Leslie Samuels QC



Children Public Law

He undertakes complex and high profile public law children cases for parents, Local Authorities and Children’s Guardians both at fact-finding and at welfare hearings. He also represents parties at appellate level in the High Court, Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court.

Recent cases include:
Alleged murder of a child; serious non-accidental head injuries to a child including widespread brain damage; alleged shaking injuries; multiple fractures including skull, rib and limb fractures; cases involving bone mineralisation issues such as Vitamin D deficiency, osteopenia and osteogenesis imperfecta; cases involving suspected Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; alleged sexual abuse of children; alleged fictitious or induced illness; neglect, drug and alcohol issues; complex jurisdictional and immigration issues; cases where local authorities have failed to perform their statutory duties to support families.

He also advises local authorities, families and children on Human Rights Act issues arising within and outside public law proceedings.


Family Finance

Leslie has a substantial financial remedies practice, both as a Junior and now in Silk. His experience as a Deputy District Judge, a Recorder and now a Deputy High Court Judge hearing financial cases at the Central London Family Court and the Royal Courts of Justice is invaluable in advising and representing clients in this complex area.

Recent cases include:
‘Big money’ cases where the asset values have exceeded £10m; cases where there are substantial business assets requiring an analysis of company accounts and expert valuation evidence; cases where the assets include substantial farm land or other inherited or pre-acquired wealth; cases where one or both parties have significant trust assets; cases involving significant taxation issues including taxation arising both abroad and within the UK; cases involving film partnership schemes; cases where there are high value pensions on one or both sides; applications under Schedule I Children Act 1989 and; situations where urgent applications are required.


He conducts private FDRs and is an IFLA trained arbitrator. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Children Private Law

He represents parents and sometimes children in a range of private law disputes including applications for Child Arrangements Orders (formally known as Residence and Contact orders), adoption cases, applications seeking permission to remove a child from the jurisdiction, other Specific Issue applications and Child Abduction cases.

Recent cases include:
Cases involving disputes over where a child should live and the level of contact with the non-resident parent; applications for placement and adoption orders; Specific Issue applications, including disputes over schooling and medical care; allegations of sexual or physical abuse by a parent; applications to remove children from the jurisdiction; applications where it is alleged that a parent is implacably hostile to contact; child abduction cases.

Inheritance, Wills and Probate

He advises and represents litigants in a wide range of probate related claims and property disputes. Leslie is an accredited ADR civil mediator and a member of the specialist inheritance mediation group.

Recent cases include:
Cases involving challenges to the validity of wills including challenges on the basis of lack of capacity or want of knowledge and approval; claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 including claims by spouses, cohabitants, children and dependants; claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; claims for Resulting and Constructive Trusts and by way of equitable estoppel.

Administrative and Public Law

Leslie undertakes a substantial quantity of judicial review work acting both for Claimants and Defendants in cases involving challenges to local authority and central government decision making and also challenges to autonomous bodies such as the Kennel Club, the Scouts Association and political parties. His primary area of interest in this field is in challenges relating to decision-making about or concerning children.

Recent cases include:
Challenges to the lawfulness of a refusal to offer a mother and baby placement to a mother in prison, disputes about a local authority’s assessment and planning processes for teenage children; disputes over whether children have been ‘accommodated’ by the local authority under the Children Act 1989; age assessment cases involving unaccompanied asylum seekers; disputes over S.17 Children Act duties including cases where the family has’ No Recourse to Public Funds’; challenges to a local authority’s decision to withdraw care funding for a vulnerable adult; challenges to local authority charging policies for the provision of adult community care and a challenge to the exclusion of an elected member from a political party.


Court of Protection

Leslie acts for a wide range of litigants, including relatives and local authorities, in Court of Protection cases involving welfare disputes or where there are financial issues arising from a loss of capacity.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Leslie is an experienced family and civil practitioner and is an ADR trained civil mediator.

Leslie’s area of specialisation within mediation is the resolution of family money disputes including those involves issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship and cohabitee disputes (both in life and death) He deals with problems relating to elderly and vulnerable clients with capacity issues.

