Zoe Cheng

Zoe read law at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge and spent a year studying French Legal Studies at the University of Poitiers, France. She was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 2011.

She received the Exhibition Award from Inner Temple and the Allan Levy QC Award. She was also made an Advocacy Scholar by Kaplan Law School. Zoe also contributed to the 2016 edition of Rayden and Jackson on Divorce and Family Matters.

Zoe undertook pupillage at 4 Paper Buildings, London, where she was a tenant until May 2018.  She then worked as an in-house advocate for Manchester City Council in its Children & Families Group before returning to the Bar.

 

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Zoe regularly acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children and extended family members in public law proceedings from the commencement of proceedings until final hearing.  Her experience in public law proceedings includes cases involving the following issues:

    • fabricated illness;
    • radicalisation;
    • inflicted injuries;
    • sexual abuse;
    • serious emotional harm;
    • serious behavioural difficulties requiring residential placements/secure accommodation
    • disabilities;
    • learning difficulties;
    • cultural issues;
    • serious drug/alcohol misuse;
    • chronic neglect; and
    • international complexities.

    Prior to the Bar Zoe worked in the Youth, Education & Community Care and Strategic Litigation departments of children’s charity Just for Kids Law, a charity providing legal advice, support and representation to young people.  She worked with children and young people on the autistic spectrum, children with learning difficulties and with young offenders.

    In her time at JfK Law Zoe worked on the judicial review proceedings that led to the High Court ruling in R (on the application of C) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department and The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2013] EWHC 982 (Admin) that the government’s practice of treating 17 year olds in detention as adults was unlawful.  She has also volunteered as a teaching assistant in a school for boys aged 10-16 with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

    These experiences have given Zoe a particular interest in and aptitude for representing vulnerable clients and children.  She has acted on behalf of the Official Solicitor and has experience in cases involving the use of intermediaries.

    Zoe has continued her interest in education law and has been instructed to act pro bono before the SEND Tribunal.

    Zoe is regularly instructed to draft case summaries, threshold documents, schedules of findings and public law orders.  She also drafts written agreements/schedules of expectations at the pre-proceedings stage of proceedings/in cases where a supervision order is the appropriate disposal.  Zoe’s time in-house at a local authority enabled her to experience legal gateway meetings, PLO meetings and to advise on the PLO process including whether threshold for public law proceedings is met.  She prides herself on her attention to detail and her thoroughness.

    Cases

    • A Local Authority v M & 5 Ors [2017] EWHC 2851 (Fam) – led by Ruth Kirby at the final hearing of a radicalisation case
    • A Local Authority v M & 5 Ors [2016] EWHC 1599 (Fam) – led by Ruth Kirby in a fact-finding hearing in a radicalisation case where findings were made against the mother.

    Private Law

    Zoe acts in a range of Children Act 1989 cases for parents, relatives and local authorities that either require representation but are not parties or who are joined as parties. Zoe regularly acts in CAP matters including cases involving issues such as:

    • with whom the child(ren) should live;
    • how much time the child(ren) should be spending with a parent and the nature of this time (supervised/supported);
    • internal relocation;
    • which school(s) the child(ren) should attend;
    • allegations of inflicted injuries;
    • sexual abuse allegations;
    • drug and alcohol misuse;
    • domestic abuse allegations;
    • emotional abuse allegations; and
    • parents with psychiatric and/or psychological disorders.
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