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Natalia
Accolades
Legal 500
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Natalia Levine

Called 2007

Natalia practises equally out of Leeds and Newcastle. She practises exclusively in Family Law and Court of Protection and has developed a high-profile practice and is noted by solicitors and clients alike for being hardworking and knowledgable and effective in court.

"Intelligent and a safe pair of hands in court."

Legal 500 2017
Areas of Expertise
Court of Protection
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Natalia's practice encompasses all areas within the Court of Protection.  Natalia has particular interest in and is regularly instructed in cases where a finding of fact is necessary before final declarations can be made.

Legal 500 2017: Natalia has a niche practice in cases involving welfare elements. She also has expertise in the mismanagement of finances.

Natalia's practice focuses in particular on:

• Cases that include a transfer of proceedings from Children Act cases to the Court of Protection;
• Deprivation of Liberty safeguards;
• Deputyship;
• Property and financial affairs (in particular mismanagement of financial affairs);
• Health and welfare concerns;
• Capacity to engage in specified activities (in particular sexual relations).

"Miss Levine and I have worked together on Court of Protection cases for some time now. I have found her to be tenacious, accurate, reliable and well prepared in all my contact with her both as my counsel and my opponent. She is personable and well- liked by both professionals and lay clients. She is persuasive and determined but always retains good manners and respect for others."

Due to Natalia’s practise in children law, she is often instructed in care / CoP cross over cases.

Recent cases include:

• Representation of a Local Authority in both care and court of protection proceedings where the case for one of the children was transferred to the Court of Protection.

• Representation of a 13 year old in proceedings involving a deprivation of her liberty.

“I instructed Natalia because of her knowledge of COP/DOL and Care; she is very approachable and doesn’t mind spending time explaining/discussing; I was impressed by her hands on approach to see our client as she really went the extra mile as well as her calmness when faced with a very difficult situation (which the Judge even commented on) and most of all she is so pleasant in doing all of this.”

• Representation of a Local Authority in a complex fact find which involved burns to P.

“Natalia was instructed by the Local Authority against my client in complex welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection. There were sensitive issues involved, along with serious allegations of physical against P. Natalia’s cross examination of the two respondents and general advocacy within the proceedings was of an exceptional standard. Her case strategy was very well thought-out, she was extremely well prepared and had a detailed understanding of the relevant legal framework, factual issues and complex family dynamic involved. In particular, her meticulous attention to detail and the way in which she applied this during cross examination was fundamental in securing the outcome which had been sought by the Local Authority. Her overall performance during cross examination left absolutely no stone unturned and was extremely impressive to watch (even to an opposing solicitor). I would have no hesitation in instructing Natalia in similar matters or recommending Natalia to others.”

• Representation of P in welfare proceedings involving fractious family members.

Family: Children
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Natalia undertakes a broad range of public law children work predominantly in the County Court and High Court. Natalia is very experienced in working with vulnerable clients and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

"Natalia is an approachable, popular and extremely capable advocate who is regularly instructed by both parents and Local Authorities. She is certainly one to watch for the future."

Natalia's practice includes the following:

• Complex and near fatal multiple injuries
• Non-accidental injuries;
• Sexual Abuse;
• Fabricated/induced illness;
• Alleged suffocation;
• Chronic neglect;
• Changes in placement;
• Adoption;
• Non-accidental head injury;
• Parents with disabilities;
• Cases involving cross examination of a vulnerable child or adult;
• Cases involving deprivation of liberty;
• Cases involving a cross over or transfer to the Court of Protection.

Recent cases include:

• Representation of a mother in a non accidental head injury case
• Representation of a child in proceedings where there were allegations of sexual abuse
• Representation of a father facing allegations of chronic neglect coupled with findings regarding multiple injuries including fracture, bruising, cigarette burns and bites.
• Representation of a father with a learning disability in a case where separate local authority placements were being sought
• Representation of an intervener in a complex and near fatal multiple injuries case involving non accidental head injury:

