Gemma Bowes

Call 2009

Gemma Bowes


Gemma is a specialist in public children law.

Gemma has spoken at numerous training conferences and seminars for solicitors and magistrates. She has provided court skills training as a component of a Master’s degree course in social work.

She has been shortlisted in previous years for Birmingham Law Society’s Barrister of the Year award, and Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award.

She is a community trustee of a Birmingham academy school.

Public Law Care and Adoption

Gemma represents local authorities, children, parents, extended family members, and, on occasions, foster carers, at all stages of care proceedings and appeals.

She has dealt with applications for leave to oppose adoption, post-adoption/placement contact, discharge of care orders, forced marriage protection orders, and deprivation of liberty.

She has experience of proceedings involving:

  • Non-accidental injuries (including head injury, suffocation, stabbing, burns)
  • Child death
  • Fabricated/induced illness
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • County lines
  • Parental alienation
  • Threats of honour killing and risk of forced marriage
  • Children who have been brought into the country illegally
  • Overseas assessment and placement
  • Jurisdiction issues
  • Children giving evidence
  • Instructions by the Official Solicitor
  • Inherent jurisdiction



Notable cases

  • Re S (2021) represented the local authority in a case involving child trafficking
  • Re J – (2020) represented a mother (through the official solicitor) with Huntington’s disease who attended court each day of a final hearing in respect of applications for care and placement orders
  • Re N – (2019) represented the local authority in a case where the subject children were implicated in deaths of other young people
  • Re H – (2019) represented a parent of a young baby who had been near fatally smothered
  • Re T & A – (2018) represented a parent in a head injury and multiple fractures case
  • Re N – (2018) represented the local authority in a case where the children gave live evidence of serious physical and emotional abuse
  • Re F – (2018) represented an intervenor in a case of fractures, and bite marks to a young baby’s face
  • Re D – (2018) represented the children in a case involving allegations (variously against adults and minors) of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, where a non-subject child and a vulnerable young transgender person gave live evidence
  • Re D – (2017) represented extended family members in a child death case in the High Court
  • Re D – (2017) represented a terminally-ill parent in a case where the local authority sought to drastically reduce contact


Vaccination and children law in the time of coronavirus – a public private divide? Family Law October 2020 [2020] Fam Law 1308


LLB London School of Economics
MSc University of Oxford
Queen Mother Scholar Middle Temple
Approved pupil supervisor

Appointments and Memberships




"Gemma is a specialist child law barrister. She is compassionate, pragmatic and strategic approach taken, excellent advocacy and forensic preparation in complex public law cases." Legal 500
Conscientious, personable and approachable Legal 500