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Helen Newman, Duncan Lewis

Helen Newman


Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Awards Recommendation for Helen Newman
CILEX-2019.jpg Legal 500

Helen is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2021 edition of The Legal 500.

Legal 500 2021 Edition.
Family / London

Helen is a founding member or the Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA).

CILEX 2019 Edition.
Family / Child Abduction Lawyers Association
I am a Supervisor in the Family department at Duncan Lewis specialising in international family law. I joined in March 2019 after working as a director/partner at my previous practice, Pritchard Joyce & Hinds, where I had worked since 1984. I am based in the firm's Tonbridge office. With over 40 years work in the legal sector, I am a prominent solicitor practicing in international child abduction, having had a case heard in the Court of Justice of the European Union which is now firmly embedded into English national law.

Alongside my work concerning international child abduction, I undertake other aspects of cross border and children law including relocation, wardship, care proceedings, and children cases with an international element. I am known for my thorough knowledge in this complex area of law. I pay close attention to detail and am tenacious in order to ensure that every client is provided with the best legal advice possible.

The highlight of my career was the referral of a case from the Court of Appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union in what is known as the Mercredi case I am one of the longest serving solicitors on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) accredited solicitors’ referral list, and I am a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA). I am also an accredited member of the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced scheme, and on the lawyers’ lists of the French Embassy and Consulate in London.

I have also been a Guest Speaker at The Conference on the Child Removal Proceedings in the Council of Europe Member States and related Human Rights Issues in 2014 and at the International Family Law Conference, Barreau de Paris in October 2014. I was also a guest speaker at a conference held at the Institute of Education of the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic in Omšenie on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The conference organised was by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, the Association of Friends of Children from Children´s Homes (Spoločnosť priateľov detí z detských domovov Úsmev ako dar) and the Judicial Academy of the Slovak Republic.

On 25 November 2019 I was honoured to receive an award by the Society of Friends of Abandoned Children Smile as a Gift and the Association of Family Judges in Slovakia for "outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement for Children's Right not to be separated from their parents" (Art 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.) I speak French which allows me to assist clients from French speaking countries.


  • Qualified as a solicitor in October 1984


  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2019-present
  • Pritchard Joyce & Hinds, 1984-2019


  • "Thanks again so much for all your help...please can I say what a pleasure it has been to work with you in respect of these children and to thank you for all your continued help." - Marion Robinson, Halton Borough Council - Group Solicitor

  • "I received the best support and advice from Mrs Helen Newman, she is absolutely a professional and knowledgeable about her job. Thank you Helen, I’m grateful." - Client, May 2020

  • “Helen, thank you so much for the work you put into this case, and as mentioned, it was not easy. It has been great working with you and I hope to again in the future.” – Case Officer, 2019

  • “I cannot begin to thank you enough for all of your work but thank you…I just wanted you to know how thankful I am for all of your help in making this happen. Good on you Helen!” – Client, 2019

  • “I want to thank you for all the hard work you have out in throughout this extended exercise. Now the fight continues at this end.” – Client, 2019


  • Recommended Lawyer - The Legal 500, 2021 edition - Family/London

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal
  • Re H (Abduction: Retention in Non-Contracting State) Neutral Citation Number: [2019] EWCA Civ 672
  • V - Z (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 475
  • Mercredi v Chaffe [2011] EWCA Civ 272
  • G (Children) 2010 EWCA Civ 1232

High Court
  • A [2018] EWFC B34 (case relating to Elhers Danlos syndrome in a care case)
  • J v C and Another [2015] EWHC 2047 (Fam)
  • Kent County Council v IS & Ors [2013] EWHC 2308 (Fam)
  • JRG v EB [2012] EWHC 1863 (Fam)

Civil Court
  • Re J and S (Children) [2014] EWFC 4

Membership & Accreditations

  • International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU)
  • Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA)
  • Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced scheme
  • On the Lawyers’ lists of the French Consulate in London


  • Foreign travel
  • Sailing
  • Reading
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