“I would like to take this opportunity to recommend without hesitation Natalia Levine. I very recently and at very short notice instructed Natalia on a highly complex fact finding hearing on behalf of a client who was within the pool of perpetrators for extremely complex and serious multiple injuries to a young child. Natalia in a very short period of time was able to read, digest and advice upon the bundle of documents that ran to many thousands of pages. Not only was Natalia able to cut straight to the heart of the matter but at the first opportunity for a conference with client was able to impress upon the client the gravity of the situation but also assure client that the court process would be fair and equitable. The client has since told me how much at ease she felt with Natalia. The client was more than ably represented within the hearing itself and following very careful and thorough cross examination of two medical experts and social work professionals, Natalia advanced a position that the client should be removed from the pool of possible perpetrators, a path that the LA ultimately followed. Natalia’s determination and diligence led the client to achieving the best possible outcome for her. I sincerely hope that I have the opportunity of working with Natalia in the future and would not hesitate in recommending Natalia in any complex care proceedings.”

Private Law Children

Natalia has experience and expertise in the following areas:

• External and internal relocation;
• International abduction cases
• PD12J cases;
• Proportionate use of prohibited steps orders;
• Special Guardianship;
• Wardship;
• Child Arrangement Orders.

Natalia has particular interest in relocation cases, both internal and external and is seen as an expert in this field by instructig solicitors.

As well as receiving conventional instructions via legal professionals, Natalia accepts instructions on a direct/public access basis. 

Please follow this link to view an article Natalia has recently written.

Recent cases include:

• Application to relocate to Australia;
• Application to relocate to the Midlands;
• Opposition of relocation to Egypt;
• Opposition of relocation to the North East from Yorkshire;
• Removal from the jurisdiction to Southern Ireland;
• Removal from the jurisdiction to Australia;
• Jurisdictional issues concerning habitual residence ;
• PD12J cases.

“One of my first choice barristers for Children Act cases. Very hardworking, always gets back to me quickly, sound knowledge of the law and has an effective and innovative approach to resolving matters. Fantastic with clients and excellent advocacy skills – knows just how to pitch her approach in Court.”

Inquests
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Natalia is particularly interested in inquest matters that relate to detention under the Mental Health Act or the Mental Capacity Act.

Public & Admin Law
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Health and Social Care

Natalia regularly advises and appears on behalf of public authorities and individuals in relation to health and social care disputes. Natalia's expertise spans across several areas, such as disputes relating to the provision of care or services under the Care Act 2014, the Children Act 1989 and the Mental Health Act 1983. Natalia provides  regular training in this area and can provide urgent advice upon request.

Judicial Review

Natalia provides advice and representation across several areas of Judicial Review. Recent cases include the provision of social care needs; disputes in relation to the care or otherwise provided under the Children Act 1989; and the availability of resources for those that lack capacity. Natalia provides urgent advice in this area if required.

Special Education Needs & Disability Tribunal

Natalia provides regular training to Local Authorities and provides representation to parents in cases before the Tribunal.

Recommendations
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Legal 500 2017 - "Intelligent and a safe pair of hands in court."

"I instruct Natalia because she is approachable at all times and able in all court scenarios, whether children or domestic violence.  She is able to communicate with all clients appropriately." 

" I instructed Natalia on a case where she did not get the bundle until after 5.00pm the day before the hearing with no brief. She got to grips with the issues and the measure of the respondents and prepared a really good written opening.  Despite being advised the evening before that the matter could possibly proceed by instructions, her advice was that we fight so she clearly doesn’t shy away from conflict when it's appropriate. As it happens, the matter did settle with and with the order Natalia advised was required. The other barristers, who have had the conduct of the case throughout were astounded when they heard how little time she had had to prepare." 

"Natalia is an approachable, popular and extremely capable advocate who is regularly instructed by both parents and Local Authorities. She is certainly one to watch for the future."

"Natalia is completely on top of her game. She is always my first choice in all children matters. Her knowledge of the law, particularly with regards to relocation matters, is  second to none and she goes above and beyond what I could ever expect in helping me to best present my client's case prior to final hearing. She is always available in the run up to hearings and without fail every single client has given 100% positive feedback. I would recommend her to anyone.”

Notable Cases
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Lectures
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Natalia regularly provides training in all her areas of practice.  Natalia is often asked to provide bespoke training to individual law firms and Local Authorities alike. 

Personal Details
Education

BA (Hons) History and Politics (University of Liverpool, 2002-2005) Graduate Diploma in Law (BPP Law School Leeds, 2005-2006) Bar Vocational Course (BPP Law School Leeds, 2006-2007)

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