Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Sarah Philpotts

Lead Civil & Family Clerk

Sophie Dobson

Family & Civil Clerk

Neil is a persuasive advocate and sensible negotiator, known for straightforward and practical advice delivered in a reassuring manner. Equally confident in both money and children work, professional and lay clients value Neil’s ability to quickly grasp the central issues and focus on what matters in the case.

Children (Public and Private law)

Public Law

Neil appears in all manner of Public Law applications representing parents, children and local authorities. His practice regularly covers applications for care orders, adoption and placement orders, and special guardianship orders.

He undertakes cases ranging from long term neglect through to serious non accidental injury and death of children. He has extensive experience dealing with complex findings of fact and cross examining expert witness’. Many of his cases involve intricate psychological or psychiatric issues, and chronic addictions.

Neil has also been instructed in disputes between local authorities as to designation and disputes regarding local authority funding of foster placements.

Private Law

Neil has broad expertise in all types of Private Law disputes both privately and publicly funded.

His experience covers representing parents and children in disputes regarding all manner of family arrangements. He has undertaken many “difficult” private law disputes concerning allegations or findings of serious domestic violence, sexual abuse, and parents who are implacably hostile or suffer psychological or psychiatric issues. He has dealt with a number of enforcement applications.

Neil is also regularly instructed in schedule 1 applications for financial relief for children. He has a wealth of experience dealing with prohibited steps and injunctive relief applications under the Family Law Act. He deals with contested application for change of names.

Neil advises and represents parents in applications for relocation (both internal and international) and child abduction (Hague and non-Hague) along with enforcement and recognition of orders (Brussels II revised).


D (A Child: Placement Order) [2022]

Neil was led by Aidan Vine QC for the appellant grandmother in the Court of Appeal against a placement order. Lord Justice Peter Jackson applied the Supreme Court’s decision in Re H-W to an adoption case – “Adoption can only be approved where it is in the child’s lifelong best interests and where the severe interference with the right to respect for family life is necessary and proportionate.  The court must therefore evaluate the family placement and assess the nature and likelihood of the harm that the child would be likely to suffer in it, the consequences of the harm arising, and the possibilities for reducing the risk of harm or for mitigating its effects.  It must then compare the advantages and disadvantages for the child of that placement with the advantages and disadvantages of adoption and of any other realistic placement outcomes short of adoption.” The appeal against the placement order was allowed. The judgment is available here.

Family finance

Neil has built a solid and expanding matrimonial finance practice advising and representing clients in all aspects of financial remedy applications and in cases involving significant family wealth. He is more than happy dealing with cases involving trusts; company assets; pension valuation; and inherited wealth. Neil’s experience covers freezing orders; variation and enforcement of financial orders; and alleged hidden assets.

Neil also has considerable expertise in applications for financial relief for children under schedule 1 Children Act 1989.

Neil is in particular demand in relation to complex applications under TOLATA 1996 and cohabitation disputes. He regularly drafts pleadings and appears on behalf of claimants, defendants and interveners. Cases undertaken often involve substantial assets; farms; company assets; and inherited property.

Construction & property

Neil drafts papers and appears at trial in Fast Track and Multi Track Chancery matters.

His experience includes applications relating to easements; rights of way; rights to light; nuisance; the Party Wall Act; and boundary disputes.


  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit
  • Middle Temple


  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training