Richard Harrison QC

Richard Harrison is equally good at both children and money work. “He is so good at whatever he turns his hand to that other barristers often go to him for answers,” said one interviewee. Observers also note that “he is fiendishly clever, his paperwork is always meticulously prepared and he is excellent on his feet and with clients.
Chambers & Partners

  • Eight cases in the Supreme Court or House of Lords
  • Regular instructions in £1 billion plus disputes
  • Specialist in international cases
  • Acts for (and against) aristocrats, financiers, entrepreneurs, business men and women, oligarchs, trustees, sports stars, actors, musicians and NGOs

Richard Harrison QC is a specialist family lawyer with particular expertise in financial remedy applications and international children cases. He has been recommended for both finance and children cases in the Chambers & Partners Directory and The Legal 500 for a number of years.


Richard Harrison specialises in complex financial cases including those involving offshore trusts and difficult issues of enforcement.

He has recently been involved in several high profile cases including Aziz and Ecclestone v Stunt as well as several cases involving assets in excess of £1 billion.

He was previously involved in the Tchenguiz-Imerman litigation, Quan v Bray (‘the Chinese tiger case’) and Young.  He appeared in the Mubarak litigation, which generated several reported authorities on different aspects of enforcement.  In 2013 he acted in Mohan, a leading Court of Appeal authority about judgment summons.

He specialises in cases involving jurisdictional issues including under Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (Brussels IIR) and Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 (the Maintenance Regulation).

He also deals with applications under the Trusts of Land and applications under schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

He regularly advises about and settles pre-nuptial agreements on behalf of high profile or high net worth clients.


Richard Harrison has been involved in most of the Supreme Court international child abduction and enforcement cases of recent years including Re D [2016] UKSC 34, Re B [2016] UKSC 4, Re J [2015] UKSC 70, Re L [2013] UKSC 75, Re A [2013] UKSC 60 and Re E [2011] UKSC 27. He also acted for the successful appellant in the House of Lords decision in Re D (A child) [2006] 3 WLR 989. He also specialises in cases involving international forum disputes under Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 and the Family Law Act 1986.

He has expertise in relation to a broad range of private law children issues including international relocation applications and residence and contact disputes. He appeared in the House of Lords in Dawson v Wearmouth [1999] 2 AC 308, the leading authority on change of surname.

He regularly represents Reunite International and has also acted on behalf of the International Centre for Family Law Policy and Practice, whose patron is Baroness Hale of Richmond.

General Profile

Richard Harrison is a Consultant Editor of Hershman and McFarlane: Children Law and Practice and a Consultant Editor of the Jordans ICLIP international children law database.  He is a member of the reunite Legal Working Group.

Over the past few years he has been a regular speaker at conferences on topics such as the Hague Convention, international relocation and international pre-nuptial agreements.  He has also spoken for Jordans and for Resolution about habitual residence and regularly lectures about different aspects of financial remedy proceedings.

Richard Harrison is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.

He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, member of the Family Law Bar Association and Lawyers for Liberty.

He has trained as a collaborative lawyer and is a member of the Collaborative Solutions Pod.

What the Directories Say

‘…widely regarded for his expertise in complex international child abduction cases. He is also sought after for the strength of his high-value matrimonial finance practice and has appeared in matters with a value of a billion pounds plus.’ Chambers and Partners 2017

‘He’s very clever, very modest, user-friendly and well respected by judges. An absolute expert.’ Chambers and Partners 2017

‘Particularly devastating in cross-examination and the silk to have on side when you need to think creatively.’ The Legal 500 2016

‘Meticulously prepared and hugely intelligent.’ The Legal 500 2016

‘He is highly respected across a broad range of children law and matrimonial finance cases… He is particularly good on forum disputes.’ Chambers and Partners 2014

‘He is prodigiously clever and never fails to dazzle clients with his superlative analytical skills and the ease with which he navigates around obscure points of law’ Chambers and Partners 2014

