Neil Owen-Casey

Neil Owen-Casey
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Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 01244 323 070

Year of call: 2007

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Neil Owen-Casey practises predominantly in family law and also undertakes some specific aspects of civil work. His family practice encompasses the broad range of family law including matters involving the Court of Protection and those that are periphery to his core practice. He is known for both his approachable style and ability to properly manage the expectations of his clients.

Neil completed his pupillage at 4 Paper Buildings and practised in London and the South-East from 14 Gray’s Inn Square prior to joining St. John’s Buildings. Before being called to the Bar Neil had a successful career as a professional musician working as a conductor, trombonist and composer. He is a keen learner of the Welsh language.

Neil accepts regular invitations to give seminars and talks to solicitors, connected professionals and other interested parties in respect of all aspects of his practice. Further to his core practice, Neil has an interest in the rapidly changing role of the Welsh legislator, and the consequential emerging conflicts with Westminster legislation within the context of both private and public family law.

Neil accepts instructions under direct public access where appropriate.

Published Articles

“Concurrent planning: origins, principles and relevance at a time of modernisation.” Neil Owen-Casey and Catrina Dickens (Concurrent Planning Social Worker, Lancashire County Council) Family Law Journal Vol.42, June 2012, Pg 690-694.

Memberships

  • Family Law Bar Association (FLBA)
  • Wales and Chester Circuit
  • Gray’s Inn
  • Treasurer of Chester & North Wales FLBA

Appointments

  • Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Neil has extensive experience regarding care proceedings and accepts instructions from local authorities, parents, guardians and other parties and interveners. In particular, Neil is often instructed to represent grandparents, young parents and those that have difficulty in giving instructions, especially either through disability and/or lack of capacity.

    His breadth of experience is vast. It ranges from chronic neglect, all forms of abuse (sexual, physical and emotional), domestic violence (including sexual violence and honour-based), to non-accidental injuries and factious illness. He has also been involved in cases concerning a HIV-positive child and parent (disclosure of status), and matters involving the criminal jurisdiction (murder and sexual abuse) where public interest immunity is an issue. Neil is often instructed in cases involving significant cultural and religious issues and also matters that are brought under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. Recent cases have involved representing a local authority when a NHS trust unlawfully retained a child following the death of the mother during birth, and a further matter concerning siblings who had significant developmental delay and who had been found to have ingested or been administered heroin and methadone during the period of the proceedings.

    Neil is also regularly instructed and provides advice in cases concerning the designation of local authorities, contested adoption and placement applications, secure accommodation of minors, placement abroad, and contempt within proceedings. He has also been involved in matters where local authorities have applied for a forced marriage protection order regarding a minor.

    Neil has a developing interest and experience of matters that concern the challenging of local authority decisions, including discharge and variation applications, judicial review and applications under the Human Rights Act 1998. Examples include where a local authority has wrongfully removed a child from the care of its parents both during and post proceedings.

    Private Law

    All aspects of Private Law proceedings are incorporated into Neil’s practice and he represents all parties in both Children Act and Family Law Act matters.

    Neil has considerable experience in dealing with all aspects of Child Arrangement Order applications. He is also instructed to advise and act in specific issue applications, cases where there are jurisdictional issues (including leave to remove), enforcement, and protracted disputes that often require expert assessments. Neil advises and represents clients in applications for financial remedies for children, and subsequent enforcement, under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.

    Recent instructions have included the determination of residence of an adopted child due to the separation of the adoptive parents, contact and/or residence concerning parents suffering with a broad range of mental health difficulties, and revocation of parental responsibility.

    Allied to his core practice of Children Law, Neil is often instructed to represent clients seeking non-molestation orders and occupation order. He also has an expanding practice regarding applications for Forced Marriage Protection Orders and represents both the subjects of the order and other parties.

    Cases

    XZ Council v DN, MH, MEN & WAN (by their guardian), DJ and RC [2014] EWHC 4653 (Fam)

    Neil represented the Respondent mother  in care proceedings at the High Court. The case was a comprehensive example of one whereby almost all of the full range of child protection issues often encountered were evident or alleged. Most of the issues remained live up until final hearing, many of which were later conceded by the mother.

