Gemma is an experienced family law barrister and is regularly instructed in all aspects of family law.
Gemma is instructed in public and private law children cases in the County Court and High Court and is particularly skilled at dealing with the heightened emotions such cases may cause. Gemma acts for parents, other family members, NYAS, CAFCASS and Local Authorities.
Gemma represents children in complex residence and contact proceedings where children have been made party to the proceedings.
Gemma has advised on the impact of immigration status in the context of family proceedings and appeared in the High Court on this issue.
Gemma advises and appears in family finance and divorce cases.
Gemma undertakes child abduction work, involving the use of the 1980 Hague Convention, Brussels II Revised regulation and the UK-Pakistan Judicial protocol. Gemma’s knowledge of the law and practices of many jurisdictions from her extradition practice gives her a particular edge in this field.
Gemma has provided a report on Rwandan law for a case in the Family Division.
Care proceedings and Adoption
Gemma has been engaged in cases of neglect, non-accidental injury (including multiple injuries and “baby shaking”) and allegations of sexual abuse. Gemma represents both Local Authorities and parents.
Gemma also represents police authorities who are subject to disclosure requests by the family court.
International Family Law
Gemma has been instructed as junior counsel for Rwanda in ongoing extradition proceedings where five men are sought so that they may be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity. In this matter, Gemma has provided ongoing advice in the Brown case on whether there was a prima facie case against the defendants and how to deal with their defence evidence. A significant knowledge base was gained in international criminal law and of the rules of the UN ICTR as a result of liaison with them. Visited Rwanda on six occasions to advise Government of Rwanda on the extradition proceedings and on the prima facie case.
Assisted in the preparation of amicus briefs before the UN ICTR in the application by the Prosecutor of the Tribunal to transfer cases to Rwanda. Gemma was appointed Assistant Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN ICTR in the case of Prosecutor v Ildephonse Nizeyemana (ICTR- 2000-55). Assisted with preparing cross-examination of defence witnesses and appeared before the Tribunal. Drafted written submissions and acquired a detailed knowledge of the Rules and Procedure and law of the Criminal Tribunals.
Some examples of Gemma's work
Waltham Forest LBC v F  EWFC 13
Advising on the procedure to be followed in Rwanda where a Special Guardianship Order was made in respect of child’s relatives there.
Bedfordshire Police v RU and another (2013)
Acted for a respondent in the first ever committal proceedings for breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order.