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Ryan Booth

Partner, Joint Head of the Family & Childcare Department

Kent Team

020 8299 6000
acc children law 0

Accredited member of the Law Society’s Children Pane


A highly experienced and well-respected Child Protection Solicitor and an Accredited Member of the Law Society’s Children Panel [a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing children in children law proceedings] with over 14 years of experience, regularly instructed on behalf of children, through their Children’s Guardian or competent children, parents and family members as well as providing advice to foster carers and prospective adopters. Often instructed for vulnerable parties and on behalf of the Official Solicitor, he is renowned for fierce representation by Judges and colleagues alike and conducts almost all his own advocacy at all Court levels. Representation in Care Proceedings, Special Guardianship, adoption (including inter-country) DOLs, secure accommodation applications and cases involving representation of individuals whose first language is not English.

Representation of clients nationally in the UK and worldwide, specialising in complex Child Protection Care Proceedings and on behalf of children in implacable disputes between parents where the child/ren are joined pursuant to Rule 16.4 FPR 2010. Representation on cases where there are complex issues of fact and law, and which necessarily require Leading Counsel. Cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual abuse including historical.
  • Child / adult trafficking.
  • Eastern European cases involving jurisdictional issues and Roma families.
  • Paedophile rings
  • The death of a child.
  • Shaken Baby allegations.
  • Genetic disorders mimicking child abuse.
  • Non-accidental injuries (NAI) including head injuries (NAHI), fractures and bruising.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Fabricated Induced Illness (FII).
  • Cases where there are concurrent criminal proceedings.
  • 4 Proceedings.


  • T: Children – Representation of a foster carer of over 25 years who had been accused of significant and historic sexual abuse of various foster children in his care. He and his wife had adopted a child and another subject to a Child Arrangements Order. Allegations were made that he had covertly recorded various girls in his care in the shower, drugged them with chloroform and sexually abused them in the most unimaginable ways. The case involved Leading and Junior Counsel, Cyrus Larizadeh KC and Joanne Porter and was head before Theis, J in the High Court. The evidence was extremely complex, with disputed medical evidence and necessarily involving various applications relating to disclosure, special measures given the vulnerabilities of the children/young adults who had been looked after and therefore the most vulnerable of individuals in our society and involved not only intermediaries for all the young people but also the client’s wife, who was also extremely vulnerable. The trial took place over 4 weeks. There was a concurrent criminal trial, which resulted in the client being imprisoned for 25 years. He appealed and was given a harsher sentence of 30 years. One of the most troubling cases to have been involved in both academically and emotionally.
  • B Children – Representation of children in complex Care Proceedings involving trafficked children and sex rings, involving Eastern European children who were prolifically sexually abused by men in and around various eateries in East Kent. We represented several of the children in linked proceedings, involving a significant amount of disputed forensic / medical evidence, which difficulties were compounded by the families involved not having English as their first language. The case was heard before the High Court and lasted several weeks, involving a array of Leading and Junior Counsel.
  • S Children – Representation of father in Care Proceedings whereby his children had suffered significant sexual abuse, perpetrated by a family friend who had preyed upon the father’s and his partner’s significant learning disabilities and vulnerabilities to gain access to the home and children. An example of failings by the Local Authority, who despite significant warning signs and information provided by third party agencies, such as police, NHS and Probation, the opportunities to protect this vulnerable family and their children. Given the complexity in the medical and other evidence, all parties and intervenors were represented by Leading and Junior Counsel over several weeks. Representing the father alongside eminent KC, Jo Delahunty and Chris Barnes. The client was exonerated from all findings, save a failure to protect, which he accepted.
  • Re: E – Representation of child in Care Proceedings whereby a previous child of the family had been murdered. The complexity of the case was compounded by the concurrent criminal proceedings, which lead to non-disclosure of certain documents to the other parties. There were a number of historical fractures identified by the post-mortem. The case was complex in that it dealt with the interrelation between the family and criminal courts and the different / competing interests both have.  The allegations included multiple failings to protect and involved Leading and Junior Counsel. The child was ultimately placed for adoption.
  • Z v Kent County Council [2013] EWFC 865 – Representation of child in proceedings involving an application for an adoption order where there had been an abject failure to assesses the mother’s capacity and the maternal grandparents. Despite rigorous representation, the Court made a series of orders to progress the case to final hearing notwithstanding the mother had clear issues with capacity. The Court gave guidance on the approach to be adopted in such cases and in particular the approach to be adopted when considering the involvement of family members who put themselves forward to care for a child.
  • Re C: – Representation of a father who had killed the mother. There were concurrent criminal proceedings and necessitated careful representation with significant cross-over of evidence in both the family and criminal Courts. Working alongside both Leading and Junior Counsel given the extensive medical, forensic and police disclosure with a bundle running to 1000s of pages. The concurrent proceedings lead to a conviction for manslaughter given the defence of diminished responsibility and the children ultimately went to live with the paternal grandparents, despite resistance from both the Local Authority and the Guardian.
  • Re: O – Representation of a child in proceedings involving applications for Deprivation of Liberty Order and Secure Accommodation. There were significant concerns about the child’s involvement in criminal activity which resulted in multiple placement moves. The child had several criminal investigations also concurrently before the Court. The child’s complex psychological needs were ultimately assessed by a systemic therapist who had recently been praised before the Court of Appeal for pragmatically looking at cases to find solutions rather than apportioning blame, which was particularly key in this case given the antipathy that existed between the Local Authority and the parents. The child ultimately moved home pursuant to a Supervision Order, which was consistent with his wishes and feelings.
  • Re: H – Representation of children in very complex private law proceedings where they had been made parties pursuant to Rule 16.4 FPR 2010. The parents had been married and separated, resulting in the children not seeing their father. There were significant allegations by the mother of domestic abuse of herself and the children. The Court endorsed a family psychologist to undertake a holistic assessment of the family and which determined that the mother had deep-routed trauma and significant psychological difficulties, which were causing the children significant harm. The children were implacably opposed to contact including any indirect contact. The Local Authority became involved and ultimately the children went to live with their father but only after extensive psychological intervention to de-traumatise them. The children are doing remarkably well and have a positive relationship with their father.

