Areas of Expertise
public law experience, acting for Local Authorities, Parents, Carers and
Children, includes cases with the following features:
of non accidental injury with a multiplicity of expert evidence, including
abuse and the Royal College of Paediatrics guidelines;
of child pornography, including technical forensic computer evidence;
of ritualistic abuse/abuse with a cultural component;
to call child witnesses to give evidence further to Re W (2010).
is a co-author of a well regarded practitioner's guide to the Forced Marriage
(Civil Protection) Act 2008
- Specialist contributor on forced marriages for
the popular International Family Law Practice
has acted for applicants, both victims and Local Authorities, on the
application for and enforcement of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.
in intractable contact disputes and disputes as to where children should live.
experience in conducting finding of fact hearings in the private law context
involving very serious allegations, including sexual abuse.
Leeds City Council v YX & ZX (Assessment of Sexual Abuse)  EWCA 802 (Fam),  2 FLR 869.
proceedings before Mr Justice Holman. Acted as junior counsel for the Father (led
by Clive Heaton QC, now HHJ Heaton QC).
Allegations of sexual abuse. Prior to involvement of silk, successfully
argued for the instruction of Professor Heger, eminent American Paediatrician.
Parents entirely vindicated and sexual abuse found not to have taken place.
Children returned to parents' care. Case was the subject of publicity.
Re A (Fact finding): Kirklees Council v X v MS v SU and others  EWFC 68
Junior counsel for the Local Authority in a 10 day finding of fact hearing within care
proceedings before Ms Justice Russell (leading counsel John Hayes QC). Linked
care proceedings in respect of two families. Historical allegations of
sexual abuse. Vulnerable witnesses. Allegations found proven.
the final welfare stage of these proceedings Louise represented the Local
Authority before Ms Justice Russell.
GD and BD (Children)  EWHC 3312 (Fam)
Louise was junior counsel for the Local Authority in Human Rights
proceedings hesard by Mr Justice Cobb. The mother and her two
children, now aged 9 and 4, brought applications under the Human Rights Act
1998 for damages and declarations that, as a result of the conduct of the Local
Authority and the police force, their Art 6 and Art 8 rights had been breached.
Case was the subject of publicity. Nb. Louise was not junior counsel in
the earlier stage of the linked care proceedings.
cases of note include:
- Representation of a Father in ongoing proceedings concerning alleged Fabricated or Induced
- Representation of a Father in a finding of fact hearing.
Father alleged to have extensively downloaded child pornography of the most
serious type and to have indecently assaulted his step daughter.
- Counsel for
the Local Authority in ongoing proceedings in the High Court concerning
determination of the cause of death of a 7 day old baby.
- Counsel for a 16 year old child in ongoing care proceedings in
the High Court arising from allegations of attempted forced marriage.
- Junior counsel
for the Local Authority in finding of fact hearing in care proceedings
concerning the causation and, if non accidental, perpetrator of injuries to the
duodenum of a 3 year old child, resulting in his death.
- Junior counsel
for the Child in case concerning causation of the death of 18 week old sibling
who had suffered multiple fractures and burns.
- Counsel for
the Children in a finding of fact hearing to determine the causation of life
threatening head injuries to 14 month old, resulting in permanent disability.
- Counsel for
the Mother in finding of fact hearing to determine the perpetrator of non
accidental head injuries to a baby boy.
contributor to 'The International Family Law Practice' (2nd, 3rd and
4th Editions), authored by David Hodson (Jordans Family Law, January 2012).
Author of the chapter 'Forced Marriages'. Louise is again a
specialist contributor for the forthcoming 5th edition of this text, to be
published in December 2016.
Review: "A refreshingly
interesting read! ... This book rather helpfully sets out almost everything
you need to know when preparing for a case of this nature ... a step by step
guide to managing a forced marriage case" (Family Law)
Residence: Just a Label?’, Family Law (July 2004)
Marriage, Local Authorities and Applications without Leave: The New
Provisions’, Family Law Week (October 2009);
the Issue’, Local Government Lawyer (November 2009)
Driving Force’, The Solicitor's Journal (December 2009)
Child Arrangements Programme 2014: The Key Provisions, Family Law Week (April
New Standards for Expert Witnesses, Family Law Week (October 2014)
Law Update (wine and wisdom presentation) April 2015
for the College of Law online professional development training course on the
Child Arrangements Programme (2014)
was one of the speakers on the topic of forced marriage at the 2013 Law
Society Annual Family Law conference : "The sacred and the secular –
religion, culture and the family courts". Conference opened by the President of the
PLO training (July 2013)
Public and Private Law Updated (October 2010)
Public Law Update (February 2010)
Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2008 (November 2009). Key speaker on the
legislation at a joint conference on forced marriage held by Zenith Chambers
and Switalskis Solicitors. Nearly 200 lawyers, police officers and social
workers in attendance.
the Press & the Family Courts ~ A Practitioner's Guide (May 2009,
Abuse & Royal College of Paediatrics Guidelines (April 2009)
Public Law Update (January 2009)