Chris has a strong reputation as a successful litigator in Child and Family Law and has achieved regular success for clients in highly complex and contentious proceedings at the Sheriff Court and also in Appeals before the Sheriff Principal and the Sheriff Appeal Court.
Chris has advised and represented individual clients as well as Local Authorities, guiding them through each step of the proceedings from Children’s Hearings through to Court of Session cases. Chris has developed an expertise in Social Work matters, Child Protection issues, emergency proceedings involving Child Protection Orders and proceedings before the Children’s Hearing.
He regular leads expert psychological and medical evidence as well as cross examining those experts led by his opponent.
- Chris has successfully pursued many Permanence Order applications for various Local Authorities throughout Scotland. He has conducted highly complex cases involving grounds of referral, allegations of abuse, Children’s Hearings Appeals and expert psychological evidence.
- Chris has successfully achieved several hundred Adoption Orders and Permanence Orders together with Kinship Care Orders. He has been responsible for the development of Adoption and Permanence Law (see in particular Mr and Mrs P v LD, SW and JD  SC GLA 56 and AB and CD v LM 2019 SAC (Civ) 19. In both of these cases he conducted the contested cases at the Sheriff Court and was also successful in resisting attempts to overturn the decisions at the Sheriff Appeal Court.
- Chris has conducted numerous Adoption and Permanence proofs which have involved the careful analysis of parenting capacity assessment, non-offending carer risk assessments and forensic risk assessments.
- Chris regularly instructs Counsel in Adoption proceedings at the Court of Session for cross border cases. Chris advises clients and Adoption Agencies in relation to complex issues arising at the Children’s Hearing and in the Sheriff Court in relation to contact disputes.
- Chris has a keen interest in the interface between Human Rights and Permanence and obtained his LLM in Human Rights Law with his dissertation focused on the compatibility of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 with the European Convention on Human Rights. Chris has used his knowledge to successfully oppose Devolution Minutes raised in Permanence proceedings.
- Chris is a member of the Adoption and Fostering Alliance Legal Group and was previously a member of BAAF Legal Group. He regularly conducts training and preparation groups for prospective adopters.