Dr. Onyoja Momoh

Called in 2010

Areas of Practice
Family, Direct Public Access Barristers, Child Abduction


Practice Profile

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Practice Profile

 “Very dogged and knowledgeable, yet very down to earth" 2017 edition of The Legal 500

 "Well-regarded for her work on international child abduction cases” 2019 edition of The Legal 500


Dr Onyoja Momoh’s expertise and interest lie in the area of cross-border parental child abduction. She has represented parents in the UK and abroad in Hague Convention cases, Brussels II Revised and internal abductions. As a family law specialist, her practice is uniquely complemented by her academic and research background.

Onyoja accepts instructions on a wide range of cases involving children in both private and public law proceedings at all levels of the Family Court and in the High Court. She frequently appears in highly sensitive cases concerning domestic and family violence, representing parents, local authorities and children, through their Children's Guardian. 

Onyoja regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on topics including cross-border parental child abduction/domestic violence. During the course of her PhD, her research findings and policy recommendations were submitted to the expert Working Group on the Guide to Good Practice on Article 13(1) b) of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. One of her key recommendations focuses on judicial authorities and their interpretation and application of Article 13(1) b). She was also selected to speak at the 2017 Journal of Private International Law Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, presenting her PhD research findings. Onyoja has delivered guest lectures and tutorials to undergraduates at the School of Law, University of Aberdeen.

Onyoja is ranked as a Leading Junior for Children Law in The Legal 500 UK.


PhD in Law 'Domestic and family violence in the context of the 1980 Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction', supervised by Dr Katarina Trimmings and Professor Paul Beaumont, University of Aberdeen – funded by the Elphinstone Scholarship

LL.M, City, University of London, distinction in thesis titled “Does the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction justly serve the welfare needs and interests of the child?

BVC, City, University of London - Gray’s Inn Junior Award

BA (Hons) Economics & Law, University of Leicester - 36 Bedford Row Prize

Memberships and Affiliations

The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Centre for Private International Law, University of Aberdeen

Family Law Bar Association

Child Abduction Lawyers Association

Bar Pro Bono Unit

Human Rights Lawyers Association

Publications and Other projects

Onyoja is the named research assistant for the UK on the European Union funded project titled “Protection of abducting mothers in return proceedings: intersection between domestic violence and parental child abduction” (POAM project 2019/20) Led by Dr Katarina Trimmings, University of Aberdeen, the project involves a core consortium from the UK, Croatia, Germany and Italy.  

‘The Approach by Judges to the Assessment of the Grave Risk of Harm in Cases Involving Domestic Violence’ (December 2018) 11 (1) International Bar Association, 9-11

‘Domestic Abuse in the Drafting of Article 13(1) b of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction’ (May 2017) 2 (1) ILSA Law Journal, 11-17

Seminar paper – Children in the Breakdown of Family Relationships (ASLLUK) June 2017

Seminar paper – An Exploration of Child Rights in Nigeria’ (BHRC and Coram Children’s Legal Centre) July 2016

Paper – New Laws in Relation to Stalking, Child Protection and Employer Responsibility (Global Foundation for Elimination of Domestic Violence) September 2015

Paper – The Clue is in the Name: The Court of Protection (Leigh Day) November 2013

Notable cases

R v R (2017) - High Court; application for wardship and FGM protection order (Ghana), acting for the Local Authority.

K v L (2017) - Application to enforce a child arrangements order, issues of jurisdiction and habitual residence (Holland)

H v F (2016)- High Court; temporary leave to remove from the jurisdiction of England and Wales to a non-Hague Convention Country (Thailand)

A v P (2016)- High Court: acting for the respondent mother in 1980 Hague Convention return proceedings defended on the grounds of consent, acquiescence and habitual residence

W v S (2016) - findings of fact hearing of allegations of sexual abuse of a child within private law children proceedings

B v P (2016) – High Court: representing a parent abroad - child abduction, securing rights of access and jurisdictional dispute on the applicability of Brussels II Revised between the UK and Gibraltar

Re S and S  (2015) – acting for the Local Authority in a 9-day fact-finding within care proceedings regarding two children and allegations of physical and emotional harm

M v M (2015) – represented father in a fact finding within wardship proceedings, involving allegations of child abduction to a non-Hague Convention country, stranding and domestic abuse

What people say

“I also had the experience of observing Onyoja at Court on this matter and was impressed by her courteous but no- nonsense approach to advocacy” – Instructing Solicitor

 “I wanted you to know that Miss Momoh was excellent in every respect in the most trying circumstances” – opponent

Representing a vulnerable parent in an adoption case “[she] has had the great advantage of legal submissions and if the submissions before me are anything to go by, she would have had a very fair hearing…” – Judge 

 “She is a person of great integrity, extremely dedicated to her work…” – Instructing Solicitor

"Onyoja is very competent and communicates well with her instructing solicitors. She is thorough and clearly takes time to prepare her cases"     Andrew Symeou - Partner at Faradays Solicitors


Research: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/law/research/people-72.php

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-onyója-momoh-99526064/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/onyoja


direct access

Dr. Onyoja is qualified to accept instructions under the Direct Public Access to Barristers Scheme.

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