St Ives Family – Children

The Family – Children group has an unrivalled reputation for excellence at all levels – regionally and nationally – and for providing high quality representation, advocacy and advice in all aspects of the law relating to children. Many members of the Family – Children group are listed as Leading Juniors in the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories, and several members also sit as Deputy High Court Judges, Recorders and Deputy District Judges.

We offer a wide range of expertise and experience of all areas of public and private law relating to children, including care proceedings, adoption, wardship, child arrangements and contact disputes, child abduction, international and national relocation, surrogacy and same-sex parenting issues.

We are proud of our commitment to providing excellence in all areas of service to clients in our advocacy, advice and paperwork. We aim to provide continuity of counsel wherever possible and our overall depth of experience ensures that we are usually able to match clients carefully to the most suitable barrister.

Public Law Silks

Our specialist family law silks, Elizabeth Isaacs KC and Timothy Bowe KC, both have a wealth of experience in all aspects of complex public law proceedings relating to children. They both have a reputation for excellence in oral and written advocacy and are highly regarded for their compassionate and approachable style when working with vulnerable parties and witnesses, including children. They both prioritise a collaborative approach with solicitors and juniors and provide clear leadership within the team to deliver the best outcomes for clients. They regularly act for local authorities, parents, interveners, children and the Official Solicitor in highly sensitive and serious cases. Particular areas of expertise and interest include –

·        Child death

·        Serious physical injury

·        Allegations of physical, emotional and sexual harm

·        Toxicology and poisoning

·        Domestic abuse

·        Fabricated or Induced Illness and Perplexing Presentations

·        Adoption/international placement of children

·        Special Guardianship

·        DOLS and Court of Protection

·        Disclosure and Public Interest Immunity (PII) issues

·        Local authority decision-making

·        Media/privacy law in family proceedings

·        Human rights issues

·        Judicial review

·        LGBTQ and Modern Family parenting issues


Legal 500 2024: “Birmingham’s St Ives Chambers is a ‘fantastic set for family law’ with ‘unrivalled strength in depth’ and offers advice across both public and private law children work.”

“St Ives Chambers has the strongest offering of barristers in Birmingham.”

“St Ives Chambers are go-to barristers. They always provide a quality and timely service.”

“St Ives Chambers are excellent, particularly for children matters (both public and private).”

Chambers and Partners 2024: “St Ives Chambers is a well-established and highly regarded family set. Its expansive bench offers expertise across the full range of matrimonial finance and children cases. Its barristers act for parents, children and local authorities in both public and private children matters, from complex adoption and placement matters involving asylum seekers, to sensitive issues concerning sexual abuse and non-accidental injuries. A source reports: “I can always rely on expert advice from St Ives. They are up to date on all changes in the law and provide sound advice.””

Chambers & Partners 2019:  St Ives is “an excellent chambers, with a deserved reputation for excellence in family law”

Legal 500:  “The St Ives Chambers family group is ‘one of the best in the region’, with ‘high-calibre advocates’ handling family finance and children law. Members have expertise in difficult cases of abuse, serious injuries, child deaths, and fabricated/induced illnesses, while fertility law is a growing area of practice…..”

Legal 500: “With ‘an excellent mix of barristers at all levels’, St Ives Chambers has a national reputation for family law; it is ‘more than a match for the Magic Circle chambers in London’.”