The Liver Building

2020 Private Child Law Conference


Speaker: Various

Date: Thursday 5th November, 2020

Time: 12:50 - 16:15

Areas of Law: Family


Course Code: S4289


This year’s must-attend training event for solicitors, barristers & other practitioners involved with private child law. The conference will round-up key developments in law & practice. Attend from any location by pc, laptop, tablet of phone!

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Welcome & introduction ~ District Judge Philip O'Neill

How we deal with LIPS and what the court expects from advocates dealing with them ~ District Judge Michael Baker

  • What it means to be an LiP
  • The Court’s approach to LiPs
  • The advantages and disadvantages of an LiP opponent
  • The future for LiPs and their ‘management’


CAFCASS isn’t always right.... how to challenge s7 and s37 Reports in Private Law Proceedings~ Ginnette Fitzharris, St Johns Chambers

  • Evidence based assessment?
  • Bias?
  • Whether to suggest further / different assessment?
  • Relevant case law update


Comfort break - please ensure you mute your mic & turn off your camera. There is no need to log out of the event.

Appealing Private Law Orders: ‘To appeal or not to appeal’ ~ James Holmes, Garden Court Chambers

  • Deciding whether to appeal or to vary an order?
  • Responding to an application to appeal?
  • Appealing Findings of Fact
  • Caselaw update
  • Funding

Latest Developments in Private Child Law ~ Margaret Parr, Harrington St Chambers

  •  Latest research
  • Recent case law
  • Hot topics


Summary & thanks ~ DJ O'Neill

Speaker Biographies

District Judge Michael Baker was a solicitor in practice for 24 years. He was DDJ on Chester and Wales Circuit 1995 – 2006 and DJ in Liverpool 2006 to date. A ticketed s8 Private Law Children DJ. Latterly the Deputy Lead Judge for Financial Remedy in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Ginnette Fitzharris practises solely within Family Law and has over 25 years’ experience of dealing with complex private child law cases. Her experience includes cases concerning implacably hostile parents; concealed paternity; mental illness; drug abuse; domestic violence and rape; foreign jurisdictions and enforcing orders including defending and pursuing committal for breaches; complex specific issue matters. Ginnette is also a member of the association of lawyers for children.

James Holmes practice covers all aspects of Children’s Law. He has a particular interest in public law proceedings including care, supervision and adoption. He regularly appears in the High Court and Family Court on behalf parents, guardians and local authorities. He also has also represented r16.4 Guardians in private law cases.

District Judge Philip O’Neill was called to the Bar in 1983. He practiced at 7 Harrington St Chambers where he dealt with Public and Private Children work as well as Financial Remedy work. He was appointed a Full Time District Judge in 2005, sitting at Birkenhead and Liverpool. Since November 2017 Judge O’Neill has sat exclusively at the Family Court in Liverpool where he deals exclusively with Public and Private Children work.

Margaret Parr specialises 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.


Member £130
Non-member £180
Corporate Member Training Offer 2 Credits
Training Season Ticket Free
Note: 20% VAT added at checkout