Claire Wills-Goldingham QC

Degree: LL.B (Hons)
Year of call and Inn: 1988; Inner Temple
Professional Membership: Western Circuit, FLBA
Appointments: QC 2012; Mental Health Review Tribunal (legal member) 2004

Claire Wills-Goldingham specialises in family law in the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Court. She deals with a range of issues including:

Financial orders following divorce – particularly those where there are commercial aspects, such as companies, farming partnerships, family trusts, pre-nuptial settlements and pensions, Financial applications in relation to children – Schedule 1 Children Act 1989;

Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustee Act applications;

Public law children matters – representing local authorities, parents and children, cases involving sexual abuse, Factitious Induced Illness and non-accidental injury (“baby-shaking cases”), including child death and mental health issues;

Private law children, including those cases where the child is separately represented;

Child abduction matters, both international and domestic;

Court of Protection work. Claire is head of the Court of Protection team, and covers issues of mental capacity, welfare matters of residence and contact, property and finance.

Claire lectures extensively and frequently provides court-room skills training for social workers adn the Royal College of Physicians, particularly Consultant Paediatricians.

Reported cases:
Birmingham City Council v AG and A [2009] EWHC 3720 (Fam), 2010 2 FLR 580 — Inadequate investigation by the local authority culminating in the family “slipping through the net” leading to one child starving to death and the surviving siblings suffering from varying degrees of malnutrition.

Gloucestershire County Council v P [1999] 2 FLR 61, CA

Re W, Re A, Re B (Change of Name) [1999] 2 FLR 930, CA

Birmingham City Council v S,R and A [2007] 1 FLR 1223

Re W ( residential Assessment) [2011] 2 FLR 1024 2011 EWCA Civ 661

Other cases of particular interest:

Re W – family trusts matter against leading counsel. Issues of matrimonial acquest;

Re D – high net-worth matter involving issues of continuing earning capacity in a high risk industry;

Re M – farming partnership against leading counsel. Both parties wanted to remain in farming;

Re H – complex financial issues involving alleged trust with third party interests – Ansari issue raised;

Re J – a family company case against leading counsel. Valuation of company assets, ‘stellar contribution’ raised.

Re S,P and A – Public law case against leading counsel. Issues as to mental health and fabricated illness in a child;

Re T – Public law case against leading counsel. Acting for the local authority in a case involving a child death and sexual abuse;

H v E – Private law case concerning child abduction and allegations of sexual abuse;

Re C – Public law case, acting for the children in a matter involving allegations and sexual abuse and triolism;

Re ST – Public law case involving cultural issues and child forced marriage;

Re B/W – Public law case involving none accidental head injuries;

Re G – Represented mother – alleged perpetrator/in pool – “baby shake” – exonerated at first instance, but found to have failed to protect and on appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld and exonerated from failure to protect finding;

Re T – Public law, leading a senior junior, acting for a mother. Issue of Factitious Induced Illness. Mother exonerated;

Re S – Public law – leading a junior – father accused of serial sexual abuse over many years;

Re B/Y – Public Law – leading a junior in child death matter;

Re W – a second tier appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Court of Protection:
Re M – represented mother against leading counsel. Learning-disabled son. Issues of placement and contact. DOLS provisions;

Re P – issues of sexual abuse, capacity of alleged perpetrator and victim – placement issues;

Re B – elderly person – issues of placement and contact- DOLS provisions.


For LexisNexis
Co-Author of Atkins Court Forms (Infants) – most recently the 2012 issue
Contributor of Essential Family Practice (Finance)
Co-Author of Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents (Finance and Children) – most recently 2012 issue
Co-Author of Family Finance in Practice.

For Jordans
Co-Author Family Law Case Library

Deputy Editor Family Law Week

“She is a robust and tenacious advocate who fights hard for her clients.”
“She is smart, very capable, and very helpful with vulnerable and anxious clients.”
Chambers and Partners 2015

“Her broad practice includes public law children matters and child abduction.”
Legal 500 2014

“An excellent QC dealing with more complex matrimonial matters. She is extremely thorough and very well prepared in her advice.”
Chambers and Partners 2014

Legal 500 2013

“Highly commended for her comprehensive and broad-based experience in family and matrimonial matters”
Chambers and Partners 2013

Legal 500 2012

“Admired for matrimonial finance work involving farming issues.”
“Observers enthuse: She has a good sense of humour, is hard-working and an excellent advocate. She is mesmerising on her feet.”
Chambers and Partners 2012

“Expert in children law, and also takes on ancillary relief instructions”
Legal 500 2010

With Claire Wills-Goldingham “what you see is what you get,” according to clients. Frank advice and an upfront approach characterise this “pleasant and straightforward” lawyer, who handles the broad spectrum of family work, including money, public and private children cases.
Chambers and Partners 2008

“Thorough and efficient. Calm and almost steely about things”
“Tough but fair”
“straight-talking but always committed to helping her clients”
Chambers and Partners

“Precise, measured and knows the strength of her argument”
Legal 500 2008

Albion Chambers, Broad Street, Bristol BS1 1DR
T: 0117 927 2144
F: 0117 926 2569

Clerk: Michael Harding
T 0117 311 0302

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