Solicitor removed from injured child case over conflict of interest

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22 September 2016


Medway County and Family Court: judge concerned

Medway County and Family Court: judge concerned

A court has arranged for a woman whose child suffered “shocking” injuries at home to be represented by a new law firm in family law proceedings after her previous solicitor was found to have a conflict of interest on both professional and personal grounds.

Her Honour Judge Cameron in Medway, Kent conducted a forensic fact-finding hearing in relation to “a very worrying catalogue of injuries” sustained by the two-year-old girl while in the care of her mother and the mother’s boyfriend, LS.

In Kent County Council v S & M (Fact Finding re multiple bruises & healing fractures) [2016] EWFC B62 – which was handed down in July but only just published – the judge recorded that it was a “matter of concern” for the court that the mother’s solicitor was the same person who had represented LS during proceedings involving his own young son, “and had also actually been a neighbour of the couple and witnessed with her own eyes some violent behaviour by LS to the mother”.

She said: “Because a conflict of professional interest really seemed to have been generated by all of that, it was agreed that a new firm of solicitors for the mother needed to become involved forthwith and that occurred.”

The hearing concluded with a finding that the child suffered non-accidental injuries, but the court could not identify definitively who caused them. However, both the mother and LS were within the “pool” of possible perpetrators.



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