    The mother had two children, the youngest of which has significant complex health needs including spina bifida and hydrocephalus. During a period when she had been admitted to hospital, she asked the local authority to accommodate the children. Thereafter, the family’s extensive historical involvement with social services, and hidden complex past, began to emerge. The mother and the children prior to being accommodated resided with the maternal grandmother, who had herself been involved in care proceedings pre-Children Act in the High Court as a respondent mother. The allegations in that historical case focused on sexual abuse and all five of her children in her care at that time were removed.

    The mother in the present case had herself experienced a troubled childhood including sexual and emotional harm. She was diagnosed to have significant mental health issues, including Fabricated Induced Illness (FII) in respect of herself and was an alleged perpetrator of FII towards her own disabled child. Issues of paternity, the extent of the FII, sexual abuse and further physical abuse remained as live issues at the final hearing. Matters were concluded in respect of the elder child but have continued in respect of the youngest in terms of permanency.

    The full judgment can be read here.

    A v R and Anor (Declaration of Parentage) [2017] EWHC 396 (Fam)

    Neil represented the Applicant non-biological parent before Peter Jackson J for a declaration of parentage. The application was necessary due a mere paperwork error by the relevant clinic: the consequence of that error was that the Applicant did not in fact become the child’s legal parent, contrary to the original intention of the same-sex parents.

    This is another of the series of cases that have been brought due to non-compliance with the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, beginning with the decision in A & Others (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) [2015] EWHC 2602 (Fam).

    The full judgment can be read here.

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  • Family - Finance

    Dissolution

    Instructions are accepted in respect of contested dissolution applications regarding marriage, judicial separation and civil partnerships.

    Matrimonial Finance

    Neil is instructed in cases of increasing value that include assets held outside the jurisdiction, and where applications allied to substantive proceedings are required, especially maintenance pending suit applications. His practice also incorporates matters involving family businesses, trusts and the disposal of assets. Neil also has considerable experience of cases concerning modest assets, particularly where welfare benefits feature significantly and any impact upon the same as a result of a financial settlement. Neil is regularly instructed to advise as to settlement, variation, enforcement and other discrete applications.

    Neil has a developing interest in cases involving property outside of the jurisdiction. In addition, he routinely receives instructions to advice and act within enforcement proceedings regarding not only matrimonial finances but also Schedule 1 proceedings, including those matters that reach beyond the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

    TOLATA and Co-habitation

    Neil accepts instructions concerning matters between co-habitants under TOLATA 1996 and also when discrete applications are brought under TOLATA within other substantive proceedings. In particular, Neil often undertakes advisory work and negotiations when ownership of individual properties or portfolios is disputed within the wider family.

    Child Finance

    Neil advices and represents clients in applications for financial remedies brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act and also those involved within the ambit of the Child Support Agency (CSA). Recent CSA instructions have involved allegations of diverted income, company directors and assets subject to proceeds of crime orders.

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  • Court of Protection

    Neil has an interest in matters regarding the Court of Protection including proceedings involving local authorities and other interested parties, and is keen to expand his practice in this area of law.

    Recent instructions have included Forced Marriage Order applications that have required consideration as to the intervention of the Court of Protection.

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  • Public / Administrative

    Child Support

    Neil has a growing practice in this area and routinely advises on all aspects of Child Support. He accepts instructions regarding both the First Tier and Upper Chamber of the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, in particular those cases were initial assessments have been miscalculated or erroneously presented. Neil also accepts instructions regarding enforcement matters in the magistrates’ court.

    Recent instructions have involved allegations of diverted income, company directors and assets subject to proceeds of crime orders.

    Welfare Benefits

    All aspects of welfare benefits are rapidly becoming part of Neil’s practice and he accepts instructions to advise and represent wherever necessary individuals in both the First Tier and Upper Chamber of the Social Security and Tribunal. 

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  • Property and Private Client

    Neil accepts instructions to advise in disputes concerning caravan and mobile home sites and has a developing interest in housing law and its impact upon families.

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  • Public Access

    Neil 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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