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We have a specialist team of solicitors with extensive experience and expertise in the law relating to children.
We specialise in Public Law matters (often known as care proceedings) – this is when social services are involved with a family for the protection of a child. In these Proceedings Social Services may be attempting to remove a child from his/her parents or they may be placing a child with a member of his/her extended family for example under a Special Guardianship Order.
Care Proceedings are a specialist area of law in which Morrison Spowart have an excellent reputation. We can advise and assist you before court proceedings, attend meetings with you and represent you in court on applications for Emergency Protection Orders, Care orders, Supervision Orders and Special Guardianship Orders. We can represent not only parents and children but grandparents and other relatives and other parties involved in the case (sometimes known as “Intervenors”).
We have several Children Law accredited specialists on the Law Society’s Children Panel who also represent children and Guardians. We do not act for social services.
We also specialise in Private Children Law matters – this involves private disputes between parents, grandparents, siblings, or other individuals about issues relating to child arrangement orders, who the child should live with, contact arrangements, specific issues relating to the upbringing of a child and Preventative steps for the protection of the child.
Disputes often arise when parents are separating and we will assist you in resolving such disputes as swiftly as possible and with the best interests of the child as the main consideration. Again we can represent not just parents but grandparents, step-parents, children and other family members and if the dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation we can issue court proceedings to obtain appropriate court orders. In cases where a child is particularly at risk, for example where a child has or is likely to be removed from this country, we offer emergency same-day appointments.
Our experience includes dealing with high profile cases involving complex issues, cases for example where the Official Solicitor is involved to protect a vulnerable adult, and where there are allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury to a child, neglect or fictitious illness. We have assisted parents whose children are beyond parental control by issuing wardship proceedings to ensure that the child’s needs are met and that the family is supported.
Morrison Spowart has been successful with a number of appeals in care proceedings and challenges to the Local Authority. In 2008 we successfully challenged the London Borough of Lewisham in the High Court for failing to provide the appropriate financial allowance for those seeking a Special Guardianship Order B v London Borough of Lewisham  EWHC 738 (Admin). This case is now relied upon as authority on this point.
Funding your case – if you have parental responsibility for a child who is subject of care proceedings you will get free legal aid, irrespective of merits and means of the case. If you do not have parental responsibility of the child you may be eligible for legal aid depending on the circumstances of your case.
The Government legal advice budget has been reduced in the past few years however it is still available in some cases and we will always advise you as to your eligibility for legal aid.
Our Child Law department is headed by Jenny Morrison, Partner, Children Law accredited.
To make an appointment please telephone 020 8698 9200 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Relationship breakdown – We understand that this can be a difficult and distressing time for clients who are likely to be facing emotional and financial difficulties. We can guide you through the difficulties sensitively and efficiently with a view to achieving the best outcome for you. We aim to deal with cases in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, with referrals to mediation in the first instance where appropriate, so as to avoid the costs. . If however court proceedings do become necessary, we will work hard to bring your case to a fair conclusion. We have expertise in advising on the legal procedure of divorce, the dissolution of civil partnerships and judicial separation. We can advise on resolving financial matters including the legal ownership of property and financial settlements for children. In certain circumstances we can obtain emergency financial injunctions.