Charlotte is an award-winning barrister at Goldsmith Chambers and ranked as Legal 500’s Leading Junior in family law. She is instructed in complex trials and appellate cases, often encompassing ground-breaking and novel points of law. She has represented and advised high-profile public and political figures. Charlotte was awarded Rising Star, Women Law Awards 2020 and The True Honour Award, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. She was also shortlisted for Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2020.

Charlotte is known for her campaign work to change the law to ensure the better treatment of vulnerable women and victims of domestic abuse. Charlotte’s case law record shows that she is not only a campaigner, she is able to bring about legal change which has a significant impact on women’s lives in the cases that she’s instructed in and beyond. She devotes her energies to move the law’s understanding of the pervasive disempowerment of victims or survivors of abuse and the harm it causes to children. The pandemic has caused an explosion in abuse cases with victims having nowhere to turn. This year the need for a culture shift in the courts’ understanding of often subtle and insidious forms of abuse against women and girls was never more pressing. Charlotte has used her skill, knowledge and energy to be a whirlwind force for good.

 

Areas of practice

Private law children and domestic abuse: Charlotte specialises in complex cases regarding rape, domestic abuse, coercive control and parental alienation. Charlotte has single-handedly successfully brought conjoined appeals where the family courts failed to have regard to allegations of domestic abuse and ordered contact between a parent and child contrary to PD12J. In Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448, Charlotte successfully brought a linked appeal to the Court of Appeal on behalf of mothers whom alleged rape, domestic abuse and rape. The Court of Appeal set out general guidance on the family court’s approach to domestic abuse and coercive control.

Female Genital Mutilation: As an expert in FGM, Charlotte has been instructed in six reported FGMPO cases involving risk of FGM, travel bans and failed FGM asylum claims. Given Charlotte’s understanding of this important and specialist area, she represents many marginalised women and girls, some of whom have been victims of FGM and require the most understanding legal team. Charlotte was junior counsel in Re A (A Child: Female Genital Mutilation: Asylum [2019] EWHC 2475 before the President of the Family Division and later the Court of Appeal in which the President of the Family Division gave guidance about the interrelationship between FGMPOs and FGM asylum. The high-profile case was featured in The Guardian, The BBC and Sky News. She was junior counsel in the leading case of Re X (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order No.2) [2019] EWHC 1990 (Fam) in which the High Court issued guidance about how to assess the risk of FGM based on the macro and micro risk factors. Charlotte was instrumental in the introduction of FGM Protection Orders and the pilot Practice Direction 36H. Charlotte is a gender-based violence expert for the European Institute for Gender Equality and she was invited by the UN to advise on a UN Human Rights Council Resolution about FGM.

Public law children cases: Known for her advocacy in cases involving serious allegations of non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and emotional harm, she is regularly instructed in public law children cases. She is instructed in the re-opening of findings of fact; domestic abuse; child sexual exploitation and trafficking; and challenges to Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 where children have been unlawfully accommodated by the local authority resulting in claims for damages.

Child abduction: Charlotte specialises in child abduction particularly cases involving an Article 13(b) defence due to domestic abuse and in cases where there are complex immigration issues.

Surrogacy: Charlotte is renowned for her experience in surrogacy and adoption. She acted in C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2474 in which a child had resulted from a surrogacy arrangement and the wife had then arranged a further surrogacy without the husband’s knowledge and they had subsequently separated.

Human rights claims: Charlotte is adept at raising novel legal challenges that have the potential to be ground-breaking. Charlotte is an expert in Judicial Review and Human Rights Act claims in civil, family and immigration cases. She is instructed in claims against local authorities for failing to comply with their duties to children, sexual harassment cases on university campuses and so-called revenge porn cases.

Court of Protection cases: Charlotte has experience in Court of Protection cases involving the welfare and management of property and affairs of persons lacking capacity. She is sensitive to the needs of vulnerable persons and can provide a thoughtful and empathetic approach.

Financial relief on divorce: Specialising in high value financial relief cases where assets are in excess of several millions with complex structures. Charlotte has a wealth of experience in matrimonial finances applications, variation of maintenance claims, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 applications, property claims between unmarried partners and intervener claims and Court of Protection cases in which property and finances are disputed. She has experience in Islamic marriage, divorce and dowry payments and nullity applications. Charlotte is particularly experienced in cases of financial control.

