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Council composition

To ensure an appropriate spectrum of of experience and skills, the membership of the Council includes:

  • Members of the judiciary
  • Members of the legal professions
  • Civil servants concerned with the administration of the family courts
  • Persons with experience in and knowledge of healthcare
  • Persons with experience in and knowledge of social care
  • Persons able to represent the interests of particular users of family courts (such as parents groups and children’s groups)

Full Family Justice Council Membership

President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane

Mrs Justice Theis, High Court Judge

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division (pictured left)

Deputy Chair
Mrs Justice Theis, High Court Judge (pictured right)

Appointed Members

Members’ biographies
Jenny BeckJenny Beck – Private Law Solicitor

Appointed: 2 January 2020

Jenny specialises in all areas of private family law including children and finances for married and unmarried families. She has particular expertise in more complex cases involving allegations of harm including domestic abuse and parental alienation. She is actively involved in the promotion of access to justice for all.
Annie Bertram – Parents and Families Representative

Appointed: 1 November 2018

“Annie” is a former care leaver and birth mother who experienced several sets of legal proceedings in respect of her own children, including a new-born removal. Annie recognised the local authority’s concerns and worked hard to make changes in her life resulting in the successful rehabilitation home of her baby and some of her older children. Annie now writes “Surviving Safeguarding: A parent’s guide to the child protection process”, runs her own training and consultancy business where she helps other local authorities and organisations and works as a Social Care Trainer for Strengthening Practice, a relational based social work training company. Annie is a pseudonym to protect her own identity and that of her children.
Jaime CraigJaime Craig – Child Mental Health Specialist

Appointed: 1 July 2016

Dr Jaime Craig is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked as an expert witness predominantly in the family courts for the post 18 years, assessing both children and adults. He also works consulting to children’s homes and schools, and in direct assessment and therapeutic work with adults, children and families in independent practice. He has a background in specialist child and adolescent mental health services and chaired the National Committee for the Children and Young People British Psychological Society.
DJ Judith CrispDJ Judith Crisp – District Judge

Appointed: 1 June 2018

Judith Rosemary Crisp was admitted as a Solicitor in 1993. She was appointed as a Fee-paid Legal Member of the Family Health Service Appeal Tribunal in 2002, becoming a Fee-paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal, Health Education and Social Care Chamber (Primary Health Lists) in 2010. She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2007 and District Judge in 2014. She sits in the CJC Manchester solely within the Family Jurisdiction and covers Public and Private law and Financial remedy complex work. She also is a tutor for the Judicial College.
Maud Davis Maud Davis – Public Law Solicitor

Appointed: 17 October 2016

Maud Davis qualified as a solicitor in 1990, became accredited by the Law Society in children law in 1996, and is a higher court advocate (civil). She specialises in representing children in complex care cases. She
joined Freemans Solicitors in 2019, after almost 20 years as a partner in other firms.  She specialises in children law, in particular representing children in complex care cases.
Maud is an honorary vice life president of the Association of Lawyers for Children and co-chairs the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children. She regularly provides training and writes on family law.
Colette DuttonColette Dutton – Assistant Director of Children’s Services

Appointed: 1 August 2017

A social work graduate with over 20 years’ public-sector experience I have undertaken several senior leadership roles across local authority areas and nationally with Cafcass. The posts have encompassed a plethora of service areas from the courts to early help and children’s social care. Passionate about putting children and young people at the centre of all we do, I have used this to drive significant improvements in the quality of services delivered and most importantly to outcomes for children. A skilled and experienced senior leader I have successfully challenged conventional thinking at a range of local, regional and national forums and boards and have a special interest in Adoption. I am adept at building stakeholder relationships to provide clear vision and leadership ensuring that the child’s voice and their lived experience remain our focus. My role since 2018 is as the Director of Children’s Services at Knowsley Council.
Louise FleetLouise Fleet – Magistrate

Appointed: 1 July 2018

Louise was appointed a Magistrate in 1993 and is former Chairman of the West Glamorgan Family Panel. She is a member of the Magistrates’ Association Family Court Committee.  Before retiring in 2018 she was an auditor with the Wales Audit Office.
Rosemary HunterRosemary Hunter – Academic

Appointed: July 2016

Rosemary is Professor of Law and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Kent. Rosemary’s academic expertise is in private family law and family justice processes, access to justice, and judging and the judiciary. In family law she has undertaken major research studies with colleagues on domestic abuse and the implementation of Practice Direction 12J, out-of-court family dispute resolution (the Mapping Paths to Family Justice Project) and litigants in person in private family law cases. She chairs the Council’s Domestic Abuse Working Group and has worked with the Judicial College to produce training videos on judgecraft in relation to litigants in person.
Alison Kemp – Paediatrician
Sam Momtaz QCSam Momtaz QC – Silk

Appointed: May 2019

Sam acts in all aspects of the law relating to children. In public law Sam represents local authorities, parents, guardians and competent children. Sam has particular expertise in cases which involve risk of harm from radicalisation, death and non-accidental injuries, allegations of serious sexual abuse, child trafficking and cross examination of expert and vulnerable witnesses. In private law Sam acts in disputes between parents and other significant adults including cases involving serious harm and internal and international relocation. Sam also practices in Family-related Judicial Review and some Court of Protection cases.

