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Family - Children

Tom Harrill

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Barrister

(Year of Call 2013)

Joined Chambers: 2013

Qualifications:

University of Birmingham: BA English, First Class Honours (2011)
University of Birmingham: Graduate Diploma in Law, Commendation (2012)
University of Law, Birmingham: BPTC, Very Competent (2013)
 

Background:

Tom has a strong family practice and is known for his keen attention to detail in even the most factually complex cases. He is regularly instructed to represent parents, local authorities, children, and interveners in care proceedings, from the first hearing to contested interim hearings, fact finding hearings and final hearings.

Tom has recently been involved in cases involving:

  • Serious non-accidental injury to children (including fractures and brain injury)
  • Serious sexual abuse
  • Chronic neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • International child abduction
  • Issues under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
  • Contested applications for adoption orders

Tom has experience beyond his level of call on both sides of claims for damages and declaratory relief under the Human Rights Act 1998 for failures to revoke placement orders and freeing orders as well as for abuse of section 20, breach of statutory duty, negligence and breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Tom has acted for multiple children in group litigation and appears frequently in the High Court in claims made under the freestanding jurisdiction of section 7(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 and in claims within proceedings pursuant to section 7(1)(b). He has succeeded in securing declarations and significant awards in damages on behalf of the children he represents.

Given his parallel civil practice, Tom is able confidently to deal with issues regarding: jurisdiction, transfer, involvement of the children’s Guardian, the appointment of a litigation friend or the Official Solicitor, costs liability, costs budgeting hearings, disclosure issues, the applicability of the statutory charge and the administration of any award in damages.

Tom has the rare experience of having appeared before the Legal Aid Agency’s Special Controls Review Panel in relation to the provision of funding for claims under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and has spoken at the annual St Ives Child Care Conference on the topic of Human Rights Act claims in addition to writing articles and providing commentary for the Law Gazette on cases where damages have been awarded to children under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Tom will gladly undertake advisory work in this area in relation to the merits of any claim, the substantive procedure, quantum and costs. He can provide skeleton arguments, draft declarations and written submissions as required and within tight timescales. Tom is able to advise on the most appropriate way to hold or administer any award of damages.

 

Memberships:

The Midland Circuit

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Family Law Bar Association

The Social Housing Law Association

Publications:

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn: Lord Denning Scholar 2012
Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn: Sir Roger Cholmeley Scholar 2013

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