‘Top class advocate Richard Harrison QC …  will go far’  The Legal 500 2014

‘The “superb” Richard Harrison QC is expected to progress well following his appointment to silk in 2012. He is highly rated for both children law and matrimonial finance disputes…’ Chambers and Partners 2013

‘[His] command of the technical aspects of the law is peerless’ The Legal 500 2013

‘Richard Harrison is equally good at both children and money work. “He is so good at whatever he turns his hand to that other barristers often go to him for answers,” said one interviewee. Observers also note that “he is fiendishly clever, his paperwork is always meticulously prepared and he is excellent on his feet and with clients.’ Chambers and Partners 2012

‘a High Court Judge in the making’ The Legal 500 2012

‘..skilled at both matrimonial finance and child abduction. Harrison ”commands the respect of the court” and is particularly known for his Brussels II  expertise’   Chambers & Partners 2011

‘..ranks well beyond his call‘;  ‘exceptionally clever, with incredible technical abilities‘. The Legal 500 2009

‘. . turns the heads of solicitors as he can “get on top of a hell of a lot of paper in a very short space of time”.  He is ” one of the better counsel for dealing with a mix of children and finance in the same case,” and is being seen in increasingly big cases.   Chambers & Partners 2009

Cases of Interest

Finance and divorce

  • Aziz v Aziz [2017] (litigation with issue about non-marriage and alleged of assets in excess of £1bn)
  • Ecclestone v Stunt [2017] (acting for Trustees in divorce and financial proceedings)
  • Lachaux v Lachaux [2017] EWHC 385 (Fam) (Authority about recognition of foreign divorce and jurisdiction)
  • B v C [2017] (international forum dispute involving Hemain injunction)
  • G v S [2017] EWHC 365 (Fam) (Authority about correct approach in Schedule 1 proceedings involving millionaire’s defence)
  • H v W [2017] (Financial proceedings concerning trusts and companies; alleged assets of £4 bn)
  • M v M [2017] (Authority about jurisdiction in high net worth case involving Switzerland)
  • R v R [2017] (Dispute about validity of foreign marriage)
  • D v D [2016] (Enforcement of post-nuptial agreement in case involving assets in excess of £1 bn)
  • X v X [2016] (Special contribution case involving revolutionary technology and substantial assets)
  • Quan v Bray [2015] 2 FLR 546 (‘the Chinese Tiger case’) (Authority about charities and nuptial settlements)
  • WW v HW (Prenuptial Agreement: Needs: Conduct) [2016] 2 FLR 299 (Authority about impact of prenuptial agreement)
  • X Trust [2015] (Acting for trustees in litigation involving high profile entrepreneur and very substantial assets)
  • Mohan v Mohan [2013] EWCA Civ 586 (enforcement of financial order by judgment summons)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2014] 1 FLR 232 (Authority about common interest privilege)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2014] 1 FLR 865 (Authority about joinder of third parties)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] 2 FLR 939 (Authority about disclosure of trust documents)
  • V v V (Financial Relief) [2010] 2 FLR 516
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2001] 1 FLR 673 (Court of Appeal authority about piercing the corporate veil)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2001] 1 FLR 698 (Leading Court of Appeal authority about judgment summons)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2003] 2 FLR 553 (oral examination)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2004] 2 FLR 932 (Hadkinson orders)
  • Mubarak v Mubarik [2007] 1 FLR 722 (Hadkinson orders)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2007] 2 FLR 364  (variation of settlement and section 37 MCA)


