Dr Charlotte Proudman

Dr Charlotte Proudman

Call: 2010

“Charlotte is insightful and tenacious, a strong advocate with skills that surpass her call. Her written work is excellent and her judgment is sound. She is a personable barrister that combines real ability with enthusiasm for her work”.

Teresa Barnett, solicitor, Dollman & Pritchard Solicitors.

“Charlotte picked up the reigns of a financial relief upon divorce case at very short notice and achieved a brilliant result, leaving the client ecstatically happy”.

Nigel Fisher, solicitor, Taylor Rose.

“Charlotte is great to work with, and both reliable and efficient. Clients report that she is calm and able to explain complex matters “in plain English”, which on a day at court with all its pressures is much appreciated. Her advocacy and negotiation skills are very effective. Clients give great feedback about Charlotte. What more could you ask for?”

Karen Agnew-Griffith, solicitor, Woolley & Co Solicitors.

“Charlotte is always a pleasure to instruct and is liked by clients. She is brilliant at analysing the case, advising on all of the issues, and managing cases. She has great attention to detail and is a tough but realistic negotiator. Definitely counsel that you would want in your corner”.

Tish Reel, solicitor, Owen White & Catlin LLP.

“Charlotte is a strong and skilful advocate who works tirelessly for her clients. I have been impressed with the excellent quality of her work. I recently instructed Charlotte on a child abduction matter. She worked extremely hard and was instrumental in achieving an excellent outcome for our client including costs. I would highly recommend her”.

Nathalie El-Korashy, solicitor, Harris Waters Solicitors.

“Charlotte is extremely client focused, professional and enthusiastic. She is a strong advocate on behalf of her client. She is hard working and gives clear, sensible advice to clients. Charlotte communicates well with clients particularly when they are at their most vulnerable and clients report that she is kind, calm and fair in her approach. She is a first choice in any type of children proceedings and is always liked by clients”.

Emily Reed, solicitor, Duncan Lewis.

“Charlotte has excellent knowledge in the area of female genital mutilation law. She demonstrates commitment to and passion for this area of work. I have been most impressed by her professionalism and swift response especially with pro bono cases that are often at very short notice. On behalf of the families that Charlotte has supported and is continuing to support, I would like to send her our sincere gratitude”.

National FGM Centre.

“I found Charlotte very experienced with acute awareness of my situation and focused with attention to detail. Charlotte is direct, tough but fair in negotiation.”

Direct access client in a financial remedy case.

“Charlotte is meticulous in her preparation and case strategy, which vastly improves the chances of securing a desired outcome. She is also very good in establishing a strong rapport with her clients.”

Direct access client in a financial remedy case and private law children case.

Interested in instructing DR Proudman?

Please call 020 7353 6802 or complete the form below:

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Charlotte is an award-winning barrister with an extensive family law practice in complex trials and appellate cases, often encompassing ground-breaking fields of law. Ranked as Legal 500’s Leading Junior, Charlotte acts in high value matrimonial finance cases, private law children, child abduction, surrogacy and serious care cases. She has represented and advised high-profile public and political figures. Charlotte has been shortlisted for a number of awards, Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year, Rising Star and Woman Lawyer of the Year 2020.

As a Junior Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge, Charlotte researches and lectures on gender inequality under the law and female genital mutilation (“FGM”). Charlotte’s book about the efficacy of anti-FGM laws is soon to be published by Oxford University Press. Charlotte was awarded her Doctorate in FGM law and policy from King’s College, Cambridge and she was a Visiting Researcher at Berkeley Law School and Harvard Law School.

As an advocate for change, Charlotte was instrumental in drafting amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill, introducing FGM Protection Orders and criminalising forced marriage. She is a legal advisor to Our Streets Now, a campaign to criminalise sexual harassment and Girls Not Brides UK which aims to criminalise child marriage.

