Martine Kushner

Year of Call: 1980
Email Address: martine.kushner@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 0121 489 4333
Clerk Name: Ian Charlton
Clerk Telephone: 0121 289 4333
Clerk Email: ian.charlton@3pb.co.uk

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Overview

Martine is a senior family barrister with over 40 years experience at the Bar. She joined 3PB in August 2019 on her return from a two year contract as the resident judge in the Falklands Islands. She had previously spent 36 years as a busy family lawyer doing multi-day and complex cases in all areas of family law and has practised across all UK Court Circuits.

She has a vast experience of analysing and interpreting complex expert reports (including medical) in her capacity as a judge and in private practice. She is regarded as a strong court advocate with a real aptitude for representing vulnerable clients, in particular those with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties. She is also highly skilled in dealing with a large number of parties in cases, again particularly the most vulnerable in our communities and cases involving litigants-in-person.

She is a highly versatile lawyer both in private practice and in a judicial role, able to adapt and apply a wide range of law. She has an excellent ability to grasp and apply new areas of law quickly.

Martine was the single resident judge on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia from 2016 to 2018, a jurisdiction equivalent to Circuit Judge and was also appointed Judge of the Supreme Court i.e. s9 powers. She dealt with all cases arising within the jurisdiction at Circuit Judge level and higher including Family (public and private law); Crime including serious offences; Civil including PI, employment law, tax appeals; fishing disputes; Judicial Review; and regulatory breaches.

She has been a Recorder in the UK since 1993, and has tickets in Family (Public and Private), Crime (including Appeals and Serious Sexual Offences) and Civil. She maintained this whilst in the Falklands by sitting regularly (about 11 weeks per annum) on the Midlands Circuit. She has a longstanding experience of case management including litigants in person (probably about 25% of her list and rising), vulnerable witnesses and parties with language and mental health problems.

She is also well known for her good relationships with the Midlands media (local TV, radio and newspaper) enabling the court to explain its decisions (when sitting as a judge) and making her clients' case to the media (when acting as advocate).

Martine is also co-author of Family Law and the Human Rights Act 1998, published by Jordans and, for over a decade, has been a lecturer for Jordans on Family Law Updates (both Public and Private Law) lecturing acros the UK.

Outside of work, Martine divides her time between coxing rowing teams, acting as board member of her local rowing club, running and amateur dramatics.

 

Expertise

  • Family
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    Martine Kushner is a senior, highly-experienced family barrister who was in private practice in Birmingham for 36 years with another Chambers, before joining 3PB in August 2019.

    She acts for all sides in care and adoption, private law children and ancillary relief cases: namely parents and birth parents, grandparents, local authorities and children. She has been ranked as a leading junior in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners and described as an ‘incisive practitioner'.

    Martine specialises in Public Family Law including NAHI; alleged bone disease; child death; and purported poisonings and injury to children and babies. She also has significant experience in civil law particularly professional and clinical negligence. This experience across a variety of legal disciplines has made Martine, she feels, a better family lawyer. Martine has also chaired a number of conferences on the medical aspects of child abuse.

    Martine also has significant experience in injury caused by the so-called ‘shaken baby syndrome’.

    In both the disciplines of Family Public Law and Negligence, the need after a death or serious injury is full cross- examination of the medical reports/practitioners (pathology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, neurology, etc).

    Martine is rated in ‘Leaders of the Bar’ as a ‘formidable cross-examiner' and is frequently asked to represent clients with significant social problems, where representing them is of itself occasionally demanding or challenging.

    Notable and reported cases include:

    • Re E (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 473

    Court of Appeal allowed the appeal from findings of sexual abuse made against the father and his teenage son.

    • Re B (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 565

    Public law children appeal to the CoA on the power and extent of an appellate court’s ability to ‘fill the gaps’ in the reasoning of a first instance decision and when such a discretion should be exercised.

    • Re T (2014) EWHC 3321 (Fam) and X County Council V T and others (2015)

    Habitual residence care proceedings case, after father removed child to Ireland. Court held that father actions had not changed the habitual residence from England to Ireland.

    • Re: K (a child) 2012 EWHC 4148 (Fam)

    Final care order for child where her relationship with her adopted parents had broken down.

    • Re: N (a child) 2009 EWCA Civ 1563

    Acting for mother in case after medical evidence showed injuries to her 4-year old daughter. Court of Appeal also ruled in favour of mother - and against an application by daughter's carer - that original judge had not erred in the fact hearing and that it wasnt unfair to the carer.

     

     

     

     

    • Children
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      Martine Kushner is a senior family barrister who is regularly instructed in private family law cases - whether applications for child arrangements orders, specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders that often include one or more of the following features:

      • Internal or external relocation
      • Living and contact arrangements
      • Entrenched/intractable disputes
      • Finding of fact hearings
      • Private Adoption
      • Special Guardianship
      • Alternative parenting / LGBT issues

Recommendations

Martine Kushner always fights her client’s corner”

Legal 500

"Martine Kushner is an incisive practitioner"

Chambers & Partners UK

Academic qualifications

  • LLB Hons, University of Birmingham
  • Bar finals, College of Legal Education
  • MA Business Law, London Metropolitan University

 

Scholarships

  • Vice Chancellor’s Prize, University of Birmingham
  • Jules Thorne Scholar, College of Legal Education
  • Middle Temple, Entrance Award

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Certificate in Forensic Medicine, Academy of Forensic Medical Sciences
  • Qualified Mediator
  • Recorder, 1993-

Professional bodies

  • Member of the Disputes and Disciplinary Panel for British Canoeing
  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Family Law Association
  • British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering

 

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