Instructed on behalf of local authorities, parents and guardians alike, Laura specialises in all areas of complex law relating to children. She represents clients in relation to cases of international surrogacy, jurisdictional issues and non-accidental injury including fabricated and induced illness. She has extensive experience in representing vulnerable parents and the impact of mental health issues and cognitive impairments on parenting capacity.
Laura’s Court of Protection practice provides her with a distinct advantage in relation to all aspects of deprivation of liberty safeguarding matters and issues of capacity in the family courts.
Notable Children Law cases
LBHF v DB 
This case concerned 3 full siblings born by 2 alleged surrogate mothers. The father was Italian, the first mother was Moldovan and the second mother was Georgian. Laura succeeded in gaining final orders in favour of her client, the mother of the eldest two children to whom she gave birth in Argentina and England, by establishing findings against the father of coercive control and long standing emotional abuse. Laura continues to advise and act in relation to the mother’s application for a parental order in respect of her youngest child born by surrogacy in Georgia.
Re L (A Child)  EWHC 3707 (Fam) Francis J
This High Court case involved proceedings as a result of the death of a 10 year old child within a 6 child sibling group. There was a concurrent investigation by the police leading to voluminous police disclosure prior to, and throughout, the 3 week final hearing. Medical evidence in relation to causation was complex and contradictory between experts and arguments over the discharge of burden of proof followed. The outcome of the initial final hearing was successfully appealed twice (by the local authority and then by the parents) leading to 2 further fully contested final hearings in the High Court.
LBI v D 
Proceedings were issued as a result of the father sharing with work colleagues a video of a baby being sexually abused. The mother was unconcerned as to the video. The father’s IQ was 63 and the mother was borderline range for a learning disability. There was significant extended familial conflict and a history of chronic neglect of the mother from her own childhood. The 5 day final hearing was adjourned following extensive evidence that cast light on the nature of further assessment and support which could negate the LA care plan for care and placement orders.
LBS v S 
This case involved legal argument over the appropriate legal framework for a local authority to arrange vaccinations for children subject to an interim care orders against their parents’ wishes. The mother’s application for injunctive relief under the court’s inherent jurisdiction had been made prior to the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Re H (A Child)(Parental Responsibility: Vaccination) . Laura successfully advocated that the local authority were, as holders of interim care orders, entitled to make decisions about vaccinations under s.33(3)(b) CA1989, going on to deal with the issue of alleged contra-indications specific to immunisations and the necessity of expert evidence.
LBI v D 
Laura represented 3 respondent children in care proceedings as a result of the mother’s chronic neglect. At the conclusion of the 5 day final hearing, prior to Judgment, allegations of historical sexual assault were levied against the father by mother’s adult child, B. It was known that L, B’s friend, had made similar allegations against the father historically (which B had refuted at the time). There followed complex police disclosure and a further 5 days fact finding whereby the court found the allegations of sexual harm had been made out against the father. The local authority’s initial care plan to place all 3 children with the father was amended to placement with long term foster carers.