Administrative Law or Judicial Review
I have been in legal practice since 2001 as a solicitor and was called to the Bar in 2016. As a solicitor, I was department head of my firm’s matrimonial team and conducted a very busy practice. During that time, I have had a plethora of experience appearing for a range of parties in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Family Care Centre and the Family Proceedings Court. I have most recently had experience during pupillage of attending the Supreme Court for hearing in respect of a judicial review application regarding distinction between co habitee and married persons’ rights in respect of pension provision.
My practice has involved a large volume of children’s law work. I have appeared in numerous public law cases concerning care orders, supervision orders, Article 56 investigations and secure accommodation orders. I have appeared in numerous private law children’s cases including contact orders, residence orders, specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders. I have dealt with child abduction cases both Hague and non-Hague Convention. Furthermore, I have represented parties in adoption matters including freeing orders and private adoption applications.
As a solicitor, I have represented numerous parties in divorce and ancillary relief proceedings. I am experienced in dealing with a wide range of family assets from private companies, partnerships to farms and family land disputes. I have acted as a solicitor in high value cases as well of those of lower net worth.
As a solicitor, I have also acquired extensive experience in related proceedings in the Chancery Division including probate cases, land disputes and inheritance provisions applications. Throughout legal practice I have regularly worked with medical, forensic, accountancy and valuation experts and I am experienced in handling professional expert witnesses.
Judicial review is an area of practice which I would like to develop further in my practice as a barrister.
I have practiced in courts throughout Northern Ireland.
1999; 2:1 LLB Hons Queen’s University, Belfast
2001; Certificate of Professional Legal studies Queen’s University, Belfast
2001; Admitted to Roll of solicitors in Northern Ireland
2016; Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland
2017; Family Bar Association, Corrine Philpott Pupil Essay Prize
Throughout my practice as a solicitor I was a member of the Family Solicitors Association.
I trained and qualified as a collaborative lawyer and was a member of the Collaborative Law solicitors group which sought to develop a non-adversarial approach to resolution of marriage breakdown outside the court process.
In 2008 as a solicitor, I undertook and obtained further qualification of solicitor advocate through advanced advocacy training from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
As a solicitor, I was appointed to the specialist panel for the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency and represented the guardian appointed on behalf of the child in a number of Children’s Order cases.
Throughout my legal career, I have represented many parties in a number of complex cases. These have involved consideration of many different and complex legal issues. My experience in legal practice has led me to develop a specialism in family law. As a solicitor, I have advocated as a solicitor advocate on behalf of parties in all levels of courts from the High Court to the Family Proceedings Court. I have been involved in a number of cases in which written judgments were produced by the court.
A selection of my cases as a solicitor is set out below:
H v C  NICA 55;  NIJB 295
Director of the Public Prosecution Service v O’Rawe, Liam Sean & anor; O’Rawe, Sheena v O’Rawe, Liam Sean  NIQB 73
I also attended the Supreme Court during my pupillage for the recent judicial review appeal case:
In the matter of an application by Denise Brewster for judicial review (Northern Ireland) UKSC 2014/0180 (judgment appealed  NICA 54)