Madeleine Whelan

Specialist in:

Maddie is regularly instructed in complex private law matters, including those involving relocations, domestic abuse, implacable hostility, sexual harm and parental alienation. Maddie has experience in lengthy private fact-findings which include the instruction and challenge of expert evidence.

Maddie is particularly interested in new family forms, including LGBTQ+ families, IVF, surrogacy and other non-traditional family models; she recently authored an article entitled “Saviour Siblings: the role of the welfare principle within the law of assisted reproductive technology in England and Wales” which can be found in the FLJ January [2021] Fam Law 81; February [2021] Fam Law 252.

Maddie has been led by a senior member of chambers in the High Court in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse leading to contraction of STDs in children. More recently, she was led in a case involving catastrophic injury suffered by a child in a complex and lengthy fact-finding hearing spanning some eight months.

Maddie maintains an active public law practice in her own right, acting for parents, children’s guardians and interveners in cases involving neglect, injury, domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems. She is comfortable in contested hearings involving expert and lay evidence. Maddie recently co-authored an article aimed at assisting local authorities deal with cases of relinquishment entitled “Relinquishing a baby for adoption: the legal framework for local authorities” which can be found in the FLJ August [2020] Fam Law 1084.

Reported cases
30th January 2020

A & Others (Fact Finding) [2020] EWFC 108

Chris Stevenson, leading Madeleine Whelan, represented the father in this re-hearing of a Fact-Finding Hearing before Theis J following a successful appeal in B (Children: Uncertain Perpetrator) [2019] EWCA Civ 575. The Court found the intervenor had infected the subject children with Neisseria gonorrhoea, and there was no failure to protect on the part of the parents


Maddie accepts instructions in family finance work and has experience at all stages of matrimonial finance disputes, including negotiating to settlement and contested hearings.

Maddie has a keen interest in proceedings with an international element, including private law proceedings where a parent seeks permission to remove a child from the jurisdiction on either a temporary or permanent basis, and abduction proceedings.


Law (MA), University of Cambridge, 2019
BPTC, BPP University Law School, 2017 (Very Competent)
Law (BA), University of Cambridge, 2016
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Erasmus Year, 2015


Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn, 2016
Wolfson Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn, 2016
4x4 Advocacy Scholar, BPP University, 2017
Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Prize, Lincolns Inn, 2017

Professional Memberships

Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn