For some people, family disagreements can be an immense source of stress and worry. And when family relationships break down there can be a wide range of legal repercussions. Divorce settlements, financial disputes, childcare and contact arrangements, asset and pension claims, all these can drive a family further apart if not dealt with sensitively and professionally.

Magdalen Chambers Direct Access Barristers are family law specialists. We understand the need for clear, practical advice, careful negotiation and effective resolution. When it comes to your family matters, you deserve nothing less.

With Direct Access you get a personal service that brings professional expertise, deeper understanding and a closer relationship with your case.

If you need specialist legal counsel, expert advice and advocacy in family-related matters including negotiation, mediation and dispute resolution, then contact us today. We can provide a Direct Access service for a range of family legal issues, including the following:

Family Finance

Financial disputes are a common byproduct of the breakdown of family relationships. Magdalen Direct Barristers have considerable depth of experience in dealing with financial disputes that arise when couples divorce or separate, or due to the death of a family member. As well as husbands and wives, we also represent same-sex couples, children, parents and third parties such as companies and trustees.

Often disputes can fundamentally affect the financial security of our clients. Therefore we focus on settlement when appropriate and swift, effective representation where necessary. We can advise and represent across all levels of family financial disputes, including urgent applications to preserve assets as well as highly complex matters, thanks to the expertise of our highly experienced senior members.

We can provide a dedicated expert service across a wide range of family financial issues, including: Business assets, family trusts, bankruptcy and IVAs, military pensions, child and spousal maintenance, order enforcement and variation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act (including applications to pay university fees), child support, trusts of land disputes, and claims under the Inheritance Act.

Private Financial Dispute Resolution

We are seeing a significant rise in Private Financial Dispute Resolution hearings to settle financial disputes in family cases. For further information and a confidential preliminary discussion to see which route may suit your circumstances please contact us.

Children (Private Law)

Legal disputes involving children can be particularly sensitive, and distressing for all parties involved. They require a specialist set of advisory, negotiation and advocacy skills to help clients achieve the very best outcome for the children involved. Our Family Law barristers are professional and empathetic, and strive to develop a deep understanding and cooperative relationship with every client.

Magdalen Chambers Direct Access Barristers can offer expert assistance in all aspects of private child law relating to future parenting, residence and contact. Our specialist experience includes the following: Applications to remove children from the country and issues related to the Hague convention on international child abduction, child arrangements, schooling or medical treatment. We regularly represent parties in these proceedings from all walks of life, including parents, grandparents and other family members as well as parents with significant learning or personality difficulties. We have also mediated complex and intractable disputes, and conducted out-of-court resolutions.

Choosing Magdalen Chambers Direct Access Barristers ensures you will get the practical advice, sensitive negotiation and powerful and effective advocacy you need to minimise the disruption to the children involved and achieve the best possible outcome.

Children (Care and Adoption proceedings)

Sadly, child abuse is an all-too-common fact of life. When a child is deemed to be in danger, the state, via a local authority, makes an application to intervene to try to protect a child from harm. This can be due to neglect, emotional or physical abuse, or non-accidental injury. The Local Authority can take the child and place them in foster care, and limit contact with the parents or guardians in question.

Magdalen Chambers Direct Access Barristers have extensive experience in providing advice and advocacy for all parties involved in childcare proceedings, including parents, guardians, local authorities and government bodies. Many members of the team are on approved Local Authority Panels. Our barristers have particular expertise in ‘shaken baby’ syndrome and related cases.

Often these types of cases need a swift and appropriate response in order to provide adequate protection and care for the vulnerable child. Our Direct Access Barristers also have expert knowledge and experience of short-notice emergency relief and injunction cases, and can be instructed to advise and advocate accordingly.

Magdalen Chambers Direct Access Barristers can advise, mediate and represent clients across all matters relating to care, adoption, wardship and contact. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.

If you need expert advice, guidance, representation or have an enquiry involving an area of law not covered above, then speak to our friendly, professional clerks today.


Here is just a small selection of the feedback our Direct Access barristers receive from clients, solicitors and national legal bodies:

  • “My daughter has found the Direct Access scheme to be extremely beneficial. Rather than forwarding correspondence through a solicitor, she is communicating directly with the barrister, thereby cutting down on time, expense and unnecessary delays.”
  • “A great support throughout this difficult time. Easy to talk to and will always listen and give advice and guidance. From a practical point of view, we know that all concerns will be taken on board and all correspondence read and re-read.”
  • “Very professional but also caring to our situation. Very helpful in every aspect of this case and the subsequent hearing.”
  • “Extremely impressive – she’s strong, sensible and very insightful. Her advice on when to fight and when not to fight undoubtedly helped the client enormously.”
  • “Intelligent, methodical, unflappable and approachable. A strong all-rounder with extensive knowledge of public and private children law and financial remedies.”
  • “Rupert Chapman has been recognised as a leading junior in the field of Family and Children Law by the Legal 500.”
  • “Carol Mashembo is well regarded in both private law children cases and financial remedy matters.” – Legal 500
  • “Christopher Naish is very highly experienced and has a wealth of knowledge of family law. He also is very good at establishing a good relationship with clients and putting them at their ease.”
  • “Thanks again for your quality of service… the guidance you gave on the relevant legal issue was a game changer. The case summary and how you delivered it was so compelling, it just didn’t leave the judge any room for confusion”

Please click here to see our Family & Child Law Fees.