Niral Patel

Since qualification my main interest has been representing parents and adult parties where the Local Authority is involved. This includes applications for care orders, supervision order, placement orders, emergency protection orders, adoption orders and special guardianship orders.

I am extremely committed to the area of Public Law Children matters and have been instructed on various cases where there are complex issues of non-accidental injuries caused to a child such as shaken baby syndrome, fractures, bruises, factitious illness and other such issues. This at times coupled with cases where there is concurrent criminal proceedings, cases with over 10 children involved, where English is not the first spoken language of the family and where there are issues of mental health and litigation capacity.

Prior to studying Law, I studied Biomedical Science at Kings College London where I obtained a BSc prior to undertaking the Law Conversion Course. My science background has enhanced my legal practice for many cases,  giving me the necessary skills and ability to process complex and lengthy medical information whereby I am able to interpret this and explain it in a more straightforward and understandable manner. I am familiar with medico-legal terminology as well as having a sound understanding of medical matters which ensures that all possibilities are considered and put to the Court at the earliest stage possible.

I am based in London, however I have been instructed on cases outside of London, such as Sheffield, Birmingham, Pontefract and Warrington. The cases I have worked on have been in the County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal and therefore I have the ability to represent clients in all courts. Court location or client location is no bar to seeking legal advice from me and I have clients from a wide demographical area.

It is essential for me that I have a good rapport with my clients and a relationship of trust. I achieve this, I believe through my understanding and non-judgemental nature, friendly manner and ability to give sound legal advice which provides my client with confidence in me.

Due to the amount of work I have undertaken in this area and in particular non-accidental injury, my expertise and knowledge has not only strengthened but I have also developed excellent professional relationships with people who are essential to a client’s case such as barristers and experts. We work side by side to try and achieve the desired outcome for the client.

Experts are key in non-accidental injury cases, as well as other cases where the Local Authority is involved. I have worked with numerous medical experts and other experts who are all specialised in their field and highly regarded in the Court arena. I therefore have a good working relationship with experts and I am able to identify which expert would be useful for a client’s case and approach them to assist a client’s case.

I am also a member of Resolution’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme and the Law Society’s Children’s Panel so have the relevant professional achievements. I am committed and dedicated to the area of Family Law and in particular proceedings involving the Local Authority where we can work with families in order to have children placed long term where they should be and achieve a desirable outcome for our clients. I would also seek rehabilitation of a child where possible and will exhaust every avenue possible in order to try and achieve. Even if findings are made against a parent this is not necessarily a bar to have your child or children returning home.

Proceedings before the Court are not only daunting and frightening but if you are not represented correctly this can have a detrimental impact on your family life. You need to be able to establish a good relationship with your solicitor and be in a position where you can be open with them and trust the advice you are being given. I believe that this type of solicitor is me. If you are currently involved in proceedings, or have Local Authority involvement in your life, or know someone who has, feel free to call me for an informal talk to see how I can help you. It is essential to get good legal advice sooner rather than later.