John Altman comes to Chambers, from his work as the Senior Designated Family Judge for London, as an arbitrator and mediator in cases concerned with child arrangements for separated couples.

John is supremely equipped to deal with the resolution of these issues as arbitrator and mediator, and by Early Neutral Evaluation. He formerly led the founding of and chaired the West Yorkshire Family Mediation Service, he established the then leading in-court mediation service in Milton Keynes, and as the Senior DFJ for London he developed the innovative Family Solutions Centre with its contact centre, mediation services, pro bone facility, Public Support Unit and Citizens Advice.

John has considerable experience, first as a barrister, then circuit judge, and DFJ in Milton Keynes, Oxford and Luton before coming to London as the Senior DFJ. In addition, his practical approach is seen in the way he always seeks to facilitate conciliation, where fair and appropriate, for the parties, avoiding as much as possible the damaging conflict and stress of court proceedings.

John also has a wide experience having also sat in the Crown Court, as a judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and as a deputy High Court Judge in the Family, Chancery and Queens Bench Divisions of the High Court. He is a contributor to Family Law. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Reputation & Awards

“People have spoken of your making a real contribution to the family justice system in London, of your wisdom, kindness, helpful advice, your support, encouragement and your sense of humour.”

Tribute paid upon judicial retirement
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1 King’s Bench Walk reopened on Monday 6th July 2020


1KBW is pleased to announce that, following a stringent risk-assessment, we began the process of reopening chambers from 6th July 2020. A series of measures are now in place to ensure the safety of all staff, members and visitors. We have been successfully working remotely during the lockdown period and a number of staff and members will continue to do so to ensure social distancing measures are kept in place, as per government guidance.


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