for divorce and applications for recognition of a foreign divorce. He has appeared in applications for financial remedies after a foreign divorce (under Part III of the Matrimonial & Family Proceedings Act 1984).
In April 2015, Andrew was the Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Black (as she then was). During his time in the Court of Appeal Andrew worked on a number of cases involving questions of international family law and developed a detailed knowledge of the various legal frameworks.
Children (Private Law)
Andrew is instructed in a range of private law disputes about children. He often deals with international issues (see above), cases of alleged parental alienation, and allegations domestic abuse. Andrew is praised for his ability to put nervous parents at ease and for being able handle vulnerable litigants sensitively.
Andrew has appeared in several applications relating to the publication of information by the media. He has a particular interest in this area.
Andrew appeared for one of the parents in one of the very first arbitrations under the IFLA Children Scheme. He is an advocate for greater use of arbitration in children cases and is always happy to discuss whether he thinks a case is suitable for arbitration.
Court of Protection
Andrew accepts instructions in both Health & Welfare and Property & Affairs cases. His health and welfare practice includes challenges to deprivations of liberty.
Andrew has appeared in and advised upon a number of property and affairs cases, primarily concerning challenges to the validity LPAs, applications to remove attorneys, and statutory wills. He has a particular interest in cases involving alleged misconduct by Attorneys and Deputies, both in terms of applications to remove them and claims founded in breach of trust designed to recover misapplied assets.
In 2021, Andrew obtained the STEP diploma on Advising Vulnerable Clients.
Trusts and Probate
In addition to his work acting on behalf of cohabitants under TOLATA (see Family Finance and Property), Andrew also accepts instructions in probate cases and in matters concerning the administration of estates. Andrew has advised and appeared on behalf of both claimants and defendants in proceedings challenging the validity of wills and in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Andrew also has experience in advising the personal representatives of estates in matters concerning the administration of estates, and advising persons contemplating making claims against an estate.
R v G  EWHC 1428: Successfully opposed application for a stay on forum conveniens grounds following wrongful removal of two children to Jordan.
Re D  EWCA Civ 641: Appeared for the Lord Chancellor, as intervenor in an appeal concerning the extent of appeal rights available under the 2007 Hague maintenance Convention.
Channel 4 & Others v M, F and Child  (Not published): Successfully opposed an application by Channel 4 and Louise Tickle to publish information as part of the Dispatches TV programme about a long-running private law children dispute.
SA v FA  EWHC 1731: Appeared on behalf of a mother applying to set aside a consent order in child abduction proceedings on the grounds of duress.
B v A & C (2017, unreported): Successfully acted for co-defendants in a proprietary estoppel claim brought by a member of the defendants’ extended family.
Re Y  EWCA Civ 971: Permission to appeal and successful appeal hearing in care proceedings concerning a mother with learning disabilities.
Re G  EWCA Civ 297: Appeal arising out of Hague Convention 1980 proceedings. Cited in Family Court Practice as authority that a party cannot invite the Court of Appeal to introduce undertakings after an appeal has been withdrawn.
Re X  EWFC B31: Acted for the mother in a Local Authority’s application in the inherent jurisdiction for authorisation of a deprivation of liberty of a child in care. The key issue was the duration of the declaratory and how reviews ought to be conducted.
27 September 2021
Andrew Venables has been appointed as Deputy District Judge
We are delighted to announce that Andrew Venables has been appointed as Deputy District Judge.