  • Re F (Children: Setting Aside Return Orders) [2017] 1 FLR 1535 (Court of Appeal authority about jurisdiction to set aside final orders)
  • L v L [2017] (International forum dispute involving arbitration agreement)
  • Re D (Children: Child Abduction: Practice) [2017] 1 FLR 1125 (Authority about court’s ability to curtail proceedings)
  • Re D (A Child) (Supreme Court: Jurisdiction) [2016] 2 FLR 379 (Leading Supreme Court authority on appellate jurisdiction in Brussels IIR recognition cases)
  • Re B (A Child) (Habitual Residence: Inherent Jurisdiction) [2016] 1 FLR 561 (Leading Supreme Court authority on habitual residence and parens patriae jurisdiction)
  • Re J (Jurisdiction: Abduction) [2016] 1 FLR 170 (Leading Supreme Court authority on 1996 Hague Convention)
  • Re S (Habitual residence and Child’s Objection’s: Brazil) [2015] 2 FLR 1338 (Court of Appeal authority about discretion in child objections cases)
  • Re L (A Child) [2014] 1 FLR 772 (Leading Supreme Court authority about habitual residence and the inherent jurisdiction)
  • Re A (A Child) [2014] 1 FLR 111 (Leading Supreme Court authority about habitual residence and jurisdiction based on nationality)
  • Re L (Brussels II Revised: Appeal) [2013] 1 FLR 430 (Leading Court of Appeal authority about Brussels II Revised enforcement)
  • Re C (Abduction: Setting Aside Return Order: Remission) [2013] 1 FLR 413 (Court of Appeal authority about objections of child)
  • Cambra v Jones [2013] EWHC 88 (Fam) (Authority about court’s powers of enforcement)
  • DL v EL (Hague Abduction Convention – Effect of Reversal of Return Order on Appeal) [2013] EWHC 49 (Fam)
  • AVM v RM (Children: Judge’s Visit to Private Home) [2013] 2 FLR 150 (Authority about propriety of Judge undertaking investigations in party’s home)
  • AV v RM (Appeal) [2012] 2 FLR 709 (Fam) (test for permission to appeal)
  • Re E (Children) (Abduction: Custody Appeal) [2012] 1 AC 144 (landmark Supreme Court decision about the Hague Convention)
  • Re W (Abduction: Child’s Objections) [2010] 2 FLR 1165 (leading Court of Appeal authority on child objections in abduction cases)
  • Re S (Abduction: Habitual Residence) [2010] 1 FLR 1146 Court of Appeal authority about habitual residence)
  • Re P-J (Abduction: Habitual Residence: Consent) [2009] FLR 105 (Leading Court of Appeal authority on consent in abduction cases)
  • F v M and N (Abduction: Acquiescence: Settlement) [2008]  2 FLR 1270 (Authority about defences to abduction proceedings)
  • Re S (Brussels II Revised: Enforcement of contact order) [2008] 2 FLR 1358 (Authority about public policy exception to recognition and enforcement of European orders)
  • M v T (Abduction) [2009] 1 FLR 309 (Authority about abduction and consent)
  • Re D (A Child) [2006] 3 WLR 989 (Leading House of Lords case about rights of custody)
  • EC-L v DM (Child Abduction: Costs) [2005] 2 FLR 772 (Leading authority on costs in abduction cases)
  • RE A (Abduction: Rights of Custody: Imprisonment) [2004] 1 FLR 1 (Authority about exercise of rights of custody)
  • Re D (Stay of Children Act proceedings) [2003] 2 FLR 1159 (Authority about stays on forum grounds under FLR 1986)
  • Re X and Y (Leave to Remove from Jurisdiction: No Order Principle) [2001] 2 FLR 118
  • TB v JB (Abduction: Grave RIsk of Harm) [2001] 2 FLR 515 (Court of Appeal authority about grave risk defence)
  • Re C (Abduction: Grave Risk of Physical or Psychological Harm) [1999] 2 FLR 478
  • Re M and J (International Judicial Collaboration) [2000] 1 FLR 803
  • Dawson v Wearmouth [1999] 2 AC 308 (Leading House of Lords authority on applications for change of surname)


  • Hershman and McFarlane Children Law And Practice – Consultant Editor
  • ICLIP Jordans Database – Consultant Editor

Appointments & Memberships

  • Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Member of the International Bar Association
  • Member of the reunite Legal Working Group
  • Member of the Family Law Bar Association
  • Member of the South Eastern Circuit
  • Member of Lawyers for Liberty


  • Cranleigh School
  • Emmanuel College, Cambridge (MA in Spanish and French)
  • City University (Dip Law)