Andrea Watts

Andrea is a specialist in public, private and international children cases. She appears in the Family Court, High Court and Court of Appeal on a regular basis and in proceedings across England and Wales. Andrea is also an experienced mediator in children cases.

Public Children Proceedings
Andrea regularly acts for local authorities, parents, extended family members and children in care proceedings and applications for adoption orders, including leave to oppose applications. She is experienced in dealing with complex cases involving very serious harm such as non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse and chronic neglect. Andrea is qualified as a vulnerable witness advocate through the Inns of Court College of Advocacy and regularly deals with cases involving vulnerable parties/witnesses.

Private Children Proceedings
Andrea advises and acts for parents, extended family members and children in all types of private children matters.  She has particular interest and expertise in cases involving the following:

  • Serious allegations of physical, emotional and sexual harm
  • Substance misuse
  • Mental ill health
  • Involvement of local authorities (s.47 investigations, CIN and CP Plans)
  • Relocation applications (both international and internal)
  • Cases with international elements
  • Special Guardianship and adoption applications
  • International child abduction
  • Disputes over parentage, change of name, schooling and religious upbringing
  • Modern families (including assisted reproduction, surrogacy and donors)

Injunctive Proceedings
Andrea has a wealth of experience in advising and representing applicants and respondents in proceedings for non-molestation and occupation order injunctions under the Family Law Act 1996.

Dispute Resolution
Andrea is a qualified mediator and deals with cases involving parents in dispute over arrangements for their children.

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Andrea has a background in advising and representing clients in divorce and financial remedy proceedings, with over 10 years’ experience, and understands the impact that children and financial proceedings can have on each other.

Andrea also has a background in criminal work which gives her a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system which she puts to use where there is overlap between criminal and family proceedings, and when conducting fact-finding and other contested hearings.

Andrea accepts legal aid and privately funded instructions through solicitors and direct access instructions from members of the public.

Reported Cases:

  • Re M (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 891 (representing the mother, led by Frank Feehan QC, in the Court of Appeal on the father’s appeal against a High Court decision refusing to enforce a foreign contact order)
  • Brighton & Hove City Council v X, Y & Z [2017] EWFC 32 (Fam) (representing the mother, led by Anna McKenna QC, in High Court care proceedings where a child with a rare genetic condition suffered subdural and retinal hemorrhaging and was ultimately returned to the parents)
  • W (A Child – Temporary Removal From the Jurisdiction) [2016] EWFC 45 (representing the father at a rehearing of his application to remove a child to a non-Hague country for a holiday following a successful appeal)
  • A County Council v L [2014] EWHC 730 (Fam) (representing a Local Authority in care proceedings concerning a victim of child trafficking from Ghana)
  • David and Barry v Peter [2014] EWCOP 31 (representing the applicants in the Court of Protection on a contested application for the appointment of a deputy for property and affairs)
  • G v P [2013] EWCC (28/02/2013) (representing the appellant husband on an appeal considering the construction of s33 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 for an order of repayment of overpaid maintenance)

Appointments and Memberships

  • Member of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Advocacy trainer for Lincoln’s Inn
  • Member of the Family Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Association of Lawyers for Children

Education

  • Oxford University (Brasenose College)

Scholarships

  • Hardwicke (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Lord Denning (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Wolfson (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Sally Ball Award (3 Paper Buildings)
  • Keble College International Advanced Advocacy Course (Lincoln’s Inn)