Natalia Levine

“Natalia is an exceptionally talented barrister. She is very highly respected by other solicitors, opponents, the Official Solicitor and the Judges who sit in the Court of Protection. Natalia’s case strategy is well thought-out and she brings with her a very level-headed approach.  She is confident on her feet” Legal 500 2022 Tier 1 – Leading Juniors – Court of Protection

“A junior with a good legal brain. She is determined and very thorough.” Legal 500 2022 Tier 3 – Child Law (Public & Private)

“She has very well-honed court skills but with an ability to retain an equally high level of people skills.” “She goes above and beyond to make clients comfortable.” “She is commanding in the courtroom and my go-to for Children Act work.” Chambers UK Bar 2022 – Band 3 Family (Children)

Natalia is a specialist in children law (both public and private), adult social care and in the Court of Protection.

She was called to the bar in 2007 and undertook pupillage in Leeds at Parklane Plowden Chambers before joining St John’s Buildings in 2022.

LEGAL DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

“She’s a strategic thinker.” “She comes up with innovative and practical suggestions to move the case forward.” “She’s super with the client and very straightforward. She gives the hard advice when needed.” Chambers UK Bar 2021 – Band 3

“Natalia grasps a case quickly but thinks things through carefully. She is good at formulating a strategy, looking at the end result we want to achieve. Natalia explains things well to clients and makes sure they understand the advice being given.” Legal 500 2021 – Tier 3 – Child Law (Public and Private)

“Professional and lay clients adore her; she has a fantastic ability to manage challenging clients.” Legal 500 2021 – Tier 1 – Court of Protection

“A very experienced and well-respected counsel in Court of Protection matters.” Legal 500 2020 – Tier 1 – Court of Protection

A strong advocate with a focus on complex child care cases. Her caseload comprises alleged non-accidental injuries, usually accompanied by extensive medical evidence, and contested adoption cases on behalf of parents and relatives. Strengths: “She puts people at ease as soon as she walks in the room.” “An accomplished advocate specialising in children matters.” “Natalia is sensible and pragmatic in her approach but is also highly robust as a litigator which is warmly received by the clients and solicitors she advocates for.” Chambers UK Bar 2020 – Band 3

“She has a brilliant eye for detail” and “is well known for her Court of Protection practice, and she has particular expertise in health and welfare cases.” Legal 500 2018/2019

“Intelligent and a safe pair of hands in court.” “I instruct Natalia because she is approachable at all times and able in all court scenarios, whether children or domestic violence. She is able to communicate with all clients appropriately.” “I instructed Natalia on a case where she did not get the bundle until after 5.00pm the day before the hearing with no brief. She got to grips with the issues and the measure of the respondents and prepared a really good written opening. Despite being advised the evening before that the matter could possibly proceed by instructions, her advice was that we fight so she clearly doesn’t shy away from conflict when it’s appropriate. As it happens, the matter did settle, with the order Natalia advised was required. The other barristers, who have had the conduct of the case throughout were astounded when they heard how little time she had had to prepare.” “Natalia is an approachable, popular and extremely capable advocate who is regularly instructed by both parents and Local Authorities. She is certainly one to watch for the future.” “Natalia is completely on top of her game. She is always my first choice in all children matters. Her knowledge of the law, particularly with regards to relocation matters, is  second to none and she goes above and beyond what I could ever expect in helping me to best present my client’s case prior to final hearing. She is always available in the run up to hearings and without fail every single client has given 100% positive feedback. I would recommend her to anyone.” Legal 500 2017 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • BA (Hons) History and Politics (University of Liverpool, 2002-2005)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (BPP Law School Leeds, 2005-2006)
  • Bar Vocational Course (BPP Law School Leeds, 2006-2007)

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    PUBLIC LAW

    Natalia undertakes a broad range of public law children work predominantly in the County Court and High Court. Natalia is very experienced in working with vulnerable clients and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

    Natalia’s practice includes the following:

    • Complex and near fatal multiple injuries
    • Non-accidental injuries
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Fabricated/induced illness
    • Alleged suffocation
    • Chronic neglect
    • Changes in placement
    • Adoption
    • Non-accidental head injury
    • Parents with disabilities
    • Cases involving cross examination of a vulnerable child or adult
    • Cases involving deprivation of liberty
    • Cases involving a cross over or transfer to the Court of Protection.

