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Helen Newman, Duncan Lewis

Helen Newman

Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

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 (Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 22 December 2010. Barbara Mercredi v Richard Chaffe - European Court Reports 2010 I-14309).

I am one of the longest serving solicitors on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) the child abduction accredited solicitors’ referral list, and I am a founding member or the Child Abduction Lawyers’ Association (CALA). I am also an accredited member of the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced scheme, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and on the lawyers’ lists of the French Consulate in London, as well as the Reunite International Lawyers’ network.

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 speak French which allows me to assist clients from French speaking countries.

Education

  • Qualified as a solicitor in October 1984

Career

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

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal
  • 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
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
  • On the Lawyers’ lists of the French Consulate in London
  • Reunite International Lawyers’ network

Interests

  • Foreign travel
  • Sailing
  • Reading
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