1 Garden Court

Practice Overview

Marlene has a specialist and unique practice encompassing all areas of children law. She was awarded the Young Barrister of the Year Award at the Jordan’s Family Law Awards 2014, consistently appears in law-making cases and is listed in Chambers and Partners 2019 as an ‘up and coming’ barrister, “regarded as a rising star by sources”. Marlene has a particular focus on children’s rights and on the nexus between children law and public law, with experience of high-profile, large scale public inquiries. Marlene acts in all levels of court and has appeared in both the High Court and Court of Appeal with and without a leader.

  • Children (private law)

    Marlene frequently acts for parents in section 8 Children Act 1989 applications, including those which feature non-compliance and enforcement, require a rule 16.4 guardian, involving permission to remove children from England and Wales, and where special guardianship orders are sought. Marlene has experience in international cases where child abduction, jurisdiction, and surrogacy arise (including in the application of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008)

    Marlene also regularly acts for parents involved in Hague Convention applications, representing applicants and defenders in the High Court. She also acts and advises in cases involved international movement of children for reasons to do with change of residence and surrogacy.

    Notable cases in private children law and international family law in which Marlene has acted include:

    Re K (Forced Marriage:  Passport Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 190

    AK, Re Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 [2017] EWHC 1154: 
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2017/1154.html

    Re S (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 44:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/44.html

    K & H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/543.html

    J (A Child) (Finland)(Habitual Residence) [2017] EWCA Civ 80:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/80.html

    K & H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/543.html

    A v B [2015] EWHC 1562:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2015/1562.html

     

  • Children (public law)

    Marlene has a busy practice in Children Act 1989 Part IV and V applications. She is experienced in matters that are complicated by serious allegations of abuse, neglect, fictitious or induced injury, and child sexual abuse and exploitation. She regularly represents parties involved in adoption applications and challenges. Marlene accepts instructions from local authorities, parents and children. She acts in complex multi-day trials where extensive findings were sought, including of induced illness and child sexual abuse. 

    Notable cases in public children law in which Marlene has acted include:

    Re X (A Child) (No 3) [2016] EWHC 2755 (Fam):
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2016/2755.html

    L and B (Children : care proceedings) [2015] EWFC 66:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/66.html

    In the Matter of D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/2.html

    In the matter of D (A Child) [2014] EWFC 39:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2014/39.html

  • Public Law and Inquiries

    Marlene’s practice has a focus on questions of public policy in family law. She has acted pro-bono in test cases involving issues of legal aid, human rights and the lawfulness of actions taken by public bodies.
     
    Marlene is presently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. She is acting for and advising the Inquiry in relation to its investigations into abuse of children in the care of local authorities.

    Marlene is also instructed as Junior Counsel to the Infected Blood Inquiry, acting and advising in particular on the adequacy of financial provision made by successive governments to individuals affected by the infected blood scandal, frequently referred to as the largest disaster in the history of the NHS.

  • Domestic violence & injunctions

    Marlene often represents clients who are seeking or responding to applications for injunctions linked to domestic violence or occupation of the family home. 

  • Notable Cases

    X (A Child) (No 4) [2018] EWHC 1815 (Fam) 

    https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2018/1815.html

    A Local Authority v X and Y (Adoption) [2018] EWFC 55 (26 June 2018) 

    https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2018/55.html

    AK, Re Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 [2017] EWHC 1154 (Fam)

    https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2017/1154.html

    J (A Child) (Finland)(Habitual Residence) [2017] EWCA Civ 80:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/80.html

    Re S (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 44:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/44.html

    Re X (A Child) (No 3) [2016] EWHC 2755 (Fam):
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2016/2755.html

    L and B (Children : care proceedings) [2015] EWFC 66:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/66.html

    A v B [2015] EWHC 1562:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2015/1562.html

    Kaur v Randhawa [2015] EWHC 1592:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2015/1592.html

    K & H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/543.html

    In the Matter of D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/2.html

    Arif v Anwar [2015] EWHC 124 (Fam):
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2015/124.html

    In the matter of D (A Child) [2014] EWFC 39:
    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2014/39.html