[Southeast-based] law firm Moore Barlow has announced that Joanna Farrands has been appointed to a government panel of lawyers accredited to handle complex child abduction cases, as the firm reports a 200 per cent increase in enquires.
Joanna, partner and head of the firm’s family team, has gained her advanced family law accreditation with the abduction speciality which has enabled her to be admitted onto the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) panel.
Joanna, together with the family team, will represent parents whose children have been brought to the UK without the consent of one of their parents, as well as those disputing cross boarder arrangements for their child.
Over the last five years, Moore Barlow has seen a significant increase in child abduction enquiries from international families across London and the Southeast. To be enrolled onto the panel, the firm had to demonstrate detailed expertise and resources to undertake complex child abduction litigation in the High Court.
With more than 16 years’ experience in family and children law, Joanna joined Moore Barlow as a trainee solicitor before becoming a partner in 2014 and alongside the 15 strong family team, has continued to support individuals facing child abduction matters.
Commenting on her appointment, Joanna Farrands, said: “London and the Southeast is hub for international families and child abduction cases in the area are sadly on the rise.
“Most commonly, child abduction takes places after a divorce or separation and involves a parent, grandparent or guardian taking a child from their country of residence without consent or a court order.
“Any parent taking their child overseas on holiday or returning to their country of origin without unequivocal consent or a child arrangements order can be guilty of the offence of child abduction. It is a criminal offence for anyone connected with the child to take them out of the UK for more than 28 days without permission.
“Joining the ICACU panel is testament to our team’s continued work to support parents with highly complex legal matters involving children. We remain committed to supporting individuals who seek to resolve child abduction disputes both at home and abroad.”
The ICACU panel is a government-approved list of lawyers in England and Wales that is used to make referrals on incoming complex child abduction, recognition, enforcement and exercise of parental responsibility cases. Only lawyers appointed to the panel can prosecute Hauge Convention child abduction cases.