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Jonathan mainly practises in public law care proceedings, but also other family and local authority proceedings involving children.


Acts on behalf of all parties in care proceedings and specialises in non-accidental injury cases with complex forensic evidence. He has recently appeared before the President in a contested adoption application and handled a 12-day sexual abuse hearing.

"He is good at representing a whole range of clients, from parents to children and local authorities, at all levels. He is realistic in the advice he gives and his clients listen to him." "Jonathan is always available, helpful and calm." Chambers and Partners 2022

“Is a very competent safe pair of hands who is always calm under pressure." Legal 500 2021

"He adopts a calm, clear approach to difficult matters and is able to build a strong relationship with the client." – Chambers and Partners 2021

Strengths: “He is very dogged in his endeavours to get to the bottom of matters during cross-examination and is very technically sound.” Chambers and Partners 2018

Jonathan is ranked by Chambers and Partners 2016 as a leading junior in the category of Family / Matrimonial, wherein it is said: “Jonathan Bennett is described as a ‘straight talking and astute’ child care practitioner. He is one of the leading names at the set.”

Jonathan Bennett     The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms


  • Family Law Journal, May 2001 Number 6, Article on Legal Representation in Care Proceedings – a commentary on the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re B and T (Care Proceedings: Legal Representation) [2001] 1 FLR 485

Selected cases

  • M-F (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 991 (15 July 2014)
  • R (A Child), Re Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 12 June 2013 [2013] EWCA Civ 899
  • A Local Authority v K Family Division, 11 October 2011 [2011] EWHC 2581 (Fam); [2012] 1 F.L.R. 765; [2012] Fam. Law 124
  • C (A Child) Court of Appeal Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWCA Civ 535 – an appeal against a finding that the Mother was responsible for non-accidental injuries made by a judge effectively without notice to the parties at the disposal hearing, when a different judge had been unable to decide which of the parents was responsible for the causation of the injuries at a previous fact-finding hearing
  • A Local Authority v K And Others [2011] EWHC 2581 (Fam) [2012] 1 FLR 765 – case involving the death of a child where the President decided that no fact-finding hearing was necessary or appropriate
  • Re A (A Child) Court of Appeal Neutral Citation Number: [2007] EWCA Civ 1058 [2008] 1 FLR 1423 – a case involving non-accidental injury and whether a judge’s finding that both parents were responsible for causing injury independently to a child was sustainable, as well as a reminder to Counsel to seek any amplification of findings required at the fact-finding hearing
  • Re Brandon Webster (a child) sub nom Norfolk County Council v Nicola Webster & 5 ors (2006), [2006] EWHC 2733 (Fam), (2007) EMLR 7 : (2007) 1 FLR 1146 : (2007) HRLR 3, High Court – concerning the right to hold care proceedings with the media admitted, and to publicise the details of the case generally
  • Re Brandon Webster (A CHILD) sub nom Norfolk County Council v (1) Nicola Webster (2) Mark Webster (3) Brandon Webster (A Child by his Children’s Guardian ) (2006), [2006] EWHC 2898 (Fam), High Court – concerning the right to instruct further medical experts in complex care proceedings
  • In Re R (A Child) (Adoption: Contact) 15th September 2005 Times Law Reports, [2006] 1 FLR 373, Court of Appeal – the principles to be applied for leave to apply applications under s.10 Children Act 1989 as applied to adoption cases
  • SH and RH v Suffolk CC Neutral Citation Number: [2003] EWHC 429 (Fam) High Court Family Division – appeal from a FPC – the court (Sumner J) made useful comments about the type of case which Magistrates should hear, and over what length of hearing
  • Re B and T (Care Proceedings: Legal Representation) [2001] 1 FLR 485, Court of Appeal, – the right to legal representation under the Human Rights Act in care proceedings
  • Northamptonshire CC v Islington BC [1999] 2 FLR 881, 2000) 2 WLR 193 (care/ designation of local authority under Children Act 1989), Court of Appeal
  • Re G (Adoption: Illegal Placement) [1995] 1 FLR 403, Court of Appeal Re R (A Minor) (Contempt) [1994] 2 FLR 185, Court of Appeal Re SW (A Minor) (Care Proceedings) [1993] 2 FLR 609 Re W (A Minor) (Secure Accommodation Order) [1993] 1 FLR 692

Areas of Expertise


  • Huddersfield New College, Trinity Hall Cambridge (MA Hons)

Scholarships & Awards

  • Legal Services Commission Funding Review and Special Cases (including High Cost Cases) Committee Member  

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