Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 1992

KC: 2014

Main Areas of Practice

Family Law
Land Law
Personal Injury


Adele has over twenty-five years’ experience acting in a broad range of complex and challenging cases. She has appeared in personal injury proceedings and cases of sexual discrimination, unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. She has also acted in judicial reviews, challenging decisions by the Department of Education and the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Adele’s main expertise however, lies within the Family Law Division; she appears principally in the High Court. She has been instructed in a wide range of high value and complicated ancillary relief hearings, and in related proceedings in the Chancery Division – probate cases, land disputes and inheritance provisions applications. She regularly works with medical, forensic accountancy and valuation experts. In February 2017 she was the keynote speaker at the Jordan’s Family Law Conference in Belfast.

Adele has been engaged as Trust Counsel for the Department of Health and Social Services in Care and Freeing/Adoption applications and she continues to appear regularly in public law cases for families. She has extensive experience dealing with cases of sexual and physical abuse, neglect and non-accidental injury. She also acts in private law disputes relating to children – relocation hearings, residence and maintenance applications, contact and specific issue disputes.

Adele has also successfully defended criminal clients in the Crown Court and in the Court of Appeal, a demonstration of how versatile her practice continues to be and of the confidence placed in her by Instructing Solicitors.

She is a qualified mediator and also sits as a Chairperson on the Police Appeals Tribunal.


1991; LL.B (Hons), Queen’s University, Belfast

1992; Certificate in Professional Legal Studies, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast

1992; Called to Bar of Northern Ireland

1996; Called to Bar of Ireland

2014; Called to the Inner Bar


Reported cases include:

McGowan, David v McGowan, Christabe [2015] NIFam 4 (ancillary relief; pensions)

N (a minor); in re application (relocation appeal) [2015] NIFam 12; (relocation appeal)

Jenkins V Jenkins (2014; OHA9426 & 2015; OHA9597) (Variation of mareva injunction and Child maintenance)

A Health and Social Care Trust v M & ors; in re M [2014] NIFam 3 (Declaratory judgment in respect of seriously ill infant)

Smyth v Smyth, May 2011, Master Redpath (ancillary relief; legal aid; costs)

H v H [2010] NIMaster 1 (ancillary relief; conduct)

M v M No. 2 of [2007] NIMaster 50, Master Redpath (ancillary relief; khanna summons; legal professional privilege)

McM V McM No. 4 of [2005] NIMaster 23 (ancillary relief; inherited assets)

In the matter of R and S [2004] GILF5302 (care order and freeing for adoption)

Donnelly, Dorethea v Donnelly, Michael [2002] NIFam 16 (divorce; five years’ separation; fault grounds)

Dooris, Anthony Joseph v Dooris, Rosaleen Teresa Veronica [2002] NICA 4 (divorce; separate household test)

Additional experience:

2000 – 2006; Elected member of the Bar Council

Bar Representative in “Review of the Freeing Processes in Northern Ireland”; Queen’s University study commissioned by the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency and the Social Services Inspectorate.

Trainer for the Advocacy Training Board for the Bar Council of Northern Ireland

2000 to 2007; Bar Representative on the Family Bar Judicial Liaison Committee.

2014; Advanced Advocacy course

Adele continues to serve on a number of Bar Committees and is a long-standing member of the Family Bar Association.


Ancillary Relief – Recent Developments and Practice and Procedure – CPD Lecture to Solicitors’ Family Law Association April 2013

Avoiding Hypertension When Splitting the Pension – CPD Lecture to Family Bar Association June 2014