Jacqueline Thomas

Joint Head of Chambers
Called: 2000


Jacqueline is instructed in complex child care and Court of Protection matters, often in cases which involve elements of both jurisdictions, and applications in the inherent jurisdiction. She has specialist expertise in cases involving teenagers transitions from child care to adult social care and the overlap with community care and education law issues.

Jacqueline particularly enjoys cases requiring forensic and detailed cross examination, and is regularly instructed by local authorities, parents and other parties in complex and lengthy fact finding hearings, both in the Family Court and Court of Protection.

Public Law children

Notable cases;

Re J (Representation: Fact-Finding Hearing) [2008] EWCA Civ 212
Successful appeal to the Court of Appeal to secure representation for a grandmother in a finding of fact hearing

Re T (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 1818
Represented the Guardian in the Court of Appeal concerning whether an uncle should remain as an intervenor or not

A LA v L
Represented the local authority in two linked care cases, involving Roma Slovak families, very young mother and baby and allegations of people trafficking.

A LA v A
Representing local authority in application for female genital mutilation prevention order against 3 members of a family, with the purpose of protecting the youngest child of the family. Orders were successfully achieved.

Court of Protection – Health and Welfare

Notable cases:

A LA v F
Application in the Court of Protection for best interest declarations and authorisation of the deprivation of liberty of a care leaver, in the face of opposition from his father who had expressed the intention to remove AF from the residential home once he reached the age of 18 years. The case was transferred from the Family Court and involved the interaction between the children’s social care team, the disability team, and transitions to adult social care. In due course, the placement and deprivation of liberty were both authorised.

Represented the CCG in COP proceedings (health and welfare) with linked Human Rights Act claim. Complex needs case, with difficulties in placement and placement breakdown. Background of potential unlawful deprivation of liberty. Jacqueline successfully defended the HRA claim which was subsequently withdrawn.

A LA v N
Represented the local authority in a finding of fact hearing in the COP in which findings were successfully obtained against family members who had actively undermined the placement of a daughter of the family. The placement had given notice as a result and new accommodation had to be found. Final orders were achieved with best interest declarations that N would remain in residential care.

Mental Health

Notable Cases:

A LA v W
Complex case in the High Court dealing with teenager with serious mental health issues coming out of section 3 detention. Case involving interim care order and potential deprivation of liberty of 13 year old. Cross over of all areas of work.

Administrative law

Notable Cases:

A LA v P
Acting on behalf of LA in educational tribunal claim and connected judicial review. Case concerned teenager with complex care needs.

A LA v C
Application in the High Court for wardship and associated injunctions to protect a vulnerable 17 year old who was at risk of sexual harm from a violent partner. The case required consideration of legal arguments as to the appropriate orders and whether it was lawful for a child to be placed in local authority accommodation as a ward. It also required review of the deprivation of liberty which was in place in the care home and whether the ward’s Article 5 rights were sufficiently protected by the authorisation of the Court.

Appointments and Memberships

Trustee & Secretary, Spire Foundation - 2019
Joint Head of Chambers - 2019
Elected to The Bar Council - 2018
Recorder - 2018
Visiting Lecturer - Keele University
Family Law Bar Association
North Eastern Circuit
Barrister member of the Council of the Inns of Court Disciplinary Tribunal [2014 - 2018]
Court of Protection Practitioners Association
Mental Health Lawyers Association
Lawyers for Children


Jacqueline is the co-author of Reforming Family Justice (1st ed) and Family Justice Reformed (2nd Ed).
“The second edition is a worthy successor to the first. Again, our authors deserve our thanks and our congratulations.” (Sir James Munby P, June 2017)

“The authors provide a commentary of quality on what we do and they deserve our thanks and grateful attention to the detail of what they have written.” 
Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President, June 2017"

Link to book


Jacqueline presents and contributes to a number of seminars to solicitors and other professionals in Family law and Court of Protection, most recently the Chambers Court of Protection and Adult Social Care talks held across Yorkshire and the Humber. 

Jacqueline also regularly provides accredited Seminars through MBL Training in relation to preparing for complex findings of fact hearings and also safeguarding care leavers.

In addition, Jacqueline recently became a Visiting Lecturer at Keele University where she lectures on the Child Care MA course.


Keele University – Adult Safeguarding MA – Distinction
Browne Jacobson Award for Dissertation on Safeguarding Vulnerable Care leavers
Keele University LLB – Law and Pyschology.