"He's got a very good rapport with clients and very good skills as an advocate. He's also personable, approachable and very user-friendly."Chambers & Partners, 2020
"He has an easy, but authoritative style with clients. "Legal 500, 2020
"Solicitors really love him. His preparation is second to none and he's got a nice manner."Chambers & Partners 2019
"He is highly authoritative, especially when it comes to cases concerning non-accidental injury in children."Chambers & Partners 2017
"He is hard-working, conscientious and a quietly assertive advocate."Chambers & Partners 2017
Leslie Samuels QC is an exceptional advocate and is held in high esteem for his expertise in children work both in public and private law cases, in financial remedies cases and in inheritance and probate disputes. He has 30 years of experience as a barrister and took Silk in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed as a Family Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit. He sits mainly at the Central Family Court in London. In 2016 he was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge sitting as a s.9 Judge of the Family Division at the Royal Courts of Justice and across the country. He is an ADR qualified mediator and an IFLA trained arbitrator. Within Chambers he is Head of Family and Civil.
He is recommended in the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories for 2019 and 2020 and has been continuously ranked in these directories for a number of years. A selection of the recent comments that have been made about him is as follows:
2020 Chambers and Partners: “Advises on the full range of family law issues, representing clients in public and private children matters, as well as in matrimonial finance cases…
Strengths: He’s got a very good rapport with clients and very good skills as an advocate. He’s also personable, approachable and very user-friendly.”
2020 Legal 500: Ranked Tier 1 leading silks, “He has an easy, but authoritative style with clients.”
2019 Chambers and Partners: “Solicitors really love him. His preparation is second to none and he’s got a nice manner.”
2017 Chambers and Partners: “Strengths: He is highly authoritative, especially when it comes to cases concerning non-accidental injury in children.” “He is hard-working, conscientious and a quietly assertive advocate.”
2016 Legal 500: “Calm, patient and thoughtful.”
2014 Chambers and Partners: “Praised for his attention to detail and his easy-going manner”. “Highly regarded in the region for his expertise in family matters across the board”.
2013 Chambers and Partners: “Well versed in family matters and is held in high esteem for his expertise in family finance and children work in both the public and private spheres. Sources are highly impressed with his advocacy capabilities.”
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.
He also advises local authorities, families and children on Human Rights Act issues arising within and outside public law proceedings.
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.
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 Family Court and the Royal Courts of Justice is invaluable in advising and representing clients in this complex area.
He conducts private FDRs and is an IFLA trained arbitrator. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
‘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.
Cases involving the termination or capitalisation of periodical payments.
Applications under Schedule I Children Act 1989.
He represents parents, family members and children in a range of private law disputes including applications for Child Arrangements Orders (formally known as Residence and Contact orders), Special Guardianship Orders, adoption cases, applications seeking permission to remove a child from the jurisdiction, other Specific Issue applications and Child Abduction cases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Claims to ensure children are receiving proper services and support when accommodated.
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.
A challenge to the exclusion of an elected member from a political party.
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.
Leslie is an experienced family and civil practitioner. He is an ADR trained civil mediator and an IFLA trained arbitrator.
Leslie’s area of specialisation within mediation and arbitration is the resolution of family money disputes, including those involving issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, arising from death and involving cohabitee disputes (both in life and death). He also 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 can conduct arbitrations in a wide range of disputes including financial remedies applications, Schedule 1 applications and Inheritance Act claims.