Julia Nelson

Called 1993

She's direct and to the point; she doesn't waffle with legal jargon and immediately gains clients' confidence. An excellent barrister for children cases. She relates well to clients and quickly grasps the issues. She is practical and not scared to use common sense!

Chambers and Partners 2020


Julia has specialised in Family Law for 23 years and has vast experience of dealing with a wide range of people and cases. Her practice includes the full range of family finance work and children. In private law disputes she is able to advise and represent clients in both finance and children issues and clients greatly value the continuity of relationship between the two forms of dispute. Julia has a considerable record of success in contested cases and a fearsome reputation for cross-examination and uncovering concealed assets. Julia’s no nonsense approach, enthusiasm and tenacity has earned her an enviable reputation with family solicitors who compete to instruct her on behalf of their clients.

Julia has extensive experience of dealing with disputes regarding the welfare of children including numerous applications for leave to remove children from the jurisdiction and internal relocation. Julia’s practice encompasses all forms of family disputes and her extensive court of protection practice means she has also successfully represented clients in divorce and children cases where the client is vulnerable or lacks capacity.

Julia is fortunate enough to be able to thrive on little sleep . As well as a very busy barrister and mother of two, she is an experienced actress and regularly performs in theatre and immersive theatre. Julia is also a keen gardener and an accomplished cook and a previous winner of ‘Come dine with me!’

Areas of Expertise


Children Practice

Private law disputes including all child arrangement orders ,permission to remove from the jurisdiction and internal relocation

Regularly undertakes child care work and training for all Local Authorities and Children’s Guardians.

Particularly sympathetic and understanding approach with regard to parents in Care Proceedings. Private Law practice- several appearances at the Court of Appeal. These include cases relating to changes of surname and contact cases involving violent parents. Removal from Jurisdiction a speciality.

With extensive experience of acting for Local Authorities and family members in complex Health & Welfare cases, Julia’s practice encompasses all aspects of welfare decisions including DOLs, residence, contact, capacity to consent to sexual relations and capacity to consent to marriage.  This experience includes being instructed in a number of applications to the High Court relating to vulnerable adults who required the court’s protection in situations where capacity was compromised through the actions of others.

Julia has a particular interest in Deprivation of Liberty, including Standard Authorisation appeals, and has acted in several cases where the subject of proceedings was unlawfully deprived of their liberty and later returned home.

As an experienced Judicial Review barrister, Julia is skilled in assessment of where the fine line exists between Service Provision and Commissioning.

With long experience as a family practitioner, Julia has a clear advantage in cases where the jurisdictions of the Court of Protection and Family Court overlap.  Recent examples include cases where adolescents with learning difficulties are in transition in care from child to adult services that have required transfer to the Court of Protection.  Julia’s specialist interest in this area extends to cases where marriages between incapacitous persons involve sensitive cultural issues and/or have resulted in proceedings related to children (i.e. concurrent care proceedings) or result in concurrent matrimonial litigation (i.e. petitions for nullity).

Julia’s practice extends to Property and Affairs cases, including disputes between family members and professional deputies, and divorce proceedings between a capacitous and incapacitous adult.

Julia also receives instructions under the Mental Health Act including displacement of the nearest relative.

Matrimonial Property and Finance:

All forms of matrimonial property . Clients with high net worth and also ‘normal’ families where the issues are rather how to meet the parties ‘need’ or sort out debts as opposed to the division of huge asset bases.

  • Particularly skilled in complex cases involving significant assets.
  • From many years of practice in Bradford obtained an extensive understanding of the issues which can arise from Asian marriages and divorce.
  • Applications for Financial Provision for children under Schedule One of the Children Act 1989.

“The clients and I were very pleased and impressed with Julia’s approach in this difficult case”. Vanessa Fox, Partner/Senior Family Solicitor, Keeble Hawson, Sheffield.

