Stephen Bellamy-James QC

Practice Areas

0207 936 1500

Stephen Bellamy is acknowledged as one of the leading experts in family law, in related regulatory and administrative law, judicial review and Court of Protection matters.  His work covers:

  • Private Law Children
  • Public Law Children
  • Matrimonial Finance
  • National and International Adoption
  • International Relocations
  • Child Abduction
  • Medical Treatment and Best Interest cases
  • Inquiries, Regulatory and Disciplinary Tribunals
  • Dispute Resolution and Mediation

He has unrivalled expertise and experience in all aspects of the law relating to children, child development and abuse, local authority powers and duties, residence and contact disputes, national and international adoptions, abduction, international relocations, education and special educational needs. In judicial review matters he advises local authorities both pre and post their decision-making and has appeared in several leading cases involving their powers and duties. Local authorities, parents, national governing bodies and foreign governments have sought his advice and representation and he is regularly instructed in the most complex, heavyweight and high profile cases. In matrimonial finance he has experience in large complex money cases, involving trusts, companies, international jurisdictional disputes and high net worth individuals.

He is highly regarded for his analytical skills, strategic planning, sound independent judgment, authority and political antennae, but also for his approachable nature, and inter-personal skills with both professional and lay clients. He is highly regarded both by solicitors, juniors and judges through out the country and is recommended by The Legal 500.

He has appeared in courts all over the country, often at appellate level in London, and has appeared several times before the European Court of Human Rights.

Additionally he chairs and appears at inquiries and disciplinary/regulatory bodies. He is President of The National Safeguarding Panels for Sport Resolutions (UK) (an initiative between the NSPCC and Sport Resolutions) where he heads a team of 10 legal chairman and 14 specialist advisers. In his regulatory and safeguarding work he has advised amongst others the USA Olympic Committee and several of the USA’s national governing bodies for sport.

Stephen is also a qualified family mediator and accepts mediation work in relation to children and financial matters.

In his Boundary Commission work he won particular all round praise for his chairmanship of the public inquiry into the Parliamentary Boundaries of Devon.

He sits as a judge of The High Court, Family Division, and in The Crown Court including serious sexual offences.

He lectures on family law both nationally and internationally.

He is also a national trustee of The Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby which was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Rugby Award at the last World Cup.

A Selection of Reported Cases

  • Re B (Children) COA 14.12.12 (Removal To Slovakia) Unreported at present but forthcoming
  • Re B (Children) COA 12.12.12 (Non Accidental Injury) Unreported at present but forthcoming
  • Re E (Children) COA 11.12.12 (Removal From Jurisdiction Welfare Reports) Unreported at present but forthcoming
  • Re B (Children) COA 16.11.12 [2012] EWCA Civ 1631
  • Re A and L (Fact-Finding Hearing: Ex tempore Judgment) [2011] EWCA Civ 1611 [2012] 1 FLR 1243
  • Re C (Interim Care Order) [2011] EWCA Civ 918 [2012] 2 FLR 251
  • Re A and L (Appeal: Fact-Finding) [2011] EWCA Civ 1205 [2012] 1 FLR 134
  • R (O) V East Riding Of Yorkshire Council (Secretary Of State For Education Intervening) [2011] EWCA Civ 196 [2011] 2 FLR 207
  • Re D (A Child: Care Order) [2011] EWCA Civ 34 [2011] 1 FLR 2040
  • Medway Council v G And Others [2008] EWHC 1681 (Fam) [2008] 2 FLR 1687
  • R (S) v Sutton London Borough Council [2007] EWHC 1196 (Admin) [2007] 2 FLR 849
  • Re R (Care: Rehabilitation In Context Of Domestic Violence) [2006] EWCA Civ 1638 [2007] 1 FLR 1830
  • Re B (Allegation Of Sexual Abuse: Child’s Evidence) [2006] EWCA Civ 773 [2006] 2 FLR 1071
  • C v East Riding Yorkshire Council, Mb And Bl (A Child) [2006] EWCA Civ 49 [2006] 2 FLR 24
  • Re L (A Child) [2005] EWHC 1237 (Fam) [2006] 1 FLR 843
  • Re H (Children)(Care Proceedings) [2003] EWCA Civ 369
  • Re R (Care: Disclosure: Nature Of Proceedings) [2002] 1 FLR 755

Appointments & Memberships

  • Recorder (1997)
  • Deputy High Court Judge (2000)
  • Bencher of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (2006)
  • President National Safeguarding Panels for Sport Resolutions (UK) (2012)
  • Ass. Parliamentary Commissioner (1997-2010)
  • Chairman of the Bar Council Trust (2000 -12)
  • Former member of The General Council of The Bar
  • Fellow Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • The Denning Society (Scholars only)
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Trustee The Wooden Spoon Charity
  • Freeman City of London and Glasgow
  • Liveryman in The City.


  • Trinity Hall Cambridge
  • Inns of Court School of Law