Gemma is a specialist in public children law. She is highly experienced in complex applications, and has established a busy practice focused on the Midlands Circuit.
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 was a member of the Oxford Local Family Justice Board. She is secretary of the Midland Circuit Women’s Forum.
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.
- 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 J – (2018) represented a parent in a case where a subject child was alleging the most serious sexual and physical abuse
- 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
- C (A Child: Care Proceedings – Inherent Jurisdiction – Deprivation of Liberty)  EWFC B72 (Comm) (https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2019/B72.html)
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-accident injuries (bruising, fractures, head injury, suffocation, stabbing)
- Child death
- Fabricated/induced illness
- Psychiatric illness
- Sexual abuse
- Child sexual exploitation
- Substance misuse
- Chronic neglect
- 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