Robin Powell

Specialist in:

Robin’s experience in private law children matters now focuses on the international movement of children, child abduction and relocation. Robin is experienced with proceedings involving the 1980 and 1996 Hague Convention and Brussels II. He has experience in forced marriage cases.

Reported cases
17th September 2013 | Bailii

M (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1131

Appeal arising from Hague Convention proceedings in which the High Court Judge at first instance made an order for DNA paternity testing of the child. The Court of Appeal held such direction to be premature, and instead that the Court should have awaited the outcome of expert evidence in relation to Latvian law to establish whether the respondent father had a “right of custody” without the need for the father to be a biological parent


Robin came to the Bar after a successful career in local authority social services where he worked in child protection and mental health. With this experience, he built a practice specialising in cases of learning disability, mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction and allegations of serious sexual abuse and physical injury.

Reported cases
9th May 2019

A Local Authority v A Mother & Others [2019] EWCA Civ 799

Robin Powell, representing the Local Authority, successfully appealed against a finding made by the Judge at first instance that four rib fractures suffered by a baby were sustained accidentally by overlying while co-sleeping with her mother. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and remitted the case for rehearing. To read a full case summary, please click here

21st May 2015 | Family Law Week

W-J (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 788

Appeal against ICO; injunction under Human Rights Act 1998, to keep mother and child together, considered. Appeal dismissed.

14th December 2012 | Jordans

Royal Borough of Greenwich v O [2013] 2 FLR 1449

Baby exchange scam in Nigeria. DNA test confirmed the parents were not the biological parents of the baby. Parents found to be innocent of any wrongdoing. Which future placement was in the best interests of the baby?

14th December 2012 | Jordans

Re D (Nigerian Fertility Clinic: Fact-Finding) [2013] 2 FLR 1417

Fact-finding hearing regarding a baby-exchange scam in Nigeria. DNA test confirmed the parents were not the biological parents of the baby. The question was whether the parents had knowingly participated in the scam.

14th December 2012 | Bailii

Re D (A Child) [2012] EWHC 4231 (Fam)

Coleridge J considered whether parents were complicit in bringing a young baby to the UK from Nigeria and holding him out as their own. Robin Powell successfully represented the parents, the Court finding that they were in fact duped and entirely innocent

29th June 2010 | Bailii

Re GR (Children) & Others [2010] EWCA Civ 871

Unsuccessful appeal by Local Authority from Recorder’s order refusing interim care orders in relation to the two youngest (of four) children where the Recorder had granted interim care orders in relation to the older children.

15th March 2007 | Bailii

G & B (Children) [2007] EWCA Civ 358

Robin Powell, instructed by the Local Authority, successfully defended an appeal brought against the Court’s decision to make Placement Orders in respect of two children, despite errors made by the Local Authority during the substantive proceedings


Robin’s practice in the Court of Protection includes deprivation of liberty, appointment and removal of deputies, statutory wills and provision of funding and accommodation.

His experience in medical law has led him to accept invitations to join the Ethics Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Ethics Committee of the Institute of Psychoanalysis.

Robin has extensive experience in trusts of land and claims brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. He recently successfully represented the mother of a child in an application under Schedule 1 and ToLATA to hold the family home in trust for the 16-year-old daughter of the parties until the conclusion of the child’s university education and thereafter as a life interest to the mother.

Robin’s practice increasingly concerns the international jurisdiction and he has represented clients from throughout the European Union, the United States of America, Russia, China, Ghana, Nigeria, Somalia, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. He has particular experience in the meaning and effect of Nikah Nama in Sharia law and its impact in domestic proceedings.

Reported cases
7th January 2022 | Bailii

Re A-M (A child)(1980 Hague Convention) [2021] EWCA Civ 998

An appeal by the mother against an order for summary return was granted because the judge at first instance failed to give reasons for his finding that the child would not be at risk of grave harm despite a video of the father making threats to kill the child and the mother making allegations of the father threatening to kill her and her children during episodes of heavy drinking.

17th September 2013 | Bailii

M (A child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1131

Paternity testing in abduction case.



Ethics Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Safeguarding Board of the Institute of Psychoanalysis

Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Administrative Law Bar Association
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, TECBar
Member, APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
Member, ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers)

Data Protection

Robin Powell's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) registration number is Z9331076.
Please see here for his Data Privacy Notice.