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)
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.
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.
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)  EWHC 3087 (Fam)
Re C, D and E (Radicalisation: Welfare)  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
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.
- 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.
Charlotte may accept Public Access work, where she can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.