Testimonials from other Legal Professionals

  • Ryan Booth does a lot of children work directly for the child. He does more children work for children themselves. Ryan is very practical and he knows the law. I think he is an organised, hardworking and strong advocate. All of them together are quite collegiate and work well together. He’s articulate; when he’s in court he’s very good at getting his point across. I have seen him grow and change. He’s good.
  • “Ryan’s client service and general level of service and level of sophistication are very strong. Ryan is highly experienced and a very good advocate, ensuring the needs of the child are foremost when representing Children.”
  • “With instructions from GT Stewart, and Ryan Booth in particular, I am aware that I will always be well and thoroughly briefed. The cases are always presented thoroughly and the attention to detail is excellent. Ryan is an expert child panel solicitor. He has been on the Children Panel for ten years and his experience shines. He is well-liked by lay clients and guardians alike. He is known for his meticulous preparation and his tenacity in court and in conferences. Ryan is referred cases by the local authority, other professionals and the judiciary due to his known professionalism and dedication. Ryan assists at events to train young lawyers and provide them with opportunities to practice their mooting skills. Ryan works very closely with barristers and KCs on the cases he undertakes. He also readily covers work for others in the office and provides invaluable experience to the junior members of his team.”
  • “Ryan Booth is highly professional. He represents both children and parents. The cases are always very well prepped, with full instructions, and he’s not shy of having a challenge on the evidence. He deals with complex non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and neglect cases. The case is always is fully prepped, him having thought outside the box about what might be needed. He is one of the two or three main people at GT Stewart. He is one of the directors and he does a lot of guardian and children work.”
  • “Ryan is an excellent advocate. He is very persuasive. He’s good across the board acting for children or Parents.”

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