Type Speaker CPD Hours Level
5 UpdateInformation
Accreditation Information
SRA Competency B


This live virtual classroom conference chaired by Katharine Bundell, and with a panel of experts, will examine a range of topical issues including parental alienation and Children Act applications post Brexit.

Each session will provide opportunity for questions and answers.

Conference Agenda

This live and interactive 5 hour conference will cover the following:

10.00am-11.00am: Parental Alienation

Katharine Bundell

Probably the greatest change in private law jurisprudence in recent years has been the preponderance of claimed and actual alienation. This session will consider the more recent case-law on alienation, and the practical application of that jurisprudence. It will follow the trajectory and progress of alienation cases, what applications can be made, and practical tips on how to gather evidence and present your client’s position. It will be of relevance to the most hostile and intractable cases and also to those with more limited and less dramatic issues.

This session will include:

  • The main alienation cases and various outcomes
  • What is and is not, parental alienation
  • What to look for in an expert and who regularly appears in this field
  • How to gather evidence in a case for either party
  • Potential applications and how to present them
  • Useful resources
  • How to pull those threads together for a final hearing
  • Potential final orders and what can be done

AM break

11.10am -12.10pm: Litigants in Person & McKenzie Friends

Stuart Barlow

The growth of parties who act as Litigants in Person (LIP) in court proceedings is proving to be one of the most challenging aspects for courts and advocates in family proceedings. The issue has been highlighted in the recent report Reforming Legal Services: Regulating Beyond the Echo Chambers (June 2020).

This session seeks to address the challenges of the practitioner in working with a Litigant in Person and will take a fresh look at the current position including the role of McKenzie Friends in court proceedings and their future within the court system.

  • Reasons for Litigants in Person
  • The Court’s approach to Litigants in Person
  • Conducting a hearing with a Litigant in Person
  • Lawyers' responsibility towards the Litigant in Person
  • Cost issues
  • Rights of Audience & Rights to Conduct Litigation
  • Increase in the role of McKenzie Friends and possible changes
  • Final Report Reforming Legal Services: Regulating Beyond the Echo Chambers (Published June 2020)
  • Relevant case-law

12.10pm -1.10pm: Children Act Applications after Brexit

Eleri Jones, 1GC Family Law

This session will deal with all Children Act applications after Brexit in relation to private law cases with an international dimension and will include:

  • What is the law on jurisdiction in Children Act matters now?
  • Which Regulations and Conventions do you now need to consider in terms of international children cases?
  • What is the effect of the change of law on proceedings already commenced?
  • What will be the practical difference in the way the courts will approach international cases?

Break for lunch

2.00pm-3.00pm: Rights of Grandparents in Children Proceedings

Stuart Barlow

Grandparents have become more and more involved in the lives of their grandchildren yet their legal position is still vague and uncertain.

This session will set out what remedies are available and what action grandparents can take should they become caught up in family breakup or disharmony.

This session will include:

  • Grandparents - the current position
  • Orders available to grandparents in private law proceedings
  • Permission to file applications for court orders
  • Acquisition of parental responsibility
  • Special Guardianship Orders
  • The cases of Re J, Re A & Re C

PM Break

3.15pm-4.15pm: Vulnerable Witnesses, Children & Adults

Katharine Bundell

Vulnerable witnesses are called upon in more of our cases than we might realise. The relevant provisions may need to be considered for a victim in an alleged domestic abuse case, or a similar fact lay witness.

There are special procedures for children giving evidence and strategies and ground rules to be employed for vulnerable witnesses of all ages.

This session will look at the law, guidance and rules, how they play out in practice and some of the strategies available to the court and lawyers in remote and traditional hearings.

This session will include:

  • Consideration of a user’s experience and the Nuffield Observatory Transparency project findings
  • Parliamentary action and the new legislation
  • Re W/Re E applications, the law and procedure, when children give evidence
  • Ground rules and strategies available to the courts
  • Intermediaries
  • Capacity of an adult - law and procedure for a witness and party
  • Parties with learning issues
  • FPR 2010 R 3A/PD3AA on vulnerable witnesses - our duties and the legal process
  • Remote hearings and extra consideration of guidance in cases of domestic abuse

Recording of live sessions: Soon after the Learn Live session has taken place you will be able to go back and access the recording - should you wish to revisit the material discussed.

Book now

Future dates are coming soon.
Please let us know if you wish to be notified.
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Discounts are available for multiple places. If you have 5 or more people interested in participating in this virtual learning session please email us at information@mblseminars.com for more information.

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