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"She is immaculately prepared and a fierce cross-examiner." "Very experienced, thorough, excellent in court and gives robust advice." - Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020
‘Recommended for cases involving complex medical evidence.’ - The Legal 500 2020

Pauline accepts instructions in all aspects of children work (as well as Court of Protection work, forced marriage and honour based violence and divorce), her specialisation is in public law, particularly the more complex cases. She has a depth of experience and knowledge in those cases which involve, e.g., an infant death in the family, difficult and conflicting medical evidence, induced/fabricated illness and children with complex needs.

Renowned for her ability to master her brief and to think quickly and imaginatively, Pauline is a skilled communicator who gives sensible and pragmatic advice. Her advocacy skills are best summed up by a senior circuit judge who described Pauline’s cross examination is a complex public law matter as “the best cross examination I have ever heard in a family case”. Her written documents are excellent.

Pauline has a wide-ranging practice, acting for local authorities, parents and family members, children, children’s guardians and the Official Solicitor. She is regularly instructed to provide written and oral advice to local authorities and other parties in complex care matters and to advise private clients in residence and contact matters. Whilst Pauline’s practice predominantly focuses on cases in the High Court and the county court, she accepts instructions for matters in the FPC.

Cases undertaken in 2011 include inflicted injury on a baby with a genetic disorder, death of an infant in the family (2), successful rehabilitation of children to a parent with a learning disability, contested overseas adoption together with a number of cases involving physical and sexual abuse. She is currently instructed in a case involving historic induced/fabricated illness and poisoning, a case involving an infant death, two cases involving disputed medical evidence of bruising and fractures, a case involving the physical and sexual abuse of the children of same sex parents and a case involving inter-familial and generational sexual abuse.

Pauline has given a number of lectures in family law, most recently on the human rights aspects of local authority decision-making.

Notable Cases

  • Re A [2009] : (temporary removal from the jurisdiction)
  • Re X [2008] :
  • Re B [1998] : (change of name)

Directory Recommendations

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020

“She is immaculately prepared and a fierce cross-examiner.” “Very experienced, thorough, excellent in court and gives robust advice.”

The Legal 500 2020

‘Recommended for cases involving complex medical evidence.’

Chambers and Partners |UK Bar  2019

“A formidable advocate who finds creative ways of dealing with issues.”

The Legal 500 2019

‘Highly experienced in cases involving complex medical evidence.’

Chambers and Partners UK Bar  2018

“She has encyclopaedic knowledge about children law and a wealth of experience. She knows which judgement calls to make and she makes them right. She is everything you want a family barrister to be – strong, tenacious, reasonable and decent but capable of fighting her corner.” “Her preparation is superb. She is extraordinarily easy to deal with.”

The Legal 500 2017

“She specialises in complex public law children work.”

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2017

“I can recommend her without reservation. The advice, support, guidance and experience you gain from working with her is great.”

The Legal 500 2016

An extremely effective and robust advocate.”

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2016

“She is a fearsome advocate when in full flow.”  “She has a nice empathy with clients.”

The Legal 500 2015

“Recommended for complex public law children and Court of Protection matters”

Memberships/Professional Qualifications

  • B (Hons) Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Member of the FLBA
  • Member of the North Eastern Circuit