Legal 500 2022 Tier 2 Child Law (Public & Private) - Julia is a detailed, precise and robust advocate. She provides sound advice to clients. ’

Chambers & Partners 2022 - Band 3 - Family (Children) "She gives confident and robust advice and is well prepared for representation at court. She offers a unique approach to difficult proceedings which is encouraging and reassuring for clients and always goes the extra mile in preparation." "She is a no-nonsense all-rounder with excellent advocacy skills backed up with natural empathy that clients adore." "Julia is silky smooth in cross-examination, and clients love her approach."

Chambers and Partners 2021 - Band 3 - "Because of her level of experience, there is a gravitas and self-assuredness about her." "She is very good on all things private children." "She knows what she wants to do and how to do it. She's also very approachable. You can ask her anything and she will help."

Legal 500 2021 - Tier 2 - Julia is confident and fights for her client in a way which is constructive and appreciated by the Court and admired by clients. Clients warm to Julia when they meet her and immediately know that they have a very experienced and dynamic barrister.

Chambers and Partners 2020 - Band 3 - "She's direct and to the point; she doesn't waffle with legal jargon and immediately gains clients' confidence." "An excellent barrister for children cases. She relates well to clients and quickly grasps the issues. She is practical and not scared to use common sense!"

Legal 500 2020 - Tier 2 - Excellent in dealing with private law matters.

Legal 500 2018/2019 - "Very confident before a judge."

Legal 500 2017- "Experienced in matrimonial property and finance matters."

Legal 500 2016- "Recommended for Court of Protection work."

Legal 500 2014 - "Experienced in all aspects of family law and highly regarded on circuit"

Legal 500 2013 - Julia Nelson is noted for her ‘supportive way with clients’.

Legal 500 2012 - ‘sensible and incisive with a good eye for detail

Legal 500 2011 - Julia Nelson comes "highly recommended"

Legal 500 2010 - Julia Nelson has a "refreshing no-nonsense approach".

Family Law Bar Association (FLBA)

CZ (Human Rights Claim: Costs) [2017] EWFC 11 Represented the  Children’s Guardian in the case of CZ, who was removed from the care of his mother in hospital in circumstances that led to a consequent human rights damages claim.  Cobb J considered the correct costs orders in a human rights damages claim and whether the imposition of the legal aid statutory charge in respect of any award would nonetheless achieve ‘just satisfaction’ for the claimants.

Re TJ (Relinquished for adoption: sibling contact) [2017] EWFC 6 Represented the Children’s Guardian in respect of a child relinquished for adoption by its mother. The question for the Court was whether the child’s remaining birth family should be notified of TJ’s existence. In balancing the wishes of the mother against the potential relationship between TJ and a half sibling (PL), it was concluded that TL and PJ did not enjoy Article 8 rights. They had no legal or actual relationship and the limited and infrequent nature of indirect contact was outweighed by other considerations.

http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed175770  Barrett v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council [2010] EWHC 467 (Admin) Application by special guardian for a fresh assessment of the allowances payable to her. A new assessment backdated to March 2006 was ordered.

Re H (CONTACT: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GUIDELINES) [Court of Appeal] [2006] 1 F.L.R. 943 ; EWCA Civ 1404, FLR [2006] Contact : domestic violence, Appeal allowed due to Judge's failure to have any regard to Re L (Contact: Domestic Violence) [2002] FLR 334, or to the guidelines prepared by the Children Act Sub- Committee on Family Law in relation to contact cases where there have been allegations of domestic violence.

Re G [2004] Represented the mother (in care proceedings) who was convicted of selling her unborn baby over the internet.

R -v- Jennison [1998] Represented devoted daughter charged with the murder of her Alzheimer's suffering mother after assisting in her suicide. The defendant was acquitted.

Re S & P (Discharge of Care Order) FD [1995] 2 FLR 782 Burden on the party applying for discharge of care order to demonstrate that they have a good arguable case.

Leeds and Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 104 - False Economy - Click to view article

Family Law Journal, June 2021, Issue 204 - Domestic Abuse: What do we do now? - Click to view article

BA (Hons), University of Manchester