David Sharp

Specialist in:

David also acts in private cases including child arrangements, changes of name and other specific issues and prohibited steps orders. He specialises in leave to remove from the jurisdiction. He has, amongst others, dealt with relocation to France, Spain, Ireland, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, Canada, Tanzania, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Israel. Instability in the country concerned did not prevent David securing leave (examples include the last 3 countries mentioned).

David has acted for many years for local authorities, parents and guardians in public law proceedings, being involved in a number of important guideline cases and dealing with serious and complex sexual and physical abuse allegations.  He appeared in Re K & H [2006] EWCA Civ 1898, the guideline case on interim care orders.

Reported cases
17th February 2022 | Bailii

Re: L (Fact-Finding Hearing: Fairness) [2022] EWCA Civ 169

A judge is at liberty to depart from the Local Authority threshold document in making findings of fact against a parent, including a finding of a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour, so long as a parent has a reasonable opportunity to put his case on any additional matters and there is procedural fairness. The further the findings of fact deviate from the threshold document the more caution must be shown in ensuring fairness to the parent.

7th August 2020 | Bailii

KN (A Child) (Art 15 Transfer) [2020] EWCA Civ 1002; [2021] 1 FLR 617

David’s successful appeal against a decision, of the Court’s own motion, by HHJ Wright at the CFC to transfer care proceedings to France under Brussels IIA, Article 15. He represented the Mother, who opposed the transfer. The Court of Appeal agreed with David, for a range of reasons, that the French Court was not better placed to hear the case and the transfer would not be in the best interests of the 13 year old boy, who was the subject of the proceedings. The Court also allowed the appeal on the basis that the Court below had not given sufficient notice to the parties it was contemplating the transfer, as required by FPR 12.64. In addition, the Court of Appeal gave important guidance on the proper use of Articles 55 and 56 of Brussels IIA.

2nd April 2020 | Bailii

N (A Local Authority) v RK & Others [2020] EWFC 25

In a ‘remote’ final hearing of care proceedings, Mostyn J approved the Local Authority’s care plan for the child, EK, to be made subject to Care and Placement Orders. David Sharp represented the child, through his Children’s Guardian. For Eleanor Clotworthy‘s article on the procedural issues raised by conducting the hearing remotely by Skype for Business, published online by “It’s a Lawyer’s Life”, please click here

This was the first full tirla of care proceedings by Skype.

23rd January 2020 | Bailii

Hertfordshire County Council v AK and another [2020] EWHC 139 (Fam)

Deprivation of liberty orders should only be made if a child’s current circumstances justify the making of one. They should not be made on a contingent or anticipatory basis for such unspecified time when a child’s circumstances deteriorate.

1st May 2015

Re B (Leave to Defend Adoption) [2015]

David represented the prospective adopters in the sequel to the well known Supreme Court case, in which adoption was described as “the last resort” to be confined to cases where “nothing else will do”.

20th December 2006

In the Matter of K & H (Children) [2006] EWCA Civ 1898

Children are not to be removed from parents under an interim care order unless it was in the interests of their safety and a high standard had to be met and applied

30th July 1992

W v Hertfordshire County Council [1993] 1 FLR 118

Care — Care proceedings — Children Act 1989 — Local authority applying for interim care orders for three children — Justices declining to make orders in respect of two children — Justices announcing decision without stating findings of fact or reasons — Whether decision vitiated — Whether matter should be remitted for rehearing — Family Proceedings Courts (Children Act 1989) rules 1991, r 21(5),(6)


David has conducted a large number of multi-million pound cases; assets include complicated offshore and discretionary trust arrangements, share option schemes, large scale property portfolios, farms and even a medieval priory.  David handled the Mareva proceedings in the case of Clark v Clark, which became front page news in the national press, and represented the estate of Chigusa Maeda Turner, whose murder by her husband, in Venezuela, also made national news.

David also deals in Inheritance Act cases and cases under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

David has advised and/or represented clients in well over 80 cohabitation cases concerning the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, a significant number also involving proceedings under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. He has had only three adverse results in all this time, which he hopes one day to get over!

David advises and represents clients in cases involving the inherent jurisdiction, child abduction, international adoptions and in various kinds of case with an international element.

What the directories say

David is a very strong advocate who always has a thorough grasp of all the documents in a given case. His legal knowledge is incredible.
The Legal 500 2024



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Professional Qualifications


Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
New South Wales Bar

Data Protection

David Sharp's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) registration number is Z4705873.
Please see here for his Data Privacy Notice.