Deborah Shield MCIArb

Called 1991

About

Deborah has been in continuous practice at the Bar for 30 years and in that time, she has established a reputation as a highly regarded specialist in all aspects of proceedings involving family financial provision, children and the Court of Protection.

Solicitors rely on her for her forensic analysis and meticulous preparation of each case, to which she brings her vast experience and solid judgment. They know that Deborah will always be completely focused on achieving the best possible result for the client, whether that is through carefully negotiated settlement or a contest, in which she can be depended on for a rigorous and persuasive presentation of the client’s case and tenacious cross-examination.

Clients appreciate Deborah’s empathy, sensitivity and her innate ability to get to the heart of the outcome which they desire and represent them accordingly. They know that they will receive realistic and sage advice, but also that Deborah always listens to their instructions with great care and will be collaborative or robustly adversarial as required.

Deborah is passionately committed to children and the promotion of the family. Her experience of foster care in her early years led her to become a trustee of the Leeds based charity SFAC (Strengthening Families and Children, SFAC.ORG.UK). She has two adult stepsons.

Areas of Expertise

Contact Deborah Shield MCIArb

  • Private law disputes, including all issues in relation to Child Arrangements Orders (live with, spend time with)
  • Internal relocations
  • Applications for permission to remove children from the jurisdiction.
  • Change of name
  • Disputes involving education, religion and medical treatment
  • Applications brought by grandparents and extended family members
  • Injunctive relief and committal proceedings in cases involving domestic abuse and in financial remedy proceedings
  • Alleged substance misuse

 

Deborah has vast experience of all types of proceedings which involve children.

For many years her practice was divided between public (care) proceedings in which she represented Local Authorities, parents and children, and private law proceedings. Deborah now focuses exclusively on private law disputes and has the advantage of being able to apply her public law experience to them. This is of particular relevance in relation to finding of fact hearings, the successful outcome of which can be pivotal to the future of the client’s case. Such hearings require detailed forensic analysis and presentation of the evidence, tenacious cross-examination and compelling advocacy.

Deborah has particular expertise in representing clients who are involved in highly acrimonious and intractable disputes in relation to all aspects of child arrangements. Such disputes frequently involve allegations of physical, emotional or sexual abuse of parents and/or the children. Social Services may be involved under a Child in Need Plan or there may be the spectre of public law proceedings. She is frequently instructed in cases involving allegations of parental alienation and where expert opinion is necessary to assist the Court in respect of complex medical or psychological issues in respect of parents or children.

Deborah is always focused on achieving what her clients believe to be in their children’s best interests at every stage of the proceedings. For her no issue should be perceived as trivial where children are concerned. There is a delicate balance to be struck between the collaborative and the adversarial approach; the early stages (FHDRA and DRA) require an assertive and robust focus on the issues for the client and the appropriate directions to get the case on the right track.

Thorough consultation at each stage of the proceedings is key, and Deborah is available to meet clients in conference either in person or via Teams or Zoom, which provides greater flexibility and can be arranged at short notice.

Deborah is a fully qualified Children’s Arbitrator and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. http://ifla.org.uk

Deborah is qualified and experienced in the direct receipt of instructions on a Public Access basis, without the involvement of a Solicitor.

She is always happy to provide informal advice and evaluation at the pre-proceedings stage. Solicitors and clients can be assured of Deborah’s swift response to instructions and communications by email.

Deborah’s wonderful manner with clients stands out, she is adept at ensuring that clients understand the nature of proceedings. I would not hesitate to instruct Deborah in a complex case due to her wealth of experience and composed approach to the most challenging of cases.’

(Solicitor in Leeds)

  • Financial remedy proceedings at all stages from First Appointment to Final Hearing.
  • Applications for interim periodical payments.
  • Applications for injunctive relief.
  • Applications for financial provision for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

 

Deborah is vastly experienced in the representation of clients in cases where the assets are relatively modest to those where the assets run into the millions – in all cases clients will be assured of the same dedication to achieving the best result for them.

Her experience means she is ideally suited to the conduct of ‘private FDRs’ and she would commend this procedure in most cases. The advantages include the parties’ ability to select their own Judge, at a time and location to suit them which can be straight after the First Appointment instead of having to wait months in limbo for a Court ordered FDR, away from the stress of Court attendance and where they decide how long they need to discuss matters rather than being given a ‘time slot’ by the Court. The majority of clients want the proceedings to be resolved as soon as possible, and this is a cost effective method of achieving it.

Deborah is qualified and experienced in the receipt of instructions on a Public Access basis, without the involvement of a Solicitor.

She is always happy to provide informal advice and evaluation at the pre-proceedings stage. Solicitors and clients can be assured of Deborah’s swift response to instructions and communications by email. She is always happy to arrange remote conferences at any stage on short notice, finding that this is appreciated by clients who may be anxious about the proceedings.

‘I met Deborah prior to the trial and in conference with my client I observed a confident and calming presence. I was assured by her in depth knowledge of the case. The judgment far exceeded my expectations on the facts of the case. My satisfaction was even greater when Deborah embarked on protracted communication with the other side over the precise terms of the Order to accord with the Judge’s decision. Later, my discerning client contacted me to ask for Deborah’s contact details as she wanted to send her a gift to express her gratitude for the way she had handled her case.’

(Solicitor in Leeds)

Deborah is able to accept instructions in the following areas:

  • Acting for Local Authorities, the Official Solicitor and respondents.
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • Deputyship
  • Removal of the Nearest Relative
  • Welfare and property/financial affairs

Deborah accepts instructions in:

  • Proceedings in relation to health and welfare
  • Proceedings in relation to property and financial affairs
  • Deputyship
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

 

She represents Local Authorities, the Official Solicitor, the Office of the Public Guardian and lay parties at all stages of proceedings.

Deborah acts frequently in cases where leading Counsel are on the other side. She is highly regarded for her empathetic and reassuring approach.

Deborah brought a pragmatic approach to a very complex case which instilled confidence in the client. She also had a sympathetic and caring approach to the very emotive issues involved whilst being careful to manage the client’s reasonable expectations. She is very capable Court of Protection Counsel.

(Solicitor in Sheffield)

Deborah is a fully qualified Children’s Arbitrator.

Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings: Deborah is able to sit as a ‘private Judge’ to assist parties in the settlement of their financial remedy proceedings without further recourse to the Court.

Deborah accepts instructions in:

  • Proceedings in relation to health and welfare
  • Proceedings in relation to property and financial affairs
  • Deputyship

 

She represents Local Authorities, the Official Solicitor, the Office of the Public Guardian and lay parties at all stages of proceedings.

Deborah acts frequently in cases where leading Counsel are on the other side. She is highly regarded for her empathetic and reassuring approach.

Deborah brought a pragmatic approach to a very complex case which instilled confidence in the client. She also had a sympathetic and caring approach to the very emotive issues involved whilst being careful to manage the client’s reasonable expectations. She is very capable Court of Protection Counsel.

(Solicitor in Sheffield)

  • The Family Law Bar Association
  • The Court of Protection Bar Association
  • Lawyers for Children
  • The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • The Honourable Societies of the Inner Temple and Lincoln’s Inn

Deborah is available to be commissioned to provide tailored in house seminars and training in all of her practice areas.

  • LLB (Honours)
  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • MCIArb