St. Philips Chambers

Nick Brown

Nick Brown


Nick Brown, originally from the West Country, has been at St Philips throughout his time at the Bar. In 2006, he completed a broad-based pupillage here and, as a new tenant, practised across a range of fields. He now practises in the area of care proceedings and also has experience of cases involving wardship, forced marriage and FGM.

Nick has joined with other members of Chambers in providing seminars and lectures to solicitors and social workers throughout the region. He has published a number of articles in the area of children law (including a series short-listed for the inaugural Family Law Awards and taught at university level). He has also acted as a pupil supervisor and is a member of the pupillage committee.

Nick is very committed to what he does and aims to provide a highly professional service in a manner, he hopes, that is both approachable and sympathetic.

Public Law Care and Adoption

Nick represents local authorities, parents and children across the Midlands. He has experience of cases involving: inflicted injuries, sexual abuse (including inter-sibling), CSE, parents with learning disabilities, the placement of children in foreign jurisdictions, allegations of the murder of one parent by another and relinquishment for adoption on a confidential basis.  He also has experience of cases involving wardship, forced marriage and FGM.

Cases of particular note (many of them before judges of the High Court), have included Nick representing:

  • As second junior, a father whose child had been taken to Syria by his mother who had joined ISIS
  • As second junior, a mother facing allegations of intra-familial sexual abuse at a fact-finding hearing lasting four months
  • A grandmother securing the placement of her grandchildren with her in Jamaica and a substantial costs order against the local authority
  • An 18-year-old Ukrainian national securing his adoption by his British aunt
  • A local authority securing findings against parents that they had branded their baby with placement then secured with extended family in rural Bangladesh
  • A mother falsely accused of murdering the father of their children
  • A local authority securing declarations permitting the placement of a baby for adoption without notification being given to the father or any wider family members that the baby had been born
  • A baby shaken with sufficient force to be blinded and trigger an investigation for attempted murder
  • As junior to leading counsel, a local authority resisting a child’s placement with his father in California under the Hague Convention 1980 with placement then secured via care proceedings with extended family in Florida
  • The children, in the Court of Appeal, on the question of whether it is mandatory to join children and appoint a children’s guardian on an application for leave to apply to revoke a placement order and on the question of whether a mere change of mind on the part of a prospective carer can establish the requisite change in circumstances for leave to be considered (with the Court of Appeal referring key issues raised to the Family Procedure Rule Committee for review)
  • The children on the question of whether a recent pool finding can establish solid grounds for reopening earlier findings of inflicted injuries and on the question of whether threshold findings can be made to the criminal standard
  • A local authority facing coverage in the national media relating to its reliance on DOLS and its efforts to obtain a placement in secure accommodation for a teenager accused of multiple rapes and other sexual offences

Published Cases

Re Y (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Fact Finding) [2016] EWFC 30 [2016] 2 FLR 1074 [2016] Fam Law 1080 [2016] 5 WLUK 521

Re C (A Child) [2016] EWFC B110

Re B (Care Proceedings: Finding of Fact Hearing: Skull Fractures) [2017] EWFC B30

Re P (Sexual Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearing) [2019] EWFC 27 [2019] 4 WLUK 684

Re D [2019] EWFC B65

Re J (Care Proceedings: Placement in Bangladesh) [2020] EWHC 490 (Fam) [2021] Fam Law 190 [2020] 3 WLUK 740

Re A and B (Fact Finding: Head, Bony, Eye and Soft Tissue Injuries) [2020] EWFC 104 [2020] 11 WLUK 628

Re AB and CD (Threshold Criteria: Murder Investigation) [2021] EWFC 104 [2021] 4 WLUK 662

Re XX (A Child) (Jurisdiction; Hague Convention 1980; Hague Convention 1996) [2022] EWHC 2322 (Fam) [2023] 1 FCR 573 [2022] 7 WLUK 634

Coventry City Council v The Mother (BB) & Ors [2023] EWHC 1284 (Fam) [2023] 5 WLUK 459

G and H (Leave to Revoke Placement Order) [2023] EWCA Civ 768 [2023] 3 WLR 827 [2023] WLR(D) 296 CA [2023] 3 FCR 502

[2023] Fam Law 1050 [2023] 7 WLUK 40

Re Z (Care Proceedings: Reopening of Fact Finding) [2023] EWFC 137 [2023] Fam Law 1277 [2023] 8 WLUK 72

Re X and Y (Revocation of Adoption Orders) [2024] EWHC 1059 (Fam) [2024] 4 WLUK 489


‘Striking Out the Strike Out: Private Law Fact-Finding Hearings and Weak Allegations’ [2009] Fam Law 687

‘Safeguarding Children Living with Trauma and Family Violence: Evidence-Based Assessment, Analysis and Planning Interventions’ [2010] Fam Law 213 (Book Review)

‘Different Approach to Children’s Allegations’ [2011] Fam Law 430

‘The Retention of Children after Contact Part 1: Core Principles‘ [2011] Fam Law 497

‘The Retention of Children after Contact Part 2: Ex Parte and On Notice Hearings’ [2011] Fam Law 623

‘The Retention of Children after Contact Part 3: The Role of Cafcass and Other Considerations’ [2011] Fam Law 708

‘FGM and the Redundancy of the Term “Male Circumcision”’ [2017] Fam Law 88

‘Why Family Law Treats Female Genital Mutilation and Circumcision Differently: An Explanation’ [2023] OJLR

‘Threshold Findings and the Criminal Standard’ [2023] Fam Law 1451


1995 – 1999: Theology and Religious Studies BA (Cambridge: First Class)

2002 – 2003: Herchel Smith Scholar (Harvard)

2003 – 2004: GDL (Oxford Brookes: Distinction) and Lord Bowen Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)

2004 – 2005: BVC (Inns of Court School of Law: Outstanding) and Lord Denning Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)

2020 – 2022: LLM by Research (Oxford Brookes with external examination via King’s College London and thesis published in article form by Oxford University Press)

Appointments and Memberships

Lincoln’s Inn

Midland Circuit

Family Law Bar Association

West Midlands Family Law Bar Association

Pupil Supervisor & Pupillage Committee Member


“Nicholas is conscientious, well-prepared and determined to fight his client’s corner at all costs. He is passionate about fairness. He is eloquent and measured in his oral submissions.” Legal 500

“Nicholas has a very approachable and caring manner. He takes an incredibly sensitive approach with clients with learning disabilities, communicating apprehension and vulnerabilities to the tribunal to secure extra time and measures to ensure cases are conducted in a manner to enable full involvement and accommodation of any needs and special measures. He is always thoroughly prepared and is available for discussion at any time. He produces professional and comprehensive position statements and skeleton arguments.” Legal 500 

“Nick is very thorough, well prepared and a highly effective advocate. His drafting is also exceptional. Highly respected by all of the Judges on the Midlands circuit, as well as in the High Court.” Legal 500

“Fantastically analytical and a creative problem solver.” Legal 500

“He has great client empathy and fights their corner in court.” Legal 500

“His advice is clear, sound, and extremely thorough.” Legal 500



Nick Brown

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