The Liver Building

2022 Private Child Conference


Speaker: Various

Date: Wednesday 14th September, 2022

Time: 09:30 - 15:40

Areas of Law: Family

Competencies: B

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

Course Code: S4647

Registration & refreshments

Welcome & introduction ~ District Judge O'Neill

Parental Alienation: Preparation, Practicalities and Principles ~ Margaret Parr, 7 Harrington Street  

  • Preparation
  • Practicalities
  • Principles

Finding of Fact Hearings: an Overview ~ Elisabeth Cooper from SJB Chambers

  • FFH – when are they required?
  • Procedural matters
  • FFH and Domestic Abuse
  • FFH and Special Measures

Comfort break

Modern Parenting – An Overview of Surrogacy ~ Jennifer Lee from Pump Court Chambers

  • Introduction – modern families
  • Surrogacy
  • Legal framework
  • Key Authorities
  • Recent case/ legislative developments

Specific Issue v Prohibited Step Orders ~ Lisa Edmunds, Unit Chambers

The Essential Guide on:

  • Education
  • Medical treatment
  • Name Change
  • Preventing contact
  • Religion
  • Relocation


Comfort break - lunch will be provided

Developments in International Private Child Law ~ Teertha Gupta QC from Unit Chambers

  • 1980 Hague convention recent case update
  • 1996 Hague Convention recent case update
  • Other relevant international instruments
  • Q and A

Guardians of the Family Court: Friend or Foe? ~ Ian McArdle, Atlantic Chambers

  • What does a Guardian do?
  • When is one appropriate?
  • What can you do if things go wrong?

Need to know: essential case law update ~ Tom Hynes Oriel Chambers

  • A review of some of the key private law cases from the last 12 months
  • Their utility in case preparation and management

Summary & thanks ~ District Judge O'Neill

Speaker Biographies

Elisabeth Cooper  regularly acts in a wide range of private Children Act cases for parents, relatives and children with party status, as well as local authorities that require representation but are not parties. Elisabeth routinely acts in CAP matters.

Lisa Edmunds is the CEO and a senior consultant barrister of Unit Chambers. She is also a qualified Children’s Arbitrator and offers ENE sessions. Lisa brings over 20 years’ experience and expertise of dealing with the most complex and serious children cases.

Teertha Gupta QC is a specialist senior barrister and trial advocate with over 30 years of experience. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and a (Family) Deputy High Court Judge in 2016. He also sits as a part time Circuit Judge (a Recorder) in the Criminal and Civil courts. His areas of expertise include complex domestic and international children cases such as relocation, cross-border parental abductions and acrimonious contact disputes. Teertha is also the go to person for forced marriage and stranded spouse cases. Teertha has spoken in the House of Commons and was named by Lord Lester in the House of Lords as one of the four senior pro bono lawyers behind the Forced Marriage Civil Protection Bill which became a statute in 2007. His practice is widely spread geographically across England and Northern Ireland (and the Eastern Caribbean) in all levels of court from County court to the ECJ. To date, he has been involved in 10 full appeals in the UKSC/House of Lords.

Tom Hynes represents parents and spouses in private law and matrimonial relief proceedings. He has a breadth of experience representing parties raising and responding to allegations of domestic abuse, substance abuse, substandard care; as well as raising substantive challenges to professional recommendations. He has successfully represented parents in Hague Convention cases. He has a lot of experience of finance cases including those concerning business assets, pension issues, trust issues, and allegations of conduct.

Jennifer Lee is a specialist family law practitioner. She has a thriving practice in family finance and has successfully represented HNW clients in cases involving family businesses, inherited wealth, substantial pensions, nuptial agreements, and trusts. She has appeared in high-profile reported cases, most notably in Veluppillai v Veluppillai & Ors [2015] EWHC 3095 (Fam) (High Court) and more recently, in N v N (Afghanistan: Validity of an overseas marriage: Procedure)[2020] EWFC B55. Jennifer is also regularly instructed in complex children law matters, including in cases involving domestic/international surrogacy and modern families. She has acted in Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act cases and regularly advises on legal issues surrounding LGBTQ families. She also has an interest in the Court of Protection, particularly where there are overlaps with divorce and children proceedings. She leads the COP team in chambers. Jennifer is ranked as a “Leading Junior (Tier 1)- Family and Children Law” in The Legal 500, and as a specialist in “family/matrimonial law” in Chambers & Partners (UK Bar). She sits as a Fee-Paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber).”

Ian McArdle of Atlantic Chambers, is a former solicitor and now practises all aspects of Children Law at the Bar with a busy national practice and is currently undertaking doctoral research relating to the family justice system.

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 £205
Non-member £260
Training Passport Free
Note: 20% VAT added at checkout