Samantha is a specialist family barrister, her practice focusing on complex private law children cases, particularly with an international element. She is often instructed in cases involving different international jurisdictions, cases where permission to remove children from the jurisdiction is sought, cases where children have been abducted overseas and cases with complex alienation, mental health and abuse issues.

Samantha is a specialist family mediator, registered with the Family Mediation Council. She is currently also undertaking specialist training in family psychotherapy at the world-renowned institution Tavistock Relationships. That background, together with her many years of experience as a family barrister and a noted ability to handle complex family issues sensitively but directly, means that Samantha is an excellent choice to offer an alternative or parallel solution to court proceedings, giving separating couples the opportunity to hold privileged negotiations and seek to reach agreement out of court, both in relation to their children and financial disputes (Samantha also specialised in financial remedy proceedings for c.13 years).

Samantha is available to offer early neutral evaluations.

Samantha has been ranked in Chambers & Partners’ Bar Guide and in the Legal 500 for many years as a leading family barrister.

Samantha has extensive experience of acting in disputes concerning complex child arrangements, including relocation, domestic abuse allegations, sexual abuse allegations, alienation and mental health complexities. She has acted for a number of notable individuals and is recognised for her client-friendly but tenacious approach (Legal 500). She is an excellent choice for the Early Neutral Evaluation of cases.

Samantha is a recognised specialist in children cases involving issues of international complexity, whether it be cases involving the international abduction of a child, relocation of a child or cases where the parties enjoy an international lifestyle. She has co-authored the main textbook in international child abduction and regularly gives lectures on topics involving the law and practice relating to children.

Samantha appears in the High Court on a regular basis and has represented clients in the UK Supreme Court.

Cases of interest

  • Re G (Inherent Jurisdiction Return: Allegations of Domestic Abuse: Fact Finding) [2022] EWHC 450
  • Re G (Disclosure of Fact Finding Judgment to Secretary of State for the Home Department) [2023] EWHC 450 (Fam).
  • Re G (Inherent Jurisdiction Return: Disclosure of Asylum Documents) [2022] EWHC 2134 (Fam))
  • DL v EL (Hague Abduction Convention – Effect of Reversal of Return Order on Appeal) [2013] EWHC 49 (Fam)
  • Re D (A Child) (Supreme Court: Jurisdiction) [2016] 2 FLR 379 (Leading Supreme Court authority on appellate jurisdiction in Brussels IIR recognition cases)
  • Re L (A Child) [2014] 1 FLR 772 (Leading Supreme Court authority about habitual residence and the inherent jurisdiction)
  • SC v BH [2014] EWHC 1584 (Fam);
  • K v A
  • Lachaux v Lachaux
  • AB v CD and G [2022] EWHC 2134 (Fam) (Disclosure of asylum file in international abduction proceedings)

Reputation & Awards

“Samantha is very tenacious and loved by clients. She's able to get to grips with the papers easily and is extremely hard-working.”

Chambers & Partners, 2023

“She’s really good at giving measured, sensible, logical and coherent advice.”… “A really direct advocate, who is extremely bright. She is very relatable and really good tactically.”…“Samantha is a very skilled advocate and has an excellent, calm and clear manner with clients.” – Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Samantha is highly skilled and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. She’s well prepared for hearings, which is demonstrated through her excellent position statements. She’s able to handle complex cases and can digest vast amounts of information ahead of hearings and grasp the salient points efficiently. Samantha is friendly and approachable and is able to put clients at ease at their hearings.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023

“Samantha Ridley is very tenacious and loved by clients. She’s able to get to grips with the papers easily and is extremely hard-working.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023

‘Samantha is very adept at dealing with both financial and private children law cases, so she is an excellent choice where a client needs strong counsel in both areas due to overlapping issues. She gives clear, pragmatic advice from the outset and steers the strategy of the case in a skillful and intelligent way.’
– Legal 500, 2023

‘A very client-friendly barrister. She is down to earth, prepares thoroughly, and her style is adaptable yet firm and robust where necessary. ’
– Legal 500, 2022

‘Thoroughly prepares her cases and her written work is concise and incisive.’
– Legal 500, 2021

‘She continues to shine and has a very bright future at the Bar.’
– Legal 500, 2019


Law LLB (Honours) – First Class
Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association


French (fluent)

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