Rachael practises in all areas of children law. She is an effective communicator with an ability to convey complex information to lay clients in a clear and coherent way. She has extensive experience of working with vulnerable clients having spent several years practising as a criminal barrister.
Rachael has experience representing parents, children through their Guardian, Local Authorities and interveners in public law proceedings at all stages of a case. She is regularly instructed to represent parties where the issues include neglect, fictitious illness, non-accidental injuries and sexual or domestic abuse.
Rachael has experience of drafting case summaries, detailed threshold documents and skeleton arguments.
Rachael regularly acts for parents where there are disputes over child arrangements, including residence and contact disputes, applications for prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders. Rachael also has experience in enforcement proceedings.
Rachael aims to resolve longstanding disputes by way of careful but proactive negotiation and offering pragmatic solutions in often strained and difficult circumstances.
Re H (Care and Adoption: Assessment of wider family) 2019 – Rachael represented the mother in this case. Cobb J was asked to determine whether, within care proceedings, the Local Authority has a duty to assess extended family members, if the parents did not themselves, put them forward, and where the parents actively objected to the assessment of such family members. Secondly, given that the father objected to it, whether the LA had the power to talk to the family without his consent.
H v L (2020): Rachael appeared on behalf of the father in a constested final hearing involving allegations of the mother’s drug misuse.
B v E (2018): Rachael successfully represented a mother facing allegations that she had physically chastised her children, which had caused their father to unilaterally remove them from her care and cease all contact with her. During a lengthy Finding of Fact hearing, the father’s credibility was significantly undermined following cross-examination. In accordance with the mother’s position, the court found that the father had manipulated the children into making false allegations of violence against their own mother, which had resulted in her contact with them being suspended for over a year. As a result of the court finding, the mother’s contact and relationship with her children was re-instated.