Skip navigation
Spire Barristers Logo

Ashley Lord


Ashley is part of Chambers’ Public Law Children team within which he has built a strong and busy practice where he is routinely instructed in cases involving complex factual and legal issues.


Ashley has particular interest in cases involving alleged non-accidental injury, fabricated and induced illness and international issues.


Ashley regularly appears in the County Court and High Court, and he has also appeared in the Court of Appeal.

Public Law Children

Ashley regularly represents local authorities, parents, children, and interveners in all forms of public law children work.


Ashley has considerable experience and interest in cases involving allegations of non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and fabricated and/or induced illness. He also has expertise in applications seeking the discharge of carer orders, secure accommodation applications pursuant to part 25 of the Children Act 1989, and child deprivation of liberty order applications brought under the Inherent Jurisdiction.


Ashley also has an interest in cases involving international issues and has experience in inherent jurisdiction proceedings relating to applications to recognise foreign adoptions under the common law.


In 2022-2023 Ashley led Josie Canham-Williams on behalf of a separately represented child in a finding of fact hearing involving allegations of sexual abuse made against the second respondent and an intervenor (whom the local authority had placed the child with).


Notable Case
  • A Local Authority v O and O Ashley represents the applicant in inherent jurisdiction proceedings (and first respondent in consolidated public law proceedings) in an application for recognition of a foreign adoption under the common law.
  • A Local Authority v G and B Ashley represents the local authority in care proceedings in which findings of perpetration are sought in relation to rib fractures and two separate brain injuries to a non-mobile baby.
  • A Local Authority v N and H Ashley represents the first respondent in care proceedings in which findings of perpetration are sought in relation to rib fractures and bruising. The first respondent puts a case of organic explanation through possible genetic issues.


Employment Law

Ashley has extensive experience representing Respondents in employment tribunals across England, Wales, and Scotland. He has represented businesses of varying size and industry in a wide range of matters. His experience varies from appearing at short preliminary hearings to successful conduct of lengthy and complex multi-week composite hearings.


Ashley is particularly experienced in all aspects of:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Constructive Unfair Dismissal
  • Discrimination (all types)
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Wages
  • Breach of Contract
  • Holiday Pay
  • Public Interest Disclosure
  • Employment Status

Ashley has extensive experience of drafting responses in both simple and complex cases. He is available to provide written advice and/or representation at hearings or judicial mediation.

Chambers & Partners 2024 (“Up and Coming) – “Ashley has significant experience of appearing in many levels of court including the High Court and Court of Appeal.”


Legal 500 2024 (“Leading Junior”) – ‘Ashley is an excellent barrister: always calm, always client-focused, and he doesn’t take bad points.’


Legal 500 2023 (“Leading Junior”) – ‘Ashley is thorough and tenacious. He has experience vastly exceeding his year of call. He is also practical and pragmatic, and retains the ear of the court.’


Legal 500 2022 – ‘He is very hardworking and dedicated. He is always completely committed to any client he represents.’


Legal 500 2021 (“Rising Star”) – “Very good at putting clients at ease and ensuring they understand the process of the proceedings and what is happening on a particular day for a particular hearing. Very calming influence on clients when dealing with emotionally charged situations. Knowledge of the law is extensive, and is able to explain complicated matters in a very down to earth way for all clients to understand.”

Re TT (Children: Discharge of Care Order) [2021] EWCA Civ 742


Ashley represented the respondent local authority in successfully opposing the mother’s appeal against a first instance decision to refuse her application for a discharge of care orders.


The Court of Appeal brought together, developed, and confirmed the test to be applied in discharge of care order proceedings.


Further the Court of Appeal confirmed that s.1(5) of the Children Act 1989 should be applied in applications for the discharge of care orders.


The Court of Appeal also overturned the decision of Mostyn J in GM v Carmarthenshire County Council [2018] EWFC 36 in two respects: firstly, regarding the test to be applied when considering an application for discharge of a care order, and, secondly regarding the views His Lordship had expressed on the value and treatment to be given to ‘attachment theory’ in cases moving forwards.


Re S (Child in Care: Unregistered Placement) [2020] EWHC 1012 (Fam)


Ashley represented the Local Authority in care proceedings which was the subject of an interim published judgment highlighting “Samantha’s Story”. Cobb J tells Samantha’s story within his interim judgment; in short, these proceedings involved complex placement issues brought about by the vulnerabilities and complex needs of Samantha.


The proceedings commenced in 2019 with an application for a secure accommodation order which was granted. In October 2019 the secure accommodation placement served notice and thereafter Samantha was the subject of repeat applications (which were granted) for orders authorising the local authority to deprive her of her liberty.


This case served to highlight the difficulties that Samantha experiences in her life but also the unacceptable lack of available placements for some of the most vulnerable children in society.


R (A Child) [2019] EWCA Civ 895


Ashley appeared for the Appellant in her successful appeal against a finding that she was in the pool of possible perpetrators for the infliction of injuries to her 11-week-old granddaughter. The Appellant Grandmother was removed from the pool.


The Court also gave guidance on the meaning/interpretation of “reasonable prospect of success” in the test for permission to appeal in the family law arena.

  • The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • The North Eastern Circuit
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Spire Foundation, Chair

“Ashley Lord specialises in children law and is frequently instructed in serious cases concerning fabricated or induced illness, care proceedings, deprivation of liberty and sexual abuse. He has significant experience of appearing in many levels of court including the High Court and Court of Appeal.”

- Chambers & Partners 2024