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Charlotte Worsley

Year of call:
Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, MA (Hons) Social Anthropology
College of Law, London, PGDip Law (Commendation)
College of Law, London BVC (‘Very competent’)
Pupil at 9 Gough Square, London
Tenant at No 6, Leeds
No 6 becomes Park Square Barristers
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)

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

“She is great with vulnerable clients” – The Legal 500 (2017)

Public law

Experienced in hearings involving complex medical evidence involving non-accidental injuries, particularly brain injury through shaking, sexual abuse, radicalisation, child exploitation, fabricated induced illness and cases which involve  complex and difficult legal issues.

Very approachable and hard-working, she is always well prepared with a keen eye for detail. She has built up a strong reputation and is always willing to go the extra mile. She has extensive experience of proceedings at all levels and a clear understanding of issues affecting the crossover between criminal and family cases, practicing in both jurisdictions.

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 an effective communicator. A robust advocate, she 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. Charlotte can always be contacted to advise in care proceedings and to assist by telephone and email.

Languages & interpreters

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

Notable cases

Re PS 2017

Led team 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. Protected her position by ensuring she was fairly interviewed with the assistance of a psychologist and intermediary. Complex legal issues arose relating to questioning vulnerable witnesses and child perpetrators. Child remained living in the family home. Highest level of sensitivity required in witness handling. Child made disclosures, which led to the identification of the perpetrator, her brother. She was totally exonerated.

Re PS  “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.

Re SY 2017

Represented inadequate and vulnerable Mother with significant mental health difficulties accused of perpetrating non-accidental injuries and neglect on four children. Multiple, serious non-accidental injuries perpetrated over a period of time. Very sensitive handling required due to her level of functioning, applied for special measures and support workers to be present. Managed aggression from other parties towards the Mother both in and out of court.

Successfully challenged adverse psychological evidence and ensured that the Mother was exonerated of causing any injury to the children. Children remained within a maternal family placement.

Re MP 2017

Lead Counsel for Father accused of shaking and fracturing skull of tiny pre term baby. Complication with baby’s prematurity, having been born with brain injury and clotting disorder. Multiple medical experts, hugely complex medically, detailed forensic analysis required. Father had significant history of psychiatric and behavioural problems exacerbated by his violent behaviour whilst at court, resulting in his expulsion from hearings.


Represented Mother diagnosed with HIV. She failed to adhere with recommended medical treatment for herself and unborn baby due to her religious beliefs. Prior to birth mother absconded to Scotland to give birth. Complex medical, jurisdictional and wardship issues arose. Ensured child remained with Mother.

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 addressing the parents’ previous ideological beliefs surrounding the Islamic State, flight risk, and their resilience to extremist ideology successfully ensured that the children remained at home under child in need plans. Deemed a success story.

Re L 2016

Junior Counsel for the Local Authority seeking findings of NAI (bruising) against parents and Fabricated Induced Illness against the mother. Mother had very extensive and complex medical records. Detailed forensic and factual analysis required. All findings sought by the Local Authority were made. Final placements were made with family members.

Re K 2016

Leading Counsel representing the intervener who was the mother’s boyfriend at the finding of fact hearing. He was found to have been the perpetrator of sadistic injuries to a four-year-old boy. Complex medical evidence including unusual bruising, burns, ano-genital injuries, fractures to nine separate sites (including crush fracture to vertebrae and fracture to pubic bones) and an intra-cranial abscess due to severe neglect. Life changing impact on the child due to the injuries.


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

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