Lisa Houghton

lisa houghton

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1994

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Lisa was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1994. Lisa is an experienced family law practitioner and has specialised in children work since she was called to the Bar. She is generally instructed in public law proceedings and has a substantial care practice with an emphasis on cases involving allegations of inflicted injury.

Memberships

FLBA
Child Concern
BAAF

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Lisa represents local authorities, parents, extended family members and children in public law cases. She frequently appears in complex care proceedings where the central issues involve allegations of inflicted injuries including head injuries, shaken baby syndrome and multiple fractures requiring expert medical evidence. Her case load includes fabricated illness, serious neglect, mental illness, psychological impairment and sexual abuse involving historic and interfamilial allegations. She has dealt with cases involving child death both with and without leading counsel.

    Lisa has been instructed in care proceedings involving child sexual exploitation following high profile criminal investigations. She is experienced at dealing with care proceedings and concurrent criminal proceedings and attending linked care and crime directions.

    She has dealt with a number of cases involving the application of Brussels II Revised where the court had to consider the appropriateness or otherwise of transferring the proceedings to another jurisdiction.

    She deals with all matters relating to adoption and special guardianship applications, whether in the context of care proceedings or otherwise.

    Private Law

    In private law proceedings Lisa is instructed in multi-faceted applications which include issues of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, familial homicide, implacable hostility, children with a reduced life expectancy and/or special needs, and removal from the jurisdiction. She acts on behalf of children following the appointment of a Guardian pursuant to r.16.4.

    Lisa is accredited by the Bar Council to undertake direct public access work. She is happy to consider instructions directly from lay parties to attend court or advise generally.

    Cases

    Re P (2014) EWCA Civ 888: Led by Miss Heaton QC in an appeal against care and placement orders where the trial judge at an earlier hearing had ruled out the possibility of the placement of the child in Poland. The Appellate Court found the Judge had given insufficient weight to Convention jurisprudence.

    CM v Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (2014) EWCA Civ 1479: Led by Miss Heaton QC on behalf of the child in opposing the appeal. The central issue was whether the court could make a placement order where the local authority’s care plan was a time limited search for an adoptive placement followed by a dual search for both adoptive and foster placements. The appellant submitted that such an approach was not compatible with the dicta in Re B (2013) UKSC 22 and Re B-S (2013) EWCA Civ 1146. The appeal was dismissed and it was held that Re B and Re B-S did not re-draw the statutory landscape.

    A Local Authority v S (2013) High Court, Family Division: Care proceedings were issued against the backdrop of a high profile child sexual exploitation criminal trial with multiple defendants. The local authority sought further serious findings against the parents. Led by Mr Rowley QC acting on behalf of the father in relation to the pivotal issue of whether such findings were necessary to establish the factual matrix upon which assessments could be progressed. The court held that such findings were not necessary.

    A Local Authority v G (2013) High Court, Family Division: The case involved the death of a child in which the father was found to have caused the death and the mother failed to seek medical attention in a timely manner thereby allowing the death. The issue before the court on disposal was the analysis of future risk to the surviving sibling in the absence of the father.

    A Local Authority v B (2013) High Court, Family Division: Representation of a mother who brought her children to the UK from Portugal. Care proceedings were issued and the children removed. The mother wished to return to Portugal. The High Court considered a request for Portugal to assume jurisdiction pursuant to framework in Art 15(5) Brussels II Revised and granted the request.

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  • Public Access

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

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