The Liver Building

2019 Public Child Law Conference


Speaker: Various

Date: Wednesday 27th November, 2019

Time: 09:30 - 15:00

Areas of Law: Family

Liverpool Law Society,
2nd Floor Helix,
Edmund Street,
L3 9NY

Course Code: S4148


Please note: the supporting materials for this event will be supplied electronically only.

A link will be sent to you via email in advance of the event.

Conference kindly sponsored by:

Cellmark is a UK leading provider of court approved DNA analysis and forensic quality hair drug and alcohol testing.
Our UKAS accredited laboratories have been serving solicitors, local authorities and the courts for over 30 years.
For more information please visit:


Welcome & introduction ~ HHJ de Haas QC

Pre-proceedings and s20 Children Act 1989 ~ Margaret Parr, Harrington St

  • Current use of the pre-proceedings process
  • How to make the most of the pre-proceedings phase
  • The impact of pre-proceedings
  • S20 Children Act 1989 – proper use of section 20 and pitfalls


Hair Toxicology: Getting to the root of how it can benefit your case Katie Laird, Cellmark

  • The benefits and potential pitfalls with hair drug testing, and how to avoid them
  • Relevant Case Law including The Honourable Mr Justice Peter Jackson Judgment Re H (A Child: Hair Strand Testing) [2017] EWFC 64
  • Why are Quality Standards so important?
  • Myth busting – some commonly FAQ
  • Case studies


Protecting the Article 5 rights of children: Deprivation of Liberty~ Shaun Spencer, St Johns Building Chambers

  • Authorisations and Secure Accommodation Orders
  • Review of the underlying legal framework
  • Recent developments
  • Process and Procedure: Best Practice




Related Family and Criminal Proceedings ~ HHJ Janet Reaney

  • Disclosure between each jurisdiction
  • Achieving best evidence
  • The child or vulnerable adult as a witness

Seniors Top 10 ~ Mark Senior, St Johns Buildings Chambers

Summary & thanks ~ HHJ de Haas QC

Speaker Biographies

Katie Laird has over 12 years’ experience within the field of forensics. She originally trained as a Forensic Toxicology Analyst and started her career at the former Home Office Forensic Science Service (FSS) in 2008. Kate progressed to become a Toxicology Reporting Scientist, specialising in the testing of bodily fluid samples for Road Traffic (RTA 1988) cases, and hair toxicology analysis for the presence of alcohol, alcohol biomarkers, and illegal and prescription drugs, to assist the Criminal, HM Coroners and Family Courts. Kate has provided Expert Witness Testimony throughout her career and was an active member of several forensic toxicology societies including UKIAFT, LTG, SoHT and BTS before progressing into Commercial based roles. Kate was previously an Account Manager for Key Forensic Services Ltd where her clients included a variety of UK National Police Forces, and non-police organisations such as the NCA, HMRC and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Kate joined Cellmark in 2018 and is now responsible for identifying new opportunities for the development, growth and promotion of Cellmark’s Family Law related business, with particular emphasis on Cellmark’s hair drug and alcohol toxicology, and DNA relationship testing services.

Her Honour Judge Margaret de Haas QC is the designated Family Judge for Cheshire & Merseyside. HHJ de Haas QC was called to the Bar in 1977 by Middle Temple, initially a tenant in chambers in London before moving to Liverpool in 1981. She was appointed as an Assistant Recorder in 1995 and as a Recorder in 1999, taking Silk in 1998. In 2000, she became a Deputy High Court Judge and in 2004 went on to become a Circuit Judge in 2004 and has also served on the Mental Health Restricted Patients Panel since 2004.

Margaret Parr is a barrister at Harrington Street Chambers, specialising in family law and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and High Court. Margaret represents parents, children and Local Authorities in care and adoption proceedings. She has experience of complex cases involving sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, substance misuse, mental health issues and neglect. She has experience in deprivation of liberty applications under the Court’s inherent jurisdiction. In private law proceedings, Margaret represents parents and children and is experienced in dealing with intractable contact disputes, implacable hostility and international relocation. Margaret acts in ancillary relief proceedings, including those involving pensions and company assets.

Her Honour Judge Janet Reaney, Designated Family Judge for Cheshire & Merseyside.

Mark Senior is exclusively a family law practitioner at St John’s Buildings Barrister Chambers. Before joining Chambers, he was solicitor with nine years’ experience, specialising in children law cases. As a solicitor he was a member of the Law Society’s national Children Panel and was also a member of the National Counsel for Family Proceedings and the Association of Lawyers for Children. He has continued to specialise in children law cases, acting for parents, children and local authorities in private and public law cases.

Shaun Spencer was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2005, having received a Shelford Scholarship and awarded the Helen Grindrod QC Scholarship. Shaun is a family law specialist, at St Johns Chambers with a comprehensive family law practice, which encompasses both public and private law children cases. He also practises within the Court of Protection in relation to personal welfare matters.  He is a Regional Committee Member of the Family Law Bar Association and member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.


Member £155
Non-member £205
Corporate Member Training Offer 2 Credits
Training Season Ticket Free
Note: 20% VAT added at checkout