John Tughan QC

Called: 1991 / Silk: 2015


John’s practice encompasses both private law and public law proceedings relating to children. He is experienced in the most complex cases and he regularly appears in high profile and complex matters. His experience (in both the private and public fields) includes cases involving sexual abuse, the death or injury of a child (including very complex medical evidence), intractable parental disputes, press injunctions, human rights applications, adoption and the inter-relationship with the judicial review jurisdiction. John represents all parties in such cases. He is experienced in lengthy and complex trials.

In private proceedings John is experienced in proceedings with intractable issues, internal and external relocation of children and serious and complex allegations. John is often instructed in the most difficult cases requiring expert inter-personal skills.

John is experienced in media management and applications for press reporting restrictions orders. This experience has included some of the most high profile cases in recent years and has included the “Baby P” litigation and the “Little Ted’s Nursery” scandal. Such issues often include both the national and international media.

John regularly advises local authorities on issues of policy and is often asked to draft such policies within a team of professionals. He enjoys such collaborative work.

John appears in Judicial Review proceedings that include issues of family law. Such issues include local authority policy, educational issues and the inter-relationship between the limits of the Court’s jurisdiction and the role of the local authority.

John has been continuously recommended by Chambers and Partners as a leading junior in the field of children law for a decade.

John does undertake direct access work.

John writes a quarterly updating article for Family Law Week


“John’s enthusiasm and his mature and accomplished delivery of his advocacy is addictive to watch.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

Has expertise in both public and private children proceedings. He possesses great experience of handling complex cases concerning abuse and relocation matters at the most serious end of the spectrum. He is particularly good at matters concerning fabricated allegations, risk assessment and medical issues.
Strengths: “He’s a heavyweight in children matters who is empathetic, expert in his field, knowledgeable and powerfully persuasive.”
Chambers & Partners 2018

Has expertise in both public and private children proceedings. He possesses great experience of handling complex cases concerning abuse and relocation.
Strengths: “Tenacious, hardworking and willing to push the boundaries for his clients.” Chambers & Partners 2017

Equally adept at dealing with both public and private law children cases. His expertise includes serious physical abuse and child abduction matters. He is respected by his peers for his work ethic and tenacity.
Strengths: “He is a very capable opponent, who is a good cross-examiner and persuasive in negotiations. He’s a very reasonable opponent and a good person to do business with.” “Dedicated and tenacious. He will leave no stone unturned.”
Chambers & Partners 2016

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Midlands Circuit
Inner Temple

Notable Cases

H (A Child : Hair Strand Testing)[2017] EWFC 64

SW & TW (Human Rights Claim: Procedure) (No1)[2017] EWHC 450 (Fam)

In The Matter Of R (An Infant) [2016] EWFC 60

Barnet London Borough Council v AL & 9 Ors [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam)

SL Permission: Barnet London Borough Council v AL & 9 Ors [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam)

Medway Council v MI & Ors [2016] EWFC 74

Re (1) AD (2) AM (Children)[2016] EWHC 326 (Fam)

C (Children) [2016] EWFC B45

H v A (No.2) [2015] EWHC 2630 (Fam)

RY v Southend Borough Council [2015] EWHC 2509 (Fam)

Re M (A Child) [2015] EWFC 71

G (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 119

Re G (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 119

Re AK and MK (Fact finding: physical injuries) [2013] EWHC 3158 (Fam)

Re L [2012] EWHC 3069 (Fam)

A Local Authority and C and D and A & B (by their Childrens Guardian) [2012] EWHC 1975 (Fam)

A Local Authority v C [2011] EWHC 231 (Fam)

F and L v A Local Authority and A [2009] EWHC 140 (Fam), [2009] 2 FLR 1312, Hedley J.
[2008] EWHC 2640 (Admin); (2009) 1 FLR 311

R (on the application of (1) Ainsworth T (2) Thermutis T (3) S v Newham London Borough Council (2008)
1 FLR 152, [2006] EWHC 326 (Fam)

Lambeth London Borough Council (applicant) v (1) S (2) C (3) v (4) J (by his children’s guardian n) (respondents) & (1) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2) Secretary of State for the Home Department (intervenors) [2007]

B County Council v R [2007] EWHC 2742 (Fam); (2008) 1 FLR 1252

Re L (Special Guardianship: Surname) 2 FLR 50, CA [2007] EWCA Civ 196