Kirsty Richards

Kirsty Richards

Kirsty Richards is the Head of our Family Department and a Director at National Legal Service Solicitors. She conducts a full range of family law cases with a specialist interest in all children law (private law disputes and public law cases)

She is a member of Resolution and the Association of Lawyers for Children.  Kirsty is also an accredited member of the Law Society’s Children Panel and specialises in public children law proceedings, representing children’s guardians, parents, special guardians and interveners.  She has also worked with the Official Solicitor on many cases.

Kirsty conducts all her own advocacy through to the final hearing stage wherever possible and has a variety of experience of courts within London, Greater London, Oxford, Luton, Bedford, Guildford, Chelmsford and other national locations.

She specialises in care and supervision proceedings (including all other public children law applications) and has extensive knowledge in dealing with issues of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, non-accidental injury, fictitious illness and neglect. She is very thorough in her approach to all cases she works on, whether representing the child/ren through their appointed children’s guardian or a parent/ other respondent involved in the proceedings. She deals with complex legal issues arising within her cases and has represented a child in a court of appeal case which was published in respect of the interpretation of hair strand results (drug testing).  She has also had a case at the court of appeal which resulted in guidance as to the extraction of mobile phone data concerning minor children (in the context of care proceedings when the police have not already forensically examined mobile devices).  See reported cases below for references.

Kirsty also has experience of adoption proceedings (private applications and those following care and placement proceedings) and has conducted all the advocacy achieving a positive outcome for her child/ren clients.

Aside from her active fee earning role, she supervises and manages a team of committed lawyers and also heads up the Family Department which now has a specialist Care division.  Kirsty is assisted in the management of the care department by Sheena Donlon (who joined NLS in November 2019) and there are ambitious plans in place to ensure that our specialist children panel solicitors are recognised by the judiciary, cafcass and parents as being recognised for the results secured in this area of law.  The Department has many national branches including London, Guildford, Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Middlesborough, York, Liverpool, Luton, Southampton, Gillingham, Chelmsford and there are plans to continue with the expansion and reach of the department.  Kirsty manages the supervising solicitors and provides guidance and direction as to the development of the various departments, with a focus on quality client care and provision of a high standard of legal advice.  There is a commitment from Kirsty to continue with the vision to outreach our legal services to as many vulnerable people as possible.  All the teams within the family department have the same ethos and commitment in respect of helping as many people as we can, as fast as we can and without compromising on the quality of legal advice.

Kirsty also enjoys writing articles and opinion pieces and has been published online and in hardcopy for books, newspapers, legal magazines and Journals.  She also appeared on BBC London News discussing legal aid cuts in February 2011 when the proposals were first aired by the government.

Practice areas & years of experience

Care & Family Law

Professional Memberships

Member of the Law Society’s Children Law Panel
Member of Resolution
Association of Lawyers for Children

Published cases:

Re A (a child – care order)[2017] EWCG 364 (Fam)

Re P, H-L (children)(mobile phone extraction) [2023] EWCA Civ 206

Publications & Press

Jordan’s Family Law Journal publications (articles opinion pieces & a book review):

[2023] Extracting mobile phone data: a personal view of P, H-L (children) (Mobile phone extraction)
[2022] Fam Law 393-534
[2021] Fam Law 1475-1580
[2020] Fam Law 1115-1260
[2020] Fam Law 387-532
[2019] Fam Law 93-238
[2018] Fam Law 501-638
[2018] Fam Law 639-774
[2018] Fam Law 941-1086
[2017] Fam Law 1-133
[2017] Work-Life Balance – Birmingham Law Society’s Bulletin
[2016] Fam Law 643-780
[2015] Mental Health within care proceedings – Asian Voice newspaper
[2015] Fam Law 1163-1296
[2013] Do you know a good Expert, Danny Allen (contributed a chapter within the publication)

Professional Memberships

Member of the Law Society’s Children Law Panel
Member of Resolution
Association of Lawyers for Children

Notable Cases

P,H-L (children)(mobile phone extraction) [2023] EWCA Civ 206

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