Public Children Law: Shaping New Law into Solution Focused Answers for Clients

Tue 14 November 2017

The Caledonian Club 9 Halkin Street London SW1X 7DR

Answers to 9 Thorny Questions: Directly from 7 of the UK's Most Experienced Public Children Lawyers

5 hrs CPD

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  1. Registration and coffee

  2. Chair's Introduction

    Public Children Law: Shaping New Law into Solution Focused Answers for Clients

    Chaired by: Penny Howe QC

    Penny is "quite simply one of the most impressive practitioners in the field of care and adoption law". She represents parents, children, local authorities and CAFCASS Legal. "She has a first-class intellect and great judgement".

  3. ​Adoption

    How do you go about setting aside placement orders, both in terms of revocation and on appeal?

    Answered by: Anthony Kirk QC

    Anthony has acted in the most complex of adoption and breach of care plan cases. He is an "amazingly good silk - so eloquent". He is on the MOJ's Mediation Task Force and Bar Council ADR Group. He is a former Chairman of the FLBA.

  4. ​Residential assessment

    To what extent is the court tolerating diverse standards of parenting, "including the eccentric, the barely adequate and the inconsistent", as per Hedley J in Re L (Care: Threshold Criteria) [2007]?

    Answered by: Poonam Bhari of St Phillips Chambers

    Poonam is skilled at acting in cases where there are allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injuries and non-compliance with contact orders. She is formerly a schoolteacher and a special educational needs co-coordinator.

  5. Morning coffee

  6. ​Expert evidence

    Drawing on live cases, when does an expert in children law cases overreach his or her material (through an intention to give it maximum forensic impact)?

    Answered by: Jo Delahunty QC

    Jo is "an absolute force of nature and a star in court - exceptional in every way - trusted with nationally significant cases". She is an expert in matters concerning expert evidence following investigation.

  7. ​Children in court

    When (and with what safeguards) should the right of a child to be heard in court?

    Why is there a difference in approach between higher and lower courts and what does this difference mean for practice?

    Answered by: Samantha Little of Russell-Cooke

    Samantha is "a superstar care practitioner" and "an excellent tactician". She brings a huge number of cases to the table, including the evidence of a vulnerable witness and the use of intermediaries in the Family Court.

  8. Over-run

  9. Lunch

  10. Care orders

    In the context of a care order, how are you to balance the competing rights and welfare interests of siblings which may mean splitting them up?

    Answered by: June Venters QC

    June is the first woman Solicitor QC in the country. She handles public family cases of the utmost severity. The BBC made two documentaries about her life, "Law Woman" and "What Happened Next". She is a Public Family Recorder.

  11. ​Fact finding hearings

    How is the court retaining a sense of context in fact finding hearings when examining suspicions, speculations, "guilt by association" and lies?

    Answered by: Sarah Morgan QC

    Sarah is "very clever, highly analytical and a pleasure to work with". She acted in one of the first cases over harm to children from radicalisation and recruitment to terrorist activity. She is a Public Family Recorder.

  12. Placement Options

    Cutting through all the noise, which factors carry weight when the court undertakes a holistic analysis of placement options following Re B-S?

    Answered by: Damian Stuart of FOURTEEN

    Damian is “extremely hard-working, very fair and very good on his feet". He takes a creative approach to problems, and is "especially helpful if you have something a bit tricky to deal with".

  13. Over-run

  14. Close of conference

** All speaker quotes are taken from Chambers Directory, Who's Who Legal and Legal 500