Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 1999

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Family Law
Human Rights


I am a specialist in the area of Family Law including Ancillary Relief, Wardship, Children Order & Adoption Order cases along with associated Judicial Reviews. I have significant experience at all tiers of the family courts including the Court of Appeal, High Court, Care Centre and Family Proceedings Court. In terms of Public Law Care cases I have been involved in all varieties of cases involving, serious non accidental injuries, death of prior children, sexual abuse, emotional harm and neglect. I act for parents, children, Guardian Ad Litems and am on the DLS Trust panel. I also undertake work in private law cases involving parental disputes and dealing with children in the midst of family breakdown. I have an active practice in divorce and ancillary relief cases.


1994 - 1998: Cambridge University MA Cantab in History & Law

1999; Institute of Professional Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast

1999; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland

Served on the Committee for the Northern Ireland Medical & Legal Society

2010 - present; Member of the Family Bar Committee

I am a qualified Advocacy Trainer.


D; in re (care order; declaration of religious upbringing) [2005] NIFam 10

Re D, C, C1 & D1 ( care order: threshold: standard of proof) GILC5075

AR v Homefirst Community Trust [2005] NICA 8; [2005] NI 435

C1, C2 & C3; in re (child’s evidence; interviews) [2009] NIFam 4

G & D; in re (risk of forced marriage; forced marriage protection order) [2010] NI Fam 6

G & D; in re (forced marriage protection order) (no 2) [2010] NI Fam 9

G & D; in re (forced marriage protection order) (no 4) [2011] NIFam 21

Series of Judgments from Mr Justice Stephens under the anonymised names of Caitrin, Dona & Elliot 2010-2012

Caitrin & ors; in re (care proceedings; fact finding) [2010] NIFam 1

Caitrin & ors; in re (No 3) (application to vary a no contact order) [2010] NIFam 3

Caitrin & ors; in re (No 2) (freezing injunction; application to discharge or vary) [2010] NIFam 4

Caitrin & ors; in re (No 6) (financial provision for the children) [2010] NIFam 22

Caitrin & ors; in re (No 5) (care proceedings; remitted hearing) [2010] NIFam 24

Dona; in re (No 7) (application to discharge care order) [2011] NIFam 8

Dona; in re (No 8) (application to live outside Northern Ireland; discharge care order; residence order) [2012] NIFam 3

Marcail; in re application for judicial review [2012] NIQB 68

DXF; in re application for judicial review [2008] NIQB 138 (Judicial Review re Registration on the Child Protection Register)

SH v RD & another [2012] NIFam 2 (Relocation to Australia)


Talk on the Basics of Family Law given on behalf of the Family Bar Association 28 February 2012