Members of Chambers

Leslie Samuels QC

Called: 1989

Practice Profile

Leslie is an exceptional advocate and is held in high esteem for his expertise in children work both in public and private law cases, in financial remedies cases and in inheritance and probate disputes. He has 28 years of experience as a barrister and took Silk in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed as a Family Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit and in 2016 he was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge sitting as a s.9 Judge of the Family Division in London and the South East.

He is recommended in the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories for 2016/7 and has been ranked in these directories for a number of years.

2017 Chambers and Partners: Advises on the full range of family law issues, representing clients in public and private children matters, as well as in matrimonial finance cases. He is able to oversee ADR procedures as well as handle litigation.
Strengths: "He is highly authoritative, especially when it comes to cases concerning non-accidental injury in children." "He is hard-working, conscientious and a quietly assertive advocate."

2016 Legal 500: "Calm, patient and thoughtful."
2016 Chambers and Partners: Has considerable experience in tackling high-profile matrimonial disputes, many of which have involved children law aspects. He often appears in London as well as on the Western Circuit.
Strengths: "He thinks his cases and tactics through very carefully. He is a very hard worker and is someone who is always thoroughly prepared."

2015 Legal 500: "He has a calming influence, which encourages constructive dialogue."
2015 Chambers and partners: "Very insightful, and supportive of the client."
2014 Chambers and partners: "praised for his attention to detail and his easy-going manner." "Highly regarded in the region for his expertise in family matters across the board."
2013 Chambers and partners: "well versed in family matters and is held in high esteem for his expertise in family finance and children work in both the public and private spheres. Sources are highly impressed with his advocacy capabilities."

Until recently he was an elected committee member of the Family Law Bar Association and was Chair of the Money and Property Committee. He is an ADR qualified Mediator and an IFLA trained arbitrator.

Expertise

Children Public Law

He undertakes complex and high profile public law children cases for parents, Local Authorities and Children's Guardians both at fact-finding and at welfare hearings. He also represents parties at appellate level in the High Court, Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court.

Recent cases include:

Alleged murder of a child; serious non-accidental head injuries to a child including widespread brain damage; alleged shaking injuries; multiple fractures including skull, rib and limb fractures; cases involving bone mineralisation issues such as Vitamin D deficiency, osteopenia and osteogenesis imperfect; cases involving suspected Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; alleged sexual abuse of children; alleged fictitious or induced illness; neglect, drug and alcohol issues; complex jurisdictional and immigration issues; cases where local authorities have failed to perform their statutory duties to support families.

He also advises local authorities, families and children on Human Rights Act issues arising within and outside public law proceedings.

Family Finance

Leslie has a substantial financial remedies practice, both as a Junior and now in Silk. His experience as a Deputy District Judge and a Recorder and now a Deputy High Court Judge hearing financial cases at the Central London Family Court and the Royal Courts of Justice is invaluable in advising and representing clients in this complex area.

Recent cases include:

Big money’ cases where the assets values have exceeded £10m; cases where there are substantial business assets requiring an analysis of company accounts and expert valuation evidence; cases where the assets include substantial farm land or other inherited or pre-acquired wealth; cases where one or both parties have significant trust assets; cases involving significant taxation issues including taxation arising both abroad and within the UK; cases involving film partnership schemes; cases where there are high value pensions on one or both sides; applications under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 and; situations where urgent applications are required.

He conducts private FDRs and is an IFLA trained arbitrator. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Children Private Law

He represents parents and sometimes children in a range of private law disputes including applications for Child Arrangements Orders (formally known as Residence and Contact orders), adoption cases, applications seeking permission to remove a child from the jurisdiction, other Specific Issue applications and Child Abduction cases.

Recent cases include:

Cases involving disputes over where a child should live and the level of contact with the non-resident parent; applications for placement and adoption orders; Specific Issue applications, including disputes over schooling and medical care; allegations of sexual or physical abuse by a parent; applications to remove children from the jurisdiction; applications where it is alleged that a parent is implacably hostile to contact; child abduction cases.

Inheritance, Wills and Probate

He advises and represents litigants in a wide range of probate related claims and property disputes. Leslie is an accredited ADR civil mediator and a member of the specialist inheritance mediation group.

Recent cases include:

Cases involving challenges to the validity of wills including challenges on the basis of lack of capacity or want of knowledge and approval; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975; claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; claims for Resulting and Constructive Trusts and by way of equitable estoppel.

Judicial Review

Leslie undertakes a substantial quantity of judicial review work acting both for Claimants and Defendants in cases involving challenges to local authority and central government decision making and also challenges to autonomous bodies such as the Kennel Club, the Scouts Association and political parties. His primary area of interest in this field is in challenges relating to decision-making about or concerning children.

Recent cases include:

Challenges the lawfulness of a refusal to offer a mother and baby placement to a mother in prison, disputes about a local authority’s assessment and planning processes for teenage children; disputes over whether children have been ‘accommodated’ by the local authority under the Children Act 1989; age assessment cases involving unaccompanied asylum seekers; disputes over S.17 Children Act duties including cases where the family has’ No Recourse to Public Funds’; challenges to a local authority’s decision to withdraw care funding for a vulnerable adult; challenges to local authority charging policies for the provision of adult community care and a challenge to the exclusion of an elected member from a political party.

Court of Protection

Leslie acts for a wide range of litigants, including relatives and local authorities, in Court of Protection cases involving welfare disputes or where there are financial issues arising from a loss of capacity.

Alternative dispute resolution

Leslie is an experienced family and civil practitioner and is an ADR trained civil mediator.
Leslie's area of specialisation within mediation is the resolution of family money disputes including those issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship and cohabitee disputes (both in life and death) He deals with problems relating to elderly and vulnerable clients with capacity issues.
Although not a trained family mediator, Leslie can conduct mediations under civil ADR model and by way of a 'private FDR'. He is also an IFLA trained arbitrator and can conduct arbitrations in a wide range of disputes including financial remedies applications, Schedule 1 applications and Inheritance Act claims.

Qualifications

  • MA (Law) Cambridge University
  • MA (Criminology) University of Toronto
  • University of Toronto: Connaught Scholarship. Open Fellowship

Professional associations

  • Member of the Western Circuit (active advocacy trainer)
  • Elected Family Law Bar Association Committee Member (Appointed from 2010, Elected from 2013)
  • Chair of the Family Law Bar Association Money and Property (Financial Remedies) Sub-committee (2011-13, 2015-16)

Professional activities

  • Leslie has lectured widely on children, financial remedies, judicial review and probate related issues for Chambers, for the FLBA, for the Western Circuit, and for the Family Justice Council.
  • He has also spoken at judicial review seminars for Central Law Training and the London Boroughs Legal Alliance and has recorded training material for Cpdcast.
  • Leslie is happy to provide individual training for firms of solicitors or local authorities.

Outside Interests

  • Leslie enjoys his family life, sport which includes running, regular visits to the gym and being a season ticket holder at AFC Wimbledon.
  • When time permits, Leslie also loves going to the theatre and cinema and gardening.

Reported Cases

  • Re LC (A Child) (Habitual Residence) sub nom Poole Borough Council v (1) EC (2) MC (3) LC (By his Children's Guardian) [2016] EWFC 31
  • Re HA (A Child) (No.2) sub nom Bristol City Council v AA, SA and HA [2015] EWHC 1310, [2016] 1 FLR 966
  • KCC v Ors (2) (Fact Finding) [2015] EWFC 93
  • Re D (Non-Availability of Legal Aid) (No.2) [2015] EWFC 2, [2015] 1 FLR 1247
  • Re E (A child) (2015) LTL 8/9/2015
  • Re H (A child) [2014] EWHC 970 (Fam)
  • B (A Child) [2014] EWCC B55 (Fam)
  • A (A Child) (no 2) [2014] EWCC B52 (Fam)
  • Re S (Children) [2014]
  • Re O (Minors) [2013] EWHC B44 Fam
  • L (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 489, [2103] 3 FCR 90, [2014] 1 FLR 807
  • A Local Authority v DB (Mother) & Ors [2013] EWHC 4066 (Fam)
  • Re S (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 847, [2013] 1 FLR 354
  • Re F (Children: Declaration of Parentage) [2011] EWCA Civ 1765, [2013] 2 FLR 1036
  • Re C (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 89, [2010] 2 FCR 664.
  • R (EW and BW) v Nottinghamshire County Council [2009] EWHC 915 (Admin), [2009] 2 FLR 974
  • Cave v Portsmouth City Council [2008] All ER (D) 313 (May)
  • R (L) v Nottinghamshire County Council [2007] EWHC 2364 (Admin)
  • A Local Authority v D (Chief Constable of Thames Police Intervening) [2006] 2 FLR 1053
  • Southampton City College v. Randall [2006] IRLR 18
  • A v B (Financial Relief: Agreements) [2005] EWHC 314 (Fam) [2005] 2 FLR 730
  • Re P (Adoption: Breach of Care Plan), [2004] EWCA Civ 355 [2004] 2 FLR 1109