Viewing: Family for Michele Friel

Michele has in her 28 years in chambers developed a dedicated and specialist practice in disputes concerning children, which has been recognised in the legal directories.
Michele has established in more recent years an exclusive practice in private children cases. She has a long established and well-deserved reputation as one of the country’s leading juniors in this field of private children work. With this wealth of background Michele qualified in 2017 as an Arbitrator in private law children cases.
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 focused and fearless advocate in Court.
Her main area of practice is private law applications. She has an established practice in handling serious fact finding issues including cases of allegations of alienation, 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.
For 20 years plus Michele also represented local authorities, parents and guardians in public law cases. She has a background of appearing in public law cases involving very serious issues of non-accidental injury and death of children, complex medical issues and adoption. Michele uses this experience to represent her private law clients with a determination to achieve the best possible outcome for them.
"She is absolutely outstanding; you cannot fault her." "There is no one better at her level in terms of private children law cases. Michele’s ability and success rate are phenomenal and she is quite simply a superstar in the arena of children law."
Chambers UK 2021
"Formidable during cross-examination, with an eye for detail that ensures no stone is left unturned."
Legal 500 2021
“She met all my expectations and demonstrated excellent negotiating skills and a keen eye for details.” “Highly recommended for private law children act proceedings. She knows the law, is firm but fair in court, and is great with clients.”
Chambers UK 2020
“Her knowledge and skill in parental alienation cases is unparalleled.”
Legal 500 2020
“A very confident performer.” “She is a spectacular advocate and takes control of each and every case she is involved in. She commands the respect of clients and genuinely cares about achieving the best of outcomes.”
Chambers UK 2019
“A force to be reckoned with.”
Legal 500 2019
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
Notable Cases
BCC v AG and 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
Member of Lincoln’s Inn.
Member of the Midland Circuit.
Member of the West Midlands Family Bar Association.
Member of the Family Bar Association.
Member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.
Member of Resolution.
A Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Latest News & Publications

A leading Birmingham barrister fears a lack of awareness about the use of child arbitration during family break-ups means that people do not always have it as an option at such a stressful time in their lives....

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2019
FLBA release the President’s Guidance on arbitration in children cases...

Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2018