Graeme Harrison


Graeme Harrison

Call 1997 (Inner)
Qualifications BA (Hertford College, Oxford); MA (Queen’s College, Oxford); DPhil (Worcester College, Oxford); GDL (College of Law, London); BVC (ICSL)
Professional Memberships: Family Law Bar Association

Expertise


Public Law

Graeme has extensive experience in public law cases, representing local authorities, parents and other family members, and guardians. In terms of seriousness, Graeme has been instructed in cases involving neglect, domestic violence/abuse, drugs, mental health issues, learning disabilities, and non-accidental injury and death. He has appeared in all tribunals from the family proceedings court to the Court of Appeal. Graeme is regularly instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor.

Graeme has a particular interest in without notice applications in family proceedings and has contributed to lectures and training events about them, including one that was broadcast by LegalTV. Graeme has recently lectured about FGM Protection Orders.

Private Children Law

Graeme represents parents and r16.4 guardians in private law proceedings and applicants and respondents in injunctive proceedings (both FLA 1996 and PHA 1997).

Cases include:

2015

  • LA v K – represented an Afghani mother who spoke no English in care proceedings brought as a result of the mother setting fire to the family home while the child was present. Working closely with his instructing solicitor, Graeme eventually secured the return of the child to the mother’s care under a supervision order.
  • LA v K –  represented mother in care proceedings involving serious head injuries to a baby and physical injuries to older children.
  • LA v F – represented the operators of a care home in the Court of Protection in proceedings in which the local authority sought injunctions against various family members of a resident who repeatedly sought to remove her from the home despite the court having previously made orders that she should reside there.

2014

  • LA v S – represented mother in care proceedings that resulted from concerns about mother’s mental health and choice of violent partners. The LA sought placement orders for all 3 children but those applications ultimately failed and the children were returned to mother and her new partner under supervision orders.
  • LA v O – instructed by the official solicitor to represent a highly vulnerable mother in care proceedings. Mother had been targeted by her then partner who asserted, contrary to evidence about paternity, that he was the father of the relevant child.
  • F v F [2014] EWCA Civ 1474 – represented a rule 16.4 guardian in the Court of Appeal in a long-running case concerning father’s contact with 2 boys. Father’s appeal against the dismissal of his applications and the making of a section 91(14) order failed.

2013

  • LA v H – represented mother in care proceedings and twice in the Court of Appeal in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse by step-father and failure to protect by mother. The first appeal concerned a decision to remove the children from the home (step-father having vacated the property) and the second the findings made in relation to mother’s knowledge of the abuse perpetrated by step-father.

 2012

  • LA v P – represented the local authority in care proceedings involving extensive fractures to the arms and shoulders of a very young baby. Despite concerted efforts by the family and the experts they had instructed to persuade the judge that the family suffered from a genetic defect that made them abnormally susceptible to fractures, Graeme was able to persuade the court that no such defect existed and that father had deliberately injured the child.

Blog articles:

In recent years, Graeme has appeared regularly in the Court of Protection, representing local authorities, individuals, and corporate clients.

 

Graeme recently underwent training with IPSEA and hopes to expand on that training in the near future.

Practice Overview

Graeme joins us from 12 College Place Southampton, and is a specialist child law barrister. He has extensive knowledge and experience in public law, representing local authorities, parents and other family members, and children’s guardians in a large number of cases. He also has experience in private law applications and appears regularly in the Court of Protection.

Graeme is known for his calm, patient, and pragmatic approach. He has considerable experience of working with clients with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.

Graeme recently underwent training with IPSEA and hopes to expand on that training in the near future.

He is also authorised to accept public access work. He is a qualified family mediator and enthusiastic supporter of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Background

Graeme was a pupil and then tenant at College Chambers, Southampton. Before coming to the bar, Graeme studied Egyptology and received various academic awards, including a Major State Studentship from the British Academy.

Interests

Away from work, Graeme is an undistinguished epeeist, an unenthusiastic runner, and his efforts in the gym have yet to see him crowned Mr Universe. He enjoys the works of Graham Greene and 1950s and 1960s radio comedy programmes, as a result of which, many of his jokes are older than he is.