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Nicola Brown

Year of Call: 1998
Email Address: nicola.brown@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 0121 289 4333

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Family

Care and Placement Proceedings

Family barrister Nicola Brown now practices exclusively in care and placement proceedings, in which she represents all parties. She has a particular interest and expertise in cases involving non accidental injuries and fabricated/induced illness, due in part to her background as a clinical negligence lawyer but also to her experience of representing the Local Authority in such cases.

She undertakes fact finding hearings. She has been involved in cases in which children have given evidence and also where vulnerable adults are alleged to have caused significant harm. She has been involved in many cases where placement orders have been sought and cases beyond care proceedings, notably contested adoptions and adoption breakdowns.

Private Law

Nicola undertakes private law cases, particularly when these involve finding of fact hearings. Her role as a local authority advocate increasingly frequently crossed the threshold between public and private law and she has a particular interest in case where there are allegations of harm.

Legal training 

Nicola created and delivered a two day training course for Social Workers, entitled Courtroom Skills, to assist with the process of giving evidence. She has created and delivered advocacy training and bespoke training on interim removal hearings. She has delivered a lecture on the use of expert witnesses at a CAFCASS conference.

Nicola will create and deliver bespoke training courses for clients to provide training on specific areas of interest.

Notable Cases

  • Re Y [2020] (unreported) : Acted for a LA in case involving protracted discharge of care order proceedings brought swiftly after care proceedings. The case featured successful applications for non molestation orders and high court injunctions, the termination of PR agreements, declaration of parentage and a section 91(14) order preventing further applications being brought without the leave of the court for 2 years.
  • Re S [2020] (unreported) : Finding of fact hearing in which a child gave live evidence about allegations of sexual abuse against a step parent.
  • Re D + Ors (Children) 2017 EWFC B87 (reported)
  • Re DS [2017] (unreported) : Acted for a LA in a case involving the death of a child by drowning. Finding of fact hearing to establish parental culpability for the death. Press interest in light of ensuing criminal proceedings.
  • Re T [2016] (unreported) : Acted in care and placement proceedings involving a large sibling group; allegations of sexual abuse. Earlier proceedings resulted in findings that male children were not at risk of sexual harm in parents’ care. Subject proceedings necessitated the challenging of those findings.
  • Re Z [2016] (unreported) : Acted in protracted care and placement proceedings involving allegations of physical harm, international jurisdiction (several applications to transfer proceedings pursuant to Article 15 Brussels 11) prohibition of contact orders, assessment of potential carers in other jurisdictions, how such assessments can proceed particularly when the host country asserts sovereignty to control any such assessments.
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Academic qualifications

  • University of Leeds: LLB
  • University of Manchester: LLM (International Business Law)
  • College of Law (BVC)

Professional bodies

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Middle Temple