Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Sarah Philpotts

Lead Civil & Family Clerk

Sophie Dobson

Family & Civil Clerk

Julian was educated at Bolton School and read Law at Cambridge University where he received a Squire Scholarship and was also President of the Union. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1985 where he won the Langrish Prize. After completing pupillage in London and practising briefly from London Chambers, Julian moved to Chester and practised continuously from Whitefriars Chambers until their merger with St John’s Buildings in 2008.

Julian is accredited by the Bar Council to undertake direct public access work, and has experience of dealing with both child related and financial cases on this basis.


Children (Public and Private law)

Family (Children, Public Law)

Care Proceedings (For all types of parties including Local Authorities, Parents, Children, Grandparents and other Intervenors) including complex cases involving, for example:

  • Alleged factitious injury by proxy by a parent (so-called “Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy”)
  • One or more parents allegedly involved in very serious criminal activity or serving lengthy periods of imprisonment
  • Children having allegedly suffered serious sexual and/or physical abuse at the hands of parent(s) or others
  • Parents with serious mental health and/or physical disability issues

Adoption Proceedings and Special Guardianship (whether in the context of Care Proceedings or otherwise) including:

  • Post adoption contact applications not only by natural parents but also by non-adopted or separately adopted siblings
  • The consequences of the breakdown of adoption

Family (Children, Private Law)

Disputes of all types including complex or unusual cases involving Child Arrangements Orders (until recently called Residence Orders and Contact Orders) and other forms of court order regulating or safeguarding children’s circumstances. For example:

  • A parent who has undergone or is contemplating Gender Reassignment (so-called “sex change”) surgery
  • Actual or allegedly intended abduction of children internally within the jurisdiction or internationally
  • Disputes involving children where the parties are or include people other than parents, such as grandparents, siblings, step-parents or other relations including situations where one or both parents have died, or lack the capacity to conduct litigation
  • Parents with serious mental health and/or physical disability issues


  • Family Law Bar Association (Chairman of Chester Branch 1999-2004)


  • Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions


  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training