Helen Crowell

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2019

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Helen joined chambers as a tenant in September 2020 following successful completion of her pupillage under the supervision of Shaun Spencer in which she gained experience across the range of family law proceedings and in Court of Protection matters. Helen practises in all areas of family law. She has a particular interest in public law proceedings and matters in the Court of Protection.

Helen is available to attend court in person as well as remotely. Helen is willing and often asked to provide advice, whether written or in conference. Helen is able to advise on complex matters at short notice, wherever possible.

Education

  • Jurisprudence (Law) at the University of Oxford (First Class honours)
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) at the University of Oxford

Memberships

  • FLBA
  • Gray’s Inn
  • Northern Circuit

Publications

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

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Helen has experience representing Local Authorities, parents, interveners, and children through their Children’s Guardian in care proceedings at all stages of a case. Helen is adept at the drafting of documents, including skeleton arguments and advices, often on short notice.

    Helen has appeared in a range of public law proceedings, including issues of domestic violence, neglect, substance misuse, non-accidental injury, deprivation of liberty, and children with complex medical needs. Helen has experience in cases involving issues such as jurisdiction, vaccination of children, cultural and religious background of the parties, and issues of capacity of the parties. Helen has represented parties with learning difficulties and/or mental health issues.

    Helen has appeared at all levels up to and including the High Court, both in her own right and as a led junior.

    Private Law

    Helen regularly acts in private law proceedings including applications for Child Arrangements Orders, non-molestation orders, and occupation orders, and enforcement applications. Helen has experience in acting for parents, interveners, and children through their Rule 16.4 Guardian.

    Helen’s experience in private law cases has involved allegations of domestic abuse and violence, non-accidental injury, emotional abuse, and parental alienation/intractable parental dispute, including in fact-finding hearings and up to and including final hearing.

    Cases

    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 been involved in 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, fabricated and induced illness, and private law cases involving complex issues arising from cultural and religious dynamics of the family.

    Helen is available to provide seminars and training upon request to her clerks.

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