Child Care Law

Steel & Shamash has a team of solicitors with extensive experience in all aspects of the law relating to children. This is a very specialised area of law in which we have an excellent reputation. Our team includes 4 members of the Children Panel.

Broadly speaking there are two distinct areas or categories :

Public law matters including actions taken by social services for the protection of children. These can include court proceedings for the removal of children from their parents. We can also advise and represent parties in adoption and special guardianship applications concerning long term planning for a child’s residence away from their home.

Private Law matters including disputes between parents, grandparents, or siblings, about issues relating to

  • Residence
  • Contact
  • Change of name
  • Specific issues relating to schooling or the upbringing of a child
  • Parental rights.

Disagreements often arise, particularly where couples are separating, and it is important to try to resolve disputes without delay and with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration. We represent parents, grandparents and children and, if the dispute cannot be resolved by negotiation or mediation, we can issue court proceedings to obtain appropriate court orders.

We can advise and assist you before court proceedings, attend child protection conferences and represent you in court proceedings. Our experience includes dealing with high profile cases involving complex issues which could involve the Official Solicitor if you are a vulnerable adult, cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury to a child, neglect, or factitious (induced) illness.

We have a particular expertise in cases involving persons with limited or a lack of mental capacity, and the interplay between the Children Act and the Court of Protection.

We are committed to providing excellent advice and representation in every case. We understand how precious your child is, and we will strive to ensure that this often complicated and demanding area is properly explained and that you case is dealt with sympathetically.

Free legal advice and representation is available for parents and the subject children in Care proceedings and in some other court proceedings. We will always advise you as to your eligibility for legal aid. Since 1st April 2013 legal aid is no longer available for those seeking assistance in relation to disputes concerning contact with children or residence disputes, unless there has been domestic violence between the parties or there are child protection concerns.

For those cases where legal aid is not available we can offer an initial appointment for which a fixed fee is charged. We will discuss your particular requirements and advise you as to likely cost.  We can discuss with you payment options including working on a fixed fee basis, and can offer very reasonable and competitive packages.

Our Child Care Solicitors are:

Janice Kaufman: Email:

Anna Ponting: Email:

Rachel Browne: Email: