Poonam appears in the Family Court and specialises in public law children cases where there are allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injuries, death of a parent. Poonam undertakes cases with an international element including forced marriage and child abduction cases.
Poonam acts for parents, children’s guardians, the Official Solicitor and local authorities in public law children cases. Poonam has represented clients with mental health and learning difficulties and clients from minority ethnic groups.
During 2000-2005 Poonam undertook criminal and immigration law cases. She represented the Home Office and appellants in immigration hearings before the tribunal in relation to both asylum and human rights claims.
Poonam undertakes voluntary work. She has reviewed cases for the Bar Prop Bono Unit. Poonam was a Trustee of Legal Action Group (Charity) from 2004 to 2016 and Chair of the Board of Trustees for over 10 years. Poonam has been an Executive Committee member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.
Poonam was a former schoolteacher and special educational needs co-coordinator before retraining as a barrister.
- HA (A Child : placement of a child abroad)  EWFC B2 (09 January 2019 ). Poonam represented the respondent father in this case.
- S v D (Hague Convention: Domestic Abuse: Undertakings: Return to Third State)  EWHC 56 (Fam) (15 January 2019)
- M v F  EWHC 1949 Fam (04 July 2018) - International relocation case
- C (A Child)  EWCA Civ 72 (02 January 2009)
- O (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 1576 (01 November 2012)
- O (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 1955 (05 December 2012)
- Birmingham City Council v Riaz & Ors (Rev 3)  EWHC 4247 (Fam) (15 December 2014)
- A & Anor v A Local Authority & Anor  EWHC 4816 (Fam) (17 December 2014)
- M'P-P (Children), Re  EWCA Civ 584 (11 June 2015)
- Medway Council v MI & Ors  EWFC 74 (04 August 2016)
- Medway Council v MI & Ors  EWFC 59 (03 February 2017)
Immigration cases – unreported
- Hassan v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [17.07.2001] HX/19029/2001
- Begum v Entry Clearance Officer (Islamabad) [24.07.2001] TH/22144/01
- Luma v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [31.10.2001] CC-14839-01
- Chiejina v Entry Clearance Officer (Lagos) [03.10.2001] TH/30071/2001
- Hamed v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [22.01.2002] UKIAT CC/34720/2002
- Nawaz v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [21.05.2002] HX/60851/2000
- Garrido v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [15.03.2002] HX/03103/2002
- Shirazi v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [28.03.2002] HX/17673/2001
- Sadeghi v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [11.09.2003] HX/37386/2002
- Provision of undertakings in response to defence under Article 13(b) of Hague Convention 1980 (S (Father) v D (Mother)) - This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Family on 28 January 2019.
- Experts: Maintaining and Expanding the Pool, Family Law February 2005. Co - Author: Dr Claire Sturge
- Transparency in Family Proceedings, The Circuiteer, Spring 2007, Issue 24
- Family Affairs - FLBA Newsletter - Occasional Contributor [1999 – 2006]
- Children Law UK Newsletter - Occasional Contributor [1999 – 2006]
‘Her client handling is excellent.’
Legal 500 2021/Child Law (public and private) - Midlands
‘A superb advocate.’
Legal 500 2021/Children Law (including public and private law) - London
‘A strong family law generalist.’
Legal 500 2020/Family and Children Law - Midlands
‘Outstanding with clients and an excellent advocate.'
Legal 500 2020/Children Law (including public and private law) - Tier 4 - London
"A family law specialist"
Legal 500 2018/19/Family and Children Law - Tier 1 - Midlands
"An empathetic advocate"
Legal 500 2018/19/Children Law (including public and private law) - Tier 4 - London
- B.Ed (Hons)
- MA in Education
- Graduate Diploma in Professional Studies
- Graduate Certificate in Applied Professional Studies
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- Bar Vocational Course
Professional qualifications & appointments
- Trained Mediator (CALM Mediation)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
- The General Council of the Bar (Elected Member 2006-2008; Member of GMC and various Bar Council committees)
- Middle Temple
- Midland Circuit
- Family Law Association (West Midlands); FLBA committee member 2006-2008
- Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
- Legal Action Group (Charity) member 2004-2016; Chair of Board of Trustees 2006-2016
- Association of Lawyers for Children executive committee member 2016-2018
- British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering
- West London Law Society
Poonam Bhari is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.More Information