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We are highly experienced in advising parents and acting on their behalf in relation to all legal matters concerning children.  As with much of our work there is often an international element and we are accustomed to liaising with practitioners in other jurisdictions.

We are accomplished in dealing with a broad range of issues that relate to children and understand that these are delicate and emotional matters that require sensitive handling. Our priority in most cases will be to seek a resolution without recourse to the courts but we are equally well versed in pursuing cases vigorously through the courts when needed. 

We understand that disputes concerning children can be distressing and de-stabilising. Our advice is designed to minimise upheaval and disruption and will always ensure that the child’s welfare is at the heart of the case.  We have good relationships with expert professionals in other disciplines and can bring them in to a case where appropriate (including counsellors, family therapists and psychologists).  We recognise that every family is unique and that a bespoke solution to meet your particular circumstances is essential.  We endeavour to conduct matters relating to children with the minimum amount of acrimony, recognising at all times that after proceedings the familial relationships will remain.





"Payne Hicks Beach are arguably the strongest family law firm in the country, providing enviable strength and depth in both financial and private children law areas" Chambers UK

The type of work that we do includes the following:

  • Applications made under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for a Child Arrangements Order (“CAO”) regulating who a child will live with (“residence”) and how much time the child will spend with the other parent (“contact”);
  • Applications made under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for Specific Issue Orders dealing with a specific aspect of a child’s upbringing. This might include issues such as identifying the most appropriate school a child should attend or whether a child should receive a particular vaccination;
  • Applications made under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for Prohibited Steps Orders preventing one parent from doing something that the other parent objects to;
  • Applications made under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 for financial provision for children;
  • Issues relating to parental responsibility;


  • Leave to remove applications – we have experience in both acting for the parent wishing to remove a child from the UK to reside elsewhere and in defending applications to remove a child;
  • Child abduction;
  • Wardship proceedings in relation to international families where there is a need for a child to be protected by the court becoming his/ her guardian;
  • Child protection;
  • Surrogacy arrangements; and
  • Adoption.
"The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues" THE LEGAL 500 UK

The Family Team at Payne Hicks Beach is ranked in Chambers HNW 2023. 

The directory writes that:

“Payne Hicks Beach has a highly esteemed family law department which regularly handles high-value and sophisticated matters.” 

“They are uniformly first rate, from the technical ability of more junior team members with day to day responsibility on a case, to the deep experience and strategic thinking offered by the partners and more senior associates.”

“PHB are absolutely excellent. They are all extremely competent, and can handle really big cases without being fazed by anything.”

With rankings over many years in Chambers HNW, testimonials include “They’re as good as you’ll find; they’re a class act,” says a source, explaining: “They have a lot of depth to their practice. They all have great experience and are very good to deal with.” 

Another comments: “They are a fantastic group of lawyers. They provide excellent advice to clients, and they have strong expertise in a range of areas. They really invest in their clients; it’s a real pleasure dealing with them.” 

The Legal 500 UK 2023 describes Payne Hicks Beach LLP as a “top notch firm that does A list work for the most influential, successful and high profile clients.” 

The law directory expands to say that “the department is ‘outstanding’ and garners praise for its specialist advice on the full spectrum of complex family law issues often with an international dimension for high-profile individuals, entrepreneurs, UHNWs and others including members of international Royalty” and recognises that the team “is frequently instructed in cases that go to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.”  “Overall it is a ‘class act with a team of great lawyers who know exactly how to run the big, difficult litigation but never lose sight of what the client wants’.”  

One source comments: “The PHB family team has exceptional experience of the most complex international family law disputes. Very few other firms have this level of experience. Hand-in-hand with this the firm delivers a very personal service, giving clients the assurance that both their case and their welfare are being cared for with utmost attention.”