Brendan Roche KC is a very able, committed advocate. He is friendly, calm and authoritative.
He is versatile, having had significant experience in a number of diverse areas of the law, and specialises in all types of case involving the welfare of children or vulnerable adults as well as civil actions for damages for abuse and clinical negligence.
Brendan is qualified to accept instructions directly from clients and is registered under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme, meaning that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme. For more information please visit our Direct Access page here.
Brendan is instructed around the country to appear in every type of child, or vulnerable adult, welfare case and, in particular, the most serious and complex cases involving international or difficult medical issues. In the last year, he has been instructed in several cases where children have suffered very serious brain and other injuries or died as the result of alleged abuse. He has appeared in many cases where one parent has been killed by the other. He is instructed on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians and intervening health authorities.
Brendan also appears in the Court of Protection. He sits as a Recorder in private and public family law cases and also in the civil jurisdiction. He frequently writes and lectures on the areas in which he practises. Over recent years he has lectured on female genital mutilation, child abduction, international relocation and the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Defence of parent accused of intentional suffocation of his children and inducement of allergic reaction in mother.
This is an interesting decision of Lieven J where, in agreement with the parents' submissions, she held at the pre-trial review that no purpose would be served in conducting a finding of fact trial in a case involving injuries to a very young baby. The local authority's application for permission to appeal was dismissed by Peter Jackson LJ. In this case, Brendan Roche KC (7BR), leading Helen Knott (St Mary's Family Law), acted for one of the parents, instructed by Gareth Protheroe of Nelsons Solicitors.  EWHC 3404 (Fam).Reported Judgment >
A local authority placed a looked-after child in an unregistered children's home. That placement was outside the statutory scheme established by the Children Act 1989 s.22C and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, as amended by the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. It was nevertheless open to the High Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction, in an appropriate case, to authorise the deprivation of liberty of a young person by placing them in such a placement.
Judgment of MacDonald J on 3rd November 2021 in which he held that the court would not ordinarily countenance the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction to authorise the deprivation of liberty of a child under 16 in circumstances where an unregistered placement either would not or could not comply with the requirement, contained in the President's Practice Guidance: Placements in unregistered children's homes in England or unregistered care home services in Wales (2019), to apply expeditiously for registration.
Judgment of MacDonald J on 8th September 2021 in which he decided that the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which would come into force the day after the judgment, did not remove the power of the High Court to authorise under its inherent jurisdiction the deprivation of liberty of a child under the age of 16 in a placement that is prohibited by the terms of the amended statutory scheme.
Court of Appeal decision regarding designation of local authority under s. 31(8) Children Act 1989 as qualified by s. 105(6).
Successful appeal against findings that a father had sexually abused his daughter where the evidence had been weak and obtained in police interviews that failed to comply with ABE guidance, where the allegations were strikingly similar to the repeated abuse that his daughter had much more recently suffered at the hands of her mother and her mother's partner, and where the judge had failed to assess the father's credibility in light of his denials.
Threshold: Inflicted Injury and Domestic Abuse.
Whether an interim care order made in respect of a child under the age of 17 could subsist beyond their 17th birthday.
Appeal against designation of a local authority in whose area a baby had never been present.
Re best placement of six-year-old boy whose mother had been murdered by his father.
Appeal against findings of fact in respect of injuries to six-year-old boy.
Appeal against findings of fact in respect of injuries to 10-month-old child.
Judicial review of change of care plan/removal of children from family placement under interim care order.
Appeal against judge’s refusal of father’s applications for contact, parental responsibility and change of name.
Appeal against placement order.
Appeal against interim care order.
Brendan is a friendly and sympathetic barrister, instructed predominantly by claimants in all types of clinical negligence case, including inquests where the quality of care received by the deceased is under scrutiny. His early years prosecuting and defending in the Crown Court and continuing, regular appearances in the family court have made him a first-class advocate.
Failure to diagnose brain tumour.
Hospital Mismanagement of newborn baby leading to baby’s death and psychiatric harm to parent.
Representing nursing agency at inquest into death of a drug addict.
Brendan is instructed in all types of serious personal injury cases but particularly in abuse cases and other cases where negligence is alleged against social services, schools or other organisations. His considerable experience in the family courts and understanding of the child protection system is invaluable in such cases.
Involving Forde Park Approved School, Devon; Barlavington Manor, Sussex; Tennal Assessment Centre, Birmingham; Skircoat Lodge, Halifax.
Successful defence of claim brought by social services client for breach of confidence.
Successful strike-out of claim against local authority for failure to protect children from abuse by a child known to but not in the care of the local authority.
Court of Appeal case where abuse of a child in foster care was alleged. Cited in House of Lords case of JD v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust  UKHL 23.View judgment >
House of Lords case where the existence of a duty of care to a child in care was in issue.View judgment >
Brendan has a developing interest and expertise in many aspects of Sports Law, particularly in those areas that overlap his established strengths in negligence, personal injury (including concussion) and the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. He has a keen interest in Rugby Union.
Brendan Roche is a very able, committed advocate. He is friendly, calm and authoritative. He is versatile, having had significant experience in a number of diverse areas of the law, and in particular accepts instructions for the Court of Protection in respect of both welfare and property & affairs.
Brendan acts for Ps, the Official Solicitor, family members and Local Authorities. He recently represented a Local Authority before the Vice President in a complex welfare case where P was ‘marooned’ in hospital because of a combination of her very significant personality and physical difficulties.
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