A pre-eminent authority in children law for many years, she frequently handles some of the most significant and far-reaching cases in this sphere, including those with an international angle to them. She is also highly respected in the matrimonial finance field, and has tremendous experience in ancillary relief cases and prenuptial agreements.

Deborah is widely regarded as the ‘primus inter pares of private children work’,  and is consistently named as the ‘Star individual’ in this field by the legal directories.  In 2014 she was awarded ‘Family Silk of the Year’ at the Jordans Family Law Awards.

Deborah undertakes the full range of private law children work, often for high profile or high net worth individuals:

  • Child Arrangements and contact applications
  • Internal and international relocation
  • Parental alienation
  • Religious, educational, medical and name change issues
  • Injunctive relief
  • LGBT parenting
  • Special Guardianship
  • Adoption and surrogacy
  • Wardship

Just some of Deborah’s private children law cases include:

• S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 (Fam)
• Re C (Internal Relocation) [2015] EWCA 1305
• M v F and H 2013 EWHC 1901 (Fam)
• MK v CK Court of Appeal [2011] EWCA Civ 793
• C v D [2011] EWHC 335( Fam)
• J v S (Leave to Remove) [2011] 1 FLR
• Re H (Contact) 2010 2 FLR 866
• EH v Greenwich v AA and A [2010] 2 FLR 661
• Re J (Costs: Fact Finding) [2010] 1 FLR 1893
• Re Child X (Media Access) [2009] 2 FLR 1467
• Re T (Contact: Alienation) [2003] 1 FLR 531
• Re C (Permission to Remove from the Jurisdiction) [2003] 1 FLR 1066
• W v W and H (Child Abduction: Surrogacy) [2002] 1 FLR 1008

Deborah is a hugely experienced practitioner in all aspects of matrimonial finance and enforcement, including applications pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  She acts at the highest level for individuals of high net worth and/or high profile, and her cases involve complex assets and corporate/trust structures, and issues as to jurisdiction.

Just some of Deborah’s reported finance cases are as follows:

• Re C (Financial Provision) [2007] 2 FLR 13, FD
• Lauder v Lauder [2007] EWHC 1277 (Fam) [2007] 2 FLR 1095
• Charman v Charman (Letter of Request) (CA) [2006] 1 WLR. 1053
• Charman v Charman [2006] EWHC 1879 (Fam)
• Charman v Charman [2007] EWCA Civ 503

Reputation & Awards

"If you've got something and you really need to win it, you ring her up first.'


“A wonderful advocate who has the respect of all judges. Her most obvious strength is the quality of her powerful, persuasive and forceful submissions in court, but she is also able to display subtlety, sensitivity and guile, particularly in cross-examination. Clients adore her and when she is on your side you have the best possible chance of being successful.”  Chambers & Partners, 2020

“A leading children’s silk, who is head and shoulders above her competitors in terms of her instinctive advocacy, her ability to read a tribunal and her ability to convey a client’s wishes and feelings in the most effective manner in court. She is top-notch.”  Chambers & Partners, 2020

‘ Her advocacy skills are quite simply second to none – she manages to quash the opposition in an elegant fashion. ’ Legal 500 2020

‘ A fighter who brings lots of emotional intelligence to her cases. ’ Legal 500 2020

‘There’s no one who can hold a candle to Deborah. She’s a mistress of strategy, who plays the long game. She handles things with such a perfectly pitched degree of empathy.” – Chambers & Partners 2019

‘Judges really take note of what she says. She is a phenomenal advocate.’ Legal 500 2018

‘Deborah Eaton is absolutely on top of her game when it comes to relocation and the really hard children matters. In a league of her own, she makes law because she pushes and completely absorbs every tiny detail of a case. She’s a clients’ champion and not someone you’d want to be cross-examined by.’ Chambers & Partners 2018

‘a class of her own. There is no one with a greater court presence and she is the best cross-examiner in children proceedings. She is the go-to barrister for children.’

‘outstanding’ ‘brilliant’ ‘fantastic at both finance and children work’ ‘brings a rigidity of purpose to her cases few can match’

‘a splendid silk, she handles both finance and children work and is known for her thoroughness, brilliant preparation and unsurpassed advocacy’

‘has a comprehensive understanding of both money and children work and a robust advocacy style’

‘a magnet for the heavyweight cases, a cracking good lawyer and supportive to boot’

‘you rarely find a barrister who works as hard as she does and who fights her client’s corner harder’

‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable… the primus inter pares of private children work’

Awards and Scholarships

Horace Avery Scholarship Inner Temple
Benefactors Scholarship Inner Temple
Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship Inner Temple
Elizabeth Nuffield Foundation Scholarship


BSc (Hons) Psychology & Anthropology
Dip Law

Professional Memberships

Deputy High Court Judge [2011]
Recorder [Crime, Private Law Children and Public Law Children] 2004
Master of the Bench Inner Temple
Fellow of the International Family Law Association
Midland Circuit

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