laura searle profile - Laura Searle

Laura Searle

Family Barrister
  • Year of Call
  • 2011; Head of Family / Deputy HoC

Family Law

Public Law


Laura is the Head of Family at Walnut House and Deputy Head of Chambers.

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.

Private Law


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.

International Law


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.

Domestic Violence and injunctions


Laura regularly acts in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1996 including in without notice applications.

Financial Remedy Hearings


Laura represents clients in financial remedy proceedings from FDA through to Final Hearing and has experience acting in enforcement proceedings.

Civil Law

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.

Personal Injury


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.

Contract Disputes


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

  • Languages
  • French (fluent); German (conversational).
  • Achievements
  • 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.
  • Academic
  • 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.
  • Honours
  • 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.
  • Scholar
  • 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.
  • Public Access
  • Laura is accredited to undertake public access work.

Civil Law team members