Now retired from 1KBW, Stephen Bellamy-James QC was 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:

Stephen 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.

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
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