Helen Crowell – Pupil Barrister

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2019

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Helen joined St John’s Buildings as a pupil in October 2019 under the supervision of Shaun Spencer.

She is a family pupil, with a particular focus on children law. Her pupillage also involves Court of Protection work.

Prior to the Bar, Helen graduated from the University of Oxford in 2017 with a First Class honours degree in Jurisprudence (Law). She then completed the BPTC, achieving a Very Competent grade. Helen subsequently returned to Oxford to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) in 2019, with a focus on family law and medical law.


  • FLBA
  • Gray’s Inn
  • Northern Circuit


Question of Incompatibility – Deprivation of Children’s Liberty Without Court Order?’ – Family Law Week (2 March 2020). Article written with Shaun Spencer


  • Family - Children

    During the course of her pupillage thus far she has gained experience across the range of family law, including public and private children proceedings and financial remedies work. She has gained considerable experience in legal research, drafting documents in care proceedings, and preparing skeleton arguments as part of her pupillage.


    Re C (A child) [2019] 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) [2019] 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 seen and assisted with 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) [2019] EWHC 1510 (Fam)), deprivation of liberty and secure accommodation orders, non-accidental injury cases ranging from bruising to fatal injuries, and private law cases involving complex issues arising from cultural and religious dynamics of the family.

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