Melanie is a specialist family practitioner and advocate who has practised at the Bar for over 30 years. She has appeared in the Family Courts and the High Court dealing with all aspects of family law and child protection, including complex care and public law cases, adoption and wardship proceedings. She has extensive experience in the High Court and Principal Registry where she represents local authorities, guardians (CAFCASS) and family members. She appears in cases where there are complex issues including expert medical and psychiatric evidence. She is known for her sensitive handling cases where there are mental health issues and her clients value her compassionate approach to difficult situations.
Melanie advises and represents parties including vulnerable adult clients in the Court of Protection.
Melanie is known for her long-standing interest in all aspects of child protection and safeguarding issues. She provides safeguarding advice to voluntary organisations and works with a steering group looking at how the public and private sector can work together to implement and enrich Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
Examples of the range of Melanie's recent cases include:
G v G
Representing intervening vulnerable young adult with mental health issues in a private law dispute between her parents in relation to a younger sibling where her Article 2, 3 and 8 rights were engaged.
Representing a local authority in proceedings where the mother who wished to retain care of her child had longstanding mental health issues.
Re A and SP
Representing a mother with significant learning disability.
Representing a local authority where the mother, deceased in the course of proceedings, had made serious allegations of domestic violence against the father who sought to care for the child.
Representing a local authority where there was extensive contested medical evidence in relation to a baby that had suffered life-threatening physical injury and malnutrition.
Representing a mother facing allegations of failing to protect her sons from familial and intergenerational sexual abuse where her son was additionally alleged to be a perpetrator.
BSc (Economics) London School of Economics
Diploma in Law
Inner Temple, 1984
Family Law Bar Association
"Just wanted to thank you for your fine representation of my clients, today and your really detailed attendance note"
"...huge help to have your input and advice"
"your note on this case is probably the most helpful I have ever received"
"thank you, the social worker said you were very impressive"