Public law proceedings – care proceedings particularly involving child death and injury cases. Brain injury, drowning, shaking injuries, other “non- accidental” physical injury, burns and neglect.
Sexual harm, CSE and grooming cases and emotional harm. Clare has particular expertise in the Advocates gateway procedures regarding vulnerable witness “cross examination”. Clare has attended the Bar Council Advocates Gateway training and conducted cross – examination of children and Re W applications.
Clare is instructed by Local Authorities, parents and Guardians, the Official solicitor and Cafcass Legal and can view a case from all angles to give advice on tactical approach as well as substantive law.
Clare has experience of many Special Guardianship applications and disputes within the family post placement. Foster parent regulatory disputes including the “employment” and financial aspects of the same. Complex adoption applications including with a foreign aspect. Secure Accommodation Orders and deprivation of liberty applications.
Private law Child arrangement order applications including shared parenting and removal from the jurisdiction cases and intractable contact disputes including parental alienation cases and cases where mental capacity may be relevant.
Clare represents both mothers and fathers through the maze of post separation child rearing to secure the upbringing of stable and confident children and to obtain the best legal and practical framework for that to work for the benefit of the children.
The breadth of Clare’s practice in private law is shown in the reported private law cases listed below.
Professional negligence claims arising from family law matters.
Clare represented the mother in an application by the press to report evidence and procedure usually considered private in the family proceedings. Lieven J determined that the Lay Magistrates and the Legal Advisor in the lower court could be named in public.
LV17C00867 VBC V AGM, AGF, AM, AF, AA, AB & AC (L)
LV17C02751 VBC V BM, BF, BA & BB and others  EWFC 64
Sir Mark Hedley. Clare was led by Mr Paul Storey KC in this complex multi-handed public law litigation which appears to be the largest public law family case ever been litigated in England and Wales. 15 care cases were heard together by Sir Mark Hedley relating to grave sexual abuse allegations in respect of children. Clare and Paul led the submissions at half time inviting the Court to end the litigation for their client at that point. Sir Mark Hedley decided the principle of whether there was a power for the Family Court to stop a case “at half time” and if so the test for it to be exercised (appendix 2 of the Judgment). The legal argument on behalf of the Respondents also traversed the approach to exoneration of a person who has been the subject of an allegation that could not be proved against them. Clare and Paul’s client was exonerated.
Im the Matter of a Child (L)  EWCA Civ 901. On appeal from HH Judge Kevin Barnett
Court of Appeal appeal in which Clare successfully persuaded the court in the skeleton argument that there was no flaw in the Judge’s reasoning at first instance after a heavily contested care case.
Wigan Borough Council v Fisher and Thomas – and – A (by her Children’s Guardian)  EWFC 34MH13C00175 Jackson J
Wigan Borough Council v Fisher & Ors v Fisher & Thomas (fact-finding)  EWHC 3770 (Fam) Jackson J
Clare was led by Miss Frances Heaton KC for the Local Authority in this fact finding and final hearing regarding the death of a child and the placement of the sibling. The second judgment concerned the publication of the judgment.
Re E (A Child) MA12P00714 Manchester 23/05/2014 HHJ Hernandez
Clare acted on a direct access basis for a father seeking contact to his child in difficult circumstances.
In the matter of Re: U (Children)  EWHC 4535 (Fam) Mostyn J
Clare acted for a mother who was seeking to limit the contact of the father who was overseas and was seeking the return of the mother to her homeland. The hearing was conducted in part by telephone through interpreters.
Re T (Children)  EWFC B116 13 August 2014
The Circuit Judge described Clare’s submissions as “extremely helpful” and that she put her case “with admirable clarity”. The proceedings concerned a sibling contact application where the LA had not taken care proceedings but where the young adult child was in hospital and matters were particularly protracted.
Lancashire CC v C (Allegations of Abuse; HHJ Duggan)
Case No. PR14C00015 8th December 2014
Clare acted for the Local Authority in proceedings where there were serious sexual abuse allegations.
Re A and D (Children: religious upbringing) 2011 1 FLR 615 Baker J
Clare acted for the children in proceedings concerning how the religious persuasion of the children should be reflected in circumstances where the mother was non practising Christian and father was a Muslim.
Re D (A child) 2011 EWCA Civ 684 Court of appeal
Case concerning legal professional privilege in family cases
Re N: Recognition of Foreign Adoption order  EWHC B29 (Fam) Bennett J
Case concerning adoption of 17 year old boy.
Lancashire CC v D and E  EWHC 832 Fam
Case concerning brain injury to baby returned to parents care.
Re K (A child) (Secure Accommodation Order: Right to Liberty) 2001 1 FLR 249
Original authority concerning compatibility of SAO s and Human Rights Act
Re L (Minors) (Document: Non – Party Disclosure) 1995 2 FCR 12
Original authority regarding police disclosure in care cases.