• Member of the Queen’s Counsel selection panel (2018-2022)
  • Bencher Middle Temple (2011) (Co-Chair Temple Women’s Forum 2013-2018; Chair of Bench Selection Advisory Committee 2018-2022)
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Justice (independent charity, working to advance access to justice, human rights and the rule of law)
  • Bar Council Ethics Committee (joined 2009, VC 2016, Chair 2017-2020)
  • Chair of the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2019

Instructing Rachel Langdale KC

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0)20 7242 3555.

Rachel Langdale KC undertakes Children Law cases (public, private and international), Judicial Review and Public Inquiries.

Legal Expertise

Family Law

In acting for parents and interveners in care proceedings, Rachel Langdale KC has extensive experience in presenting and challenging complex medical evidence. She is regularly instructed where causing death or serious injury is alleged. She has significant expertise in calling and cross-examining complainants of sexual abuse (with or without the use of a witness intermediary) and frequently acts on behalf of vulnerable adults.

Rachel is instructed in appellate work and has argued jurisdictional points at first instance on behalf of individuals and public authorities. Her advice has been sought upon the need (or otherwise) for anticipatory injunctions to be obtained in circumstances where there is media interest in a case. She has advised surrounding the use of the inherent jurisdiction and wardship; safeguarding procedure and practice; applications of policy and the provision of services. She also undertakes relocation cases, and provides a committed service to those she represents.

Notable Family Law cases

Re: BR and others (Transparency Order: Finding of Fact Hearing) [2023] EWFC 9

Reporting an order in a transparency pilot scheme, permitting accredited journalists to report on family proceedings normally held in private. Poole J adopted the template Transparency Order attached to the President’s Guidance, with some variations, to be used in an upcoming Family Court fact-finding hearing. The template, which could be amended, did not overturn the Children Act 1989 s.97 which provided that nothing could be published which identified a child in the proceedings.

A v B [2023] 3 WLUK 621

The Court of Appeal affirmed Mrs. Justice Knowles’ rejection of a move to import criminal concepts into fact finding cases in the family courts, specifically with regards to allegations of sexual abuse between two adults. Parliament had comprehensively considered the Family Court's approach to domestic abuse during the passage of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 into law.

AA v BB, Coventry City Council, XX (by his Children’s Guardian) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] WL 04134567

Re S (2020) EWCA Civ 515

SR (a child) [2018] EWCA Civ 2738

Re (a child) [2016] EWCA Civ 793, Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

Prospective adoptive parents appealed against the making of a special guardianship order in favour of the paternal grandparents.

Nottingham City Council v (1) LM (2) SD (3) M (by his Children’s Guardian) [2014] EWCA Civ 152

Appeal against Article 15 Brussels II Revised transfer request.

Medway Council v (1) M v (2) F v (3) G (by her Children’s Guardian) [2014] EWHC 308 (Fam)

Theis J, withdrawal of application for a care order.

Re J (A Child) (Learning Disabled Parent) [2013]

Defeat of application for a placement order.

Re AB (A Child) [2012] C/A EWCA Civ 858

Appeal surrounding nature and scope of Article 56 Brussels II Revised.

Re C [2012] EWCA Civ 858

Moylan J, jurisdictional argument surrounding orders in Englishand Belgian Court (Article 12(3) Brussels II Revised).

Re B (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 858

Appeal on behalf of mother in respect of transfer of residency to paternal grandmother.

Re T (Intervener) [2011]

Securing discharge of client as party and witness upon the basis of human rights arguments.


Public Law

Rachel Langdale KC is currently instructed as counsel to the Thirlwall Inquiry. The terms of reference are available here.

Rachel was instructed as leading counsel in the Lambeth investigation (2018-2021) in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. She acted for the South Staffordshire PCT in the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2010-2012).

Rachel has acted for local authorities and individuals in lengthy Inquiries surrounding the plight of children in care. She has also scrutinised the investigations or actions of statutory authorities in the context of judicial review and in the context of allegations made in the Care Standards Tribunal. Rachel provides a committed service to those she represents.

Notable Public Law cases

Lead counsel Lambeth investigation, IICSA (2018-2021)

Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2010-2012)

The Waterhouse (North Wales) Inquiry (1997-1998)

The Leicestershire (Beck) Inquiry (1992)


Inquests & Inquiries

Rachel Langdale KC is currently instructed as counsel to the Thirlwall Inquiry. The terms of reference are available here.

Rachel Langdale KC was instructed as leading counsel in the Lambeth investigation (2018-2021) in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. She acted for the South Staffordshire PCT in the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2010-2012).

Rachel has acted for local authorities and individuals in lengthy Inquiries surrounding the plight of children in care. She has also scrutinised the investigations or actions of statutory authorities in the context of judicial review and in the context of allegations made in the Care Standards Tribunal. Rachel provides a committed service to those she represents.


  • Member of the Queen’s Counsel selection panel (2018-2022)
  • Bencher Middle Temple (2011) (Co-Chair Temple Women’s Forum 2013-2018; Chair of Bench Selection Advisory Committee 2018-2022)
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Justice (independent charity, working to advance access to justice, human rights and the rule of law)
  • Bar Council Ethics Committee (joined 2009, VC 2016, Chair 2017-2020)
  • Chair of the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2019

Instructing Rachel Langdale KC

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0)20 7242 3555.

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Please visit our direct access page for the initial steps on instructing a barrister, or contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7242 3555.

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