Gemma is a specialist Children practitioner and her work spans the whole spectrum of public and private law proceedings, including those featuring an international element and modern family structures.
She acts in equal measure for local authorities, parents, children, extended family members and the Official Solicitor. She is frequently instructed in complex cases up to Court of Appeal level. She has a particular interest in cases involving ‘heavy’ medical evidence.
Gemma also has a strong Court of Protection practice, often dealing with cases where there is interplay between those proceedings and care proceedings.
Gemma is ranked in Chambers and Partners, which states, 'She’s just quite simply excellent. She is able beyond her years and already has experience in a lot of big matters'.
Gemma also sits as a Recorder in both private and public law cases.
Children (Public Law)
Gemma has a flourishing care and adoption practice. She has a particular interest in matters involving complex medical evidence. Recent cases have involved FII, radicalisation, non-accidental injuries (brain injuries, multiple fractures, burns and bruises) intergenerational sexual abuse, criminal charges of murder and human rights claims.
Gemma, led by Charles Geekie QC, successfully appealed on behalf of the local authority in the Court of Appeal case of Re W (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1140. The judgment sets out important guidance on witnesses being able to challenge findings made against them, if made in breach of their Article 8 rights. The case has attracted considerable media interest.
Gemma has recently been appointed by the Attorney General as a Special Advocate. This involves her representing a party’s interests in closed hearings, from which that party has been excluded, and typically in cases involving serious allegations of radicalisation.
Children (Private Law)
In private law proceedings, Gemma is instructed on behalf of parents, children and extended family members in the full range of applications. These include difficult cases of implacable hostility, shared care arrangements, internal and external relocation, special guardianship and fact-finding hearings regarding domestic violence, sexual abuse and children giving evidence. She is well placed to act in cases where there is the potential for care proceedings to be initiated.
Gemma also has a keen interest in cases involving alternative families and surrogacy.
International Family Law
Gemma has expertise in cases involving an international element, both in the public and private law arenas. These include Child Abduction, Forced Marriage, Radicalisation and International Relocation.
She successfully represented the child, led by Deirdre Fottrell QC, in a case before the President of the Family Division in Re N (A Child)  EWHC 3085 (Fam) regarding recognition of foreign adoptions.
Domestic Violence & Injunctions
Gemma undertakes all applications under the Family Law Act 1996. This includes forced marriage cases involving both children and adults lacking capacity.
Court of Protection
Gemma accepts instructions on Health and Welfare Court of Protection work. She has acted pro-bono for a mother in the High Court in a welfare application regarding where P should live following allegations of sexual abuse by her against a family member.
Modern Families & Surrogacy
Gemma has a keen interest in cases involving alternative families, including surrogacy and assisted reproduction, donor conception, adoption and parental rights and fertility treatment law.
What the Directories Say
"Incredibly calm, well respected, clear and unflappable. She has a steely grip and really knows the case inside out." "A strategist who can dissect a case and set in train a massively impressive evidence-gathering process. Her legal analysis is excellent." Chambers and Partners, 2021
“Good on her feet and knows exactly how to put things to the judge.” Chambers and Partners, 2020
“She’s a strong and tenacious advocate who works well both in court and with clients.” Chambers and Partners, 2020
"She's incredibly thorough, a fantastic advocate and a good strategist.' 'She's very intelligent, and can really get to the nub of an issue very quickly." Chambers and Partners, 2019
Re W (Children); Application by SW  EWFC 61
An application by a social worker, against whom unfair findings had been made, for disclosure of documents from care proceedings to her legal team for the purpose of QBD proceedings.
Re J (A Child)  EWCA Civ 398
An important decision in the Court of Appeal regarding the procedure to be adopted at an IRH. Led by Andrew Bagchi QC for the Local Authority.
Re N (A Child)  EWHC 3085 (Fam) A significant judgment from the President regarding recognition of foreign adoptions. Led by Deirdre Fottrell QC.
Re W (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1140 The Court of Appeal sets out important guidance on witnesses being able to challenge findings made against them, if made in breach of their Article 8 rights. Led by Charles Geekie QC.
Re W (Fact-Finding)  EWHC 4347 (Fam)
Royal Borough of Greenwich v JB & Ors  EWHC B18
26 January 2022
We are delighted to announce that Alev Giz, Claire Heppenstall, Louise MacLynn and Gemma Kelly have been appointed as Recorders with effect from 26th January 2022.
22 October 2021
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2022 – Top Ranked Set in Family: Children
1GC Family Law is pleased to announce that we are again ranked as a leading set in Family: Children Public and Private Law in the 2022 edition of Chambers & Partners.
26 October 2020
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2021 – Top Ranked Set in Family: Children
1GC Family Law is pleased to announce that we are again ranked as a leading set in Family: Children Public and Private Law in the 2021 edition of Chambers & Partners.
11 October 2019
Chambers UK 2020
1GC Family Law is proud to announce that we are again ranked as a leading set in the 2020 edition of Chambers UK across three practice areas. Our skills in Family: Children, Family: Matrimonial Finance and Court of Protection: Health and Welfare are recognised, with many individual silks and juniors listed.
Chambers and Partners
Band 3 - 2022
Chambers and Partners
Band 3 - 2021
Chambers and Partners
Band 4 - 2020