Poonam Bhari Family

Call: 1999

Introduction

Poonam’s practice comprises of Family and Court of Protection law casework. This includes the following:

  • Applications for residence, contact, specific issues and prohibited steps orders
  • Emergency protection, care/supervision orders and secure accommodation orders
  • Adoption
  • Leave to remove from the jurisdiction and child abduction
  • Applications under the Family Law Act 1996
  • Divorce, judicial separation and nullity
  • Financial remedies, financial provision pursuant to schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, and applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
  • Court of Protection cases concerning vulnerable adults.

Poonam has experience of acting for parties, at various levels of court, from the FPC to the Court of Appeal, in public law children and in private law children matters, including cases where there are allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injuries and non-compliance with contact orders. She also deals with financial remedies cases and property disputes including written advice and court work. Poonam has experience of working with clients who have mental health and learning difficulties and clients from minority ethnic groups. Poonam acts for local authorities, parents, the official solicitor and children through their children’s guardians in care cases.

Poonam has also been involved in cases with an international element, having appeared in leave to remove from the jurisdiction and child abduction cases and cases involving overseas adoption and asylum seeking families.

Poonam has previously represented appellants and the Home Office in immigration hearings before the Tribunal in relation to both asylum and human rights claims.

Poonam has recently been interviewed regarding special guardianships orders by LexisNexis; the full interview can be found here.

(1)A (2) B -and- (1) A LOCAL AUTHORITY (2) C (through his Guardian) – [2014] EWHC 4816 (Fam). The full judgment can be found here.

Poonam has also undertaken criminal cases from 2000 to 2005.

Prior to joining the Bar, Poonam worked as a schoolteacher and a special educational needs co-coordinator.

Poonam can speak and take instructions in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu.

Memberships:

  • Bar Council (Elected Member 2006 – 2008) Member of GMC & various committees
  • FLBA (Family Law Bar Association) FLBA committee member 2006 -2008
  • Legal Action Group (Charity) Chair of Board of Trustees; Trustee 2005 to date
  • FRSA
  • West London Law Society

Family Finance Team

Poonam represents clients in financial remedies proceedings and in cases concerning property disputes including drafting written advice and court work.

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Private Law Children and Domestic Abuse

Poonam has been involved in cases with an international element having appeared in leave to remove from the jurisdiction & child abduction cases as well as proceedings involving overseas adoption and asylum seeking families. Poonam acts in private law children proceedings. She is a qualified mediator, having completed mediation training accredited by the Open College Network London Region.

Poonam represents clients in cases concerning allegations of domestic abuse/violence. Poonam was a speaker at the American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting 2007 in San Francisco at a session titled 'Families, Culture and the Law' which explored the impact on children of witnessing domestic violence. Poonam has represented Local Authorities in proceedings concerning allegations of forced marriage.

Reported Cases:

Re O (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1955 (An appeal in respect of leave to permanently remove a child from the jurisdiction).

Re O (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1576 (Permission to appeal hearing. The father opposed the permanent removal of his daughter from the jurisdiction. The child did not want to leave the jurisdiction. Leave to appeal and permission to obtain an updating Cafcass report was granted. It was not deemed necessary to join the child as a party).

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Public Law Care and Adoption

Poonam has extensive experience of public law children proceedings. She acts for Local Authorities, parents and children, through their Children's Guardian at various levels of Court, including the Court of Appeal.

Poonam has been involved in cases concerning allegations of non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse, cases where one parent has been killed by the other parent and the death of a child. She regularly acts for clients who have mental health and learning difficulties and clients from minority ethnic groups.

Reported Cases:

Re C (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 72 (The Court of Appeal upheld a first instance decision that a paternal grandmother aged 70 years could care for her grandson aged 5 years. The decision had been appealed by the children's guardian, supported by the local authority. Poonam represented the father.)

‎Birmingham City Council v Sarfraz Riaz and others [2014] EWHC 4247 (Fam).

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