Clerking team

Dan Johnson

Children Law Clerk

Elizabeth Fagan

Junior Family Clerk

Ciarece Brown

Junior Family Clerk

Clodagh is an experienced family law barrister with a particular emphasis on children work.

Clodagh read Sociology at the University of Salford, achieving a First Class Honours degree for which she was a recipient of one of the year prizes. Thereafter she completed the Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and the Bar Vocational Course (very competent) in Manchester. She received a Michael Hodge scholarship award and was called to the bar in 2003 by the Inner Temple.

Children (Public and Private law)

Clodagh has extensive experience in care proceedings.

She is able to identify and analyse the issues in complex cases and to undertake multi-day and multi-week hearings including those involving contested expert evidence.

Clodagh has successfully completed the FLBA Advocacy and the Vulnerable training course (2022).

Clodagh’s expertise includes issues of:

  • Linked care and criminal proceedings
  • Physical Injuries/ Non-accidental injuries (NAI) involving expert evidence as to causation, including shaken babies
  • Death of a child by overlaying whilst co-sleeping
  • Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child cruelty
  • Chronic neglect
  • Deprivation of Liberty (children)
  • Adoption
  • Discharge of care orders
  • Forced Marriage prevention orders
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Clodagh is experienced in Re W [2010] applications to consider whether children should give evidence in proceedings and in re HDH and C [2021] proportionality arguments as to what allegations are necessary to be determined during finding of fact or composite final hearings with regard to the outcome to be achieved.

Private Law children

Clodagh is experienced in complex Private Law cases, including child arrangement orders where there are allegations of implacable hostility and finding of fact hearings regarding domestic abuse, specific issue applications and applications for temporary and permanent leave to remove from the jurisdiction.

Recent Cases

[2023] 4-day finding of fact hearing before Ms Justice Russell DBE, representing a father facing allegations of shaking a baby causing internal head injury and of inflicting fractures namely of the arms, ribs and one of the legs.

[2022] 15-day composite final hearing Led by Tim Parker KC. Successfully challenged allegations of sexual abuse against the father in care proceedings. This required detailed challenge to the evidence as to the circumstances of the sequence of events in recording the allegations. A number of flaws in the ABE process were identified, in accordance with the  approach to allegations of sexual abuse as set out in re P [2019]. The father was able to return to the family home, following a lengthy absence pending the outcome of the linked criminal and family proceedings.

[2022] 10-day final hearing representing a privately funded intervenor paternal grandmother who opposed a plan for her granddaughter to be placed for adoption. Findings of sexual abuse of a number of family members had been made against the child’s father. The grandmother required a robust and thorough challenge be put to the negative independent social work assessment of her.

[2022] 5-day finding of fact hearing for a local authority in which extensive CYFOR phone evidence of messages sent to the children was considered and reduced to a schedule. Findings were made against the stepfather/father of grooming of the children and of alienation of the children from the mother.

[2022] 10-day, two-counsel finding of fact hearing representing a mother in a case in which the children provided ABE interviews alleging sexual abuse against the stepfather/father. The mother vehemently disputed findings sought by the local authority that she has induced or fabricated the children’s allegations. A balance of robust advice and sensitivity was required.

Family finance

Clodagh continues to accept instructions in matrimonial finances.

Professional Memberships

  • FLBA (Family Law Bar Association)
  • ALC (Association of Lawyers for Children)
  • Child Concern


  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training