Our Standards

Children law work involves cases of the utmost sensitivity and complexity.  Our team is committed to helping the professional and lay client at all stages of the legal process.  We strive in all cases to meet the highest standards including:

  • Thorough preparation of the case

  • Objective and clear advice

  • A high quality of written work

  • Outstanding advocacy

  • An approachable manner

  • Working effectively as a team

  • Alleviating the pressure caused by the legal process

  • Continuity of representation wherever possible

  • Ensuring the professional and lay client are kept fully informed at all stages  

Our Children team has a proven track record in handling children law cases reflected by our large client base, repeat instructions and our dominant presence in courts across the NE Circuit and beyond.

Our Fields of Expertise

Members of the team provide advice at all stages of a case, from initial advice on the law and evidence through to final representation at court. We appear in courts at all levels. Members of the team have been involved in high profile cases, including those reported as lead children law authorities.  Team members have also published books and articles on a wide range of children law topics.

Members of our children law team have very wide-raging expertise including the following areas:

  • Adoption

  • Care proceedings

  • Child arrangements orders (formerly residence/contact)

  • Complex medical issues

  • Cultural and religious issues

  • Disputes over a child's upbringing

  • Domestic violence and harassment

  • Factitious illness

  • Female genital mutilation

  • Forced marriage

  • Human Rights

  • International cases, including child abduction

  • Mental health issues

  • Non-accidental injury

  • Parents with a learning disability

  • Physical, sexual and emotional abuse

  • Psychological issues

  • Relocation abroad

  • Relocation inside the UK

  • Same-sex relationships

  • Secure accommodation

  • Special guardianship

  • Surrogacy

  • Wardship and the inherent jurisdiction

Our Clients

In private law work, we accept instructions for all parties including:

·         Parents

·         Relatives

·         Children (where separately represented)

In public law work, we accept instruction for all parties including:

·         Local Authorities

·         Parents

·         Relatives

·         The Children's Guardian

·         Children (where separately represented)

·         CAFCASS Legal

·         The Official Solicitor


Work is undertaken on both a privately funded and Legal Aid basis (where available). We are acutely aware of the cost of legal proceedings, whether to the public purse or the client’s purse, and aim to provide a cost effective service at all times.   Our dedicated family clerking team is available to discuss and assist with all aspects of funding.

For more information on any member of the team please contact our clerks:

Rebecca Hartley (Senior Clerk) 0113 245 5438 


Laura Myers (Junior Clerk) 0113 245 5438 


Bethany Appleyard (Family Billing Clerk) 0113 245 5438


Current Awareness

By the Family team

Upcoming Events

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“The family team at Zenith provide quality advocates at all levels of call who focus on children law, family finance and adult care.”

Chambers & Partners (2016)

‘The staff provide a consistently excellent service’

Legal 500 (2017)