Nigel Priestley is 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.
Nigel was awarded the MBE in New Year Honours 2021 for services to children and families.
Nigel’s work has been celebrated and he is a leading expert in kinship care, adoption breakdown and care proceedings. Nigel won the Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards in 2017.
He has taken the lead in bringing Judicial Review proceedings on behalf of children placed with Kinship Carers. These actions are to ensure that local authorities fulfil their legal obligations towards Family and Friend Carers and the children who are living with them.
He has been involved in landmark decisions as a result of Judicial Reviews he has brought. These include a successful challenge against Kirklees when they were paying Special
Guardianship Allowance at 2/3 the Fostering Allowance. In another case the Court of Appeal set out when children living with grandparent carers should be regarded as ‘looked after’ children.
He represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings. He has been involved in cases in the High Court which have been reported in the legal press including a foreign adoption and the making of Wardship Orders in care proceedings where the children suffered serious global developmental delay.
Nigel works closely with Grandparents Plus and many support organisations. Over £1 million has been paid to carers in respect of back paid Fostering Allowances as a result of actions in which Nigel has been involved.
Nigel has spoken at conferences organised by the Grandparents Association, BAAF and Grandparents Plus.
Nigel is concerned about the support given to adopters. He is a member of Adoption UK and advises adopters facing post adoption support challenges as to their rights.
Nigel helped set up the unique Twinning Link between Huddersfield Law Society and the Uganda Law Society in 2002. The link has provided legal resources and training for Ugandan lawyers. Nigel has regularly carried out training in Kampala. The Twinning Link won the Pro Bono Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2016, and it was highly commended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2016.
He is a grandfather himself and understands the pressures on grandparent carers!
Areas of work Nigel deals with
- Awarded the MBE in New Year Honours 2021 for series to children and families
- Won Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year 2017
- Won Lawyer of the Year Award at the Modern Law Awards (2016)
- Shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Adoption Week Awards (2016)
- Shortlisted for Partner of the Year at both Yorkshire Legal Awards and Family Law Awards (2016)
- Shortlisted for Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards (2015)
- Won Legal Champion of the Year Award at the Kinship Care Awards (2013)
- Named The Solicitor of the Year (Private practice) in the National Law Society Excellence Awards (2010)
- Shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award (2008)
- Law Society Highly Commended Solicitor of the Year (2008)
Child Care & Public Law Team
Nicki ButterworthAssociate Personal Assistant
Head of Child Care & Public Law Team