Barrister

Clare Garnham

Year of call 2005

Family

Former Solicitor

Clare has many years of experience in all aspects of family law, and  is recommended by the Legal 500 as “meticulous and pragmatic”. She has been involved in many of the most contentious and complex High Court level and Court of Appeal cases dealt with on the NE circuit in recent years , including  cases  attracting national media attention. 

Clients include Local Authorities, parents and relatives, interveners and CAFCASS (formerly both Guardians whether this is public law or private law and the Official Solicitor). 

She has particular experience in representing clients under a disability (minors, teenage mothers and patients). 

Clare uses her exemplary client and solicitor care skills to put clients at ease without losing sight of the main issues. She is an excellent and experienced advocate, who regularly leads other advocates including appearances where others are being led by QC and is passionate about human rights and believes in justice for all. 

Clare brings a dynamic and no-nonsense attitude to her work, meticulous preparation empathy and compassion, tactical and legal insight and tenacity all of which she utilises in presenting her client’s case in the most positive terms. 

Her skills and strengths are : 

  • A compassionate yet realistic approach to the difficulties inherent in cases involving a child's welfare and needs
  • Effective communication of the issues involved to the clients, both lay and professional pro-active client-care
  • Exceptional negotiating skills combining pragmatism with delivering an outcome
  • Assured presentation of the case in court by advocacy and written presentation underpinned by thorough preparation of the case and the law to be applied within it directed towards a clear analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the brief.

Clare has a particular interest in post care services to children, particularly where physical injuries/emotional harm they have sustained require care plans that look to ' pathway plans ' and support and services as a vulnerable adult/ post 18 care. 

Clare is the representative for the bar at the local level of the Family Justice Board. 

Areas of Expertise 

  • The death of/catastrophic injuries to a child
  • Sex abuse/incest and paedophilia (including internet and commercial exploitation)
  • Ritualized abuse/cultural practices
  • Immigration
  • The most complex medical issues e.g. shaking babies brain injuries
  • Honour killings
  • Representation for children who are both the victims of abuse and alleged abusers
  • Teenage mothers
  • Parents with learning disabilities
  • Child protection cases involving concurrent criminal prosecution
  • Complex private law proceedings and Adoption and Placement cases.
  • Acting for children who are suspected victims of trafficking and parents to whom allegations are made against
  • Issues arising out of Brussels II Revised and the Hague Convention

Reported Cases 

Involving the interface between matters of religion and culture, honour and child protection. Also the use of new material arising subsequently to the issuing of proceedings and the weight to be attached to such in a forensic consideration. 

Re B and G (Children)(No 2) 2015 EWFC 3 – The first reported case where Female Genital Mutilation was the sole issue. Notable Cases The areas of expertise identified above have all been from cases where Clare has been directly representing a significant and central party within the proceedings. Given Clare’s previous employment as a child care solicitor in both the private sector and local government for over 15 years together with the 5 years at the bar has provided a rich seam of experience to draw upon. 

Seminars 

A regular contributor to the many “in house” seminars on family topics with particular emphasis on vulnerable clients and court skills for professional witnesses as well as legal updates on both public and private family law.

Clare Garnham

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Testimonials

"You cannot fault Clare. Her manner with her clients is brilliant and, coupled with that, her advocacy is excellent. Others are in awe of how she commands the courtroom."

Chambers & Partners (2015)

"She has been almost everyone's pick in cases. She is extremely well prepared and very hard-working."

Chambers & Partners 2018