Linda Sweeney

Linda Sweeney

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1999

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Linda is a former solicitor who was called to the Bar in 1999. She specialises exclusively in the law relating to children, both in public law care proceedings and private law proceedings where the court decides the amount of time a child should spend with a parent or other person.

Memberships

Family Law Bar Association Committee Member
Child Concern
Association of Lawyers for Children
BAAF

Appointments

Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Linda was previously employed by the childcare legal departments of two local authorities and has specialised in this area of work since the Children Act 1989 came into force. She has a depth of experience in relation to representation of the Local Authority in care proceedings and related application. She would be pleased to accept instructions to draft documentation within care proceedings which may involve careful perusal of voluminous and historical social services documentation.

    Having moved into private practice in 1995 Linda was instructed to represent children by a number of Children’s Guardians and was a member of the Law Society Children Panel until joining Chambers in 1999.

    Linda has a reputation for empathy when dealing with difficulty clients, whether that difficulty is as a result of psychological or psychiatric problems or the distress of court proceedings. She unfailingly deals with clients in a sympathetic and considerate manner and is instructed in a number of cases where tact and diplomacy as well as a calm approach are required.

    Linda is conscious of the challenges in effective representation of lay parties in care proceedings and if instructed in any case concerning children is willing to accept instructions to attend advocates and professional meetings which are directed by the court and to draft any necessary documentation.

    Linda is always pleased to have the opportunity to meet her clients in conference, and will do so at the solicitors office or other venue deemed suitable to better meet the needs of the lay client.

    Linda is authorised by the Bar Council to undertake work under the Public Access rules. She would be happy to accept instructions direct from lay parties to appear in court, advise in conference or attend meetings, when a lay party is not eligible for public funding and who would otherwise have to conduct a contested court hearing relating to their children.

    Linda would also be delighted to accept instructions direct from a lay party who has been invited by the court to intervene in care proceedings where there has been an injury to a child and there are issues as to who may have caused this. Such people are often not eligible for public funding but need the help of an experienced barrister to represent them at a contested hearing when allegations of a serious nature are made against them and otherwise they would have to represent themselves.

    Linda is developing a practice in the law relating to removal from the jurisdiction and is pleased to accept instructions to attend such hearings in London.

    Re F, Court of Appeal, 2012 Family Law 1072

    Represented the children in the Court of Appeal in an appeal brought by the mother who has mental health issues.

    Re LB, Court of Appeal 2012 EWCA Civ 984

    Represented the children in an appeal from a fact finding process within care proceedings.

    Re LB, Supreme Court, 2013 UKSC 8

    Represented the children in the Supreme Court when the court considered whether a Judge, having made a finding of fact, is able to change her mind at a later date.
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  • Public Access

    Linda is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.

    Click here to view our Public Access pages and details of the process for instructing public access accredited barristers.

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