Denise Lester / Partner
Child protection, child care and adoption
Denise is experienced in acting for parents and other relatives to provide them with a voice within public law and private law proceedings. Also working with guardians and children who are able to represent themselves, so as to assist children in public law care matters. Her experience in care cases includes non -accidental injury, neglect, physical chastisement involving cases with a cultural overlay and she has acted for families of many faiths, cultures and backgrounds including Jewish and Muslim cases, Eastern European cases, complex cases, removal of and absconded children and those with different cultural and or religious element. She has also experience of dealing with clients lacking capacity, working with the Official Solicitor, clients who have cognitive or hearing impairment and cases with an international element. She enjoys working with guardians and assisting them to promote children’s welfare.
Private Law and Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage
Denise has acted for parents, grandparents and children in residence disputes. She has acted for male and female victims and alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse where injunctions have been granted. She has acted for the subjects of Forced Marriage Protection Act Orders and also for parents and other siblings involved in such proceedings. She has successfully argued Islamic and Jewish Law in children cases.
Denise has been involved in the recovery of children from many countries over the years including Japan, Albania , Iran Iraq. Israel. Australia, USA and Ghana working with CAFCASS High court team, diplomatic and other agencies. Denise has been the conducting solicitor and involved in a number of reported cases since 1991 including a successful appeal in the Court of Appeal as recently as January 2014 .
Denise has extensive media experience. She is on the Law Society’s press office list as an expert to give media comment on family law matters. She has appeared on the news and international radio and print media giving expert comment including Sky News, BBC news, ITV, News at 10, Channel 4 and 5, Spanish TV, BBC Radio 4 BBC World service, The Voice of Russia ;.and was NBC’s English legal family law expert on celebrity divorce. She has also participated in and contributed to documentaries and assisted production and film companies in pre and post production stage realising their projects. Denise has had film and production training and as a BBC Video Nation Contributor made two award winning shorts.
Denise script advises for major TV Soaps and enjoys the creative blend of law and drama for the screen. As an author and writer she is the editor of The Law Society’s Guide to Good Practice in Childcare Cases. She is a regular commentator and contributor to The Law Society’s Family Section providing commentary and expert guidance to the profession. She has a keen interest in human rights and was part of an award winning pro bono team of lawyers who acted for a victim group of the 7/7 bombings.
Her interests outside of the law include theatre, art, travel, water aerobics, walking, music, chatting with family and friends and drinking lattes.
Denise Lester has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with family law matters. She is the nationally elected Law Society Council member for Child Care, and also a selected member of the Law Society’s Family, Children and Access to Justice Committees. She has an acute knowledge of policy matters in the field of family law. Denise adopts a sympathetic, caring, realistic approach. She is prepared to robustly fight her clients’ corner in the courts and the media if and when required.
She is an Accredited Specialist of Resolution holding three specialist portfolios in Domestic Abuse, Private law and Child Abduction. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Family Accreditation Schemes and Children Accredited schemes. She is also a member of the Family Law Group Board of Deputies of British Jews. Her wide ranging family practice includes the following areas.
Divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.
Denise draws on her skill set as a former commercial lawyer to narrow down and resolve issues for the client. She robustly represents her clients’ corner. She will also work alongside mediators and collaborative lawyers and arbitrators to achieve constructive resolution of relationship breakdown.