Louise is a specialist family practitioner practising in public law, forced marriage cases, private law and ancillary relief.
Areas of Expertise
Louise's public law experience, acting for Local Authorities and Respondents, includes cases with the following features:
- allegations of non accidental injury with a multiplicity of expert evidence, including 'shaking injuries';
- sexual abuse and the Royal College of Paediatrics guidelines;
- allegations of child pornography, including technical forensic computer evidence;
- allegations of ritualistic abuse/abuse with a cultural component;
- applications to call child witnesses to give evidence further to Re W (2010);
- issues relating to the parents and children's immigration status.
- Louise is a co-author of a well regarded practitioner's guide to the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2008 (see below).
- Approved by the Government's Forced Marriage Unit for referrals of forced marriage cases.
- Louise has acted for applicants, both victims and Local Authorities, on the application for and enforcement of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.
- Experienced in intractable contact disputes and residence cases arising from the same.
- Extensive experience in conducting finding of fact hearings in the private law context involving very serious allegations, including sexual abuse.
- Louise regularly receives instructions in ancillary relief matters.
- Experience includes acting on behalf of applicants lacking litigation capacity who require representation by the Official Solicitor.
Leeds City Council v YX & ZX (Assessment of Sexual Abuse)  EWCA 802 (Fam),  2 FLR 869.
Care proceedings. Allegations of sexual abuse. Instruction of Professor Heger, eminent American Paediatrician. Acted on behalf of Father. Parents entirely vindicated and sexual abuse found not to have taken place. Children returned to parents' care. Case was the subject of publicity
Recent cases of note include:
- representation of a Father alleged to have downloaded child pornography (including Grade 5 images) and to have indecently assaulted two children. Complex case requiring careful consideration of issues of disclosure to intervenors, an application to call child witnesses and the instruction of an independent computer expert to review the police evidence.
- representation of a parent in care proceedings, alleged to have inflicted a fracture to their child's leg. Issues have arisen in relation to the relevance of low bone density.
- acted as junior counsel for a local authority in a 4 week finding of fact hearing. Mother alleged to suffer from a personality disorder. Allegations included fabricated rape complaints and arson.
- lengthy representation of a local authority in a High Court matter originally concerning allegations of abuse with a ritualistic element. 10 day finding of fact hearing and thereafter complex disposal issues: neither the parents nor children had indefinite leave to remain in the country.
- representation in private law proceedings of a Father alleged to have sexually abused his 4 year old son. No findings made following a finding of fact hearing. Mother declined to pursue allegations any further prior to close of her case.
- Specialist contributor to 'The International Family Law Practice' (2nd Edition), authored by David Hodson (Jordans Family Law, January 2012). Author of the chapter Forced Marriages.
- ‘Forced Marriage: A Special Bulletin’, (Jordans) September 2009
- 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)
- ‘Shared Residence: Just a Label?’, Family Law (July 2004)
- ‘Forced Marriage, Local Authorities and Applications without Leave: The New Provisions’, Family Law Week (October 2009)
- ‘Forcing the Issue’, Local Government Lawyer (November 2009)
- ‘A Driving Force’, The Solicitor's Journal (December 2009)
Author of the seminar notes on the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2008 used by Jordans publishing for their 2010 national children law update programme.
- Children Public and Private Law Updated (October 2010)
- Children Public Law Update (February 2010)
- Forced 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.
- Transparency, the Press & the Family Courts ~ A Practitioner's Guide (May 2009, September 2009)
- Sexual Abuse & Royal College of Paediatrics Guidelines (April 2009)
- Children Public Law Update (January 2009)
- 'praised by clients who describe her as "professional, knowledgeable and easy to relate to."'Chambers & Partners, 2013
- “is ‘extremely thorough’” Legal 500 (2012)
- ‘Exceptionally well prepared and puts her arguments strongly but in a calm and polite way.’ Legal 500 (2011)
- ‘....is recommended for non-accidental injury children’s cases, as is Louise McCallum, who is also an expert in forced marriages.’ Legal 500 (2010)
- ‘...has substantial experience of baby shaking/child abuse cases.’ Legal 500 (2009)
- ‘...remains in demand.’ Legal 500 (2008)
- ‘...hard-working, diligent and maintains her early promise.’ Legal 500 (2007)
- ‘...hard-working, diligent and taking very heavy cases for her 1999 call.’ Legal 500 (2006)