Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Sarah Philpotts

Lead Civil & Family Clerk

Sophie Dobson

Family & Civil Clerk

Kerry is a family law specialist and highly regarded advocate, with a comprehensive family law practice encompassing both public and private law children cases.

Children (Public and Private law)

Public Law

Kerry has extensive experience representing local authorities, parents, extended family members and children in all matters of sensitive and complex public law cases. She frequently appears in care proceedings in which the central issues involve allegations of neglect, chronic domestic violence, substance misuse, serious inflicted injuries (including non-accidental death/murder) and sexual abuse (including cases involving historic and interfamilial allegations and allegations against multiple perpetrators as well as cases involving numerous local authorities and large-scale litigation).

She deals with all matters relating to adoption and special guardianship applications.

Private Law

Kerry has a broad private law practice and is regularly instructed in complex applications which include issues of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of both adults and children, implacable hostility and parental alienation, relocation issues and removal from the jurisdiction.

Kerry has a particular interest in cases involving parental alienation allegations and has been instructed in numerous matters that have involved allegations of coercing or coaching children to make false allegations of abuse.

Notable Cases

Local Authority v S & Ors [2023] EWFC 85

Instructed by Ruth Hetherington of McAlister Family Law Solicitors, Matthew Carey (leading Junior) and Kerry Holt, represented a father at a final hearing in care proceedings who was exonerated of allegations of serious sexual abuse against his 9-year-old daughter.

The Court made findings that, in fact, the mother had actively sought to undermine the relationship between the father and daughter, that the daughter was influenced by the mother to make the allegations of sexual abuse against her father, that the mother promoted an abuse narrative within the home and that the mother misrepresented events and the descriptions of the child’s presentation to professionals. Additionally, the Court did not make any findings against the father in relation to the additional allegations the mother sought against him of significant emotional harm to the child. The judgment is available here.

Re G [2022]

A case involving the infliction of significant injuries to twins. Kerry appeared for the children and was the only non-led Junior. A pool finding was made in respect of the parents.

B (A Child) (Designated Local Authority) (10 December 2020)

The successful Appeal concerned the approach to be taken when determining the ‘designated local authority’. Frances Heaton QC and Kerry Holt represented Cheshire East Council. Shaun Spencer was led by Nick Goodwin QC for Salford City Council. The judgment is available here.

A Local Authority v H [2018]

Heard by Hayden J in the High Court. Kerry was led by Frances Heaton QC and acted for the mother of a young baby whose sibling had died in suspicious circumstances. The case involved complex pathological evidence.

A Local Authority v L [2017]

A case involving implacable hostility and mental health issues whereby the court found that the child had been coerced to make false allegations of physical abuse against her father and had been emotionally harmed by both parents. Kerry acted for the local authority.

A Local Authority v H [2016]

A case that started out as private law proceedings and involved parental alienation and the manipulation and coaching of a child by the mother to make false allegations of sexual abuse against the father. This resulted in the child ultimately being removed from the mother’s care and placed with the father after many years of proceedings and following the case escalating to public law proceedings. Kerry acted for the father throughout the private law and the public law proceedings. Criticisms were also levelled at the Local Authority for failing to take proper account of the emotional harm that parental alienation can inflict on a child.

A Local Authority v K [2015]

Kerry argued successfully for the return of three children to a mother’s care following an interim care order being made due to concerns around neglect and the mother’s substance misuse. The local authority’s application for a care order and a placement order was refused.

A Local Authority v K [2014]

A case involving serious allegations of sexual and physical abuse by a father against his daughter. Kerry acted for the father and successfully resisted findings being made.


  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Inner Temple


  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training