Martha Holmes

Martha practices exclusively in family law and does a range of both children and money work

Public Children Law

Martha regularly represents Local Authorities, parents and Guardians at FPC, County court and High court level. She has particular experience in the following areas:

 

  • Non Accidental injuries, including shaken baby cases and multiple fractures
  • Serious sexual abuse, including representation of alleged perpetrators

  • Representing parents with learning difficulties and cases involving the Official Solicitor

  • PII applications and disclosure from criminal proceedings into care proceedings

  • Neglect and substance misuse

  • Domestic violence

  • Representation of grandparents seeking contact/residence in the context of care proceedings

  • Adoption and placement orders and post final hearing contact applications

 

Private Children Law

Martha has particular experience in the following areas:


  • Fact finding hearings involving serious domestic violence and sexual abuse
  • Cases where the Local authority is involved or which become care proceedings

  • Intractable hostility to contact (representing both the hostile parent and the parent seeking contact)

  • Shared residence

  • Applications to change name, specific issue orders in respect of schooling

  • Mediation at court to resolve issues involving a litigant in person

  • Leave to remove from the jurisdiction

  • Child abduction

 

Financial Remedies

Martha represents and advises clients on divorce, Ancillary Relief, TOLATA and schedule 1 of the Children Act. Areas of experience include:

 

  • Cases involving lengthy delay between separation and dealing with AR
  • Representing a client with mental health issues accused of conduct

  • Cases involving a child with physical and mental disability

  • Defended divorce

Cases of interest:

J (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1231

 Martha was successfully appealed a decision made by a Circuit Judge who restricted her cross-examination of a litigant-in- person mother in a long running contact and residence dispute where she represented the father. Martha was praised for her handling of the situation at first instance:

 ‘Ms Holmes is to be congratulated for doing her duty, politely but firmly standing her ground and telling the Recorder plainly that his ruling was preventing her putting her client’s case. It is a pity that the Recorder did not, even at that point, see any reason to change his mind.’ (per Munby LJ at para.35)

 Appointments and memberships:

  • Member of Inner Temple
  • Member of the FLBA

Qualifications and awards:

  • King Edward VI Handsworth School, Birmingham
  • Clare College, Cambridge University – History BA (Hons)
  • Birmingham University – PGDL (Commendation)
  • Thirkill Award (Clare College, Cambridge)
  • Inner Temple Major Scholar, 2002
  • Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Award (Inner Temple)