James A. Goodwin

Called: 2008


James specialises in Family Law, regularly representing Local Authorities, Parents and Children and is noted by his instructing solicitors to have a particular ability with clients requiring high levels of attention and care.

Although James now practices solely in Family Law, he gained his advocacy experience in the criminal courts and as former head of the Prison Law Team. James regularly conducted lengthy trials in the Crown Court, including being led on a high-profile murder re-trial and successfully representing a number of high-profile prisoners.

Public Family Law

James is regularly instructed in complex, public law cases. Recent instructions have included cases involving allegations of serious child sexual abuse, including historical abuse, extensive child sexual exploitation networks and fabricated and induced illness, catastrophic brain injury cases, fractures, burn injuries, failure to thrive and death.  
James is instructed by several Local Authorities to advise on areas of law, most recently on a complex Designated Authority arguments and immunisations for children in care.

Recent cases:
Re: N (2017) – representing a father in a three week finding of fact hearing, facing allegations of torture and sexual abuse.
Re: J (2016) – representing a child in a case of historic sexual abuse.
Re: N (2016) – representing a mother in a three week finding of fact hearing facing allegations of fabricated or induced illness.
Re: K (2016) – representing a child in the High Court, seeking guidance under the inherent jurisdiction in relation to the non-disclosure of information to another party.
Re: J (2016) – representing a Local Authority in proceedings relating to the near death of a child from shaking related injuries.
Re: M (2015) – successfully representing a mother facing serious allegations of factitious induced illness, resulting in the child remaining in the mother’s care.
Re: G (2015) – representing a parent facing allegations of causing fractures to a child’s arm and leg.
Re: M (2015) – representing a father facing allegations of sexual abuse against his four year old daughter in private law proceedings.
Re: A (2014) – representing a parent in the High Court during a three week finding of fact hearing relating to catastrophic brain injuries to a child, including multiple complex health needs as a result having an autosomal recessive condition.
Re: A (2014) – representing a Local Authority in three parallel proceedings involving three generations of a family including a twelve year old mother.
Re: G (2013) – being led in the High Court during in a six week finding of fact hearing concerning infant death.
Re: L (2012) - being led in the High Court in a five week fact finding hearing where the child had suffered subdural brain injuries and which involved issues around the parents’ consanguinity.

Private Family Law

James’ expertise covers all aspects of private law, including removal from the jurisdiction, internal relocation cases, findings of fact in relation to sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse. James’ experience in private family law matters is extensive. He has achieved successes during difficult and protracted cases and has a particularly high success rate. His clients benefit from his empathetic style and straightforward approach.

Recent cases:
A & A (2017) – removal from the jurisdiction to a non-Hague Convention country.
W & W (2016) – representing a father facing allegations of historic sexual abuse.
V & T (2016) – in the High Court, representing a child seeking not to disclose details of her gender dysphoria to parents


Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) (former Secretary of the North Eastern Circuit FLBA)
North Eastern Circuit
Lawyers for Children


The Process of Reform within Private Law Children cases, November 2013


James 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. James has recently held lectures on Statement Drafting for Social workers and Relocation update for The PLO outline to Local Authorities solicitors. 

For further information contact


• 1st Class LL.B (Hons)
• MA International Law
• Kalisher Scholarship Prize Winner