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

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 the Tchenguiz-Imerman litigation and the case of Young.  He has also recently acted (and currently acts) in several other substantial cases with assets in excess of £100 million. He previously 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 enforcement by 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 some of the leading child abduction cases in recent years. In 2013 he was involved in two cases in the Supreme Court: he acted on behalf of Reunite International in A v A [2013] UKSC 60 (the landmark decision about habitual residence), and for the successful appellant in Re L (A Child) [2013] UKSC 75 (the leading authority about returns under the inherent jurisdiction). He previously acted in the leading Supreme Court case of Re E (A Child) [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, and has appeared in a significant number of other reported cases in this field including for the child in Re P-J (Abduction: Habitual Residence: Consent) [2009] 2 FLR 1051 and for the successful Respondent in Re S (Habitual Residence) [2010] 1 FLR 1146.  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.

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 International Bar Association (“IBA”) 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 International Bar Association, 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

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

  • In re L (A Child) [2013] UKSC 75 (leading authority about habitual residence and the inherent jurisdiction)
  • A v A [2013] UKSC 60 (leading authority about habitual residence and jurisdiction based on nationality)
  • Mohan v Mohan [2013] EWCA Civ 586 (enforcement of financial order by judgment summons)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2014] 1 FLR 232 (common interest privilege)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2014] FLR forthcoming (joinder of third parties)
  • Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] EWHC 3627 (Fam) (disclosure of trust documents)
  • Re L (Brussels II Revised: Appeal) [2013] 1 FLR 430 (leading authority about Brussels II Revised enforcement)
  • Re C (Abduction: Setting Aside Return Order: Remission) [2013] 1 FLR 413 (child objections)
  • Cambra v Jones [2013] EWHC 88 (Fam) (enforcement of orders)
  • DL v EL (Hague Abduction Convention – Effect of Reversal of Return Order on Appeal) [2013] EWHC 49 (Fam)
  • 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)
  • V v V (Financial Relief) [2010] 2 FLR 516
  • Re W (Abduction: Child’s Objections) [2010] 2 FLR 1165
  • Re S (Abduction: Habitual Residence) [2010] 1 FLR 1146, CA
  • Re P-J (Abduction: Habitual Residence: Consent [2009] FLR 1051, CA
  • F v M and N (Abduction: Acquiescence: Settlement) [2008]  2 FLR 1270
  • Re S (Brussels II Revised: Enforcement of contact order) [2008] 2 FLR 1358
  • M v T (Abduction) [2009] 1 FLR 309 (consent)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2001] 1 FLR 673 (piercing the corporate veil)
  • Mubarak v Mubarak [2001] 1 FLR 698 (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 D (A Child) [2006] 3 WLR 989, HL (rights of custody)
  • EC-L v DM (Child Abduction: Costs) [2005] 2 FLR 772
  • RE A (Abduction: Rights of Custody: Imprisonment) [2004] 1 FLR 1
  • Re D (Stay of Children Act proceedings) [2003] 2 FLR 1159
  • 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
  • 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 (name change)


  • 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)