Janine Richards


Currently not available to receive instructions.


Janine has specialised in public law work with a particular interest in cases involving contested medical and psychological evidence. She is experienced in acting for local authorities, parents, grandparents and other family members, children directly and through their Children’s Guardian. She also has experience of acting for those under a disability necessitating the involvement of the Official Solicitor

Janine has previously accepted instructions in very complex private law matters, and has been involved in cases involving severe domestic abuse, and including allegations of sexual abuse and rape. Her experience in cases involving hostility to contact, includes a case in which the correct approach to such cases, in particular the use of s.91(14), was considered by the then President of the Family Division.

Janine is known for her robust approach and the ability to deliver advice sensitively and comprehensively to those who may be struggling with the Court process

Janine has experience in several high profile fatal injury cases, as well as dealing with multiple injury cases including head/brain injury, fractures, burns/scalds, bites, drug poisoning, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, mental health and addiction problems. She has acted in several cases of alleged FII. She also has a particular interest in learning disability cases and supporting very vulnerable clients.


Recent Cases

Re G (2019) – acted for parent where a Local Authority had on the advice of an independent expert separated siblings and terminated their contact with each other contrary to the care plan presented to the court at the final hearing. LA, expert and independent reviewing officer subsequently faced very serious criticism. 

Re B (2019) – acted for parent in contested care proceedings where Local Authority plan was to remove and separate large sibling group on the basis of parental addiction and alleged chronic emotional and educational neglect. Case ultimately ran for 10 days. Court was persuaded not to endorse the care plan proffered by the LA and the children remained together in parental care under a care order and with a comprehensive support package. 

Re J (2019) – acted for children on the instructions of their Children’s Guardian in a case of significant inflicted injuries (fractures) where the Guardian did not support the care plans of the Local Authority for adoption of the children. Subsequent to the fact finding hearing secured an updated psychological assessment of a parent. 

Re H (2018) – acted for a parent against who allegations of rape had been made. After a fully contested hearing involving contested psychological evidence secured an independent assessment of the parent’s capacity to care for, and to exercise unsupervised contact with, the child, and ultimately a defined contact order in the parent’s favour. 


1995 Lincoln’s Inn



Judicial Appointments

Deputy District Judge 2022

HM Assistant Coroner for Darlington and Durham 2022

Fee paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal assigned to the Health, Education and Social care Chamber (SEND) 2022



Family Law Bar Association

North Eastern Circuit

Practice Areas