- Year of Call
Laura has extensive experience acting for Local Authorities, parents, Guardians and intervenors in care proceedings, from first hearing through to interim contested, fact finding and final hearings. She has experience in proceedings under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and in secure accommodation and deprivation of liberty cases.
Laura is experienced in acting in cases in which non-accidental injuries against the child are alleged and in proceedings involving issues of sexual risk, neglect, mental health and substance misuse issues and domestic abuse.
She regularly represents young and vulnerable parents, clients with learning difficulties and clients with chronic health conditions. She has experience acting for the OS.
Laura is also experienced in dealing with cases in which there are linked criminal and care proceedings and in relation to disclosure issues in care proceedings where disclosure is sought by or from the police, including cases in which public interest immunity arguments arise.
Re L – represented the mother throughout the proceedings including at a fact finding hearing of allegations of non-accidental injuries to the child where the mother was in the pool of potential perpetrators.
Re A – represented a mother with a chronic degenerative condition in care proceedings and was able to narrow and resolve the issues at IRH without the need to put the client through the stress of a final hearing.
Re P – represented a client at IRH and final hearing who suffered from generalised anxiety disorder.
Re F – represented the OS at a hearing at which there was a contested issue over the proposed Part 25s expert’s suitability to carry out an assessment of the parent who lacked capacity.
Re F – represented the local authority in care proceedings in which the care plan for a placement order was not supported by the Children’s Guardian.
Re X – successfully represented the local authority at the contested hearing of a parent’s application for leave to contest the making of an adoption order.
Re J – represented grandparents who were seeking a special guardianship order in care proceedings.
Re Y – acted in care proceedings before the High Court where disclosure was sought to be withheld by the police on public interest immunity grounds.
Re W – represented the father in the High Court in a deprivation of liberty case under the inherent jurisdiction.
Laura has developed a successful practice advising and acting for parents, other family members and for r16.4 Guardians in section 8 applications and other Children Act applications. She acts from FHDRA through to interim and final contested hearings and at fact finding hearings in cases involving allegations of domestic abuse, sexual violence, abuse of the child, mental health issues, in relocation/removal from the jurisdiction cases and where there is or has been Local Authority involvement. She also has experience in Schedule 1 claims.
Re C – successfully represented the mother in an appeal against a decision at first instance to make a child arrangements order contrary to a r16.4 Guardian’s recommendation.
Re H – represented a father in private law proceedings who was facing an allegation of a serious sexual assault against the child.
Re M – represented the r16.4 Guardian in wardship proceedings before the High Court.
Re B – represented a father at a two day fact finding hearing who was facing serious allegations of domestic abuse.
Re T – represented that mother at the contested final hearing and successfully defeated an application to vary a child arrangements order.
Re K – represented the mother throughout the proceedings and successfully defeated an application for a child arrangements order where there were issues regarding sexual risk.
Re M – successfully represented the father and obtained a live with order in a protracted dispute about child arrangements where there was longstanding local authority involvement.
Re D – represented the father in an application for permission under s91(14) Children Act 1989 where there was a long and complicated history of applications being made to the court.
Laura is developing an international dimension to her family practice and welcomes instructions in this area. She brings a sound understanding of the principles of EU law, having previously worked for the European Commission and Court of Justice of the European Union. Laura also has experience acting in applications for Forced Marriage Protection Orders and Female Genital Mutilation Orders, which often have an international dimension.
Re H – represented the mother in an application for a PSO before the High Court where mother and child were foreign nationals and only in the UK on temporary visas, necessitating preliminary consideration of the issue of habitual residence.
Re D-M – advised on and drafted an application on behalf of a European national involved in care proceedings in the UK to transfer jurisdiction under Article 14 BIIA.
Re J – represented the applicant in an application for an FGMPO and successfully secured an interim order at an on notice contested hearing.
Re M – represented the Child’s Guardian in wardship/Children Act proceedings before the High Court where the child has previously been removed from the jurisdiction to a non-Hague Convention country without the consent of the other parent, the child’s location was unknown and non-resident parent made an application for contact.
Domestic Violence and injunctions
Laura regularly acts in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1996 including in without notice applications.
W v W: successfully obtained an occupation order for husband at a contested final hearing.
P v G: successfully represented the applicant at the contested final hearing for a non-molestation order.
B v S: represented a party who was facing an application for contempt of court for alleged breaches of a non-molestation order.
E v E: secured the discharge of a non-molestation order for the respondent at the return date.
Financial Remedy Hearings
Laura represents clients in financial remedy proceedings from FDA through to Final Hearing and has experience acting in enforcement proceedings.
C v C: represented the applicant in proceedings in which the other party had dissipated pension assets in breach of undertaking.
F v F: acted in proceedings involving matrimonial property outside the European Union.
B v S: advised and represented a party through to final hearing in a short marriage case in which there were complex business assets.
W v W: acted for the wife in an application to enforce a consent order in a case involving a joint property rental business.
B v R: represented the husband in an application for variation of a final order under s31F(6) Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 in which there was parallel civil litigation in respect of property over which there was an order for sale.
