Jane Walker

Jane Walker

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1987

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Jane read Jurisprudence at Balliol College, Oxford and was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1987. She is a former Chair and Vice Chair of Child Concern, a charity based in the North West which seeks to further and improve knowledge and practice of those involved and interested in the law and practice relating to children and children’s issues. She has extensive experience of speaking at seminars and other events as well as experience of lecturing to those training for the Bar.

Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Child Concern
Court of Protection Practitioners’ Association

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public and Private Law

    Jane is an experienced practitioner used to handling cases of particular complexity regularly acting for and advising Local Authorities, parents and Children’s Guardians in public and private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 and in placement and adoption cases. She has also acted for separately represented teenage clients in sensitive and difficult cases.

    Jane appears regularly in the High Court as well as before circuit and district judges. She has appeared in a number of Court of Appeal cases. The work she undertakes involves cases of the most serious nature including allegations of serious physical and sexual abuse and factitious illness. She is frequently instructed in cases involving parents and children suffering from learning difficulties and developmental disabilities (e.g. autism and Asperger syndrome), forms of mental illness and serious psychological problems.

    Jane is often instructed in cases involving other jurisdictions and immigration issues, including cases involving applications to remove children from the jurisdiction. Her theological background and training brings extra knowledge and understanding to cases involving religious and cultural complexities.

    Jane’s work also includes applications made under the Inherent Jurisdiction and Human Rights legislation and medical treatment cases. She has been recommended as an expert in children’s cases over several years.

    Cases

    Noteworthy cases in which Jane has appeared include:

    J V B (ULTRA-ORTHODOX JUDAISM: TRANSGENDER) Acted for the children in the case of a transgender parent who was seeking contact to her five children after leaving her family and their Charedi Jewish community to live as a woman.

    RY v Southend Borough Council [2015] EWHC 2509 (Fam) (22 May 2015): Representing the local authority in a successful application for the return of a child who had been placed for adoption.

    B-C & Others [2014] EWHC 2997 (Fam): This case concerned whether a local UK court should make a request pursuant to Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 for the courts in Portugal to assume jurisdiction in relation to children currently resident in the UK in respect of whom care proceeding had been commenced by the local authority. Jane was instructed by the Children’s Guardian.

    A(A Child), Re (Rev 1) [2014] EWCOP 920, [2014] EWHC 920: Medical treatment case involving applications by an NHS Foundation Trust for declarations regarding the feeding and treatment of a teenage girl and the sanctioning of the use of reasonable force in respect thereof. The case also involved issues relating to the teenage child’s capacity to consent to medical treatment. Jane was instructed on behalf of the local authority in the proceedings.

    S (A child acting by the Official Solicitor) v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and The Independent Reviewing Officer 2008 EWHC 3283 (Fam) 2009 1 FLR 1090: The case involved a claim for relief under the Human Rights Act 1998 by a teenage child against the local authority and independent reviewing officer following an initial failure by the local authority to issue care proceedings. The court approved a compromise between the parties which included a confidentiality clause but attached for public record concerns expressed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of the child. Jane appeared as Junior Counsel for the Official Solicitor.

    BBC v Rochdale MBC and X and Y [2005] EWHC 2862 (Fam), 2007 1 FLR 101: A case involving applications by a local authority and two social workers for injunctions to restrain publication of the identities of the social workers at a time when the children involved in earlier wardship proceedings had reached adulthood. The court identified the approach to be taken in such applications following the Human Rights Act 1998 where different Convention rights were engaged. Jane appeared on behalf of one of the social workers.

    Re P (Section 91 (14) (Guidelines) Residence and Religious Heritage)1999 2 FLR 573: A leading authority in which the Court of Appeal held that on any question relating to the upbringing of a child, the religious and cultural heritage of the child was a relevant consideration, being part of the child’s background to be considered under the Children Act 1989, s1(3)(d) and in which the court laid down guidelines to be followed in cases involving applications under section 91(14) for orders restricting future applications without leave. Jane appeared as Junior Counsel on behalf of the foster parents.

    Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council v. D 1995 1 FLR 873,1995 Fam Law 405: A case involving the procedure to be followed where parents had made admissions sufficient to establish the threshold criteria in care proceedings. The court held that it was contrary to public interest to prolong proceedings in order to resolve differences as to the expression of essential concessions and that the terminology used by the parents should be adopted by the court rather than that employed by the local authority. Jane was instructed on behalf of the child.

    Legal Directory Recommendations

    2008 “expert in care and child abuse cases.” Legal 500
    2007 “An expert and popular child law practitioner” Legal 500
    2006 “An expert and popular child law practitioner” Legal 500
    2005 “Recommended for children cases”. Legal 500
    2004 “Recommended for children cases”. Legal 500
    2003 “Recommended for children and care cases”. Legal 500

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  • Court of Protection

    Jane has undertaken Court of Protection work and has been instructed by both local authorities and the Official Solicitor in some complex “best interests’ cases involving young women. She is a member of CoPPA, having been present at its inaugural conference last year, and has a particular interest in cases involving the transition from care proceedings to adult care.

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