Orla is an experienced junior barrister who regularly advises, drafts documents and appears in Court at all levels (including the High Court and Court of Appeal) in all aspects of family law including ancillary relief, injunctions and children – both private and public law.
Orla has experience in all aspects of ancillary relief work and has appeared, advised (both in writing and in conference) and drafted documents on behalf of applicants, respondents and intervenors in applications for maintenance pending suit, s.37 injunctions, FDAs, FDRs , Final Hearings, Appeals and Enforcement Applications and Schedule 1 applications. Orla has experience of cases involving substantial assets and is available for instruction in round table discussions.
Orla is regularly instructed in applications for injunctions, for both applicants and respondents, including non-molestation orders, occupation orders and injunctions under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. She is also experienced in conducting finding of fact hearings.
Private Law Children:-
Orla regularly represents applicants, respondents, children and extended family members in private law applications. She has experience of all aspects of such applications, including applications to relocate with children within and outside of the jurisdiction. Orla is regularly instructed by NYAS and Rule 16.4 Guardians in private law cases and is accustomed to dealing with complicated cases including those with issues of parental alienation, forced removal of one parent from the jurisdiction by another parent to preclude contact, sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. She is accomplished in cross-examining experts and conducting fact finding hearings.
Public Law Children:-
Orla has extensive experience of public law work and represents Local Authorities, parents, children, extended family members and intervenors. She is regularly instructed in cases involving non-accidental injury, factitious illness, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and emotional harm and has appeared in high profile cases and cases involving numerous experts. She also has experience in dealing with cases with cross-jurisdictional and immigration issues, where extended family members in other countries are being considered as carers, foreign states are seeking to intervene or a parent is being deported. Orla also represents clients who require the assistance of the Official Solicitor or who have cognitive functioning difficulties.
Across all aspects of her practice, Orla is meticulous in her preparation, this has been noted by judges and clients, and robust in her argument. She is known for her professional manner and sensitive approach to clients.
Previous experience and other activities:-
Prior to undertaking pupillage at No5 Chambers, Orla gained experience across a broad range of practice areas through working at Donaldson and McConnell Solicitors in Northern Ireland and Quin and Hampson Barristers and Attorneys-at-Law, in the Cayman Islands.
Having studied law at the Universidad de Granada she gained an interest in foreign jurisdictions, which was further developed through her work at Quin and Hampson. Her employment in the Cayman Islands also involved translating and interpreting for Spanish speaking clients.
Orla has recently undertaken a personal challenge, sailing half way around the world as crew on a racing yacht participating in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. She sailed from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa (in 2013) and from Qingdao, China to London (in 2014), raising money for Marie Curie in the process.
“Her legal knowledge and professionalism are matched perfectly by her complete dedication to each case. She is meticulous in her preparation of every aspect of a case and her planning means she is able to take complex matters and difficult situations in her stride, whilst making clients feel comfortable in her care, ensuring they get the very best outcomes and access to justice.”
Chambers UK 2020
“Inspires confidence in solicitors and clients.”
Legal 500 2020
“Her legal knowledge and her ability to resolve complex issues is outstanding. She is an excellent advocate and her attention to legal detail is extremely good. She is one of the best and most popular barristers we instruct, and she compares with other barristers more senior than her call.” “She is a very personable barrister so the clients like her. She is also bright, hard-working, well prepared, and has a good array of skills at her fingertips.”
Chambers UK, 2016
‘A well-regarded all-rounder.’
Legal 500, 2015
Re L (A Child)  2 FLR 972
Orla represented the child in this case, before the Court of Appeal. The mother of the child was accused of having sexually abused her younger brother and the family court was proceeding to a fact finding hearing on these allegations to enable the court to determine the risks posed to her own child. The court had heard an application for the younger brother (who was still a minor) to give evidence in the proceedings and refused the application. The appeal related to this decision. On behalf of the child, it was contended that the decision could not be upheld due to procedural irregularity, in support of the mother’s appeal. Orla was complimented for her Skeleton Argument by the Court of Appeal judges.
Association of Lawyers for Children
BA (Hons) Law with Spanish, University of Sheffield and Universidad de Granada, Spain
Orla is qualified to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis