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Child Care & Public Law


Ridley & Hall’s Child Care team has a local and national reputation for its work in the complex field of child care law.

Questions relating to parental rights, children’s rights and local authority obligations arise in the majority of the cases that we handle. We are aware that many parents do not receive the basic assistance to which they are entitled, yet these same parents’ abilities are often called into question.

We fight vigorously for the right of parents, children, grandparents, family members and adoptive parents.

Increasingly, grandparents and other relatives and friends are playing a vital role in the life of children. Many are prepared to put themselves forward as carers for a child who has been removed by the local authority from the parents’ care. It is vital that these kinship carers voices are heard.

We are specialists in representing kinship carers in care proceedings. We understand the importance of fighting for the right order to be made if the child is to be placed with family or friends.

We have represented families across the country in care proceedings. Distance is not an issue. Getting the right results for carers is the most important consideration so that both the child and the carers are supported.


Our Areas of Expertise


Our People

James Cook

Director,
Head of Child Care & Public Law Team
James Cook trained and qualified at a South Yorkshire firm where he specialised in family and immigration law. ...

Nigel Priestley

Senior Partner, MBE
Nigel Priestley is a Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a community care and adoption specialist solicitor. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings. ...

Clare Linden

Partner
Clare joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors as a Partner in 2018. Clare graduated from Durham University and completed her legal training at the College of Law in York in 2006. Clare qualified as a solicitor in 2008 when she re-located to Leeds to join the niche family law firm McAras and was made a partner in 2013 following the firm’s merger with Simpson Millar solicitors in Leeds....

Laura Milburn

Partner
Laura has many years of legal experience and was called to the Bar in 2010.  After qualifying as a Barrister, Laura cross-qualified to become a Solicitor in 2012.   Laura is a passionate advocate and has used her advocacy and negotiation skills on behalf of many clients over the years. ...

Deborah Hardy

Partner
Deborah has over 25 years’ experience in family law and has particular expertise in representing children, court appointed guardians, parents and extended family members in care proceedings in Leeds and surrounding areas. She joined Ridley & Hall as a Partner in 2018....

Lucy Pickles

Trainee Solicitor
Lucy began life at Ridley and Hall as a Care Paralegal in August 2018. In July 2019, she began her training contract, with her first seat being in the Care Team. ...

Nicki Butterworth

Associate Personal Assistant
Nicki is an experienced Personal Assistant who works within the Care & Public Law Team (for Child Care Director, James Cook). Nicki’s career began in the retail sector, and it was there where she began to hone her renowned communication and customer service skills....

Helen Moody

Solicitor
Helen completed her degree in law in 2009 before continuing her studies part time on the Legal Practice Course whilst working in a solicitors firm in Wakefield to gain experience. Helen joined Ridley & Hall in January 2012 after completion of the Legal Practice Course,  initially as a Legal Assistant working alongside Nigel Priestley to build up experience in the Public Law department. Helen completed her training contract at Ridley & Hall and qualified as a solicitor in October 2016....

Sarah Brown

Associate Solicitor
Sarah joined Ridley & Hall in 2010 following the completion of her Law Degree. Whilst working at Ridley & Hall she studied the Legal Practice Course part time over two years, completing it in 2012....

Michelle Silcox

Solicitor
Michelle joined Ridley & Hall in October 2019 and was admitted to the Role of Solicitor in early November 2019. Following redundancy from her longstanding role as Customer Service Manager at a national workwear company in 2007, Michelle took the decision to go to University and study law, something she had also hoped to do....
Natalie Stephenson Quayle

Natalie Stephenson-Quayle

Paralegal
Natalie started at Ridley & Hall in November 2019 as a care paralegal. In September 2020, Natalie integrated into the Public Law team as well, so now she works in both the Care and the Public Law teams which offers her the ability to help clients in need. This is something she has been interested in from a young age. ...

Thank you so much for all your help, advice and support over the last few months, you are outstanding in your work ethic and show genuine kindness and empathy too, it has meant so much.