Testimonials

‘Has built up an excellent practice in family law well beyond her year of call. She is a leading thinker and expert on gender based violence and family law’, Leading Junior Barrister, Legal 500

Charlotte is never shy of helping us test the boundaries of the law, or of tackling a relatively new form of domestic abuse, widespread image-based abuse (revenge porn), or raising novel arguments arising under the Equality Act, which have yet to be tested in court. Too many shy away from the untrodden or difficult path, Charlotte is not one of these”. Georgina Calvert-Lee, Senior Counsel, McAllister and Olivarius.

“Charlotte is not afraid to bring novel challenges that look to have wider policy implications. She is passionate about making the legal system more accountable in its treatment of women and girls”. Mitchell Woolf, Solicitor, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd.

I instructed Charlotte in a complex child abduction case that was appealed to the Court of Appeal. Her advice and written representations were outstanding. Her dedication to vulnerable clients, particularly those who are victims of abuse, is exemplary”. Cris McCurley, Head of International Family Law, Ben Hoare Bell LLP.

 “Charlotte always delivers! She is a breath of fresh air after some 25 years of working with the Bar. In the last 12 months she achieved some 7 results in ToLATA and financial proceedings where the results achieved exceeded the hoped for result of the client”. Karen Agnew-Griffith, solicitor, Woolley & Co Solicitors.

“Dr Proudman has always secured good outcomes and has been commended on her efforts by my clients. She is fully committed to each case, matching a thoroughly professional approach with sensitivity to the needs of the law client”. Priti Gill, Solicitor, Horne Engall & Freeman LLP.

 “Charlotte picked up the reigns of a financial relief upon divorce case at very short notice and achieved a brilliant result, leaving the client ecstatically happy”. Nigel Fisher, solicitor, Taylor Rose TTKW.

“In my opinion, she is a leader in the field of FGM law whose research has made a significant contribution to scholarship in this area and has had an impact on case law and law reform in England and Wales”. Professor Felicity Gerry QC, Barrister.

 “Charlotte has excellent knowledge in the area of female genital mutilation law. She demonstrates commitment to and passion for this area of work. I have been most impressed by her professionalism and swift response especially with pro bono cases that are often at very short notice. On behalf of the families that Charlotte has supported and is continuing to support, I would like to send her our sincere gratitude”. The National FGM Centre.

 “Charlotte is meticulous in her preparation and case strategy, which vastly improves the chances of securing a desired outcome. She is also very good in establishing a strong rapport with her clients.” Direct access client, financial remedy and private law children case.

Awards

  • Shortlisted, Rising Star and Woman Lawyer of the Year, Women in Law Awards, 2020.
  • Shortlisted, Family Law Junior Barrister, Family Law Awards, 2020.
  • True Honour Award, IKWRO, 2019.

Interested in instructing DR Proudman?

Please call 020 7353 6802 or complete the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Family Barrister

Financial relief on divorce: Specialising in high value financial relief cases where assets are in excess of several millions with complex structures. Charlotte has a wealth of experience in matrimonial finances applications, variation of maintenance claims, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 applications, property claims between unmarried partners and intervener claims and Court of Protection cases in which property and finances are disputed. She is an expert in Islamic marriage, divorce and dowry payments including nullity applications.

FGM: As ‘the expert’ in FGM, Charlotte has been instructed in six reported, precedent-setting FGMPO cases involving risk of FGM, travel bans and failed FGM asylum claims. Charlotte was junior counsel in  Re A (A Child: Female Genital Mutilation: Asylum [2019] EWHC 2475 before the President of the Family Division and later the Court of Appeal in which the President of the Family Division gave guidance about the interrelationship between FGMPOs and FGM asylum. The high-profile case was featured in The Guardian, The BBC and Sky News. She was junior counsel in the leading case of Re X (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order No.2) [2019] EWHC 1990 (Fam) in which the High Court issued guidance about the macro and micro considerations for a travel restrictions in FGM cases. Charlotte was instrumental in the introduction of FGM Protection Orders and the pilot Practice Direction 36H. Charlotte is a Gender-based Violence expert for the European Institute for Gender Equality and she was invited by the UN to advise on a UN Human Rights Council Resolution about FGM. Charlotte is currently collaborating with the End FGM European Network to encourage EU nation states to adopt FGMPOs to prevent FGM.

Private law children and domestic abuse: Charlotte specialises in complex cases regarding domestic abuse and parental alienation. Charlotte has single-handedly successfully appealed cases where the family courts have failed to have regard to allegations of domestic abuse and ordered contact between a parent and child contrary to PD12J. She is working on a number of Human Rights Act claims that directly challenge the family court’s approach in failing to have regard to the impact of domestic abuse on victims and children leaving them at risk of harm. She has appeared on the BBC and published in the Independent about the family court’s failure to address domestic abuse. Charlotte was co-author of an open letter signed by over 130 leaders calling for major changes to the family court’s approach in domestic abuse cases, which resulted in the government adopting a number of our recommendations. Charlotte is working closely with MPs and women’s rights organisations to draft pioneering amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill to protect victims and children from domestic abuse.

Public law children cases: Known for her advocacy in cases involving serious allegations of non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and emotional harm, she is regularly instructed in care cases. She acts in cases involving a re-opening of findings of fact; child sexual exploitation and trafficking; and challenges to Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 where children have been unlawfully accommodated by the local authority resulting in successful claims for damages.

Child abduction: Charlotte specialises in child abduction particularly cases involving an Article 13(b) defence due to a risk of domestic abuse and in cases where there are complex immigration issues. She has appealed such cases to the Court of Appeal. Charlotte was instructed in S v S [2017] EWHC 1298 (Fam) which concerned the risk of domestic abuse in Iran and in Re Rodwell [2016] EWHC 1731 (Fam) where habitual residence was in dispute.

Surrogacy: Charlotte is renowned for her experience in surrogacy and adoption. She acted in C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2474 in which a child had resulted from a surrogacy arrangement and the wife had then arranged a further surrogacy without the husband’s knowledge, and they had subsequently separated.

Human rights claims: Charlotte is adept at raising novel legal challenges that have the potential to be ground-breaking. Charlotte is an expert in Judicial Review, Equality Act claims and Human Rights Act claims in civil, family and immigration cases. She is instructed in claims against local authorities for failing to comply with their duties to children, sexual harassment cases on university campuses and so-called revenge porn cases.

Court of Protection cases: Charlotte has experience in Court of Protection cases involving the welfare and management of property and affairs of persons lacking capacity. She is sensitive to the needs of vulnerable persons and can provide a thoughtful and empathetic approach.

Selected Publications

  • Female Genital Mutilation: A Legal Review, British Journal of Midwifery, 2020.
  • Why it is time for an FGM Commissioner–practical responses to feminised issues, Family Law Journal, 2020.
  • Breaking the silence: The difference in legal frameworks between the US and the UK when it comes to dealing with sexual harassment on campus, Times Literary Supplement, 2020.
  • Disclosure in rape trials: An unjustified moral panic in rape cases? Counsel, 2020.
  • Abuse victims deserve a well-funded justice system – Structural problems that have led to falling numbers of rape prosecutions cannot be solved without sufficient resources, The Times, 2019.
  • FGM and Travel Bans after Re X (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order No.2) [2019] EWHC 1990 (Fam), Family Law Journal, 2019 and International Family Law Journal, 2019.
  • Sexual Harassment in Higher Educational Institutions: An Interview with Dr Charlotte Proudman and Georgina Calvert-Lee, Counsel Magazine, 2019.
  • Girl’s Not Brides UK, A Campaign to Increase the Age of Marriage and Criminalise Child Marriage, Counsel Magazine, 2019.
  • Medically Unnecessary Genital Cutting and the Rights of the Child: Moving Toward Consensus, The American Journal of Bioethics, 2019.
  • FGM Asylum Claims, Counsel Magazine, 2019.