HHJ Jane ProbynHHJ Jane Probyn – Circuit Judge

Appointed: 1 October 2015

Jane specialised in family law at an early stage in her career having worked as a social worker before she studied law. She was called to the Bar in 1988 and was a member of the Family Law Bar Association committee for a number of years and in 2004 was appointed the barrister member of the Family Procedure Rules Committee.

In 2003, Jane was appointed a Recorder and a Circuit Judge in 2013. Initially, Jane sat in Brighton and was transferred to the East London Family Court sitting at Croydon in 2016. She also sits as a Deputy High Court Judge. She hears a wide range of public and private law cases, much of which is complex involving serious allegations of harm. In 2015 and 2018, she established, with her colleagues, the Family Drug and Alcohol Court in Sussex and Croydon. She has been involved in a number of initiatives and is a tutor for the Judicial College training family Judges.

Stuart Smith – Justices’ Clerk

Appointed: 1 July 2016

Stuart has worked as a legal adviser in the East Midlands since 2007. He is responsible for a team of lawyers working in both Criminal and Family jurisdictions. For 6 years he has chaired the national family committee of the JCS. He was a committee member of Family Reform Judicial Engagement Group and has supported a number of HMCTS Family Reform programmes including Divorce and Public Law programmes. More recently he has been appointed as a Deputy District Judge and hold a private law ticket.
Malek Wan DaudMalek Wan Daud – Barrister

Appointed: 2 February 2011

Malek was called to the bar in 1991. He specialises in the law relating to children, in particular representing all parties in public law proceedings including, care, supervision, secure accommodation and adoption.

Malek was appointed to the FJC in 2011 and since then has been an integral part of the Council working on and delivering many of the Council workstreams over the years.

Natasha WatsonNatasha Watson – Public Law Solicitor

Appointed: 17 October 2016

Natasha Watson was appointed to the FJC as the local authority lawyer representative in 2016. A highly experienced public law specialist she heads the safeguarding and litigation legal team for Brighton and Hove City Council. Natasha co- chaired the Sussex Family Justice Board until 2016. She regularly provides policy advice to the DFE and other bodies, and has contributed to various publications concerning the development of good practice, most recently in relation to social work reports in private law proceedings, and timescales for the assessment of special guardians. Natasha currently sits on the Public Law Working Group at the invitation of the President which has made extensive recommendations to improve practice and achieve the right outcomes for families before, during and after care proceedings. The final report and recommendations will be published later this year.
Claire WebbClaire Webb – Mediator

Appointed: 14 November 2018

Claire, a solicitor for over 20 years, is the Mediator member of the Family Justice Council and believes in communication above anything else. She is Member of Law Society Family Panel, is a Family and Civil Mediator and a Collaborative Lawyer (Resolution trained). Claire has achieved Accreditation through Resolution as Specialist Family Lawyer in and has a large following of clients in the south of England. As a trained Child Inclusive Mediator, Claire believes strongly in the voice of the child and contributed to the Voice of the Child report. Claire acts a supporter to other mediators as their Professional Practice Consultant and is also a 1-2-1 peer mentor for Resolution.   She recently trained as a Parenting Co-ordinator which she feels pulls of her skills together as it enables couples who remain in conflict after their case has closed, now have a process enabling them to co-parenting more effectively by reducing conflict. Claire is currently training to be a supervisor for those in the helping professions.
Mr Justice WilliamsMr Justice Williams – High Court Judge

Appointed: 7 March 2018

Mr Justice Williams is a High Court Judge assigned to the Family Division. The Family Division hears the most complex family and Court of Protection cases in England and Wales. This includes care cases involving serious injury and sexual abuse, radicalisation. FGM and Forced Marriage, international child abduction, jurisdiction disputes, high value financial remedy claims and appeals from circuit and district judges of the Family Court.  Family Division judges also deal with the most complex medical treatment cases for children and incapacitated adults including the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment.


Ex-officio Members:

Neal Barcoe – Ministry of Justice
Melanie Carew – Cafcass
Rebecca Cobbin – HMCTS
Alistair Davey – Welsh Government
Sally Holland – Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Maria Kavanagh – Secretary to the FJC
Beatrice Longmore – Office of the Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England
Ify Okoye – Department of Education
Matthew Pinnell – CAFCASS Cymru

Executive Committee Members

Mrs Justice Theis


Neal Barcoe
Melanie Carew
Maud Davis
Malek Wan Daud
Rosemary Hunter
Sam Momtaz QC

Code of Practice

Members of the Council must abide by our Code of Practice: