A substantial part of Richard’s family practice is care work often involving chronic neglect or allegations of serious physical and/or sexual abuse and regularly featuring the official solicitor for one or other parent.
Richard represents parents, children, intervenors and local authorities. Whilst working for Local Authorities (and others) he drafts case summaries, position statements and orders as part of the ordinary course of his instructions. He understands and is experienced in the greater responsibilities in case management which fall upon counsel for a Local Authority.
Many of his clients have communication issues, whether arising from the need for interpretation, or from learning disability or other cause.
Richard is very experienced in cross examining experts in injury cases to highlight points of evidence and to highlight the limitations of what medical science can say with confidence, whether as to timing or causation of injury or otherwise.
Prior to focusing on family law, Richard had a significant criminal practice which included representing defendants in child sex cases and his experience of cross examining children in such cases has proved extremely valuable in family cases.
- A case where a young child had suffered two separate effectively unwitnessed serious injuries (fractures) and representing the parent alleged to have caused the injuries, the court determined that the injuries were not inflicted and therefore ‘Threshold’ was not passed.
- A case where a very young child had rib and other fractures. Alleged to have been caused by either the mother or the father. Representing the father – who was found not to have caused the injuries.
- A case where a very young child had rib fractures; representing a 17 year old intervenor alleged to have caused the injuries. Case involved helping the client to understand he needed to disclose communication between himself and the mother which was in fact potentially inculpatory of her. Found not to have caused the injuries.
- A client who was profoundly deaf. All communication involved sign language. Gained a real appreciation of the difficulties for a person who is and has been profoundly deaf in careing for children and being able (for instance) to communicate even with a school effectively. Helped to ensure that the capabilities of the parent were fully explored such that she was able to demonstrate that a child should remain with support in her care.
- A case where there was multifarious concerns of neglect and of sexual abuse (failure to protect – not alleged against parents). Client had learning difficulties and some care was needed in taking instructions and providing advice. Consideration and preparation of/for fact find against other family members. Helping client to understand the merits in relation to her different children and their needs and to reach a consensual resolution.