Ashley regularly acts for parents, grandparents, other relatives, children and local authorities in respect of section 8 applications, including Child Arrangement Orders, relocation, removal from the jurisdiction, change of name and change of school.
Ashley also regularly acts for Applicants and Respondents in relation to Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. She has provided representation throughout proceedings from ex-parte, without notice hearing to the final hearing. She regularly advises upon what evidence should be provided, undertakings and drafts Scott Schedules.
In Children Act and Family Act proceedings she has dealt with proceedings involving serious allegations of sexual abuse, injuries to children and domestic violence.
Ashley regularly represents local authorities, parents, children and interveners in public law proceedings. She has dealt with cases involving long standing neglect, alcohol and drug issues, emotional harm, sexual abuse and non-accidental injuries.
Ashley also regularly advises local authorities in legal gateway and pre-proceedings meetings considering whether Threshold has been met and what steps should be taken throughout the pre-proceedings process and to prepare to issue a case. She also regularly provides urgent advice as to whether an Emergency Protection Order should be sought.
Ashley regularly drafts case summaries, threshold documents, skeleton arguments, position statements and PLO compliant orders.
In the matter of A
Represented the mother in a finding of fact hearing involving a five-year-old girl who had made allegations of sexual abuse against her mother.
The judge did not make any findings against the mother but instead found that the child had been bullied into making the claims by her stepmother, who sought custody together with the child’s father. The child was removed from their care.
A Local Authority v L 
Represented a mother throughout the proceedings, whose child had suffered a serious burn injury due to lack of supervision. Ashley advised against contesting the removal of the child to avoid serious findings being made against the mother before further evidence could be placed before the court. Instead an agreement was reached for the child to be placed with kinship carers with daily, loosely supervised contact with the mother. The child was subsequently rehabilitated to the mother’s care prior to the conclusion of the proceedings.
A Local Authority v D 
In representing a mother Ashley provided realistic advice that the court would be unlikely to support the return of all three children to her care in the face of the concerns held by the Local Authority and the Guardian. As a result the youngest child was rehabilitated to the mother’s care, whilst the eldest two were rehabilitated to their father’s care. Ashley was involved in drafting the rehabilitation plan at court to ensure that the mother was properly supported during the rehabilitation process and the expectations were clear.
A Local Authority v C 
Ashley represented a Local Authority at a legal gateway meeting, subsequent pre-proceedings meetings and throughout the court proceedings. Upon Ashley’s advice a psychological assessment of the mother’s relationship with her 14-year-old daughter was obtained. The psychological assessment proved to be essential in the successful application to remove the child from her mother’s care.
A Local Authority v W 
Ashley represented a grandmother at a final hearing during care proceedings. She was successful in her application for an ISW assessment due to shortcomings in the local authority’s assessment, including a failure to consider what support could be put in place to manage the grandmother’s social anxiety and its potential effect on her ability to care for the children.
C v M 
Ashley successfully represented a father at an appeal before the Lay Magistrates seeking additional contact.
C v C 
Whilst representing the wife Ashley was successful in reaching an agreement at the FDR stage against a litigant in person. The husband had a significant amount of debt in his name, including against the matrimonial home, which if sold would crystallise. Ashley carefully drafted the consent order whilst at court to ensure that the clean break would not be achieved until the husband had made sufficient payments against the home for it to be in positive equity, therefore protecting the wife from any liability for this debt.