Madeleine Reardon

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"The 'phenomenal and extraordinary' Madeleine Reardon also handles children work and is particularly noted for her expertise in Children Act proceedings. Sources describe her as an "extremely strong advocate who is subtle yet hugely effective," adding that 'she has an excellent bedside manner with clients.' She has ‘a real craftsman’s touch on paper… her advocacy is beautifully judged and balanced in these difficult cases’- Chambers and Partners “Articulates her clients’ cases impeccably and persuasively in her written work’- Legal 500"
Chambers and Partners

Madeleine Reardon has deliberately maintained a wide and versatile family law practice which covers all areas of children work, both public and private, financial remedy proceedings and applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act. She has a particular interest in complex children cases and has recent experience (within the last 12 months) of care proceedings, domestic and international adoption, same-sex parenting (including with an international element: surrogacy and same-sex abduction), internal and international relocation and transfer of residence/intractable contact cases. She has been a recommended junior in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for several years and is currently ranked in ‘Band 1’ of the Legal 500 and ‘Band 2’ of Chambers and Partners. She is frequently led by, and appears against, Leading Counsel.

Madeleine is a trained mediator and part of Chambers’ DRS group. She is available to undertake Early Neutral Evaluations (ENE) and private FDRs.

In October 2010 Madeleine was appointed a Deputy District Judge (Civil) and she sits regularly in the Financial Remedies Unit at the Central Family Court. She was appointed a Recorder in 2015.

Cases of Interest:

  • Re B [2016] UKSC 4; [2016] 1 FLR 561First Supreme Court child abduction case involving same-sex couple. Supreme Court overturned first instance and Court of Appeal decisions that there was no jurisdiction to make any orders in favour of a non-biological lesbian mother whose child had been taken by her biological mother to Pakistan.
  • Re H (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 1284Court of Appeal decision overturning an order at first instance that child should be removed from prospective adopters who had been caring for her for 18 months and rehabilitated to birth family.
  • C v KH [2013] EWCA Civ 1412; reported as Re C (Due Process) [2014] 1 FLR 1239Appeal against prohibited steps order; procedural irregularities affecting litigant in person; role of Cafcass.
  • Re G; Re Z [2013] EWHC 134; [2013] 1 FLR 1334First cases involving applications by biological fathers for leave to apply for contact with children born to two female parents under HFEA 2008, ss 45 and 48.
  • M v F and H (Legal Paternity) [2013] EWHC 1901; [2014] 1 FLR 352Internet sperm donor seeking to resist an application for declaration of parentage and child maintenance.
  • KS v ND (Schedule One: Appeal: Costs) [2013] EWHC 464; [2013] 2FLR 698Correct approach to costs on appeal from an order made under CA 1989, Sch 1
  • A v B and C (Lesbian Co-Parents: Role of Father) [2012] EWCA Civ 285; [2012] 2 FLR 607Contact between biological father and child born to lesbian co-parents
  • K v K (Relocation: Shared Care Arrangement) [2011] EWCA Civ 793; [2012] 2 FLR 880Leading Court of Appeal authority on international relocation
  • Child X (Residence and Contact – rights of media in attendance) [2009] 2 FLR 1467
    First case on the interpretation and implementation of rules opening up the family courts to the media


  • Hershman and McFarlane, Children Law and Practice (Bloomsbury Professional): Update Editor
  • ‘Black, Bridge et al, A Practical Approach to Family Law (OUP, 10th edition, 2015)
  • McFarlane and Reardon, Child Care and Adoption Law: A Practical Guide (Jordans Family Law, 2nd Edition, 2010)

Recent Lectures:

  • Parenthood and same-sex relationships (Re B seminar, Farrer & Co, March 2016)
  • Crossing the threshold: recent issues under CA 1989, s 31 (FLBA Autumn Lecture Series, November 2015)
  • How not to do a surrogacy arrangement (1KBW Private Law Conference, October 2015)
  • Update: periodical payments (Kent Resolution, September 2015)
  • Changes to the Family Justice system (MBL, September 2015)
  • Adoption by same-sex couples (Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats, Brighton, April 2015)

Appointments & Memberships:

  • Recorder, 2015
  • Deputy District Judge (Civil), 2010
  • Member of the Family Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit


  • Wimbledon High School, London
  • Magdalen College, Oxford (BA, Classics, 1st Class)