Amy Richardson

Deputy Head of Family | Called 2009

Oliver Woolhouse


Amy was called to the bar of England and Wales 2009 and has over 13 years advocacy experience and client management in a variety of areas, namely, childcare (both public and private) and high value financial dispute resolution.

Amy has operated a “dual practice” both offshore and is both a qualified Guernsey Advocate in addition to being a member of the Bar of England and Wales. Due to this Amy has had exposure to an extremely broad and high-calibre scope of work, and so can operate a varied and high-volume practice.

Prior to returning to the private bar, Amy also worked in house for a Local Authority within their child safeguarding department with a specialism in the conduct of cases with allegation of serious sexual abuse, nonaccidental injuries and neglect.

Amy has a strong and regular client base in terms of regular instructions for Local Authorities, but also for local and non-local solicitors. This has enabled Amy to grow a busy and loyal client base.

Academic and Professional organisations

Northumbria University LLB hons Law
Northumbria University Bar Vocational Course (highly commended)
University de Caen – Basse Normandie
Member of honourable society of Middle Temple
Member of West Midlands family bar association

Legal 500 Leading Junior – 2023


Training and seminars

Given her experience, Amy is regularly invited to provide seminars and training to local authorities and solicitors, and has been key in the development of training materials


Areas of Practice

Amy conducts a thriving and busy practice and is dual qualified as a member of both the bar of England and Wales and a Guernsey Advocate.

Amy is a mother to two children and was widowed and a single parent before the age of 30. This has allowed Amy the life experience be compassionate when it comes to understating how clients’ lives can be traumatic and difficult.

As a result, Amy has a passion to ensure that, as counsel, she endeavours to remove as much stress and uncertainty from the shoulders of her professional and lay clients.

Known for her down to earth and sensitive approach, Amy regularly appears in the following areas:


Amy’s expertise

Family Law

Public Law childcare

Amy is briefed by both Local authorities, parents and on behalf of children in all areas of public law childcare work.

Amy has an ability to tackle large and complex matters, and is routinely instructed as lead counsel in matters involving the following:

  • Death and serious injury
  • Fictitious illness
  • Allegations of sexual harm
  • Chronic neglect
  • Domestic abuse
  • Substance misuse
  • Cross examination of experts and vulnerable witnesses
  • “Re: W” applications

A firm believer in continuity of counsel to support both lay and professional clients, Amy is often counsel on matters from initial hearing through to finding of fact and final welfare, and is available to assist in drafting and preparation, and is always on hand to provide opinion when required
In respect of parents, Amy is regularly briefed to represent parents with challenges in terms of their cognatic function and is known for a calm and sensitive approach to particularly vulnerable clients.

Private Law childcare

Amy represents parents is all areas of private law childcare, with a specialism is cases involving allegations of:

  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Coercive and controlling behaviour
  • Parental alienation
  • Surrogacy
  • Appeals

Amy provides realistic and clear advice to parents and is recommended as having a sensitive but firm approach and the ability to listen to clients and discuss the merits of a case openly.

Forced Marriage Protection orders (“FMPO”)

Amy is regularly instructed by the police regarding FMPO and has a real passion in representing individuals who are at real risk.

These cases often call for cultural sensitivity and Amy is highly regarded for her ability to put all vulnerable clients at ease.

Financial Dispute Resolution

Given her background in offshore matrimonial law, Amy has a busy practice dealing with all areas of financial dispute resolution, particularly for high asset cases often with an international element.

From first appointment to financial dispute resolution to final hearing, Amy is often described as calm and realistic presence, who will provide balanced advice and whilst also being noted as a tenacious opponent with a good eye for detail.

  • Amy has vast experience of the following:
  • High net worth individuals
  • Pension sharing orders
  • Trusts
  • Cross examination of financial experts
  • Notice to show cause

Amy also has experience in TOLATA cases, and is often called upon to not only appear in cases of this nature, but has a busy written practice in respect of this area of law


Complex Disclosure and Public Interest Immunity

With a background in criminal law, Amy has been able to transfer her skills in terms of family cases which involve parallel criminal proceedings.

