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Background

Nicola McIntosh

Call: 2007

"Nicola is a phenomenal advocate who demonstrates excellent attention to detail. She has a brilliant level of client care and will take time to build a rapport with the client. Her knowledge is remarkable and extends across her expertise in family law."

Legal 500 2024 – Family: Children and Domestic Violence – Tier 3

"I cannot speak highly enough of Nicola. She was brilliant from start to finish. Took the time to explain the relevant complex legal issues to the client who has cognitive difficulties. Her preparation for the fact- finding hearing was second to none. She has made my instruction of this matter much easier. The detail in her position statements/skeleton arguments has been complimented on a number of occasions by Judges which has in turn, has greatly impressed clients. I would not think twice about instructing Nicola again"

"Nicola is my first port of call when I have a delicate or complex care matter . I particularly appreciate her measured approach - Nicola does not feel the need to go on at great length just for the sake of it when the case does not call for it . I wish I could say the same for all counsel !"

"Nicola is a fantastic advocate! On every complex case I have had with her she has been able to navigate with a great level of knowledge. Throughout my time working with Nicola, she is always prepared and has taken time to understand the key issues of the case, and been able to identify where best to challenge evidence. Nicola will take time to build a rapport with the lay clients to ensure she is able to communicate effectively with them."

Nicola McIntosh has developed a strong reputation in all areas of family law. Nicola receives regular instructions in complex private and public law cases, and is also instructed in financial remedy proceedings.

Nicola demonstrates a high level of client care, has excellent attention to detail and is very pragmatic in her approach. Nicola has completed the Vulnerable Witness Training provided by the FLBA. She takes time to build a rapport with lay clients to ensure that they understand the issues, are able to follow the court process effectively and provide their best evidence and case to the court.

Nicola receives instructions in complex emotional, physical and sexual abuse cases. She receives instructions from local authorities, parents, intervenors and grandparents. She regularly advices on types of public law orders. Nicola has received instructions on behalf of proposed special guardians and advised accordingly which included representation at contested hearings. She has also dealt with adoption cases including foster carers who wish to adopt and breakdown of adoptions. Nicola has also instructed on applications when adoption orders are opposed.

Within private law Nicola has vast experience in representing parties which involve emotional and physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, parental alienation, drug and alcohol abuse and removal from the jurisdiction and internal relocation in England and Wales.

In public and private law Nicola has effectively cross examined experts.

Nicola also practices in financial remedy and TOLATA cases. Her cases include modest to high asset cases. She has appeared at all types of hearings including final hearings.

Expertise

Family

In addition to other areas within Nicola’s CV she has been led by silks in a wrath of cases. All have been judges sitting as section 9 or in the High Court. One involved allegations that the father had sexually abused his daughter over many years, one was regarding a girlfriend who was accused of failing to protect her step daughter from the father’s sexual grooming and eventual rape, one involved the death of an infant due to the parents exposure to cocaine and heroin, and two involved international cases of non-UK children and the interplay between different jurisdictions.

Adoption

Nicola has dealt with placement applications and contact after the making of placement orders, opposing the making of an adoption order and adoption breakdown. She represented foster carers at a 5 day contested hearing where they wanted to adopt the child with arguments as to whether a special guardian order would suffice. The adoption order was made. She has dealt with applications for leave to oppose the making of an adoption order and applied the Adoption and Children act 2002. She has also advised parents as to where there has been “a change of circumstance” and provided realistic advice.

Death of a Child

Nicola has been instructed on public law cases where the issue has been the death of a child. There have also been other welfare issues surrounding the care provided to other children within the family. The cases have involved illegal drug taking and dealing from the property exposing the children to the risk of cocaine and heroin. She has experience of sudden death in infancy and mismanagement / neglect of a medical condition.

Nicola has extensive experience in FII cases including a 3 week trial when the local authority relied on 15 witnesses. The parents evidence took 4 days. This was heard by a s9 judge. The local authority was successful in establishing threshold and the child remained in long term foster care. The case was dynamic and complex due to the parents’ inability and refusal to explain to the child that he was not and had never been significantly ill and his presentation was due to the care he received from his mother. Nicola represented the child.

Nicola has also represented a child whereby the mother was so convinced her son was likely to experience sudden death that the child became a recluse and had adverse reactions to anything from Asia. After he was removed from her care to his father his physical and emotional health improved rapidly.

Nicola cross examined experts and parents in both cases.

Matrimonial Finance

Nicola receives instructions to advise in conference, write opinions and appear from first appointment through to final hearings. The cases involve assets between moderate to high net worth. Nicola has a common sense approach and will always look for a resolution which is fair to the client. She is a robust negotiator and provides very sensible advice. Nicola is fully aware of the costs of each stage and the impact of delay on all parties.

Non Accidental Injury

Nicola has represented local authorities, parents, intervenors and children in cases involving NAI. These cases include fractured skulls, broken limbs and extensive bruising. Nicola is well versed in the law relating to NAI including whether it is possible to identify the perpetrator or if it is pool finding. Nicola has drafted threshold for local authorities on NAI cases and ensured it is Re A compliant. Nicola has managed to exculpate a parent from a pool finding and the child has been returned forthwith.

Private Law Children

Nicola represents parents, grandparents and 16.4 guardians. Nicola has dealt with complicated, emotionally charged and tricky situations. Nicola’s case load includes parental alienation, intractable hostility, domestic violence and alcohol and drug use. Nicola also represents individuals accused of sexual abuse or have had a conviction of a sexual nature such as indecent images and the impact of on- going contact to their child. Nicola advises in conferences.

Public Law Care

Nicola deals with all aspects of public law hearings. She deals with cases regularly for the removal of children and whether the test for removal is met and all the way up to final hearings. Nicola frequently appears in the High Court and circuit judge level of the family court. Nicola has dealt with many fact finds including FII, Fractured skulls and broken bones including extensive bruising. Nicola represents all parties. Nicola also represents intervenors, grandparents and potential special guardians.

ToLATA

Nicola has litigated a ToLATA case to final hearing. She has drafted the court documentation and written advices.

Notable Family Cases


Coventry City Council v Mother (BB) & Ors EWHC 1284 (Fam) (26 May 2023)

A Local Authority v MM & Ors (2020) EWFC 65 (07 October 2020)

RE A & B (2022) EWFC 44

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Clerk Team

Adam Wadley

Practice Director, Family

adamw@no5.com

07780 453079

Clare Radburn

Practice Director, Family, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

clarer@no5.com

07809 407950

Monica Hussain

Family Clerk and Admin Assistant

monicah@no5.com

Sophie Wright

Family Clerk and Admin Assistant

sophiew@no5.com

Paul Sams

Paul Sams

Family Clerk (Consultant)

pauls@no5.com

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