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 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 or replication of safeguarding provisions outside the jurisdiction.
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
We are delighted to announce that Michael Liebrecht, Julien Foster and Matthew Fletcher have been appointed as Recorders with effect...