Notable Cases

Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448. The Court of Appeal handed down guidance on how the family courts should address allegations of rape, domestic abuse and coercive control in private law children proceedings. Dr Proudman was solely responsible for seeking permission to appeal in three of the four conjoined appeals, Re T, Re H, and Re B-B, which were granted out of time. All of the Mothers reported domestic abuse, coercive control and rape. Dr Proudman successfully appealed the case of Re B-B in which the Mother was coerced into agreeing a child arrangements order.

C-603/20 PPU – MCP. Following Mr Justice Mostyn’s application for an urgent preliminary ruling from the CJEU in the case of SS v MCP [2020] EWHC 2971 (Fam), Anthony Metzer QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman successfully represented the Mother at a hearing before the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). The CJEU concluded that Article 10 of Brussels IIa applied to member states and not to third states, such as India.

Re E, S and Y (Children: Care and Placement Orders) [2021] EWFC B2 (02 February 2021). Dr Proudman represented a mother opposing a care order and placement order in respect of her three children. The local authority alleged domestic abuse between the mother and her former partners causing the children harm. Findings were made in respect of domestic abuse. The court made a care order and a placement order in respect of the three children.

CD v Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (adoption set aside) (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 3411 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented children’s relatives whom applied for care, placement and adoption orders to be revoked. Applying for care, placement and adoption orders to be revoked is a very high test to meet. Dr Proudman was instructed on behalf of the children’s family members to make this application on the basis that they had not been thorough assessed by the local authority prior to the final orders being made.

SS v MCP [2020] EWHC 2971 (Fam) Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the Mother in a child abduction case in which the Father had applied for the immediate return of the child from India to the UK. The Mother opposed the Father’s application. The court found that the child is habitually resident in India having spent around two years there. However, the court held that the legal position in respect of whether the court retains jurisdiction to make orders in respect of the child was unclear due to the ambiguity of the territorial reach of article 10 of Brussels 2. As such, the court referred the case to the Court of Justice for an urgent preliminary ruling.

C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2474 (Fam) and C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2141 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the local authority following an application on behalf of the husband and wife for a parental order following a surrogacy arrangement.

AB v AN & Anor [2020] EWHC 2048 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in application for an FGMPO on behalf of her daughter at risk of FGM in Nigeria.

Re A (A Child) (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Civ 731. Karon Monaghan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman successfully opposed the Secretary of State’s appeal on behalf of the mother in a FGMPO case.

Re A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 323. Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother at a final hearing in an FGMPO case in which the court found that the girl would be at a high risk of FGM if she is returned to Bahrain or Sudan.

Re A (A Child: Female Genital Mutilation: Asylum [2019] EWHC 2475. Karon Monaghan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in an application for a FGMPO on behalf of her daughter before the President of the Family Division. The President held that the family court should conduct its own assessment of risk of FGM even when the immigration tribunal has conducted an earlier risk assessment.

Re X (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order. No.2) [2019] EWHC 1990 (Fam). Nkumbe Ekaney QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in a FGMPO case in which the mother sought to travel with the child to Egypt to visit her father.

X v Y [2019] EWHC 1713 (Fam). Frank Feehan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the appellant in an application for permission to appeal the trial judge’s decision concerning a financial remedy and child arrangements order.

BA & Anor v JA & Ors (female genital mutilation protection orders and immigration appeals) [2018] EWHC 1754 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in an application for a FGMPO due to a risk of FGM in Nigeria.

B v M [2018] EWHC 1473 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman was led by Frank Feehan QC of 1KBW in a public law children fact-finding hearing in which they represented private foster carers who had fostered a child for several years after being abandoned by the parents.

AAM v KG [2018] EWHC 283 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the appellant who appealed the trial judge’s order of nullity on the ground of polygamy.

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Appellant) v Ryan and another (Respondents) (Trinidad and Tobago) [2017] UKPC 30. Dr Charlotte Proudman was led by Romie Tager QC and Jonathan Crystal in an appeal upheld by the Privy Council to set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision to reverse the trial judge’s findings about the escape of hydrocarbon fumes from an oil well causing injuries.

Rodwell [2016] EWHC 1731 (Fam).  Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the applicant whom claimed that his children had been abducted.