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Family - Children

James Tillyard QC *


Clerk Enquiries:


(Year of Call 1978, Silk 2002)

Joined Chambers: 2009


B.Sc. (Chem. Eng.) (Leeds)


James Tillyard has been in silk since 2002. He has considerable experience in all aspects of Family Law but in particular care and matrimonial money. He was appointed a Recorder in 1998 and was made a deputy High Court Judge in 2004. He sits in Cardiff, Birmingham and other regional Centre’s as well as in the RCJ and regularly sits on cases involving Matrimonial Finance. Wide experience of both fact finding and disposal hearings acting for parents, other alleged perpetrators including children, Guardians and Local Authorities. He has particular experience in cases involving complex medical issues which require detailed cross-examination of medical experts. Having said that, he is never happier than when cross-examining on the facts. He likes a "who done it?"

By way of example he has dealt with:

• Salt poisoning
• Poisoning with drugs
• Factitious and induced illness
• Baby shaking leading to death
• Other fatal injuries
• Sexual abuse by parents, third parties and other children
• Organised paedophile rings
• Chronic neglect leading to very serious physical and emotional harm

Again, by way of example only, at disposal hearings:

• Issues surrounding barely adequate parenting vs adoption
• Where should the child be brought up - within this jurisdiction or abroad?
• Is there a safe parent?
• Do the carers necessarily have to be open and honest with the LA in order to care for a child under a care order?
• How should the Court approach the balance of risk?
• The position of a foster carer who wants to be a long-term carer under a Special Guardianship Order or adoption

Child Abduction and Removal from the Jurisdiction

He has wide experience in child abduction and in Hague Convention cases. He has also undertaken many cases on removal from the jurisdiction - both for and against removal.

Public Law

• Care Standards Tribunal
• Judicial Review
• Breach of Art 6 & 8


'A leading family silk with exceptional experience and a UK-wide reputation in the area. Regurarly instructed on high-value finance cases and care proceedings. He is praised by commentators for his technical knowledge.' "A very good-quality barrister with a proven record - highly skilled and knows his stuff." (Chambers and Partners, 2016)

'A leading practitioner in the family finance arena' (Legal 500, 2015)

'Strong across the board when it comes to family matters, with a particular focus on children's welfare proceedings and financial disputes after a relationship breakdown. He is typically instructed on complex, high net worth cases involving international elements and hidden assets. He is also noted for his expertise in child care cases involving contentious medical evidence "He is extremely tenacious and robust." "He is very good at calculations and presenting cases. Most importantly, he establishes a good rapport with clients." (Chambers UK 2015)

"Experienced in both high-value financial remedy matters and complex children cases" (Legal 500, 2014)

"He is very approachable and very well respected by the judiciary." (Chambers UK 2014)

"James Tillyard QC is an equally praised silk at the set, who centres his practice on matrimonial finance matters and childcare work. Sources comment that he is "robust and confident, and makes the client feel comfortable" (Chambers UK 2013)

'Two of its strongest silks, Jonathan Furness QC and James Tillyard QC, are "both top-rate and comparable to the top London barristers." They are both experienced in all areas of family work, although Furness is particularly associated with childcare work and Tillyard with matrimonial finance'. (Chambers UK 2012)

‘Also attracting a number of important cases is James Tillyard QC who “reassures clients with his experience and robust courtroom manner”’. (Chambers UK 2011)

'30 Park Place’s James Tillyard is an “exceptional lawyer, who prepares well and always makes the most of a case”.'(Legal 500 2010)

'30 Park Place is the top set for law on the Wales and Chester circuit and has James Tillyard QC a key figure at the Welsh Family Bar. He is known for his fierce cross examination and his experience in high net worth disputes’. (Chambers UK 2010)

‘James Tillyard is the “first choice silk in Wales by a long way. His popularity stems from the fact that he fights hard for his clients and never gives the case away. Praised for his children and finance work, he is the toast of solicitors as he can smell blood at 100 yards”’ (Chambers UK 2009)

‘James Tillyard QC is head of chambers at 30 Park Place and Wales’ best known family barrister for “excellent preparation, a hands on proactive approach and great presentation in court” make Tillyard first choice for Welsh solicitors in big money divorce cases’.(Chambers UK 2008)

‘…James Tillyard QC, noted for skilled and sensitive advocacy’.(Legal 500 2007)

‘The “excellent” James Tillyard QC of 30 Park Place is “one of the best advocates in Cardiff”. He does his preparation thoroughly and knows his subject matter “inside out”’. He was recommended especially for tough cases that require difficult cross-examination’(Chambers UK 2007)

Notable Cases:

• R v Egan (1992) 4 All ER 470 Donovan v Gwent Toys Ltd. (HL) 1990 1 All ER 1018

• Wychavon DC v NRA (1993) 2 All ER 440

• NRA v Wright Eng. Co.Ltd. (1994) 4 All ER 281

• R v D (1996) 2 WLR 1

• Environment Agency v Short (1998) EWHC Admin 743

• Marlow Child and Family Services Ltd v DPP (1999) 1 FLR 997

• Re S (2001) 1 Fam Law 505

• Re E (A Child) (2001) All ER (D) 208

• Cole v Secretary of State (2003) EWHC 1789 Admin

• Re BR and C (Care: Duty of Disclosure: Appeals) (2002) EWCA Civ 1825

• Re L (Care: Assessment: Fair Trial) (2002) 2 FLR 730

• D v Secretary of State for Health (2002) EWCST 118

• Re J (2003) 1 FLR 114

• LM v Medway Council (2007) 1 FLR 1698

• A County Council v MF (2008) EWHC 3320 (Fam)

• Re K (2009) EWCA Civ 987

• Re MW (2010) 1 FLR 1093

• Re A-C; Re A (Fact Finding: Possible Perpetrator) 2013 EWCA Civ 1321

• Bridgend CBC v GM (2013) 1 FLR 987

• City and County of Swansea v MB and ME [2014] EWHC 2842 (Fam)

• KS v Neath and Port Talbot Borough Council and others [2014] EWCA Civ 941

• Birmingham City Council v CH and others [2015] EWFC 66

Further Information:

I frequently lecture to the profession on topics connected to Care and Matrimonial Finance.

I am on the education sub-committee of the Family Justice Council for Wales.


Family Bar Association


• Bencher of the Middle Temple (2014)

• Deputy High Court Judge (Section 9) (2004)

• Recorder (1998)

• Queen's Counsel (2002)


'The role of the medical expert in care proceedings'

* Denotes door tenant

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