Marlene has consistently been recognised as a leader in her field: she was awarded the Young Barrister of the Year Award at the Jordan’s Family Law Awards 2014, is listed in Chambers and Partners 2020 and 2021 as an ‘up and coming’ barrister, 'regarded as a rising star by sources', and frequently appears in law-making cases.
Marlene has a unique dual specialism in children law and in large-scale public and private inquiries. She has particular skill and experience in cases requiring the careful management of serious or sensitive allegations of harm against children. 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 and children in section 8 Children Act 1989 applications, including those which feature serious allegations, 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 significant 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 and children 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:
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 chronic and 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:
Public Law and Inquiries
Marlene is in demand as a junior in large-scale public and private inquiries. She is presently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. 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. Marlene has also accepted instructions in respect of external inquiries commissioned by private organisations, such as the Review of Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse at Chelsea Football Club led by Charles Geekie QC.
Additionally, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Up and Coming
Chambers and Partners
Up and Coming