Kerry Cockayne

Call 2002
Barristers23 Kerry Cockayne


Kerry specialises in children law and accepts instructions in all areas of public and private law children cases, with experience in representing local authorities, parents, extended family members, the Official Solicitor, children’s guardians and competent children.

Kerry graduated in Law with Spanish from the University of Sheffield in 2001 and was called to the Bar in 2002. Kerry joined chambers as tenant in 2004 after successful completion of her pupillage.

From 2010 – 2019 Kerry was a Senior Tutor at the University of Law in Birmingham teaching part time on the Bar Professional Training Course. She was responsible for the delivery of the Family Option on the course and the assessment of key skills. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an accredited advocacy trainer by the Bar Standards Board. Kerry was also engaged by the Bar Standards Board as a standard setter for the Bar Ethics and Civil Litigation exams and was consulted in assessing the rigour, marking and in the moderation of those assessments.

Kerry is a member of chambers’ Management Committee and a pupil supervisor.

Kerry was appointed a Deputy District Judge to the Midland Circuit in May 2020 and sits in both Civil and Family (Private and Public Law) jurisdictions.

Practice Areas

Cases & Publications

Recent Cases

Parental alienation: Representing a father facing false allegations that he had inappropriately touched and physically assaulted his daughter in protracted CAO (contact) proceedings. Successfully resisted the allegations at a 5-day fact find hearing and secured a contact order permitting the father to see children he had not seen for over 2 years. Case became public law proceedings in the face of mother’s continued obstruction and in the light of harm caused by her to the children including through her implacable hostility to the father’s contact. Final Care Orders after a 7 day hearing with youngest child placed with father, middle child plan to transition to him after therapy, and eldest in long term foster care.

Vulnerable intervenor: Instructed by the Official Solicitor in public law proceedings to represent a grandmother considered as part of a list of possible perpetrators of bruising injuries to a young child, the client requiring assistance of both an interpreter and intermediary at Court over the course of a 10-day hearing.

Domestic Violence: Representing a mother as respondent to an application for CAO (contact) who alleged the father had caused physical injuries to the children during contact, and further emotional harm and domestic violence during their relationship. Successfully proved the relevant allegations as true at a 3-day fact find hearing. Further represented at Final Hearing where indirect only contact was recommended by the Section 7 report prepared by the Local Authority.

Rule 16.4: Represented the Children’s Guardian at a 3-day Fact Find hearing, appointed in private law proceedings to assist the Judge where both parties were unrepresented and made serious cross allegations of violence.

Revocation of Placement Order: Successful application for leave on behalf of a mother and substantively after a contested 4 day hearing against opposition from all professionals. A plan for child to be rehabilitated was secured.

Reported Cases

Re P (Notice of care proceedings to father without parental responsibility) [2019] EWFC 13

Kerry appeared for the child in a case involving an issue as to whether the father should be informed of the care proceedings where there were issues of child sexual exploitation. HHJ Bellamy had directed "experienced counsel" appear on behalf of the child specifically to assist him on a law and human rights analysis.


To MIAM or not to MIAM? A word on exemption: Amendments to Family ADR Part 3 FPR

Transparency: a clearer view

Supporting Families following Care Proceedings: Supervision Orders and Beyond

Vulnerable parties in hearings where Domestic Abuse is an issue: new Guidance for the new normal

Happy New Year? The end of the transition period

Barristers23 Kerry Cockayne

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