Selected Training and Conferences

  • FGM law and policy, Amnesty International, 09.09.2020.
  • Black Lives matter and forgotten oppressions, 29.07.2020.
  • Building Successful Partnerships to End Forced Marriages, Honour Based Abuse & Female Genital Mutilation, Public Policy Exchange, 21.07.2020.
  • FGM Protection Orders: A British Legal Remedy to be Rolled out in other EU Countries? End FGM EU Network, 16.06.2020 & 09.07.2020.
  • Feminism, FGM, Sexual Harassment and the Domestic Abuse Bill, Behind the Gown, 09.07.2020.
  • Forced Marriage and FGM Protection Orders, Goldsmith Chambers, 12.06.2020.
  • Domestic Abuse in BAME Communities during Covid-19, Hope Training, 12.06.2020.
  • Varying Financial Orders, Goldsmith Chambers, 03.06.2020.
  • Schedule 1 Cases: An Introduction, Goldsmith Chambers, 20.05.2020.
  • FGM and Asylum Claims, University of Cambridge, 19.05.2020.
  • Domestic Abuse and Family Courts, Authentic Voice
  • Sexual Harassment and Mental Health at the Bar, Trinity College, Dublin, 21.11.2019.
  • IWD 2020: FGM, National FGM Centre, 10.03.2020.
  • 40 Years of Women at Queens’: Gender and Equality, Queens’ College, Cambridge, 09.03.2020.
  • International Women’s Day: Feminism and the Law, Eton College, 08.03.2020.
  • International Women’s Day, Selwyn College, 06.03.2020.
  • International Conference on the Future of Women 2020, India, 2020.
  • Positive state obligations concerning fundamental rights and ‘changing the hearts and minds’, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam University, January 2020.
  • Reviewing medical examinations ordered by the family courts and expected by the Home Office in FGM cases, National FGM Centre, 03.12.2019.
  • Working Collaboratively to Tackle FGM, Westminster Conferences, 18.09.2019.
  • Expert Witness Training in FGM Cases, National FGM Centre, 16.08.2019.
  • UN Human Rights Council Legal Expert Meeting on the Elimination of FGM, OHCHR, Ethiopia, July 2019.
  • National Day of Memory to Victims lost to Honour Killings, Karma Nirvana, 15.07.2019.
  • What can law school providers do to educate students about addressing sexual harassment at the Bar? Bar Standards Board Conference, 12.07.2019.
  • FGM and Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: A Contradiction in Terms? FGM Symposium, University of Leicester, 28.06.2019.
  • Comparative Discrimination Law Conference, Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group, 17-18 July 2019.

Notable Cases

C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2474 (Fam) and C (A Child: Parental Order & Child Arrangements Order) [2020] EWHC 2141 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the local authority following an application on behalf of the husband and wife for a parental order. A child had resulted from a surrogacy arrangement and the wife had then arranged a further surrogacy without the husband’s knowledge or consent.

AB v AN & Anor [2020] EWHC 2048 (Fam). Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in application for an FGMPO on behalf of her daughter at risk of FGM in Nigeria. The family do not have secure immigration status. The mother applied for expert assessments and the appointment of a children’s guardian.

Re A (A Child) (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Civ 731. Karon Monaghan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother before the Court of Appeal in an FGMPO case. The court upheld the decision of the President namely that the family court has a duty to form its own assessment of risk of FGM unencumbered by the outcome of a materially different process in the immigration jurisdiction.

Re A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 323. Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother at a final hearing in an FGMPO case in which the court found that the girl would be at a high risk of FGM if she is returned to Bahrain or Sudan.

Re A (A Child: Female Genital Mutilation: Asylum [2019] EWHC 2475. Karon Monaghan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in an application for a FGMPO on behalf of her daughter before the President of the Family Division. The President ordered that the family court cannot prohibit the Home Secretary from removing a girl at high risk of FGM from this jurisdiction. The family court must conduct its own risk assessment of FGM even when the immigration tribunal has conducted an earlier risk assessment.

