3PB's family law barrister Antonida Kocharova provides a case law update.
Antonida undertakes work in all areas of family law and often represents clients in more than one application, enabling them to have continuity of representation through what is always a difficult period. Her practice covers the following:
Antonida has successfully represented both husbands and wives at all stages of financial remedy proceedings, including FDA, FDR, Final Hearings, mediation, and enforcement proceedings. She always favours achieving a settlement which works for her clients but is not phased by voluminous documentation and detail.
Recently, Antonida has acted in several cohabitation cases with cross-applications under TOLATA and Schedule 1 of the Children Act, including two cases concerning Islamic marriages in circumstances similar to the developing jurisprudence in Akhter v Khan. She has also represented clients in TOLATA proceedings between other family members and has advised a same-sex couple on pre-nuptial agreements.
Other cases have included:
- A v A (2019) – Represented husband throughout Family Law Act, Children Act, and matrimonial finance proceedings in a matter involving doctored bank statements and Imerman disclosure
- R v I (2019) – Represented respondent husband for a final hearing on a direct access basis, successfully arguing to add back sums dissipated post-separation.
- B v B (2019) – Advised a military wife on maintenance pending suit
- P v P (2018) – Represented applicant wife at FDR achieving settlement securing favourable split of family home and avoiding any responsibility for debts accrued by the husband unilaterally.
Private Law Children
Antonida undertakes a wide range of private children work and has been instructed by mothers, fathers, grandparents and NYAS in applications for child arrangement orders, prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders. She has represented clients at all stages of proceedings and her cases often involve sensitive elements such as intractable hostility, domestic and sexual abuse (including allegations of sexual abuse towards the child and threats to kill), and witness protection. Frequently Antonida works through interpreters and intermediaries.
Recent cases have included:
- P v D (2020) – Represented Polish client direct access in a dispute with several cross-applications for child arrangements, prohibited steps, occupation orders (including an appeal), as well as TOLATA and Schedule 1 applications.
- A v D (2019) – Successfully represented a respondent mother in resisting an application by the father for contact where the 12yo child’s wishes and feelings were strongly against any direct contact exhibited through school non-attendance, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
- M v L (2018) – Represented the grandmother of children at a directions hearing in the context of the children’s move into witness protection meaning she would be denied all contact.
- I v B (2018) – Successfully adjourned final hearing and resisted applications for amendments to interim child arrangements instructed to stand in for a colleague with 30 minutes’ notice.
- R v R (2017) – Successfully representing a mother in her application for the discharge of a Special Guardianship Order.
Antonida undertakes private, legal aid and direct access work and is particularly keen to undertake cases involving unconventional family arrangements and surrogacy.
Public Law Children
Antonida has appeared in the Family Court and High Court on instructions by parents, grandparents and Local Authorities in all stages of public law proceedings, including interim and final care and supervision orders, secure accommodation orders and other applications, including under the inherent jurisdiction. She has also been instructed on emergency protection orders at short notice.
Recent cases have included:
- Re O’M (2020) – Represented a father in an application for a secure accommodation order and deprivation of liberty orders in relation to a 16-year-old girl.
- Re G (2019) – Representation of a non-engaging father at a case management hearing requiring robust advice as to the prospects of his case.
- Re W (2018) – Representation of a mother at final hearing arguing for placement of the children with their grandmother.
- Re K (2018) – Representation of a local authority in an application by a 16yo child to live with his grandmother under a care order by agreement.
- Re R (2017) – Representation of a local authority at a final hearing where the authority would take over responsibility for a care plan in proceedings brought by a different local authority where the carer was moving between local authority areas.
- Re S (2017) – Noting brief on behalf of the local authority in a 10-day fact-finding hearing in a case involving incest between children in the family.
Court of Protection
In addition to representing clients in Court, Antonida has undertaken secondments with two different local authorities advising on a large number of individual cases and has provided representation in court, with a particular emphasis on deprivation of liberty cases.
Some of the cases she has worked on have involved:
- Preparing local authority evidence in a section 21A application relating to the deprivation of liberty where the protected party’s daughter objected to and caused the failure of several placements as well as making numerous complaints and online posts against care home staff and local authority staff from various local authority departments.
- Advising social workers on appropriate procedures and drafting of applications for standard authorisation.
- Drafting a position statement on behalf of a local authority in a residence dispute relating to aftercare under s117 MHA 1983.
Antonida is keen to grow this area of her practice and will accept Court of Protection work relating to both property and welfare.
Antonida regularly represents clients in applications under the Family Law Act 1996, including for non-molestation and occupation orders.
Recent cases have included:
- B v G (2018) – Successfully obtained a transfer of tenancy for a mother in the context of private law children proceedings.
- O v O (2018) – Represented a wife in an application for an occupation order in the unusual circumstances of her husband’s mental breakdown.
- P-R v R (2018) – Secured discharge of a non-molestation order on behalf of the respondent father on the basis of undertakings.
- T v M (2017) – Settled applications for non-molestation orders by way of cross-undertakings as well as resolving numerous disputes about chattels.
Case Law Update - The Remote Family Court and Beyond7th May 2020
- University of Oxford, MA Jurisprudence
- BPP University, BPTC (Outstanding)
- Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
- Family Law Bar Association
- Property Bar Association
- Housing Law Practitioners’ Association
- Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Antonida Kocharova is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.More Information