Kerry Holt

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 01244 323 070

Year of call: 2009

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Kerry graduated from Keele University in 2005 with a First Class Honours degree. Following university Kerry went on to head up the compliance department of a payroll specialist before enjoying a successful career as a Prosecutor in the Magistrates Courts for G4S.

She was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 2009 and completed a common law pupillage on the North Eastern Circuit before specialising solely in family law.

Kerry practises in all areas of public and private children law, including injunctive relief.

Memberships

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Inner Temple

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Kerry has extensive experience representing local authorities, parents, extended family members and children in all matters of sensitive and complex public law cases. She frequently appears in care proceedings in which the central issues involve allegations of neglect, chronic domestic violence, substance misuse, serious inflicted injuries (including non-accidental death/murder) and sexual abuse (including cases involving historic and interfamilial allegations and allegations against multiple perpetrators as well as cases involving numerous local authorities and large-scale litigation).

    She deals with all matters relating to adoption and special guardianship applications.

    Private Law

    Kerry has a broad private law practice and is regularly instructed in complex applications which include issues of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of both adults and children, implacable hostility and parental alienation, relocation issues and removal from the jurisdiction.

    Kerry has a particular interest in cases involving parental alienation allegations and has been instructed in numerous matters that have involved allegations of coercing or coaching children to make false allegations of abuse.

    Notable Cases

    A Local Authority v H [2018]

    Heard by Hayden J in the High Court. Kerry was led by Frances Heaton QC and acted for the mother of a young baby whose sibling had died in suspicious circumstances. The case involved complex pathological evidence.

    A Local Authority v L [2017]

    A case involving implacable hostility and mental health issues whereby the court found that the child had been coerced to make false allegations of physical abuse against her father and had been emotionally harmed by both parents. Kerry acted for the local authority.

    A Local Authority v H [2016]

    A case that started out as private law proceedings and involved parental alienation and the manipulation and coaching of a child by the mother to make false allegations of sexual abuse against the father. This resulted in the child ultimately being removed from the mother’s care and placed with the father after many years of proceedings and following the case escalating to public law proceedings. Kerry acted for the father throughout the private law and the public law proceedings. Criticisms were also levelled at the Local Authority for failing to take proper account of the emotional harm that parental alienation can inflict on a child.

    A Local Authority v K [2015]

    Kerry argued successfully for the return of three children to a mother’s care following an interim care order being made due to concerns around neglect and the mother’s substance misuse. The local authority’s application for a care order and a placement order was refused.

    A Local Authority v K [2014]

    A case involving serious allegations of sexual and physical abuse by a father against his daughter. Kerry acted for the father and successfully resisted findings being made.

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