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Caroline Ford

Year of call:
1993
Education:
1990
University of Buckingham LLB (Hons)
1991
University of Buckingham LLM
1993
Inns of Court School of Law
Career:
1993
Pupil at 38 Park Square
1994
Tenant at 38 and 37 Park Square, Leeds
2005
Barrister in Queensland, Australia
2006
Tenant at 37 Park Square, Leeds
2010
Tenant at Paradise Chambers which becomes St Johns Buildings, Sheffield
Memberships:
North Eastern Circuit
Family Law Bar Association

Caroline read law at The University of Buckingham. After completing her undergraduate degree she went on to complete a Masters degree in International and Commercial Law. Caroline was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1993.

In 2002 Caroline was conditionally admitted to the Queensland Bar and practised for a short time in Brisbane before returning to the UK.

Caroline has specialised in family law with a particular interest in children’s cases for over 20 years, both in private and public law proceedings.

“Recommended for care proceedings.” – Legal 500, 2017

“An experienced advocate in the field of care proceedings.” – Legal 500, 2016

“A care and adoption specialist whose experience includes medical treatment, child injuries and fatalities.” – Legal 500, 2015

Public Law

She acts for Local Authorities, parents, intervenors and the children in proceedings.

Caroline conducts cases involving applications for care and supervision orders; contact with children in care; discharge of care orders; placement and adoption orders; kinship care and special guardianship orders. Her caseload ranges from neglect to acting for a parent after inflicted injuries resulted in the death of a baby. Her expertise is in dealing with all aspects of child abuse and neglect allegations, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse and cases involving allegations of fabricated illness. Caroline’s practise has involved the more usual type of cases including ritual abuse.

Caroline carries out an increasing amount of the High Court work.

Private Law

Caroline has considerable experience of complex family conflicts within child arrangement hearings, including representation of the child in some cases. She has conducted cases which involve allegations of child abuse, domestic abuse, applications to remove from the Jurisdiction and specific issue orders. She has conducted finding of fact hearings within private law proceedings.

Notable Cases

  • Doncaster MBC v Haigh is [2015] 1 FLR 55: Contact – False sexual abuse allegations by mother – Child placed in care of father – Media campaign against father. In this matter Caroline acted for the Local Authority at this hearing, and in the original fact finding and final hearings. This case was the subject of media interest and the High Court has given leave for the identities of the parties (save for the child) to be publicised in order to free the father from the ongoing smear campaign raised by the mother from which he was unable to defend himself.
  • Re T [2014]: Caroline represented the Local Authority in care proceedings where it was alleged and found after a contested fact finding hearing that the Roma father of eight children had sexually abused his eldest daughter whilst she was an inpatient undergoing video telemetry testing for epilepsy.
  • [2014] EWFC 47 Case No: SE 24/14: Caroline acted for the genetic father in an application by prospective adopters for an adoption order. Those family members were unknown at the time of the original care proceedings. The Local Authority and other professionals failed to undertake appropriate enquiries as to the true ethnicity or paternity of the child. The genetic father came forward and opposed the making of the adoption order alongside the paternal aunt who was assessed as being more than capable of meeting her nephew’s needs. The child now resides with his father full time.
  • Holman J considered that it was positively better for the child to be moved to his natural family rather than remain with the potential adopters, in whose care the child had been for over a year. Holman J described this case (and decision) as ‘extremely painful’, appreciating the ‘intense grief it will cause to the potential adopters and their extended family’. It is understood that this is the successful first case of its kind.
  • [2013] EWHC 4151 (Fam): Caroline acted for the Local Authority in a freestanding application by the Father for disclosure of the psychological assessment undertaken within previous care proceedings of his eldest daughter (aged 12) in his appeal against a conviction for murder. The court refused disclosure.
  • Re. C (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1787 Court of Appeal: In this matter Caroline acted for the Local Authority Respondent to the Appeal. This was an appeal lodged by the grandparents of an order at the conclusion of care proceedings that there should be no further assessment of them and the child should be placed for adoption. Permission to appeal was granted but the appeal was dismissed.

Contact Caroline’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Arnela Siranovic on 0113 213 5212