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Barrister - michelle friel

Senior Practice Manager
Adam Wadley

Practice Group Clerks
Edmund Milburn
Laura Tew
Ethan Mann

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]

Michele Friel - Family

Michele has in her 23 years in chambers developed a dedicated and specialist practice in disputes concerning children which has been recognised in the legal directories.
She combines her particular expertise with an accessible and common sense approach and an innate sensitivity to the individual issues and emotions arising in each case.
She has a proven ability to deal with high conflict issues in a calm and professional manner whilst devoting considerable energy to her individual client’s case.
She will assist clients with resolving their differences through clear advice and robust negotiation. She has a wealth of experience to identify the resources available to help the client though out the progress of the proceedings.
In those cases where it is necessary to pursue a contested hearing she proves to be a tenacious and committed advocate.
Her 2 main areas of practice are private law applications and public law proceedings.
She has an established practice in handling serious fact finding issues including cases of allegations of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, physical harm to children and emotional abuse both to children and adults.
She has a particular strength in representing family members (whether parents, grandparents, children or other extended family members) at all levels of court. The areas she covers include:
Child arrangement orders and this includes intractable and high conflict disputes.
Applications for leave to remove children from the jurisdiction.
Applications for internal relocation with children.
Specific issues relating to education, medical, religion and change of name.
Issues of substance or alcohol misuse and its impact on care of a child.
Issues of mental health and its impact on care of  a child.
Fact finding hearings relating to domestic abuse within families.
Michele continues to represent local authorities, parents and guardians in public law cases. She has a background of appearing in public law cases involving  issues of non-accidnetal injury and death of children, complex medical issues and adoption.
Michele accepts public access instructions.


Member of the Midland Circuit
West Midlands Family Bar Association
Family Bar Association
Association of Lawyers for Children


BCC v AG & Others [2009] EWHC 3720 (fam) [2010] 2 FLR 580

Re T (Children placement order) [2008] EWCA 248 [2008] 1 FLR 1721

A County Council v A Mother, A Father and XY and Z [2005] EWHC 31 {2005] 2 FLR 129


A standout practitioner specialising in private law children work, she has extensive experience in issues ranging from fostering and adoption to external relocation. Sources highlight her as the go-to individual for complex children cases.
Strengths: "Michele is simply the best for complex Children Act matters. She has a wealth of knowledge and applies this in a robust and effective manner." "Spot-on with her preparation, and her cross-examination is second to none."
Chambers UK, 2017

 'She is straight-talking, which clients really appreciate.’
Legal 500, 2016

"I do not come across many, if any, better than her in her chosen field." "She is simply the best for Children Act matters. She has a wealth of knowledge and applies this in a robust and effective manner. She is recognised and respected by judges, solicitors and other barristers alike."
Chambers UK, 2016


'She immediately grasps the minutiae of cases, which instantly puts clients at ease.’
Legal 500, 2015

Wins praise for her handling of sensitive and complex public and private law children cases involving allegations of non-accidental injury, domestic violence and sexual abuse. She regularly acts for children, guardians and local authorities, and is experienced in the cross-examination of medical witnesses. 
"First choice for children work." 
"She has that combination of an ability to be sensible and try to sort out the issues, but where that is not possible, she is a determined competitor."
Chambers UK 2015

'A decisive and a formidable operator.'
Legal 500 2014

Continues to be considered a go-to choice for children work by instructing solicitors. She focuses predominantly on public law proceedings, frequently representing guardians and the local authority.

"She is head and shoulders above the others for children matters. She's calm, knowledgeable  and good with clients." "Michele’s attention to detail and determination to produce the best possible outcome for the client never fail to impress."
Chambers & Partners 2014

''Lorna Meyer QC and Michele Friel stand out for their expertise in cases involving children''
Legal 500 2013 

Chambers UK 2013: Instructing solicitors describe Michele Friel as "an excellent advocate whose attention to detail is second to none," before noting that "from a solicitor's point of view she is an absolute joy to work with."

''Michele Friel is well known for their children work.'' 
Legal 500 2012

Chambers & Partners 2011: Michele Friel…..is particularly highly regarded for cases involving serious abuse. Clients say “she bowls the court over with her in-depth knowledge and client focus”

Legal 500 2010: Michele Friel is a “true expert in children law”

Chambers UK 2009: Michele is seen as a “thorough and diligent advocate” and makes sure all aspects of a case are covered”