Steven Ashworth

Called in 2006

Areas of Practice
Family, Local Authorities & Public Law, Direct Public Access Barristers


Practice Profile

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LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Laws – University of Leeds

BVC – BPP Law School, London

Sir Geoffrey Veale Scholarship (2008)



Practice Profile


Steven undertook a common law pupillage in chambers and initially practised in all areas of chambers work, including crime until 2011 and civil (principally housing, immigration and personal injury work) until 2015.


Steven now specialises in family law in relation to children. He is a highly regarded advocate with extensive experience of complex care proceedings in which he acts for local authorities, parents, children (through their children’s guardian or separately represented) and extended family members. He is regularly instructed in cases involving:

-          Representation of vulnerable parents including those with learnings disabilities and requiring the assistance of an intermediary

-          Allegations of serious inflicted injury

-          Allegations of sexual abuse against adults and children

-          Complex international issues including placements of children in foreign jurisdictions

-          Cultural issues

-          Allegations of radicalisation

-          Appeals


Steven is also regularly instructed in private law children proceedings, especially those where the children are separately represented and where there are serious safeguarding concerns requiring fact finding hearings. He is also instructed in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1996 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.


Steven accepts public access instructions in appropriate cases.



Reported Cases


Re C (A Child) (No. 3) (Application for dismissal or withdrawal of proceedings) [2017] EWFC 37 (not yet published)

Acted alone for the local authority. Pauffley J declined to dismiss or give permission for the care proceedings to be withdrawn. Steven is instructed to represent the local authority in the seven day fact finding hearing in this matter in 2018.



Re C (A Child) (No. 2) (Application for Public Interest Immunity) [2017] EWHC 692 (Fam); [2017] 2 FCR 621

Acted for the local authority, led by Sarah Morgan QC. Secretary of State for the Home Department’s application for public interest immunity.



Re C (A Child) [2016] EWHC 3171 (Fam); [2017] 4 WLR 19; [2017] 1 FLR 1665

Acted for the local authority, led by Sarah Morgan QC, in care proceedings involving allegations of radicalisation. Application by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to discharge an order for disclosure.



KCC v. M and O (Children, Criticism of Local Authority) [2017] EWFC B12

Acted for the respondent father in care proceedings which involved significant criticism of the conduct of the local authority, some of which arose from covert recordings which Steven obtained permission to admit into evidence. This case attracted significant media interest (The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times and The Sun) owing to comments made by the social worker to the parents that christening the child would hinder attempts to have him adopted.



LB Tower Hamlets v. M, F and A and B (Children) [2016] EWFC B34

Care proceedings, acting for the local authority.



MJK v. FJK and EJK and VJK (Children) [2015] EWFC B190

Acted for the applicant father in private law children proceedings where findings were sought that the father had sexually abused two of his children. No findings made.



Re S (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1682

Successfully represented the respondent father in the mother’s appeal against a shared residence order (made by consent) and a later sole residence order in favour of the father.



A Local Authority v. DG and Others [2013] EWHC 734 (Fam); [2014] 1 FLR 1216; [2013] Fam Law 789

Acted for the local authority in care proceedings before Theis J. The father was represented by leading and junior counsel. The case concerned six Roma Slovakian children who had severe neglect and included involvement from the Central Authority of the Slovak Republic.



Other Notable Cases


Re S and Others (Children) (2017)

Steven represented the father of one child in care proceedings where the court had to determine whether the child should be placed with her father but separated from her half-siblings who were in the care of their father and able to offer a home to all the sibling group.



Re I (A Child) (2015)

Steven represented the respondent mother at the final hearing in care proceedings and a contested specific issue application for the child to be circumcised, following a fact finding hearing where the court found that she had caused injuries to her baby by shaking.



Re A (A Child) (2013/2014)

Steven represented the respondent mother throughout care proceedings where the baby presented to hospital with a broken arm and was found to have a number of healing fractures to his ribs and legs at different times. At the fact finding hearing the court concluded that the father caused all of the injuries and that the mother was not in the pool of perpetrators and that it had not been proven that the mother failed to protect the child. The mother separated from the father and Steven subsequently represented her in separate non-molestation order proceedings. The local authority proposed rehabilitation to the mother but changed its care plan to placement with family members when telephone records showed that the parents had remained in illicit contact. Steven secured the rehabilitation of the child to the mother’s care following a contested final hearing.



What Clients Say:


"Both the clerks and Steven Ashworth were excellent throughout, no hesitation in recommending them"

Andrew Symeou, Partner – Faradays Solicitors



"Always a pleasure to work with 5 Pump Court. They always assist in a professional and timely manner and are always so approachable and client focused"

Local Authority Lawyer



Direct Public Access


Steven is qualified to accept instructions under the Direct Public Access to Barristers scheme.



Memberships & Affiliations


Family Law Bar Association


direct access

Steven is qualified to accept instructions under the Direct Public Access to Barristers Scheme.

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