1 Garden Court

Practice Overview

Tom’s practice encompasses all areas of family law, with a particular focus on the law relating to children and vulnerable adults.

Tom often appears in complex cases and has been instructed at all levels of court, including the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He was shortlisted for the Bar Pro Bono Award in 2016 and as Young Family Law Barrister of the Year in 2017.

  • Children (public law)

    Tom acts in care and other public law proceedings, representing parents, children, relatives, local authorities and the Official Solicitor.

    Tom is regularly instructed in complex cases, including those involving non-accidental injury, child death, sexual abuse, international adoption and placement abroad. Tom has appeared in the High Court in a number of matters involving alleged radicalisation, both for parents and local authorities. Tom has particular experience representing young people in applications for secure accommodation and deprivation of liberty orders, both through a Guardian and directly.

    Tom is also regularly instructed in adoption proceedings, including those involving an international element, applications to oppose, applications to revoke adoption orders and applications for recognition of foreign adoptions. He has appeared in both the Family Court and High Court on behalf of birth parents, adoptive parents and children.

    Notable cases in which Tom has appeared include:

    Re RP (A Child) (Foster Carers Appeal) [2019] EWCA Civ 525

    Re TG (A Child: Future Care Arrangements) [2017] EWFC 85

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case O) [2016] EWHC 2273 (Fam)

  • Children (private law)

    Tom acts for parents and other relatives across all private law matters concerning children. He has a wealth of experience in child arrangements disputes, including those involving complex issues such as implacable hostility and allegations of serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Many of Tom’s cases have an international element, including international child abduction, permanent leave to remove and temporary leave to remove to non-Hague countries.

    Tom also has considerable experience in private law disputes concerning donor-conceived children and those from atypical family structures.

    Notable cases in which Tom has appeared include:

    Re K (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 931

    F v M & Others (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants intervening) [2017] EWHC 949 (Fam)

    Re H (A Child: Surrogacy Breakdown) [2017] EWCA Civ 1798

  • Judicial review & administrative law

    Tom has experience advising local authorities and parents in relation to judicial review claims relating to children. He appeared in the first successful judicial review of a decision of a local Registrar not to register the birth of children born by IVF, in a case where there had been administrative errors on the part of the fertility clinic.

    Notable cases in which Tom has appeared include:

    Poole Borough Council v GN (through his Litigation Friend ‘the Official Solicitor) & Anor [2019] UKSC 25

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) [2017] EWHC 50 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) (No.2) [2017] EWHC 783 (Fam)

  • International family law

    Tom’s work frequently involves consideration of international issues. He has appeared in such cases at all levels of court, up to and including the Court of Appeal without a leader. He frequently acts for parents in matters involving international child abduction, international adoption, permanent leave to remove and temporary leave to remove to non-Hague countries.

    Tom also has experience of cases involving the cross-over between family law and immigration law. He appeared in the High Court in one of the first cases concerning the power of the court to order a child’s return to a country from which they have been granted asylum.

    Notable cases in which Tom has been involved include:

    Re K (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 931

    F v M & Others [2017] EWHC 949 (Fam)

  • Domestic violence & injunctions

    Tom regularly appears in matters involving allegations of domestic violence, both where children are involved and where injunctions are sought. He has experience representing those seeking, or responding to, non-molestation and occupation orders, forced marriage protection orders, and injunctions under the inherent jurisdiction.

  • Modern families & surrogacy

    Tom regularly acts in complex cases involving donor-conceived children and children born through surrogacy arrangements. He has appeared in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a number of such cases, including applications for parental orders, declarations of parentage, and private law disputes arising out of surrogacy arrangements.

    Tom has also appeared in a number of cases arising from administrative errors on the part of fertility clinics. He appeared in Cases K, L and O before the President, and has successfully represented parents in a judicial review claim arising from the incorrect registration of a child’s birth in such circumstances.

    Tom has appeared include:

    Re ST (A Child) (Surrogacy: Iran) [2018] EWHC 3439.

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case O) [2016] EWHC 2273 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case L) [2016] EWHC 2266 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) [2017] EWHC 50 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) (No.2) [2017] EWHC 783 (Fam)

    Re H (A Child: Surrogacy Breakdown) [2017] EWCA Civ 1798

     

  • Cases

     

    Poole Borough Council v GN (through his Litigation Friend ‘the Official Solicitor) & Anor [2019] UKSC 25A v A [2015] EWHC 3397 (Fam)

    Re K (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 931

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case O) [2016] EWHC 2273 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case L) [2016] EWHC 2266 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) [2017] EWHC 50 (Fam)

    In the Matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case K) (No.2) [2017] EWHC 783 (Fam)

    F v M & Others (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants intervening) [2017] EWHC 949 (Fam)

    Re H (A Child: Surrogacy Breakdown) [2017] EWCA Civ 1798

    Re TG (A Child: Future Care Arrangements) [2017] EWFC 85

    AB v CD [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam)

    Re ST (A Child) (Surrogacy: Iran) [2018] EWHC 3439.

    Poole Borough Council v GN (through his Litigation Friend ‘the Official Solicitor) & Anor [2019] UKSC 25