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"First port of call in factually and legally complex public law children matters."
Legal 500 2015

Family: children

We are proud of our dedicated and highly experienced family law team headed by Joanne Astbury and superbly clerked by Mark Williams who is a regular recipient of plaudit from solicitors for his awareness and knowledge.

Our team of specialist children law barristers have a long established reputation for expertise in both Private and Public law proceedings. Members have dealt with many of the most difficult disputes over children’s welfare and are renowned for their approach in dealing with cases of a sensitive nature.

Experienced, approachable and supported by a highly-regarded clerking team, we are Counsel of choice for Local Authorities, parents and children in the most complex cases. Our members appear at every level of the family courts, including regular appearances in the High Court, and Court of Appeal.

 We recognise the pressures that our solicitor clients face daily and the emotional pressures upon our lay clients. Our objective is to ease the burden on both.

 We have particular expertise with:

  • Representing local authorities, parents and children (directly or through their children’s Guardian) and others in applications by local authorities to take children into public care
  • Adoption
  • Special guardianship orders
  • Wardship and inherent jurisdiction of the High Court
  • Alleged parental injury to children and complex medical evidence
  • Human rights claims involving local authorities and other public bodies
  • Radicalisation
  • FGM
  • Fabricated/induced illness
  • International Relocation cases
  • Cases which involve the handling of vulnerable clients and witnesses




  • Parklane Plowden is seen by many instructing parties as a 'first port of call' in factually and legally complex public law children matters, which account for a significant part of the family group's workload. The set also has a burgeoning reputation for Court of Protection work; members act in relation to issues such as deprivation of liberty, care and treatment, as well as the property and affairs of vulnerable children and adults lacking capacity."

    Legal 500, 2015
  • With 'a good number of highly competent advocates', Parklane Plowden's family team successfully tendered for a childcare contract to provide services to a number of local authorities across the North East. Practitioners are experienced in representing vulnerable individuals including those with learning disabilities, mental health problems and young children.

    Legal 500 2014
  • Expert and sensitive advice combined with specialist advocacy. Providing good quality children law representation both in private and public law

    Legal 500 2011
We're Recruiting

Parklane Plowden welcomes enquiries from Barrister and Solicitor advocates. In addition to our regular recruitment campaigns, Parklane Plowden also welcomes enquiries from individuals seeking superb opportunities for career advancement.

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