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Welcome to 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers

The Family Law Specialists

With expert Barristers in all areas of Family Law, 1 Garden Court is one of the foremost family law barristers’ chambers in London. We have a leading reputation, both nationally and internationally, for providing high quality representation and advice in Child Law, Family

Finance, Child Abduction, International and Private Child Law and Court of Protection cases, and have been consistently recognised as leading family law specialists in the legal directories.  We pride ourselves on the provision of a first rate service from our most senior member of chambers through to our clerks. 



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Queen's Counsel Appointments 2015

Chambers is delighted to announce that 4 of our highly talented juniors are to be appointed Queen’s Counsel. This is a landmark achievement for Chambers, taking our tally of Silks to 12 and increasing further the strength that 1 Garden Court offers across the full spectrum of Family Law and in Court of Protection work.

Andrew Bagchi undertakes cases across the broad spectrum of family law, combining public and private law children work with family finance cases and disputes between co-habitees. He has particular expertise in relation to health and welfare cases proceeding in the Court of Protection and is also noted for his expertise on matters under the Forced Marriage Act.

Darren Howe is a specialist in public and private law children matters and is regularly instructed in lengthy and complex fact-finding hearings (sexual abuse and inflicted injury cases). He has a specific interest in intractable contact disputes, national and international surrogacy cases and applications concerning the relocation and abduction of children. Darren also gives expert advice on matters concerning local authority breaches of duty to children and on domestic and international adoption.

Francesca Wiley specialises in serious child protection matters and intractable private law children proceedings. She is noted for her expertise in cross-examining medical experts, medical academics and senior management of statutory bodies, as well as individuals with significant personality and mental health disorders. She has a particular interest in extreme parental alienation. Fran represents all parties, particularly children through their Guardian.

Deirdre Fottrell’s background in academia has contributed to her extraordinary technical legal knowledge and the clarity of her written and oral arguments. A children law specialist, a great deal of Deirdre’s work is of an international nature and she is a recognised expert in human rights issues, often appearing at appellate level and in cases involving developing law. Deirdre has particular expertise also in surrogacy and alternative families and has appeared in recent years in a number of leading cases in these areas. Deirdre has appeared at all levels of court including the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.


The Joint Heads, Members and Staff of Chambers congratulate all our new Silks on their achievement and look forward to celebrating with them on the day of the ceremony, 16 February 2015. We wish them every success in their future careers in Silk.

D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2 (07 January 2015)

Sarah Morgan QC, Deirdre Fottrell, Lucy Sprinz and Marlene Cayoun in landmark adoption case raising critical issues about eligibility for legal aid.

Judgement: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/2.html

Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jan/07/parents-legal-aid-wait-adoption-son-inhumane


Judicial Review: Local Authority duties under s20
Matthew Fletcher led by Sarah Morgan QC appeared for the Local Authority in a Judicial Review brought by a claimant against the Local Authority decision that a child was not ‘looked after’ within the meaning of s 22 of the Children Act. The claim seeking to establish that local authority had exercised its s20 duty and provided accommodation was defeated and it was determined that the Local Authority was right to classify it as a private family arrangement. For the full judgment click here


DIY Divorce and Separation

1 Garden Court is pleased to announce the publication by Jordans Family Law of a book: 'DIY Divorce and Separation - The Expert Guide to Representing Yourself' which has been co-written by members of our Family Finance and Children Law teams. Please click on the link below to visit the microsite for the book http://diydivorce.familylaw.co.uk/



  • Court of Protection Ranking - "... very approachable and willing to develop this new area of the law". Chambers UK 2013
  • "... a sterling reputation ... " a fantastic, really well-run professional chambers ..." Chambers UK 2013
  • "... very good legal knowledge and high-quality legal advice" Chambers UK 2013
  • “an excellent set with a large number of very good advocates” Legal 500 2014
  • "The clerking team [is] "marvellous" "really efficient" and "very client centred and well prepared". Chambers UK 2013
  • Court of Protection Ranking - "... plaudits for their excellence on health and welfare matters." Chambers UK 2013
  • Court of Protection Ranking - "... very approachable and willing to develop this new area of the law". Chambers UK 2013
  • "very results-driven." Chambers UK 2015
  • “clearly a set that communicates well, with a clerking team which is ‘without exception, helpful, courteous and responsive” Legal 500 2014
  • "the clerks are very good at communicating with you. They are hands-on and make sure things are run across to court." Chambers UK 2015


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