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Charlotte Worsley

Year of call:
Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, MA (Hons) Social Anthropology
College of Law, London BVC (‘Very competent’)
Pupil at 9 Gough Square, London
Tenant at No 6, Leeds
Head of Family Team PSQB
Part-time advocacy tutor at BPP Leeds
FLBA NEC Committee
Grade 3 Prosecutor
Bar Council Conference Committee
Grade 3 panel advocate & rape panel prosecutor
North Eastern Circuit
Criminal Bar Association
Family Law Bar Association
Secretary for Middle Temple North Eastern Circuit Society
Lawyers for Children Committee

Ranked in Tier 1 for Family and Children Law – The Legal 500 (2019)

Charlotte Worsley is Head of our Family Team and has been a practitioner in Family Law since 2002. She handles all aspects of children work, with particular emphasis on public-law proceedings and all aspects of care and adoption proceedings. She is frequently leading counsel.

“An impressive advocate who will fight tooth and nail for her clients.” – The Legal 500 (2019)

“She is great with vulnerable clients” – The Legal 500 2018)

“Superb.  Equal to the leading counsel instructed for the other parties and demonstrated a very significant presence. I was very impressed.” (Solicitor)

“Exceptional client handling skills equally experienced at dealing with very difficult violent clients and the most vulnerable of children” (Solicitor)

“I am very grateful for the hard work that she undertook on this case and for the very measured and thorough closing submissions. I think that they encapsulate our client’s evidence, instructions and demeanour in a sensitive manner.” (Solicitor)

“Sterling work from committed and competent lawyers in ensuring P’s position was placed before the court without making her feel that she had betrayed her family” (Official Solicitor)

Public law

Charlotte is a very experienced care practioner. She is excellent both in court and with clients. She has significant experience in lengthy cases involving non accidental injuries, cases involving complex medical evidence, particularly brain injury through shaking, sexual abuse, child exploitation, representing child intervenors, fabricated induced illness, radicalisation, genetic disorders and cases which involve complex and difficult legal issues.

She is very approachable and hard-working. Charlotte is always very well prepared with a keen eye for detail. She has a first-rate reputation and is always willing to go the extra mile. She has extensive experience of proceedings at all levels. With a background in crime, she brings a breadth of experience in the crossover between Care and Criminal proceedings, particularly relating to questioning vulnerable witnesses.

Private law

Charlotte has considerable experience of complex family conflicts within residence and contact cases, including specific-issue orders, domestic abuse cases and applications to remove children from the jurisdiction.


Charlotte is a superb communicator, she is a robust advocate whilst remaining sensitive and approachable to lay and professional clients. Charlotte can always be contacted to advise in care proceedings and to assist by telephone and email.

Notable cases

Many of the cases in which Charlotte appears are unreported to protect the confidentiality of the family.

  • A Metropolitan District Council v M & Ors [2019] EWFC 15 (08 March 2019) – Leading Counsel representing the Father initially accused of raping seven-year-old daughter. Protected Father from findings of sexual abuse.
  • Re RL 2019 – Secured the rehabilitation of children to the Mother’s care after exonerating her from perpetrating 21 fractures to her four-month-old baby.
  • Re HS 2019 – Represented the Mother found to have perpetrated non-accidental injuries to a baby. Notwithstanding the findings secured further assessment considering rehabilitation using the Resolution Approach.
  • Re WG 2018 – Leading Counsel representing the Children (AW 17 and PG 6). AW disclosed systematic abuse against her stepfather over a period of seven years. Ensured AW was able to give evidence to the best of her ability. AW was believed and all findings were made.
  • Re HA 2018 – Junior Counsel representing the child in a case concerning serious injuries caused to a nine week old baby. Injuries found to be caused by two incidents of shaking the perpetrator was identified.
  • Re PS 2017 – Leading Counsel representing eleven-year-old child through the Official Solicitor. The child was accused by the rest of her family of causing skull fractures to her three-month-old niece. She was totally exonerated.
  • RE BH (A CHILD) (HUMAN RIGHTS ACT INJUNCTION) [2017] EWFC 15 – Represented the Local Authority prevented from removing a two-year-old great-niece from a great aunt’s care pending final determination of a long-term placement. Although the great-aunt lacked parental responsibility, the removal of a child from a longstanding family carer was virtually certain to engage the rights of both child and carer under ECHR Art.8 and was directly analogous to removal from a parent.
  • Re C, D and E – (Radicalisation: Fact-Finding) [2016] EWHC 3087 (Fam)
  • Re C, D and E – Radicalisation: Welfare) [2016] EWHC 3088 (Fam)
  • Represented a mother alleged to have tried to take her children to Syria to join the Caliphate in July 2015. She was found to have held radicalised views. After a period of bespoke work with CENTRI the children returned home under child in need plans.


Charlotte regularly delivers Seminars and Lectures, including advocacy training, to colleagues, solicitors, social workers and students.

Contact Charlotte’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Charlotte Worsley has been a practitioner in criminal law, for the prosecution or defence, since 2002. Her practice covers the full spectrum of offences with particular specialisms in serious sexual offences and offences relating to children and vulnerable adults (including cases involving child sexual exploitation, abuse of all types and the representation of young defendants.)

Charlotte has particular skill in dealing with vulnerable defendants and witnesses. She is frequently instructed in cases involving the s.28 pre-recorded cross-examination.

She has a clear understanding of issues affecting the crossover between criminal and family jurisdictions. She has often represented clients in both jurisdictions, in cases relating to sexual offences, gross neglect and all types of child abuse.


Charlotte is an effective communicator. She is a robust advocate, yet remains sensitive and approachable to lay and professional clients. She places particular emphasis on client care and focuses on minimising distress for the lay client and their supporters.

Languages & interpreters

Charlotte has experience of cases involving different cultures and/or requiring an interpreter or intermediary.

Notable cases

  • R v Haji & others – Led Junior successfully prosecuting multi-defendant child exploitation trial.
  • R v Pearson – Gross negligence manslaughter through neglect; a daughter allowed her mother to die, involving complex psychiatric evidence relating to senile squalor disorder.
  • R v Asnawi – Representing a vulnerable defendant in a serious gang-rape.


Charlotte regularly delivers seminars and lectures, including advocacy training, to junior solicitors.

Public Access

Charlotte may accept Public Access work, where she can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.

Contact Charlotte’s clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Elaine Foster-Morgan on 0113 213 5217

Robyn Nichol on 0113 213 5253

The Legal 500 2017 leading individual logo Legal 500 Leading individual 2019