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Philippa
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Philippa Wordsworth

Called 1995

Philippa services all aspects of public and private children law, before all levels of tribunal within the  Family Court, including regular work within the High Court.

Within the public law remit, Philippa represents Local Authorities, parents/family members and the Children’s Guardian, within applications relating to care , adoption and the Inherent Jurisdiction, involving serious inflicted injury, sexual abuse (including historic), fabricated/ induced illness, female genital mutilation (FGM); child death, one parent killing the other parent and child sexual exploitation, as well as issues of  adoption breakdown and deprivation liberty within Local Authority care. She is versed in issues relating to Forced Marriage and associated nullity of marriage.

Philippa is experienced in proceedings where one or more of the parties lacks capacity and/or where parties/witnesses have a learning disability.

Philippa frequently represents family members within private law applications relating to child arrangements orders, change of name, and permanent removal from the jurisdiction. She is experienced in cases involving allegations of serious parental domestic abuse,  so called ‘honour based’ violence, child sexual abuse , parental alienation and cases where serious, false allegations are found to have been made by one parent against the other.

Philippa also deals with Court of Protection work, with a particular interest in deprivation of liberty.

Philippa always strives to combine strong case presentation and pragmatic advice with an empathetic approach. She recognises that she can be working with people throughout some of the the most difficult times of their lives.

Strong case presentation and pragmatic advice, with an empathetic approach.

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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Family: Children
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Philippa services all aspects of public and private children law, before all levels of tribunal within the  Family Court, including regular work within the High Court.

Within the public law remit, Philippa represents Local Authorities, parents/family members and the Children’s Guardian, within applications relating to care , adoption and the Inherent Jurisdiction, involving serious inflicted injury, sexual abuse (including historic), fabricated/ induced illness, female genital mutilation (FGM); child death, one parent killing the other parent and child sexual exploitation, as well as issues of  adoption breakdown and deprivation liberty within Local Authority care. She is versed in issues relating to Forced Marriage and associated nullity of marriage.

Philippa is experienced in proceedings where one or more of the parties lacks capacity and/or where parties/witnesses have a learning disability.

Philippa frequently represents family members within private law applications relating to child arrangements orders, change of name, and permanent removal from the jurisdiction. She is experienced in cases involving allegations of serious parental domestic abuse,  so called ‘honour based’ violence, child sexual abuse , parental alienation and cases where serious, false allegations are found to have been made by one parent against the other.

Philippa also deals with Court of Protection work, with a particular interest in deprivation of liberty.

Philippa always strives to combine strong case presentation and pragmatic advice with an empathetic approach. She recognises that she can be working with people throughout some of the the most difficult times of their lives.

Notable Cases
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A more recent,  reported case: T (A Child: Care Order: Beyond Parental Control: Deprivation of Liberty: Authority to Administer Medication) [2017] EWFC B1

- Represented the Local Authority in proceedings involving allegations (ultimately proven) of parental  fabrication and induced multiple , serious illnesses in two children , over many years (and have represented Local Authorities on a number of other FII cases);

-Represented the Mother of an adolescent , disabled child,  where she disputed the Local Authority plan of removal and placement of the child within long term,  specialist residential accommodation and opposed administration of medication;

- Represented the Local Authority where the Father was ultimately proved to have planned and executed the murder of the Mother and where parents of the murdered mother , who lived in China, opposed the Local Authority plan to place the child with the UK family of the murderer;

-Represented a Father in public law proceedings , where the LA alleged historic and recent sexual and physical abuse of his learning disabled wife and a number of his children;

-Represented the Local Authority where (in parallel to extensive allegations of neglect, physical and emotional abuse) historic sexual abuse by the Father of his (then) very young niece was litigated, both Father and (now adult) niece witness having learning disabilities;

-Represented the Local Authority where  a very young child  had suffered very serious ,  inflicted injuries and the pool of perpetrators consisted of 4 adults with learning disabilities;

-Represented an older child within the High Court, who wished to marry and move abroad to live with her fiancee at age 17 , and consent was being withheld by one parent;

-Represented the Local Authority in Forced Marriage proceedings and wardship proceedings, where children of the family had been removed to a foreign jurisdiction and entered into engagements, requiring consideration of sequestering assets within the UK;

-Represented the Local Authority in proceedings concerning an adoption breakdown, where the evolution of the breakdown and allegations of significant harm needed to be charted and analysed through thousands of pages of third party disclosure;

-Represented a Mother from a minority community in a private law application by the Father to spend time with his child, where the (ultimately proved)  allegations of very serious domestic  abuse and ‘honour based’ concern required use of ‘dummy’ solicitors and remote oral evidence;

- Represented a Father in private law proceedings where Mother alleged serious sexual abuse of the child (ultimately proved to be deliberately false allegations) and the forensic process revealed serious deficiencies in the approach of the reporting Local Authority;

Lectures
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Regularly speaks at seminars on current Children Law developments.

Personal Details
Education

Manchester University , LLB Hons;

Inns of Court School of Law, London, BVC

Professional Associations

Family Law Bar Association;

North Eastern Circuit

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Awards &
Accreditations

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