Chris Rank

Introduction

Christopher is a Family Law Specialist and adopts a professional but robust approach to all aspects of his work. He is popular with both professional and lay clients and is known for his meticulous preparation and excellent client care skills.

Christopher joined St Philips Chambers in 2016, having previously practised from Birmingham Chambers.


Private Law Children and Domestic Abuse

Christopher has extensive experience of representing parents and children in private law disputes. He has been instructed to act in intractable disputes and complex cases involving domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape. He has also been involved in a number of cases concerning removal from the jurisdiction. He regularly represents the Guardian Ad Litem instructed by CAFCASS.

Christopher has represented same sex couples, and has pursued a declaration of incompatibility before the President of the Family Division, in respect of a non-biological Mother’s right to obtain free-standing Parental Responsibility.


Public Law Care and Adoption

Christopher acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children and other family members and is frequently instructed in cases involving serious and complex injuries to children. Such matters have included:

  • Adoption breakdowns,
  • Child death cases,
  • Chronic neglect and drug and alcohol abuse,
  • Designated Local Authority arguments,
  • Fictitious illness,
  • Forced marriage,
  • Instructions by the official solicitor to represent vulnerable individuals,
  • Non Accidental Head injury / Rib fractures,
  • Physical abuse,
  • PII applications,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Surrogacy matters.

Christopher has had success in:

  • Resisting allocation as the designated local authority for various Councils.
  • Successfully opposing a local authority and a children’s guardian who pursued a plan of adoption for the children. The children were returned to the parents care.
  • Represented a mother in care proceedings who was accused of causing a non-accidental rib fracture to her son. She was found not to have caused the injury and the child was returned to her.
  • Appealing the making of placement orders by Magistrates.
  • Appealing a decision not to allow an Independent Social Work Assessment of parents.
  • Securing a finding of ‘unlawful removal’ against a local authority.

Family Finance Team

Christopher has considerable experience in dealing with financial remedy matters, including those involving substantial assets, business assets (where experts have been appointed), farming assets, overseas assets, pensions and trusts. Christopher has drafted both pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements in cases with assets of over £80 million.

Christopher also has significant experience of disputes between unmarried couples, in particular applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and Schedule 1 applications, and undertakes written advisory work as well as advocacy.

Education

LLB (Hons)
Bar Vocational Course (very competent)
Former member of the Prison Independent Monitoring Board

Appointments and Memberships

FLBA