Year of Call1997
Areas of practice
Children law (public), Children law (private), Direct Access
“For the first time since this whole problem began with [name], I felt very protected, listened, and respected regardless of my economic or social position. Chris was very lovely and empathetic with me and he was also very firm in court and not allowing [name] to play more games or manipulate situations.”Client
Chris specialises in complex care and private law proceedings. In respect of care proceedings he is acknowledged as a specialist in complex cases such as Non Accidental Injury, Sexual Abuse, Fabricated and Induced illness and cases involving other serious allegations. He acts for parents, relatives, local authorities and guardians alike.
When acting for local authorities he will take control of a case from the point of instruction. He has presence and authority in court. He manages all parties effectively and ensures that everyone remains focussed on the main issues. When acting for parents, Chris specialises in dealing with parents who have complex needs and cognitive difficulties. He represents such clients with great compassion and sensitivity. His experience in crime and immigration appeals has proved very useful acting for parents in family cases whether there is an interplay between the criminal/ immigration case.
Chris is regularly instructed by Guardians in care proceedings and pursuant to rule 16 4 FPR 2010.
In January 2023, Chris was featured on File on 4 speaking to Adrian Goldberg about the shortage of child pathologists and its impact on bereaved parents. Listen to the full podcast on BBC Sounds or on the Radio 4 Website here.
Children law (public)
Chris is regularly instructed in cases of the utmost seriousness. Examples of recent cases include:
- Chris acted for a mother in a tragic case in the High Court. One of her triplets died at the age of 14 months. A post mortem revealed a skull fracture and the local authority issued care proceedings. Chris worked in partnership with the solicitor and attended every hearing for the client. He advised on which paediatric neurologists and which paediatricians should be instructed. Careful instruction of experts led to the local authority making an application to withdraw their application for a care order on the basis that threshold was not made out. Proceedings ended with the surviving triplets being under a child in need plan.
- Chris acted for a mother with severe cognitive difficulties where there was a history of domestic violence. Proceedings lasted 3 years, and the mother had 2 children during proceedings. Chris represented the client at every interim hearing and the final hearing and worked with the solicitor to ensure the appropriate applications were made at each juncture. The local authority and the Guardian advocated removal but successive applications were successfully defended. The children remained in the mother’s care under a supervision order and the local authority were persuaded to provide the family housing close to their network of support.
Children law (private)
Chris has experience at representing clients in all types of private law children applications, and is good at working with parents to explain their options and advocate strongly for them.
Chris acted for a father as direct access counsel in a private law case involving parental alienation. The case went on for five years and he represented the client at every hearing. A 16.4 Guardian was appointed and the father eventually secured contact. Care proceedings were then issued on the basis of the parental alienation and a suspended residence order was made to the mother with the father having alternate weekend contact and half of the school holidays. When the supervision order expired the mother breached the order and residence was suspended. The father has full residence of the children.
To instruct Chris please contact Jay Dorton or Stephen Bush.
- B.A.(Hons) Trinity College, Cambridge University
- Family Law Bar Association
- Immigration Law Practitioners Association
- French (fluent)
- Greek (fluent)
JO and JS (children)(dismissal of proceedings)  EWFC B36: represented mother in a case where a baby had died and a post-mortem skeletal survey raised a possibility of injury to the child. Evidence showed that the injury was due to an accident and the parents were not responsible.
Re K (Children)  EWCA Civ 1306: represented father in the Court of Appeal in a case relating to decisions which had been made about the residence and contact of children with their mother.