Re X (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order. No.2) [2019] EWHC 1990 (Fam). Nkumbe Ekaney QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in an application for a FGMPO on behalf of her daughter. The local authority applied for a travel ban to prohibit a girl from leaving the jurisdiction to visit her father in Egypt due to a risk of FGM. After various expert reports, the court allowed the child to visit the father in Egypt for a short trip. The court gave guidance on both the macro and the micro factors that must be taken into account when deciding whether a travel ban ought to be imposed in a case where FGM is a risk.

X v Y [2019] EWHC 1713 (Fam). Frank Feehan QC and Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the appellant in an application for permission to appeal the trial judge’s decision concerning a financial remedy and child arrangements order.

BA & Anor v JA & Ors (female genital mutilation protection orders and immigration appeals)[2018] EWHC 1754 (Fam). The court gave guidance that an application for an FGMPO should only be made when the family’s immigration appeal rights have been exhausted.

B v M [2018] EWHC 1473 (Fam). Charlotte was led by Frank Feehan QC of 1KBW in a public law children fact-finding hearing in which they represented private foster carers who had fostered a child for several years. The judge found that the parents abandoned the child and the local authority breached its duties under the private fostering regulations. The judgment issued important guidance on the duties under private fostering arrangements.

AAM v KG [2018] EWHC 283 (Fam). Charlotte represented the appellant who appealed the trial judge’s order of nullity on the ground of polygamy. The case involved issues of validity of marriages overseas, the necessity of documentary evidence proving the existence of a marriage and the relevance of expert evidence.

S v S [2017] EWHC 1298 (Fam).  Application for the return of a child to Iran after the child had been abducted to England and Wales. The case involved serious allegations of sexual abuse, forced lesbianism, domestic abuse and the risk of state punishment in Iran.

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Appellant) v Ryan and another (Respondents) (Trinidad and Tobago) [2017] UKPC 30. Charlotte was led by Jonathan Crystal and Romie Tager QC in an appeal upheld by the Privy Council to set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision to reverse the trial judge’s findings concerning the escape of hydrocarbon fumes from an oil well causing medical injuries.

Rodwell [2016] EWHC 1731 (Fam).  Charlotte represented the applicant father who sought the return of his children to Spain but the children’s whereabouts were unknown and they were unlikely to be habitually resident in England and Wales, thus the court had no jurisdiction.

Immigration and Public Law Barrister

Charlotte is experienced in judicial review cases that overlap with family law including asylum claims, unaccompanied minors, Article 8 ECHR and domestic violence ILR route. With extensive experience in violence against women and girls internationally, Charlotte specialises in cases involving FGM, honour-based violence, trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and religious conversion.

Charlotte is often successful in such cases including: an 18-year-old girl at risk of FGM in Sierra Leone; Tamil family at risk of violence in Sri Lanka; woman trafficked from Albania to England and sexually exploited; Nigerian woman beaten by her husband and successfully applied for ILR on the basis of domestic violence; and an Iranian woman who converted to Christianity.

Appointments


  • Junior Research Fellow, Queens’ College, Cambridge (2018-2021)
  • Gender-based Violence expert, the European Institute for Gender Equality (2020-present day)
  • Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Law School, (2019)
  • Affiliated Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge (2017-2018)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (2016-2017)
  • Visiting Researcher, Harvard Law School (2015)

Education & Qualifications


  • Doctor of Philosophy, King’s College, University of Cambridge (2017)
  • MPhilriminology, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge (2011)
  • Bar Vocational Course, The City Law School (2010)
  • LLB (Hons) Law and Sociology, Keele University (2009)

Memberships


  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Lincoln’s Inn

Recognition


  • International Legal and Professional Development Grant, Bar Council (2020)
  • Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (2013)
  • International Legal and Professional Development Grant, Bar Council (2013)
  • Wolfson Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2011)
  • Queens’ College Award, Cambridge (2010 and 2011)
  • Continuing Education Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2010 – 2011)
  • Human Rights Lawyers’ Association Bursary (2010)
  • Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2009)
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