Sophie Gray

My increasingly busy practice has been established at Becket Chambers since I joined, originally as a pupil, in 2013. Now fully qualified, I accept direct access instructions in private family law cases.

My ability to build productive relationships with my clients is an important aspect of my growing reputation, and one of the reasons why I choose to work on Direct Public Access cases. I like to work with my clients to ensure that they feel comfortable and confident throughout proceedings, and I am adaptable and supportive to clients’ varying needs. I aim to give constructive and pragmatic advice, with the aim of guiding my clients to a resolution which avoids expensive litigation where possible. At the same time, I am building a reputation as a strong advocate in court where required.

Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme)

I am regularly instructed under the DPA scheme by parents in private law proceedings where they are unable to agree how their children should be cared for. This generally involves disagreements over which parent a child (or children) should live with, and how contact with the other parent should be managed, including frequency and duration of contact, where it should take place, and whether overnight stays are involved. But it can also involve questions of whether contact needs to be supervised, or whether direct contact is appropriate – these questions may arise where there have been allegations of domestic violence or abuse, or where there are concerns about one parent alienating a child against the other. Disagreements may also arise over a child’s surname, where they should attend school, and where they should live if the parent they live with wishes to move to another part of the country, or abroad.

My clients may instruct me at any stage of private law proceedings, though I generally recommend that they seek advice as early as possible. I work with them to try and resolve matters as early as possible, but if required will remain with a case until matters are concluded at a final hearing.

Within private law proceedings, there is scope for negotiations between parties. I am confident in conducting such negotiations and am often able to propose alternative ways forward to ensure all parties involved are happy with the outcome.