Eleanor practices in all areas of children law.
Eleanor has experience representing parents, children through their Guardian, interveners and Local Authorities in public law proceedings at all stages of a case. She is regularly instructed to draft documents including case summaries, threshold documents and skeleton arguments. Eleanor has acted in a wide range of care applications which have included an application for an emergency protection order of such gravity it was heard in the high court.
Eleanor also regularly advises Local Authorities at Legal Gateway and Pre-Proceedings Meetings.
Eleanor has gained considerable experience of preparing complex non accidental injury public law cases including fatal injuries and serious head injury cases, and cases in which the children have complex medical needs, during her pupillage with Lorraine Cavanagh. Further, she has been involved in the drafting of multiple Human Rights Act claims during course of her pupillage and has developed a particular expertise in claims on behalf of children including those for disabled children, assisting them to access their rights to services and promoting their interests.
Eleanor is regularly instructed in private law proceedings including applications for Child Arrangements Orders, enforcement orders, non-molestation orders and occupation orders acting for both the Applicant and the Respondent.
Eleanor has experience acting in cases involving allegations of emotional, physical and sexual abuse including allegations of the utmost seriousness.
H v An Adoption Agency (No.2) (Declaration of Parentage and Public Policy)  EWHC 1943 (Fam): Led by Lorraine Cavanagh QC in a case before Mr Justice MacDonald. This follows MacDonald J’s previous decision H v An Adoption Agency  EWFC 74. The novel issue in this case was whether it was manifestly contrary to public policy to grant a declaration of parentage after the child has been adopted; the court concluded that it was. The Attorney-General intervened. The judgment contains an important distillation of the central public policy principles underpinning adoption in this jurisdiction and the intended inviolability of adoptive placements. The most recent judgment can be read here. The previous judgment is available here.
Tameside MBC v C (Unavailability of Regulated Therapeutic Placement)  EWHC 1814 (Fam): Represented the child in a case where there was a challenge as to whether the Court could or should authorise a deprivation of liberty where an unregulated placement is not meeting the child’s complex needs but there are no alternative options. The judgment contains an important distillation of the application and interaction of best interest’s principles, necessity and safety and Articles 5 and 8 ECHR when the Court is authorising a deprivation of liberty of a young person. The judgment is available here.
RE AA (Children) & 25 Ors  EWFC 64: Eleanor was led by Karl Rowley QC for the lead local authority in this complex multi-handed public law litigation. This appears to be the largest public law family case that has been litigated. There were 15 care cases heard together by Sir Mark Hedley relating to grave sexual abuse allegations in respect of children. 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). Sir Mark also considered the approach to exoneration of a person who has been the subject of an allegation that could not be proved against them. Click here to read the judgment.
Eleanor was involved in the preparation of, and observed, a successful appeal against a full time high court judge’s finding of fact that their client had killed a child in Re H-C (Children)  EWCA Civ 136. This is the guidance decision for the application of the Lucas principles in the Family court.
Eleanor gained considerable experience in non-accidental injury, specifically head injury, cases during her involvement in Re L, K & J  EWFC 12. In this matter Lorraine Cavanagh, led by Jane Crowley QC, represented a 10-year-old intervener accused of perpetrating a head injury to a 4-month-old infant. Eleanor was involved in the preparation for this hearing including drafting schedules, collating and analysing evidence and visiting the child prior to the hearing. Further Eleanor assisted in drafting the closing submissions an aspect of her work found expression in the judgment of Ms Justice Russell.
Eleanor played a significant role, through legal research, and drafting, in respect of responding to an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in Seddon v Oldham Council  EWHC 2609 (Fam): a Human Rights Act claim in which Mr Justice Peter Jackson declared that family life between a birth mother and an adopted child is terminated upon the making of an adoption order.
Eleanor has gained experience, throughout her training, in the highly specialised area of applications for medical treatment declarations in respect of children; in particular she assisted her pupil supervisor during the case of Re A (Children: Withdrawal of Life Support)  EWHC 2828 (Fam): in which Mr Justice Holman permitted the withdrawal of ventilation from twin boys aged 14 months. Eleanor has a particular interest in this area of work and is gaining much experience about the handling of these sensitive and emotionally charged cases.