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Connie Purdy

Head of Private Law Children

Barrister

Connie regularly appears in public and private law children matters and she is also instructed in domestic violence injunction proceedings. Connie has undertaken an array of hearings from ex parte applications for non-molestation and occupation orders to lengthy contested finding of fact and final hearings.

Before studying law, Connie read Financial Mathematics at Newcastle University. Thereafter, she completed the GDL at the University of Law and was awarded a Dean’s Award Scholarship for the BPTC at Northumbria University. Whilst at the latter, Connie undertook pro bono family law cases at their Student Law Office and won an international human rights internship a non-profit organisation, Lawyers Without Borders, in the USA.

Upon her return to the UK, Connie worked as a County Court Advocate on the North Eastern Circuit and a parliamentary assistant to the Rt Hon Alan Johnson (then MP) at the House of Commons. She then joined a solicitors’ firm to work as a family law paralegal.

Prior to joining Chambers, Connie successfully completed a mixed family and criminal law pupillage. During the same, Connie prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court and was regularly instructed by defence solicitors for both Magistrates’ and Crown Court hearings. She advised and represented Defendants in respect of serious offences including knife point robbery and GBH

Public Law Children

Connie represents Local Authorities, parents, extended family members and children and has appeared at all stages of care proceedings from urgent applications for an interim care order and removal through to contested final hearings.

She has experience of cross-examining expert witnesses and has dealt with serious cases involving sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, neglect, substance misuse and mental health difficulties.

Connie has a professional yet considerate nature enabling her to build a successful rapport with lay clients who are often in difficult and emotional circumstances.

Private Law Family

Connie has regularly represented parents, extended family members and children in private law children proceedings.

She has appeared in finding of fact and final hearings involving allegations of parental alienation, all forms of domestic abuse, including controlling and coercive behaviour, serious domestic violence and rape, and allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children.

Connie works collaboratively with instructing solicitors and lay clients to obtain the best possible outcome.

Domestic Abuse and Injunctions

Connie has experience of both seeking and opposing applications for non-molestation and occupation orders.

A Local Authority v M & H (2021)
Connie represented (as Junior Counsel, led by Jacqueline Thomas QC) a Local Authority in a finding of fact hearing which spanned multiple weeks and involved serious allegations of sexual abuse of the children. Following the finding of fact hearing, Connie became sole counsel instructed on behalf of the Local Authority through to conclusion of the case and all final orders sought by the Local Authority were granted by the Court.

A Local Authority v R (2022)
Connie represented the respondent mother who concealed her pregnancy. Following the birth, the respondent mother was detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act and the Local Authority applied for an order authorising it to refuse to allow contact between her and the child due to her presentation. The child was placed in the care of the maternal grandparents, against whom the respondent mother had made serious threats of violence, and an exclusion order was sought. Connie had to explain, advise, and take instructions on these difficult and sensitive issues.

A Local Authority v C (2023)
Connie represented the respondent mother in these care proceedings which involved detailed consideration of the respondent mother’s and the child’s Article 8 rights. The respondent mother and the child were placed in a mother and baby foster placement at the outset of the proceedings. At final hearing, the Local Authority sought care and placement orders; a plan which was opposed by the respondent parents, the children’s guardian and the child’s independent reviewing officer. The Court indicated that the test for adoption was not met and, thereafter, a transition and support plan for the respondent mother and the child to transition into the community for further assessment was agreed. Later, all parties agreed that a final child arrangements order (live with) should be made in favour of Connie’s client.

A Local Authority v B (2023)
Connie represented the respondent father who was serving a 20-year prison sentence for historical child sexual offences and who was alleged to have colluded with a family member to sexually abuse the child. There was a complex factual matrix and the matter was listed for a finding of fact hearing. Connie drafted an advice in support of a successful application to secure funding for representation by King’s Counsel and Junior Counsel, and Darren Howe KC was instructed to lead Connie in representing the respondent father. The Local Authority ultimately withdrew their allegations and, thereafter, Connie represented the respondent father as sole counsel throughout the welfare stage.

H & H v F & F (2021)
Connie represented the applicant maternal grandmother and maternal uncle, who had previously been granted permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order, in a 5-day finding of fact hearing. The Court found that the serious allegations made against the maternal grandmother and maternal uncle were not true and that the child had been encouraged to make false allegations.

C v O & Others (2021)
Connie represented one of the respondent mothers in a 23-day finding of fact hearing which involved 3 separate sets of consolidated proceedings. The Court made serious the findings of controlling and coercive behaviour and physical and sexual abuse sought by the respondent mothers and a non-molestation order to protect Connie’s client. The issue of similar-in-fact evidence was fully engaged.

E v M (2022)
Connie represented the respondent mother. A finding of fact hearing took place during which the Court made findings against the applicant father of controlling and coercive behaviour, rape, false imprisonment, physical aggression, and threats to kill the child.

F v C (2023)
Connie represented the applicant mother in these proceedings during which the Court was asked to determine cross-allegations made by each of the parents during a 6-day finding of fact hearing. The Court made none of the findings sought by the respondent father but made significant findings of domestic abuse against the respondent father including that he had been controlling and coercive towards, and had sexually assaulted, the applicant mother.

S v Y (2023)
Connie represented the applicant mother in these proceedings which involved an unexplained serious injury to one of the children. Both parents asserted that the injury must have been caused in the other parent’s care either accidentally or inflicted by them. The Court held a finding of fact hearing during which it heard evidence from a burns expert and both parents.

L v L (2023)
Connie represented the respondent father in these proceedings which involved a finding of fact hearing to determine serious allegations of child abuse made against the respondent father. The Court did not find any of the allegations made against the respondent father proven save for what he had admitted had happened. The case concluded in December 2023 whereby a final order was agreed for the respondent father to have regular, unsupervised, overnight contact with the child.

Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. Member of the Family Law Bar Association. Member of the North Eastern Circuit. Member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Legal 500 2024 - 'Connie has the client's best interests at the forefront of her advocacy.'

“Connie has the client's best interests at the forefront of her advocacy.”

- Legal 500 2024