Philippa Wordsworth

Year of call 1995


Philippa has practiced exclusively in family law for the majority of her career at the Bar. She deals with all aspects of public and private law children work in the High Court, County Court and Family Proceedings Court. She also enjoys being able to assist clients in reaching resolution of the financial aspects of relationship breakdown, whether ancillary to marriage or pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. She prides herself on building trusting relationships with clients and striking the balance between giving realistic advice and appreciation of the difficult emotions experienced by most parties involved in family proceedings.

Areas of Expertise

  • Care and Discharge of care orders and Special Guardianship

  • Placement Orders and Adoption

  • Non accidental injury, including infant skull fracture

  • Private law Residence and Contact disputes, Prohibited steps and Parental responsibility

  • Complex findings of fact hearings, discrete and composite, including private law proceedings involving complex cross allegations of domestic abuse or child abuse

  • Representing extended family members in private and public law

  • Permanent removal from the jurisdiction and internal relocation

  • Fabricated and Induced Illness in adult carers and children subject of proceedings

Notable Cases

Philippa has recently acted in cases:

-For the Mother in cross- applications for residence and contact where both parents had historical and allegedly current issues with alcohol and drugs and a long history of domestic violence and antipathy;

-For the Local Authority as Junior Counsel where the Father was deemed a significant sexual risk and the Mother behaving in a way over a 16 year period consistent with Fabricated or Induced Illness in respect of all three of her children;

-For a Mother with a learning disability in care proceedings who had suffered disadvantages from her own experience of being parented and involving an allegation of non-accidental injury;

-For a Father in an application for contact with his daughter, with whom he had been denied contact for many years due to a concern that knowledge of her illegitimacy would prejudice her physical safety or social position within her minority community;

-For a Father seeking residence of his child in preference to the maternal grandparents where the child’s mother had died;

-For a Mother from a local minority community seeking residence of her child in circumstances where she was ultimately found to have been subject to extreme sexual and physical degradation by the extended paternal family;

-For a Husband who had dissipated a large portion of matrimonial assets through gambling in ancillary relief proceedings;

-For a Wife in ancillary relief proceedings who had been told that she was nearing the end of a long battle with a life threatening illness;

-For a Husband seeking to set aside a consent order where his children had come to reside with him shortly after the perfection of an ancillary relief consent order.


Financial Remedy Appeals- Procedure, The Test and Costs

Transparency and the Press in Family Courts

Instructing Counsel: a Guide for Junior Solicitors

Experts in Instructing Experts: The Role of the Lawyer in Instructing and Appraising Medical Expert Evidence in Children Cases

Ancillary Relief in a Recession

Direct Access Available

What is Direct Access?
Philippa Wordsworth


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