John Ker-Reid specialises in public and private law cases that involve children. He acts for parents, children and for local authorities.
John has over 40 years of experience in all areas of family law. Although based in London and on the Western Circuit, his practice takes him to a wide range of court centres throughout England and Wales.
He has a particular depth of experience in cases that involve complex medical evidence or serious or unusual injuries to children; the overriding of consents to treatment, withdrawal of treatment and sterilisation.
He is often requested to represent parties where there are sensitive and difficult ethnic or cultural dimensions, cults, religious groups and cases where the parents have learning or other emotional or mental health difficulties (acting for the OS on occasions).
He has maintained a strong interest in finding imaginative approaches to contact issues where there have been problems with domestic violence, sexual abuse, drugs or mental health.
He has valued experience in cases with international dimensions, abduction and adoption.
He regards issues of personal autonomy and human rights for children and parents, especially in the medical and litigation arenas, as an important part of his work.
Lay and professional clients appreciate his considerate and sensitive approach that combines with an ability to argue and present arguments, on their behalf, robustly and effectively.
Past peer review (Leaders at the Bar) in Chambers & Partners has described him as “totally unflappable; he really puts in the hours“, “king of the care courts…and is particularly lauded for his abilities in cases where children have been seriously injured” and in the 2015 edition as “absolutely amazing on complex cases”.
- Re B (A Child)  EWCA Civ 2127 – The Court of Appeal was asked to consider two matters: the extent of the obligation to cross-examine witnesses about accusations made against them, and the correct legal approach to determining responsibility for inflicted injuries where there are only two potential perpetrators
- He was instructed by the Attorney General of the Falkland Islands Government, as Crown Counsel, to conduct a serious family case in Stanley, FI
- Currently instructed by the Public Solicitor as Counsel in the Supreme Court of St Helena in child care proceedings.
- EF (a child), Re  EWFC B106 (14 July 2016) – Police Disclosure into NAI proceedings
- EF (a child), Re  EWFC B107 (15 September 2016) – Vitamin D deficiency and fractures: Judgment for parents rejecting conclusions of leading medical witnesses
- Re L (CC) 2016 Unreported [Judge Marshall, Swindon] Rejecting leading radiologist and paediatric view of NAI brain “shaking injury”, acting for parent accused.
- Re A, B, C, D & E (Final Hearing)  EWFC B186 – Chronic neglect case where the local authority failed to recognise Mother’s learning needs, unlawfully removed the children, withheld disclosure of an assessment and one social worker lied on oath about its existence. Issues included human rights breaches and ‘naming and shaming’ of professionals. (Naming and shaming judgment please click here).
- Re H  EWHC 1310 (Fam) – Jurisdiction under Brussels 2, Lithuania.
- 2014 Re G and W (report in preparation) Declarations of breaches of human rights of parents by a local authority; unlawful removal and withholding of evidence; naming of social workers against whom findings had been made; funding of an intermediary.
- LA v M & F X&Y – Re X&Y – Disclosure of Judgment to Police 2014 EWHC 278. Disclosure of a father’s confession during care proceedings to Police.
- In re X&Y&Z Minors 2014 EWHC 87 COP – A deputy for a Mother had that had sustained brain injury authorised to make payments to a nanny to care for the children living nearby.
- K (A Child) 2014 EWCC B67 – Complex medical evidence on brain injuries to a child; alleged perpetrator with severe ADHD and the use of an intermediary.
- Wiltshire CC V N, J & A 2013 EWHC 3502 CA – The special measures required in care proceedings for an adult with learning difficulties.
- In re L & M 2013 EWHC 1569 – Medical issues in an enquiry within care proceedings to multiple fractures to a the skull of a 6 month old baby.
- 2012 EWCA Civ 105 Re M a child – Adult with learning difficulties, use of intermediary.
-  Re G 2FLR 944 (Adoption) – Ordinary residence of a child.
-  Re L,V,M,H 2 FLR 3444 (Contact/Domestic Violence)
-  White v White  2FLR 310 – Landmark case: Acting for the Wife in her in her appeal for equality and non-discrimination in ancillary relief.
-  Re A 1FLR 697 (Protection from Offenders regulations)
-  2 FLR 1124 Re X (adult sterilisation)
-  Re M 2 WLR 314 (Care Order Jurisdiction) Jurisdiction over a Scottish HR child in England.
-  Re A 1FLR 599 (care: Discharge by a child)
-  Re G 2FLR 301 (care: Leave to place outside the Jurisdiction)
- 1994 Hooper v Sherman Ct Appeal LTL 13/3/2001 and 1994 NPC 153 – Fax exchanges as a basis for the validity of an exchange of contracts.
-  Re M 1FLR 822 (Sexual abuse: Evidence) – The Oxford coven case – allegations of satanic ritual abuse.