Maia is a tenant in our family team who joined Chambers on completion of her pupillage in March 2022.
During pupillage, Maia gained experience across a wide range of family law cases including public and private children cases, financial dispute resolution and injunctions (particularly where there are allegations of domestic violence). She is confident, empathetic and communicates well. She remains calm under pressure. She is able to establish a rapport with her clients, a particularly important skill in public and private children work when working with vulnerable clients.
Prior to pupillage, Maia worked as a doctor for the NHS and specialised as a surgeon. Consequently, she is used to working within a fast-paced environment and being able to operate effectively under pressure. Her medical background means that she is particularly good at complex non-accidental injury cases and also Court of Protection cases that have complex medical issues.
Maia is looking forward to growing her practice with Chambers, and is keen to receive instructions in any area of family law but particularly children law (public) and family finance cases.
Children law (public)
Maia has undertaken a range of hearings in public law proceedings, and is keen to extend her experience in this area. She is able to assimilate information quickly and confidently determine and prioritise the issues in the case on reading the papers. She accepts instructions in all hearings in care proceedings including ICOs, IRHs, directions hearings, fact finding hearings and final hearings.
Maia is a determined advocate with a strong sense of justice. In a recent case, she was briefed by parents for the fourth hearing in long running care proceedings. The parents contested an ICO but had never been allowed to voice their stance as the court had failed to book interpreters for previous hearings and interpreters used by the Local Authority spoke the wrong dialect. The court determined that the ICO should remain in place whilst the parents made changes to their conduct, but this was the first time that they had properly understood the concerns of the Local Authority and were able to explain their position properly. As a result of Maia's intervention, the family now has a real chance of reunification and a fair trial.
Her medical background provides Maia with an advantage when it comes to non-accidental injury public law cases. Reading medical notes and expert reports is second nature to her, and she immediately understands the significance of the allegations being made. In a recent trial, Maia was described as "fearless" in her cross-examination of one of the medical experts. When it comes to NAI cases, she is able to go head-to-head with practitioners who are far more senior in call years.
Children law (private)
Maia has experience of a range of private children hearings including FHDRAs, DRAs, directions hearings, fact-finding hearings and final hearings. Her practice has also involved applications for Family Law Act injunctions; she has acted both for applicants making emergency injunctions and respondents who are served with them, and also participated in return and final hearings.
Maia also has experience of appellate cases and has recently successfully appealed two private children cases where the original decision was set aside and a re-hearing ordered. In the first case, Magistrates had determined a fact finding hearing would only examine three out of twenty-three allegations of domestic abuse. They also failed to reallocate the case to a District Judge. The oral application was made on the basis that the schedule involved the most serious allegations of domestic abuse. The appeal was successful for two reasons; (1) the Magistrates’ decision was wrong and (2) procedural irregularity, in that the Magistrates did not allow the advocates to make submissions on which allegations should form part of a fact-finding hearing before making their determinations. The appeal Judge set aside the order and scheduled a re-hearing in front of a District Judge to examine twelve out of the twenty-three allegations of domestic abuse. In the second case, Magistrates had excluded witness statements without giving reasons, saying that procedural rules did not apply in a case management hearing, and limited the allegations by one parent when it was clear from the s7 report that all facts were to be determined. Again, a rehearing was ordered.
Maia has undertaken First Appointments, Financial Dispute Resolution hearings and final hearings in finance work. She has often successfully negotiated settlements at FDR hearings, but does not advise her clients to agree to settlement at any cost and is happy to advise progressing to a final hearing if the settlement on offer is unsuitable.
Maia excelled at mathematics during her school career and achieved double mathematics at A-level. This aptitude for numbers alongside her meticulous preparation has helped in financial remedy work; she has often added to the questionnaires and identified possible further lines of questioning. For example, in a recent 3 day final hearing, she dealt with the complex issue of family loans and whether these should be repaid from the sale of the former matrimonial home or whether, as one party alleged, they were fraudulent.
Maia has also recently acted for a client whose former spouse was a litigant in person and was purposefully delaying proceedings. She was not only successful in enforcing previous orders, but managed to get a costs order made against the other side which is unusual in family proceedings.
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), King’s College London
- Bachelor of Sciences, Physiology (BSc) King’s College London
- Member of Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
- GDL, City University
- BPTC, BPP Law School
- Family Law Bar Association
- BPP Advocacy Award
LA v K (care case): Participated in long running care proceedings, identifying that her client (a parent) had not been afforded a fair hearing previously because of the failure of the court and Local Authority to book suitable interpreters and persuading the court that further time should be afforded to the parents to make the necessary changes to their parenting to allow the children to return to their care.
FG v LG v TK: Successfully appealed a private law children case where Magistrates had determined that a fact finding hearing would examine only three out of twenty-three allegations of domestic abuse. Having represented the client at the re-hearing, it was determined that twelve out of the twenty-three allegations would be heard and that the re-listed case would be heard by a District Judge.
K v L: Successfully appealed a case management decision made by Magistrates at a PTR that witness statements should be excluded and allegations not dealt with at a fact finding hearing. The matter was listed for a re-hearing by a District Judge with all allegations being dealt with and all witness statements included.
JO v AN (finance): Acted for a Wife where the Husband was a litigant in person and was purposefully delaying proceedings. Successfully enforced previous orders which the Husband had failed to comply, and obtained a costs order against the Husband.