Melanie Andrews

I am an experienced barrister with a busy practice in family law, specialising in law relating to children. I have particular experience of care proceedings, having represented families in a wide range of circumstances; acting for mothers, fathers and grandparents. I have also acted on behalf of Public Guardians and local authorities, so I understand the perspectives and priorities of both sides in a case, as well as having practical knowledge of how local authorities act.

I appear for clients in court as well as advising and preparing pleadings. In court, I am an experienced and confident advocate – before joining Becket Chambers I worked in the advocacy department of a large national solicitors firm, and appeared in the criminal and civil courts as well as in the family courts.

One of my biggest priorities is client care, and I pride myself on giving clear, practical and timely advice, being consistently professional whilst also being approachable and reassuring, particularly with vulnerable clients.

I am accredited to accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Public Access Scheme.

Public Law Children

The main focus of my family law practice is on public law proceedings, and I represent parents, extended family members, prospective adopters and children (via their guardians), as well as acting for local authorities. I have experience of dealing with the official solicitor.

I am highly experienced in dealing with cases concerning serious non-accidental injury to children, sexual abuse, and general neglect. I am familiar with, and sympathetic to, the challenges of representing young and vulnerable clients, many of whom are themselves dealing with circumstances involving historic abuse. I have represented family members in cases involving complex mental health issues and my naturally supportive approach makes me particularly good with vulnerable clients.

Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme)

Within Private Law I am regularly instructed to represent parents, grandparents, extended family members, and children (via their guardians). I have particular experience of cases involving parental alienation, allegations of sexual/physical abuse, domestic violence and placements abroad.

My clients appreciate my informal and approachable style when working with them, as it helps to reassure them that I am on their side at what can be a difficult time. I tend to work well with younger, and sometimes vulnerable, clients who find me sympathetic to their needs. I am client-led, so whilst I will always advise the best course of action based on my experience and knowledge of your situation, the ultimate decision is always yours, and I never pressure clients into taking action against their wishes.

I also deal with injunctions, non-molestation orders and occupation orders under the family law act.

I am head of the Private Law group at Becket Chambers.

Articles by Melanie Andrews

What is a ‘shared care’ or ‘lives with/lives’ child arrangement order and what does it mean in practical terms?

Introduction One of the areas that I am most often asked about by my clients is the concept of shared care order or lives with /lives with child arrangement order. There are many myths about it and what it means and often people are quite confused about the implications. Custody/ residence / ‘lives with’ orders Continue reading