I am a Consultant Solicitor with Duncan Lewis and I practice Family/Child Care & Criminal Law. Since 1986 I have worked in private practice in the South and South West. The focus of my work has been in family law and criminal law. I have been a member of the Family Law Panel since 2000 and recently joined the Children Law Panel. I have been a duty solicitor since 1986 and have held higher court rights of audience in criminal cases since 2000.
Since 1986 I have worked in private practice in the South and South West. The focus of my work has been in family law and criminal law. I have been a member of the Family Law Panel since 2000 and recently joined the Children Law Panel. I have been a duty solicitor since 1986 and I have held higher court rights of audience in criminal cases since 2000.
In relation to my family and childcare practice, I handle a range of cases including divorce, injunctions as to domestic violence, and financial matters on the break-up of a relationship, but I have a particular interest in Children Act proceedings in which, as a Law Society Children Law Panel member, I represent parents, family members, children’s guardians and children. In care and related proceedings I have been involved in many cases which involve investigation into and an assessment of the evidence for non-accidental injuries, or where one or other of the parents have mental health problems or suffer from addiction issues.
My notable and reported matrimonial cases include:
- Case concerning a teenager with behavioural issues who was made subject to interim care order, but then in foster care started offending and running away. I acted for the mother. The court was persuaded that the son should return to mother.
- I acted for the father of child. The mother had mental health issues and abused the child. The guardian supported, against the wishes of the local authority, an assessed placement with father. This went well. The outcome in the High Court was that a care order was refused and the child remained with father.
- I acted for the parents of 3 children who had been removed under care orders. The parents subsequently had a further child and care proceedings were started in the High Court as to the child. I gathered evidence challenging the earlier findings of non-accidental injuries in respect of the second child. The local authority dropped the care proceedings. Case reported as Webster (A Minor) (2007) EWHC 549 Fam.
- I then acted for the parents in seeking to challenge the care orders and adoption of the 3 children. Leave was granted for an appeal out of time to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal ultimately refused to allow the case to proceed any further but gave guidance as to the finality of adoption orders. Case reported as Re W (Children) (aka Webster v Norfolk County Council) (2009) All ER 1156
For those facing criminal charges, I also handle a broad spectrum of both privately funded and publicly funded (legal aid) criminal defence cases from initial police station representation through to representation at the Magistrates court and if appropriate at the Crown Court and Court of Appeal stage. I have been involved in cases covering a wide range of offences from road traffic, through to major cases concerning violence to the person (including murder), sexual offences, trade description, animal cruelty, fraud and drugs.