Although not a trained family mediator, Leslie can conduct mediations under the civil ADR model and by way of a ‘private FDR’. He is also an IFLA trained arbitrator and can conduct arbitrations in a wide range of disputes including financial remedies applications, Schedule 1 applications and Inheritance Act claims.


Year of call: 1989
Year of silk: 2011
  • Recorder (South Eastern Circuit) 2012
  • Accredited Mediator (ADR Group) (2005)
  • Deputy District Judge Principal Registry of the Family Division (2003)
Areas of specialism:
  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Child Abduction
  • Children Private Law
  • Children Public Law
  • Court of Protection
  • Family Finance
  • Inheritance, Wills and Probate
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • MA (Law) Cambridge University
  • MA (Criminology) University of Toronto
  • University of Toronto: Connaught Scholarship, Open Fellowship
Professional associations:
  • Member of the Western Circuit (active advocacy trainer)
  • Elected Family Law Bar Association Committee Member (Appointed from 2010, Elected from 2013)
  • Chair of the Family Law Bar Association Money and Property (Financial Remedies) Sub-Committee (2011-13, 2015-)
Professional activities:
  • Leslie has lectured widely on children, financial remedies, judicial review and probate related issues for Chambers, for the FLBA, for the Western Circuit, and for the Family Justice Council.
  • He has also recently spoken at judicial review seminars for Central Law Training and the London Boroughs Legal Alliance and has recorded training material for Cpdcast.
  • Leslie is happy to provide individual training for firms of solicitors or local authorities.
Outside Interests:
  • Leslie enjoys his family life, sport which includes running, regular visits to the gym and being a season ticket holder at AFC Wimbledon.
  • When time permits, Leslie also loves going to the theatre and cinema and gardening.
Notable Cases:
  • Re LC (A Child) (Habitual Residence) sub nom Poole Borough Council v (1) EC (2) MC (3) LC (By his Children’s Guardian) [2016] EWFC 31
  • Re HA (A Child) (No.2) sub nom Bristol City Council v AA, SA and HA [2015] EWHC 1310, [2016] 1 FLR 966
  • KCC v Ors (2) (Fact Finding) [2015] EWFC 93
  • Re D (Non-Availability of Legal Aid) (No.2) [2015] EWFC 2, [2015] 1 FLR 1247
  • Re E (A Child) (2015) LTL 8/9/2015
  • Re H (A Child) [2014] EWHC 970 (Fam)
  • B (A Child) [2014] EWCC B55 (Fam)
  • Re A (A child) (no 1 and 2) [2013] EWCC B18, [2014] EWCC B52 (Fam)
  • Re S (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 247
  • Re O (Minors) [2013] EWHC B44 (Fam)
  • Re L (Interim Care Order: Prison Mother and Baby Unit) [2013] EWCA Civ 489, [2014] 1 FLR 807
  • A Local Authority v DB (Mother) & Ors [2013] EWHC 4066 (Fam)
  • Re S (Care and Placement Orders) [2012] EWCA Civ 847, [2013] 1 FLR 354
  • Re F (Paternity: Registration) [2011] EWCA Civ 1765, [2013] 2 FLR 1036
  • Re C (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 89, [2010] 2 FCR 664
  • R (EW and BW) v Nottinghamshire County Council [2009] EWHC 915 (admin), [2009] 2 FLR 974
  • Cave v Portsmouth City Council [2008] All ER (D) 313 (May)
  • R (L) v Nottinghamshire County Council [2007] EWHC 2364 (Admin)
  • A Local Authority v D (Chief Constable of Thames Police Intervening) [2006] 2 FLR 1053
  • Southampton City College v. Randall [2006] IRLR 18
  • A v B (Financial Relief: Agreements) [2005] EWHC 314 (Fam) [2005] 2 FLR 730
  • Re P (Adoption: Breach of Care Plan), [2004] EWCA Civ 355 [2004] 2 FLR 1109