Children in the Middle®

We are expert barristers, advising and representing people in making arrangements for the care of their children following divorce or separation. Protecting your rights as a parent and the wellbeing of your child is our top priority.

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About us

We have more than 45 years’ combined experience in the family law field and are the only barristers’ chambers solely specialising in this line of work. We aim to offer creative, practical solutions to even the most difficult situations.    Wherever possible, we will help you reach a voluntary agreement with the other parent over the arrangements for your child. But if court action is required, as barristers, we can provide the experienced representation you need for every stage of the proceedings.

Common issues

Contact with my child

You may be in a situation where you’re not seeing your child, or you might be having difficulties in making arrangements.

Shared Care 

Shared care is now increasingly common. In many cases it offers a better solution for both parents and children.

Moving abroad with my child

You may be in a situation where, following a divorce or separation, you wish to move abroad or emigrate with your children.

Come to the experts

Need help with the arrangements for the care of your children?

Make an initial appointment with one of our expert barristers.


Contact us

Meet us

Ian McArdle

Ian has worked in family law for around 15 years, firstly as a solicitor for 10 years before transferring to the Bar.

During Ian’s time as a Solicitor, he practised as both a criminal solicitor and a family law solicitor and was a member of the Law Society Children Panel from 2013 until he transferred to the Bar.

During his time in practice, Ian has built vast experience in all aspects of children law and adopts a straight-talking, strategic yet compassionate and empathetic approach towards his work.

Alongside Ian’s practise as a barrister, he is undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Legal Practice, akin to a PhD, in which he is researching Parental Alienation in the Family Justice System.

Having been immersed in the topic of Parental Alienation for a number of years, Ian is highly knowledgeable about the concept and how the Family Court should approach cases in which Parental Alienation is alleged.

Ian writes regularly on the topic and has given talks to a number of groups on the subject, including to professionals, charities and the public.

Ian McArdleBarrister
Zara Walker
(Catherine) Zara WalkerBarrister

Olivia began working with us three years ago. She works alongside us running Children in the Middle on a day to day basis.

Olivia has over twenty years of customer focused roles. Using her strengths in efficiency and detail, she manages initial enquiries, bookings, payments and barrister diaries.

She prides herself on giving excellent customer service. She is a vital and valued part of our team.

Olivia is also able – as a separate service – to prepare court bundles.


Sarah has been a family law specialist for more than 30 years and has practised as a barrister since 2004. She focuses on issues relating to children involved in relationship breakdowns.

Sarah initially qualified as a solicitor in London in 1992. After re-qualifying in Scotland, she spent three years working in Edinburgh. Sarah then moved to New York and was employed as a Family Law Attorney for a leading family law firm. During her seven years in the USA, Sarah dealt with many high-profile divorce and custody disputes. She appeared regularly in the New York State Supreme Court and the US District Federal Court in several notable and reported cases.

Sarah has built a wealth of experience. She adopts a fresh and pragmatic approach to representing parents and wider family members in complex disputes involving children.

In 2016, Sarah became one of the first Children’s Arbitrators under the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators Children’s Arbitration Scheme and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Sarah also sits as a part time Judge.

She is also trained and has practised as a Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer, both in the US and UK, and is a member of the Family Law Bar Association.

Sarah, like all of our barristers, is self-employed and works independently.

Sarah EvansBarrister & joint founder of Children in the Middle®


What’s the difference between barristers and solicitors?

Traditionally barristers have represented clients in court and solicitors performed the preparatory work. In recent years the rules have changed and barristers can now do much more of the preparatory work, and advise individuals without the involvement of a solicitor.

Can I employ a barrister without a solicitor?

Yes, members of the public can now instruct a barrister directly without a solicitor.

Does a barrister only conduct court hearings?

No, given rule changes in recent years, barristers can now advise people and prepare documents for them – for example, witness statements and application forms and help them write letters, as well as representing them in court hearings.

How we differ from the usual solicitor-barrister relationship?

You are going direct to expert barristers rather than through a general family law solicitor. You will ask us to do a piece of work for you and we will agree a fixed fee. We will only charge you that…


What people say about us

I feel quite emotional because I can’t describe the impact you have had on our family. You stuck by me, believed me and utmost represented me in the best possible way. You today have me feel like I’ve won in terms of the allegations and I am emotionally trying to digest that. You are in my eyes a superstar and I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to thank you for today. I believe and feel like I was more than a client. I feel like you wanted the best for me as a parent not a client and what was best for our child.