“She has gravitas and forensic precision.” Legal 500 2017
Magdalen read History and Economics at Oxford University (Pembroke College) and went on to work for BP for two years before taking the Diploma in Law at the University of Westminster. She took the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1992. She has been a member of St John’s Buildings chambers since completing pupillage. She specialises in private and public law children’s cases and Court of Protection cases.
- Family Law Bar Association
- Court of Protection Practitioners Association
- Child Concern
- Appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2015
- Accredited to sit on private law children’s cases in 2016
- Accredited to sit on public law children’s cases in 2017
- Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions
Family - Children
Magdalen is a Children Law specialist. She has a particular interest in public law applications in which she has appeared at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court. Her practice is reasonably evenly split between representing Local Authorities and parents/other family members and children. Her experience includes cases involving complex medical evidence, child death and allegations of serious sexual and physical abuse.
Her practice extends to wardship, forced marriage applications and cases where there is an issue of international jurisdiction (such as under Brussels II Revised). She has been involved in a number of cases concerning the deprivation of liberty of children under the inherent jurisdiction.
In the private law arena, she deals with the full range of Children Act applications from protracted contact cases and cases where there are serious domestic violence or sexual abuse allegations to applications to permanently remove children from the jurisdiction and Hague Convention cases.
She regularly represents clients on a direct public access basis, in particular in relation to private law Children Act applications.
Re S-B (children)  UKSC 17: Magdalen was Junior Counsel for the appellant mother in this Supreme Court case led by Anthony Hayden QC (as he then was). She had previously represented the mother in the High Court and, as Junior Counsel, in the Court of Appeal. The appeal, which was successful, dealt with the standard of proof in relation to the identification of a perpetrator of injuries to children and remains a leading case in this area of law. The full judgment is available here.
P v C & Ors  EWHC 693 (Fam) (28 March 2018) Magdalen represented the local authority in this private law application before Ms Justice Russell. This was a case which had a number of interesting features including international relocation and the weight to be put on the expressed wishes and feelings of older children in a case where parental alienation had been found to have taken place. The full judgment is available here.
Re IO (A Child)  EWHC 3345 (Fam): Magdalen represented the mother in this application by father under the Hague Convention for the return of a five year old boy to the Ukraine. The case was heard by Mr Justice Baker. The mother opposed an order for the child’s summary return to the Ukraine on the grounds firstly, of acquiescence and secondly, the defence under Article 13 (b) of the Convention, namely that there would be a grave risk that an order for the child’s return would expose him to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place him in an intolerable situation. The full judgment is available here.Book BarristerBack to top
Court of Protection
Magdalen has a substantial Court of Protection practice in which she specialises in health and welfare cases. She represents Local Authorities, families and protected parties. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor. She has experience of transitioning cases from the Family Court to the Court of Protection.
Other related experience includes applications under the inherent jurisdiction in relation to vulnerable adults, and mental health applications in the County Court (such as applications to displace nearest relatives).Book BarristerBack to top
Magdalen is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.
Magdalen regularly represents parents and other family members in the Family Court through the Public Access Scheme. The majority of her cases concern clients who are making or responding to applications for child arrangement orders (which have replaced residence and contact orders). Magdalen’s experience under the scheme includes disputes about permanent relocation outside the UK, specific issue orders (for example disputes about which school a child should go to), disputes involving children with special needs (including autism) and disputes where there are significant allegations of domestic violence.Book BarristerBack to top