Michael Valks
April 3, 2017
Beverley Cherrill
April 3, 2017

Maria Hancock

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A senior junior and experienced leading junior, who undertakes the most serious of Children and Family law work predominantly focussing on complex medical issues in NAI allegations, FII cases, serious physical, sexual and emotional harm and neglect. Recent and current examples include: High Court proceedings involving the death of a baby from asphyxiation (F), the gravest of child sexual abuse including anal rape (F), serious and life limiting head injuries to a baby (F) and multi-faceted illnesses and medical conditions fabricated and induced in a child (M). Others include intra-familial sexual abuse (representing the children), serious physical abuse including punishment by fire and heat (M), FGM proceedings (M) and NAI proceedings involving multiple fractures to children.

Maria also has an expertise and recent experience of international relocation cases, international child abduction proceedings, including applications pursuant to Art 11(7) Brussels II A, matters which have difficult jurisdictional issues and cases involving children with gender dysphoria.

She is also experienced in Judicial Review and HRA applications arising out of Children Act proceedings.

Maria quickly inspires confidence in professional and lay clients with her thorough knowledge of relevant law and procedure, excellent oral and written advocacy and calm but authoritative manner. At the same time as being an effective advocate, Maria is extremely approachable.


Qualifications, Associations


  • FLBA (Former Kent and Sussex Committee member, including Chair -3 terms)
  • Children Arbitrator. CIArb member
  • Chambers Trust Committee member
  • Pupil Supervisor
  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, BA (Hons) OU

Notable Cases


  • Re M (2018) – successful exoneration of F in HC proceedings involving death of baby.
  • Re AA (2018) – successful proving of all D/A allegations, including rape of M – children returned to M
  • Re M – (2018) represented children in intra-familial sexual abuse case
  • Re B (2017) – represented M in FII proceedings
  • Re K (2017) – represented M found to have inflicted, jointly with F, 28 fractures on baby (received 8 years imprisonment in criminal court subsequently)
  • Re G (2016) – successful defence of Hague Convention Child Abduction proceedings
  • Re K (2016) – represented F found to have sexually abused children (received 18 years imprisonment in criminal court subsequently)
  • Re F (A Child) (International Relocation Cases) 2015 EWCA Civ 882.
  • Re A and B (Children: Brussels II Revised: Article 15) [2014] EWHC 3516
  • A County Council v M & Ors (No 4) (Foreign Adoption) [2013] 1FLR 88
  • A County Council v M & Ors(RRO,Artifical Insemination)[2013]2 FLR 1270
Called 1995
Practice Areas: Public Access, Civil, Child Arbitration

Email: mh@westgate-chambers.co.uk

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