Paul Eaton

No Laughing Matter

I recently dealt with a case involving an appeal against a condemnation order made by the Magistrates Court in connection with the importation of two pallets of cannisters of nitrous oxide (about 48,000 8g cannisters); while the cannisters have a legitimate use in connection with food preparation and catering they are also widely used for Continue reading

Can I get a child arrangements order to see my child even though I am living abroad? Part 2

In Part 1, we established that the family courts in England and Wales can make ‘spend time with’ orders in favour of a parent who is living abroad. Such orders may be made provided that a) the child in question is habitually resident in England and Wales; or b) is physically present in England and Continue reading

Can I get a child arrangements order to see my child even though I am living abroad? Part 1

This is the first of two articles that address the issue of whether a parent can obtain a child arrangements order to see their child, when that parent is living abroad. The answer to this question is found in statute: The family courts in England and Wales do have jurisdiction to make child arrangements orders Continue reading


The purpose of this article is to provide guidance to parties who have instructed a barrister under the Direct Public Access scheme, as to how your court hearing is likely to be conducted whilst coronavirus restrictions are in place. When a party issues proceedings in the family court, the court will respond by sending to Continue reading

COURT 101: What To Do On The Day

One cannot fail to notice that, in today’s more enlightened society, mental health and wellbeing are commonplace discussions. Topics that once would not have been discussed are now considered absolutely essential: depression, wellness, mindfulness. As a barrister, I tend to meet people when times are hard. An old adage at the Bar is that people Continue reading

Challenging Customs’ Seizures – Condemnation or Restoration

When “Customs” (usually the Border Force or HMRC) seize an individual’s or a company’s goods and/or vehicles using their powers under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, for example under section 49 where goods are subject to excise duty, or a prohibition or restriction or section 141 where “any ship, aircraft, vehicle, animal, container Continue reading

Article: Top 5 tips to prepare for a court hearing

This article is intended for those who are representing themselves at a court hearing, known as ‘litigants in person,’ as well as those who will be legally represented but will be attending a court hearing for the first time, have never done anything like this before, and may not have met and discussed their case Continue reading

A Guide to Non-Molestation Orders

This article aims to look at the test required to be met and the process once at court of getting a non-molestation order. It does not cover the initial application process but the application should be made on form FL401 which can be found here: The basic law around non-molestation orders, the hearings and Continue reading

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

Re-opening Civil Matters in the Magistrates Court – Traffic jams can leave you car-less or homeless

Sometimes cases are a bit like buses and the same unusual legal points appear in several cases in close succession; I have just had two cases where the Magistrates Court has been asked to review its own Civil Orders depriving individuals of, respectively, their car and their home. The first case involved condemnation proceedings following Continue reading

Two bites of the cherry in matrimonial finance … or not, rule the Supreme Court

Cara Radford examines the recent decision Supreme Court decision in Mills v Mills dealing with changes in parties’ financial circumstances several years after a divorce. Upon the unfortunate event of a divorce, there are a number of matters that normally need to be managed – one of those being the matrimonial finances. This can be Continue reading

HMO Licensing: all change from October 2018

Introduction Becket Chambers is based in Canterbury, a city with two universities and over 40,000 students. Consequently, very many of our Landlord clients rent to students and are likely to have properties subject to mandatory HMO (“Houses in Multiple Occupation”) Licensing regulations. Mandatory HMO Licensing was introduced in 2006 as a means of providing some Continue reading

HMO Licence Fees after Peter Gaskin v Richmond upon Thames: Possible Relief for Regulated Landlords

Introduction HMO (“Houses in Multiple Occupation”) Licensing has been in place since 2006 and entitles local authorities to impose conditions when granting licences to Landlords. In addition, and as discussed in my related article on the subject, councils are also entitled to levy a fee for the granting of such licences. In fact, the HMO Continue reading

Cash Seizure and Forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Introduction It’s a problem we are all familiar with; you are a successful international business person travelling into the UK with some cash in connection with your next project. You are stopped at the border and a Border Force official finds the cash (e.g. currency, postal orders, cheques, bankers drafts or bearer bonds) and decides Continue reading

Tenancy Deposits: A Brief Summary

It has long been standard practice for landlords to take a deposit from tenants at the start of a tenancy agreement.  The deposit provides some protection to the landlord in the event of damage to the property or the tenant doing a disappearing act and leaving rent unpaid. Some landlords however were in the habit Continue reading