Helen has experience representing Local Authorities, parents, interveners, and children through their Children’s Guardian in care proceedings at all stages of a case. Helen is adept at the drafting of documents, including skeleton arguments and advices, often on short notice.
Helen has appeared in a range of public law proceedings, including issues of domestic violence, neglect, substance misuse, non-accidental injury, deprivation of liberty, and children with complex medical needs. Helen has experience in cases involving issues such as jurisdiction, vaccination of children, cultural and religious background of the parties, and issues of capacity of the parties. Helen has represented parties with learning difficulties and/or mental health issues.
Helen has dealt with public law cases which involve consideration of lengthy medical records and complex medical evidence, including allegations of non-accidental injury and of fabricated and induced illness. Helen has experience of dealing with expert evidence on other technical matters.
Helen has growing experience in the area of deprivation of liberty of children, including in complex cases where there may be overlap with the Court of Protection.
Helen has appeared at all levels up to and including the High Court, both in her own right and as a led junior.
Helen regularly acts in private law proceedings including applications for Child Arrangements Orders, non-molestation orders, and occupation orders, and enforcement applications. Helen has experience in acting for parents, interveners, and children through their Rule 16.4 Guardian.
Helen’s experience in private law cases has involved allegations of domestic abuse and violence, non-accidental injury, emotional abuse, and parental alienation/intractable parental dispute, including in fact-finding hearings and up to and including final hearing.
A Local Authority v W (No.2) (Finding of Fact Hearing)  EWFC 68: Helen appeared with Shaun Spencer for the local authority in this case which concerned the near fatal collapse of a young child who sustained extensive brain damage. The judgment is available here.
Re C (A child)  EWCA Civ 1777: Helen was involved in the preparation of, and observed, an appeal where Shaun Spencer was led by Karl Rowley QC, who were successful in having findings that the mother had inflicted an injury on her child overturned. The case was remitted to have the findings reconsidered. The case has been published on BAILII.
Re D (Fact-finding appeal)  EWCA Civ 2302: Helen also assisted with preparation for and observed an appeal where Shaun Spencer and Karl Rowley QC represented a father who had been accused of inflicting a sexual injury on his child, and was exonerated after successfully applying to re-open the finding. The case was remitted for a further fact-finding hearing to reconsider the questions of whether the injury had been inflicted, as well as whether the identity of a perpetrator (if any) could be established. The case has been published on BAILII.
Helen has been involved in the preparation of a number of complex cases involving cross-border jurisdictional issues and the placement of children abroad (M (Deprivation of Liberty in Scotland)  EWHC 1510 (Fam)), deprivation of liberty and secure accommodation orders, non-accidental injury cases ranging from bruising to fatal injuries, fabricated and induced illness, and private law cases involving complex issues arising from cultural and religious dynamics of the family.
Helen is available to provide seminars and training upon request to her clerks.