    Recent cases include:

    • Representation of a vulnerable family member accused of sexual abuse perpetrated on a sibling resulting in a sexually transmitted infection.
    • Representation of a father where findings were sought that he had perpetrated sexual abuse on his stepchildren.
    • Representation of a child in proceedings where there were allegations of fabricated illness.
    • Representation of a mother in proceedings where it was alleged she caused the death of her child.
    • Representation of a father where findings of physical abuse were sought. This case involved a transfer of proceedings to Romania.
    • Representation of an intervener in a complex and near fatal multiple injuries case involving non accidental head injury.
    • Representation of a mother where findings were sought following the identification of near fatal head injuries.

    ADOPTION

    Natalia has been involved in cases involving post adoption contact claims and proportionality of adoption, she represented the child in F-S (A Child: Placement Order) [2021] EWCA Civ 1212.

    PRIVATE LAW CHILDREN

    Natalia has experience and expertise in the following areas:

    • Finding of fact hearings
    • External and internal relocation
    • International abduction cases
    • PD12J cases
    • Proportionate use of prohibited steps orders
    • Special Guardianship
    • Wardship
    • Child Arrangement Orders.

    Natalia has particular interest in finding of fact hearings and relocation cases (both internal and external) and is seen as an expert in this field by instructing solicitors.

    As well as receiving conventional instructions via legal professionals, Natalia accepts instructions on a direct/public access basis.

    Recent cases include:

    • Application to relocate to internally within the North East of England
    • Application to relocate to the Australia
    • Removal from the jurisdiction to France
    • Specific issue order regarding change of school
    • Finding of fact regarding cross allegations of domestic abuse including sexual abuse
    • Change of child arrangements order to a live with order
    • Finding of fact regarding cross allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour
    • PD12J cases. 

    HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

    Natalia regularly advises and appears on behalf of public authorities and individuals in relation to health and social care disputes. Natalia’s expertise spans across several areas, such as disputes relating to the provision of care or services under the Care Act 2014, the Children Act 1989 and the Mental Health Act 1983.

    INHERENT JURISDICTION / MEDICAL TREATMENT

    Natalia has been involved in some very complex cases involving the use of the inherent jurisdiction to protect vulnerable young adults in particular where questions arise as to whether the individual has capacity and whether the circumstances amount to a Deprivation of Liberty.

    Natalia has been involved in medical treatment cases, most recently involving dental treatment.

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  • Court of Protection

    Natalia’s practice encompasses all areas within the Court of Protection. Natalia has particular interest in and is regularly instructed in cases where a finding of fact is necessary before final declarations can be made.

    Natalia also receives regular instructions in cases which involve allegations regarding the mismanagement of funds.

    Natalia is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and also by hospitals, CCGs, family members and Local Authorities.

    Natalia’s practice focuses in particular on:

    • Cases that include a transfer of proceedings from Children Act cases to the Court of Protection
    • Deprivation of Liberty safeguards
    • Deputyship
    • Property and financial affairs (in particular mismanagement of financial affairs)
    • Health and welfare concerns
    • Capacity disputes.

    Recent cases include:

    • Representation of a P in a case where there was competing expert evidence regarding P’s capacity to make decisions surrounding her residence and care.
    • Representation of a parent where there was a dispute as to which placement would be in P’s best interests.
    • Representation of a Local Authority where consideration needed to be given as to whether declarations should be sought in respect of capacity around contact given the expert evidence and the case as a whole.
    • Representation of P in welfare proceedings involving fractious family members.
    • Representation of a CCG which started with advice surrounding working with a family and obtaining expert reports before issuing proceedings to ensure that the most accurate evidence was placed before the court prior to issuing.
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  • Public Access

    Natalia is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.

    Click here to view our Public Access pages and details of the process for instructing public access accredited barristers.

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