John called to the bar in 2022. Prior to that, he was a solicitor practising in child and family law.
He has experience in children’s referrals, permanence, adoption, section 11 proceedings, financial provision on divorce, cohabitation claims and surrogacy.
He has a particular interest in cross border issues including the relocation of children and child abduction proceedings under the Hague Convention.
He was regularly instructed in cases involving complex issues of facts such as sexual abuse, ‘shaken baby syndrome’ and other allegations of non-accidental injuries of children. He has experience of taking evidence from vulnerable witnesses including children and victims of domestic abuse.
As a solicitor, John instructed cases involving the nobile officium and judicial reviews concerning child related issues including one which reached the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. John also has experience of public inquiries involving rights and duties relating to children, young people and statutory bodies.
John is a tutor in Family Law (Ordinary) at the University of Edinburgh and has taught on the Child Law (Honours) course. He is a co-editor to Butterworth’s Scottish Family Law Service and regularly contributes to the W. Green Family Law Bulletin. He previously volunteered with the Scottish Child Law Centre advising children, parents and local authorities.
- Petition to Nobile Officium in respect of MH  CSIH 59: instructing solicitor acting for a local authority in a petition to the nobile officium in respect of the placement of a child in Scotland which involved the interaction between orders from courts in England and Scotland.
- Mr H v Mrs W 2021 CSOH 97: instructing solicitor in a family action in the Outer House of the Court of Session. The primary issue was whether a specific issue order should be made permitting the removal of the parties’ children from Scotland. Allegations of female genital mutilation and the associated risk to the children were features of the case. Specific issue order refused.
- SM v AN 2021 CSOH 60: instructing solicitor for a pursuer in a family action in the Outer House. Having successfully established the defender’s unreasonable behaviour, divorce was granted on those grounds and an award of contact made in favour of pursuer.
- City of Edinburgh Council v LS & CH (unreported): acted for a parent in a multiple week proof in application for a permanence order in which the local authority sought the authority for the child to be adopted. Permanence order granted.
- ABC v Principal Reporter 2020 SC (UKSC) 20: instructing solicitor acting for an interested party in judicial review proceedings before the Outer House, Inner House and Supreme Court concerning the extent of the rights of siblings to participate in children’s hearings.
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