Practice Overview

Patrick is a specialist in the law as it relates to children, with the primary focus on public law children. He has a busy practice and regularly represents local authorities, parents and children, whether separately represented or through their guardian. He has appeared in the High Court both with and without a leader.

  • Children (Public Law)

    Patrick has particular expertise in public law cases, involving care proceedings under the Children Act 1989 and adoption proceedings under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. He is regularly instructed to represent local authorities, parents, children, and interveners in care proceedings, from the first hearing to contested interim hearings, fact-finding hearings and final hearings. 

    He has experience of cases involving:

    • Death of a child or parent;
    • Serious non-accidental injury to children (including multiple fractures and intracranial injuries);
    • Fabricated or induced illness (FII);
    • Sexual abuse;
    • Forced marriage;
    • Terrorism and wardship; 
    • Chronic neglect;
    • Domestic abuse;
    • Deprivation of liberty and the inherent jurisdiction; 
    • International child abduction;
    • Cross-jurisdictional placement; and
    • Contested applications for placement and adoption orders.


    Patrick has been led by Queen’s Counsel and senior junior counsel in complex and lengthy care cases. He also undertakes such cases as a single junior and has appeared against leading counsel.

    Notable cases include:

    Derby City Council v BA & Ors [2021] EWHC 2931 (Fam)

    G, Re [2020] EWFC 94 (22 December 2020)

  • Children (Private Law)

    Patrick has experience of private law matters, including child arrangements, prohibited steps and specific issue orders, and applications under the inherent jurisdiction. 

    He acts in cases where there is often a complicating feature such as fact-finding, joinder of a child as a party to proceedings or an international issue. 

    Patrick has represented parents, wider family members, children and rule 16.4 Guardians.

    His cases have involved: internal and external relocation applications; psychiatric and psychological expert evidence; children giving evidence; summary return applications from Hague and non-Hague convention countries; fact-findings involving physical, sexual and emotional abuse, coercive & controlling behaviour; applications for wardship; applications under the inherent jurisdiction; transfer of residence; name-change cases; shared-care cases; special guardianship orders; family assistance orders; intractable contact & alienation cases and applications for Tipstaff Orders.

    Notable cases include:

    J (A Child : 1980 Hague Convention proceedings) [2021] EWHC 1213 (Fam) (10 May 2021)

  • Notable Cases