Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 1999


Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Family Law
Human Rights
Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution


I have been a practising barrister for 15 years. During that time I have had a plethora of experience in appearing for a range of parties in the Family Care Centre, High Court and Court of Appeal. My practice has consisted of children law work including public law cases (Care Orders, Supervision Orders, Article 56 investigations, Secure Accommodation Orders), private law cases (Contact Orders, Residence Orders, Specific Issue Orders and Prohibited Steps Orders) and Child Abduction cases (Hague Convention and non Hague Convention). I also have an extensive practice in the field of adoption including Freeing Orders and Private Adoptions.

My practice also includes divorce work and ancillary relief cases.

Judicial Review also forms part of my area of special interest.

Throughout my 15 years of experience I have developed a specialism in the field of family law and have conducted countless trials thereby honing my skills as a specialist advocate.

I work throughout Northern Ireland.

I also have an interest in Family Mediation in a bid to attempt parties to resolve their disputes outside of the court process.


Throughout my career I have been involved with the Family Bar Association and sat on the Family Bar Committee for many years. Further, I am a Family Bar representative on Belfast Family Court User’s Group which is a multi disciplinary forum to assist with issues that arise within the family justice system in the Family Proceedings Court and Family Care Centre in Belfast. I have also been part of a Family Bar Mediation Group to develop the Bar’s expansion into this specialist area. My contributions to the Family Bar have included the delivery of lectures to other Family Bar members. I have also undertaken advanced advocacy training to further hone and refresh my specialist advocacy skills and have recently completed further training to enable me to train others as advocates. I am also a member of the Directorate of Legal Services Panel for Junior Counsel and accordingly represent Health Trusts. I have also undertaken specialist training to enable me to act as a mediator in Family Law disputes.


Throughout my career at the Family Bar I have been involved in a number of complex cases. These matters have involved the running of lengthy trials and have necessitated the consideration of complicated legal issues. My involvement in such cases has led me to develop a specialism in Family Law advocacy and in particular the examination and cross examination of expert witnesses (pyschiatrists, psychologists, independent social workers, accountants etc), Trust professionals, Social Workers, parents, Guardian Ad Litems and others. My practice includes the Family Care Centre, High Court and Court of Appeal. I have been involved in numerous contested cases which have resulted in written judgments.

A selection of my Court of Appeal cases are:

CM v A Health and Social Services Trust [2011] NICA 41; [2012] NIJB 202

Western Health and Social Services Trust v L & another [2013] NICA 46

A v A Health and Social Services Trust & another; in re M & another [2011] NICA 32

H v C [2005] NICA 55; [2006] NIJB 295

A selection of my High Court cases are:

Western Health and Social Services Trust v L & another [2012] NIFam 6

S & others; in re (nonHague Convention abduction; habitual residence; child’s view) [2005] NI Fam 1; [2005] NI 399