A result of this is that Amy has appeared for local authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and various police forces in matters considering complex issues of disclosure from family proceedings to the Crown prosecution service and the consideration of public interest immunity.

Court of Protection

Depravation of Liberty and court of protection (“DOLS”)

Amy accepts briefs on behalf of local authorities, family members and children in respect of DOLS applications, and has a keen interest in representing vulnerable clients and ensuring they have a “voice” within proceedings.
Local authorities not only regularly brief Amy in respect of these applications but have also sought her expertise in advice, particularly regarding arguments as to capacity.

Notable Cases

I. Represented a father public law proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault, physical neglect, emotional harm and fictious injury, all of which involved significant expert evidence and the cross examination of expert witnesses

II. Represented a local authority in case involving serious and life changing non accidental injuries with a multi “pool” of possible perpetrators, dealing with complex medical evidence and the cross examination of experts

III. Represented respondent wife in a matrimonial case, where conduct was raised an issue to be determined. Various intervenors and arguments as to complex trusts, TOLATA, transfer and alleged concealment of matrimonial property

IV. Represented a father in public law proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault, emotional and physical neglect, and parental domestic abuse, involving complex legal argument and the cross examination of police officers and expert witnesses

V. Represented a local authority in a matter of historic sexual assault and ongoing emotional and physical abuse, which involved cross examination of experts and police officers as to issues contained within forensic evidence and data recovery

VI. Represented a mother in private law proceedings involving a same sex couple, IVF treatment, parenteral responsibility, allegations of domestic abuse and parental alienation

VII. Represented a husband in a matrimonial case involving arguments as to maintenance pending suit, forensic accountancy, and arguments as to pension contributions

VIII. Represented a father in private law proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault, sexual interest in children, involvement in drug dealing and firearms offences, domestic abuse, and substance misuse

IX. Represented a mother in public law proceedings who challenged the care planning of the local authority on the basis of evidence and sustained change in a threshold bases on emotional neglect and substance misuse

X. Represented the police in application for forced marriage protection order for multiple siblings, this case involving arguments as to the redaction of evidence in public interest immunity

XI. Represented a mother from the travelling community in public law proceedings who challenged the care planning of the local authority on the basis that no consideration was given to issues of culture and cultural identity

XII. Represented the police in a public law matter relating to data recovered from mobile telephones and the reservation of police evidence

XIII. Represented a father in private law proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault, physical abuse and emotional abuse whereby there was extensive consideration of social media positing’s, local authority evidence and CCTV / police bodycam footage


Due to her varied practice and dual qualification, Amy is a regular contributor to both Counsel Magazine and Family Law Journal.

Her articles are:

  • Substituted parenting v adequate support in light of perception of risk and the duties of Local Authorities’: a cautionary tale
  • My journey to the bar via Newcastle, Guernsey and back again
  • When Local Authorities collide – the issues Section 21 vs Section 22 of the ACA 2002 in terms of placement orders and care orders when deciding who is the “designated” Local Authority

I just wanted to say thank you so much for this week. It has been a pleasure to work with you! You have been so supportive and have worked extremely hard.”

I just want to say I was really happy with my barrister at court yesterday.  She was probably the best I’ve had in any case so far over the 12 years!  She spoke up for me and said things that was relevant and pushed for the living order even after the judge said it was going to be a prohibited steps order, she asked again not long after and then it was granted, so thank you for putting her on the case.”

“I just wanted to thank both you and Amy so much. I really am truly so grateful for both of your support and representation today. You have both been wonderfully supportive and I really can’t thank you both enough”


Amy enjoys spending time with her two children and their hobbies include swimming, long walks on the beach, finding sticks, horse riding, dancing, and holding the camera for various social medial posts.

A keen historian, Amy has a degree in Norman medieval history undertaken at the University du Caen – Basse in Normandy. Amy is also interested in cryptozoology, and regularly explores forestry and caves around the UK.

Amy has been a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United and has been a season ticket holder for 30 years. In respect of her beloved Newcastle, she has not, and never will, give up hope of league or international glory.