H v P: negotiated a favourable settlement at the FDA
Laura represents both claimants and defendants and has extensive advisory and advocacy experience, including some multi-track experience. She has acted at all stages of the litigation, from pre-action, procedural and interim applications through to trial and appeal across a range of areas.
Laura has particular experience in personal injury, acting for claimants and defendants in road traffic, highways, employer’s liability, occupier’s liability and Animal Act 1971 claims.
Laura is a member of the Attorney General Regional C Panel. She has acted for a number of Government Departments, particular in negligence and personal injury claims.
As a complement to her personal injury practice, Laura also has inquest experience, including Article 2 inquests.
Laura is experienced in conducting CCMCs and dealing with costs arguments under Part 36 and where fundamental dishonesty is raised.
Laura has acted for clients across a range of sectors including IT, accountancy, farming, construction, utilities and digital communications. She has advised and acted in debts recovery claims, claims in relation to the sale of goods or the supply of services, breach of contract and breach of consumer protection legislation.
Housing and Property Disputes
Laura has experience acting in possession proceedings (including by lenders) and in relation to rental disputes. She has acted in Part 8 claims under s213 and 214 Housing Act 1994 and also in a claim under Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
Other Civil Work
Laura has acted in insolvency proceedings, proceedings under taxation legislation and recently advised in relation to a declaration under the Presumption of Death Act 2013.
Biographical and Other Information
- French (fluent); German (conversational).
- Laura has a master 1 in European law from the Université de Rennes I, France. Prior to joining chambers she worked in Brussels and Luxembourg at the European Commission, law firm Latham & Watkins and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). She has also previously taught EU law to undergraduate students at the University of Exeter.
- In Autumn 2016, Laura spent three months working in Wellington, New Zealand, at top commercial law firm Russell McVeagh on a Pegasus Scholarship awarded by the Inner Temple. During her time with RMcV she worked on judicial review, human rights and commercial litigation files.
- LL.B (Hons) European (Exon) – first class, 2009; Master 1 EU Law (Rennes I) – first class, 2009; Bar Vocational Course (College of Law) – Very Competent, 2010.
- Denning and Eastham scholar, Lincoln’s Inn (2009, 2013); AP Langlois prize for the best graduating LL.B (European) student, University of Exeter (2009); CEDR UK Negotiation Competition champion (2010.
- Laura is accredited to undertake public access work.
Civil Law team members
Year Of Call : 1987
The main focus is in ancillary relief (financial remedies) for husbands, wives and children, especially where there are trust and/or business assets and farms. Mark cuts through volume of paper to the core and critical issues and is focussed and blunt with his clients and the Court alike.View Profile
Year Of Call : 1994
Hugh has extensive experience acting for Local Authorities, parents, grandparents, Guardians and proposed special guardians in care proceedings, including representing young and vulnerable parents, clients with learning difficulties and clients with chronic health email@example.com View Profile
Year Of Call : 2000
Lara has represented both Claimants and Defendants in a variety of matters for over 20 years. She has a wide general civil litigation practice, and has given numerous Continuing Professional Development talks and seminars. She is certified to conduct all aspects of litigation, and therefore is certified to carry out all the legal work that not only barristers do, but also those legal activities usually reserved to firstname.lastname@example.org View Profile
Year Of Call : 2005
Emma is a practitioner who accepts instructions in both civil and family law. Personable and approachable to clients, Emma has a practical and down-to-earth style both in conference and in email@example.com View Profile
Year Of Call : 2010
Felicity is a common law barrister with an established and varied practice in all aspects of criminal and civil law. Felicity is thorough, practical and robust in her approach, whilst remaining firstname.lastname@example.org View Profile
Year Of Call : 2011
Laura is a family barrister with a busy and varied practice acting and advising in public and private law proceedings, applications for injunctive relief and financial remedy proceedings. She is a personable and approachable advocate who prides herself on going the extra mile for her clients. She has studied and worked internationally in France, Brussels, Luxembourg and New Zealand and is a Denning and Eastham Scholar of Lincoln’s Innlaura.email@example.com View Profile
Year Of Call : 2019
Evie accepts instructions in both criminal and family law. She regularly appears in the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts where she prosecutes and defends in all stages of proceedings. She also acts for parents in both private and care proceedings from application stage through to contested interim and final hearings.
Since joining Walnut House after successfully completing a twelve-month pupillage in chambers, Evie has continued to enjoy a busy and varied practice. She has been complimented on her pragmatic and personable manner with her firstname.lastname@example.org View Profile
Year Of Call : 2020
Sam joined Walnut House as a pupil under the supervision of Hugh Cornford in 2020 and was made a tenant at Walnut House in October 2021. Developing a general common law practice with an emphasis on family and crime and a particular interest in family law. Prior to training as a barrister Sam worked as a family paralegal with a regional email@example.com View Profile
Year Of Call : 2021
Zoe joined Walnut House in 2021 as a pupil under the supervision of Laura Searle. Prior to pupillage, she worked as a paralegal at a boutique agricultural law firm. During her BPTC, she volunteered as an Appropriate Adult, supporting children in police station interviews, and at Support Through Court, assisting litigants in person with the court process. She has also completed internships assisting a children’s charity with their policy documents, and in the privacy department of an international firstname.lastname@example.org View Profile