Melanie McIntosh

In my wide-ranging and versatile practice I specialise mostly in Family, Property (including Rating and Planning), Local Government and general Civil Work, as well as representing and advising clients in Probate and Inheritance cases. I have acted in numerous landmark/reported cases, many of which are test cases for particular points of law and my clients appreciate my efficient, focused approach as well as the strength of my advocacy.

I am completely at home acting in sensitive cases which make use of my high-level negotiation and advocacy skills, and I have an innate ability to identify and focus on the relevant issues which is highly valued by my clients.

In my Family work I have particular expertise in dealing with private and public contested care cases and those involving mental health issues, in which my grasp of complex issues, coupled with a sensitive approach, helps me to support clients dealing with extremely difficult personal circumstances.

My matrimonial finance experience also includes complex cases including multiple issues such as trusts, overseas assets, pensions, freezing of assets, private and company assets and inheritance as well as more straightforward cases.

In Planning and Rating I have extensive experience of dealing with expert evidence, and advising on complex property and regulatory matters. One of my particular specialisms is in representing clients in complex cases involving commercial property.

Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme)

My private family practice focusses particularly on cases involving Child Arrangement Orders – who your children will live with following a separation, and how any contact with your partner will be managed. Many of these cases have included sensitive issues like mental health, domestic abuse, parental alienation, drug and alcohol abuse and specific issues such as education and overseas location, non-molestation orders, injunctions and occupation orders. I balance an analytical approach to detail with sensitive handling of the emotional impact of such circumstances.

I am regularly instructed by both Applicants and Respondents in this area of Family Law and have a particular interest/experience in cases involving complex expert evidence – such as those where medical evidence is needed.


Melanie McIntosh's Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme) Cases

Representing grandparents in application for a CAO

Melanie successfully represented the grandparents in an application for permission to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order. The matter was listed for a fully contested hearing. The fully contested hearing was vacated and a final Child Arrangements Order was negotiated and agreed by consent.

Public Law Children

My cases in Public Law matters relating to children cover care and adoption proceedings, and I frequently act on behalf of Respondents – mostly parents who have had a petition filed against them by the other parent. I have also worked with grandparents to achieve Special Guardianship Orders.

I am particularly interested in cases involving complex issues and am adept at dealing with expert evidence.


Divorce and Matrimonial Finance

My divorce and matrimonial finance work often involves high value negotiations (for example where there are complex multiple factors such as trusts, overseas assets, pensions, freezing of assets, private and company assets and inheritance) but I also act for clients involved in more modest claims.

I have a particular interest in cases where I need to examine and assimilate complex expert evidence – I have a valuable mix of skills in Family Law and Property issues including Planning and Rating matters which often come to the fore in complex divorce and matrimonial finance cases where substantial business or private property portfolios or other assets are involved.


Melanie McIntosh's Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Cases

Securing a settlement involving modest assets

Melanie represented a Respondent under the Direct Public Access scheme in a matrimonial finance case. The matter involved a two-day final hearing, so working with directly Melanie enabled her client to minimise costs in this case where the assets concerned were fairly modest. The Court awarded Melanie’s client the settlement that she had sought.  

Planning & Rating

My Rating work covers all aspects of non-domestic Rating and refers to advice and appearances before Valuation Tribunals and the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). In these cases, which often involve complex issues and lengthy negotiations my clients benefit from my pragmatic and efficient approach, as well as strong advocacy. This work is highly specialised and predominantly covers ‘test’ cases relating to issues of national importance.

My Planning work encompasses advisory work, appearing in planning inquiries and tribunals. I represent clients in cases involving planning permission including in planning prosecutions and appeals. Much of my work in this area involves particular issues relating to Green Belt, Special Landscape, Conservation Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Urban and Town Centres, Inappropriate Use, Highways, Compulsory Purchase and inappropriate agricultural diversification, Caravans and Mobile Homes. I have represented individuals and groups – for example Residents’ Associations or groups of residents concerned about proposed developments in their area, or individuals who have encountered problems with planning permission relating to their own properties.




Property and Land Law

My Property and Land Law work covers easements, boundary disputes, title deeds, issues of covenants, adverse possession, other real property rights and Landlord and Tenant (both in the public and private sector).

I enjoy this type of detailed work, and particularly relish the challenges presented by complex issues in this area. If you have a long-running issue in this area I would be particularly happy to advise you, having built a reputation with my clients for my forensic approach to examining, analysing and presenting detailed information to the extent that I am able to successfully conclude cases which may have previously foundered.

Probate & Inheritance

My Mental Health Act cases usually involve appearing on behalf of Applicants, Respondents or third parties and include work involving the Official Solicitor and representation at Mental Health Tribunals. This work involves my ability to assimilate complex expert evidence including cross examining expert witnesses.

My Probate and Inheritance work involves advising on and appearances in respect of contested probate issues in the High Court and the County Court, often involving complex property and valuation issues.