T: 020 7092 3700
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Alex Laing

Call 2014

About Me

Alex specialises in the full spectrum of family law and associated issues.

Alex has won numerous accolades. He is the Outstanding Newcomer in the Field of Children Law: ALC Award 2017. The award is for “an exceptional newcomer to this field”. He is the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: Family Law Awards 2017. He was the Young Barrister of the Year: Family Law Awards 2016, for “a barrister… who the judges believe has stood out from their peers”.

He was recently instructed in the Supreme Court and is frequently instructed in the Court of Appeal and High Court. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Alex appeared in multi-jurisdictional financial remedy and TLATA appeals, widely reported in the national press, including in The Times, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Express, The Herald (Scotland), etc.

He is co-author of Laing and Jackson: Public Children Law: Contemporary Issues, to be published in mid-2018. Also, of Child Protection and the Family Court: What You Need to Know with Sir Andrew McFarlane and Madeleine Reardon, to be published in late 2018.

Alex has already appeared in numerous reported cases: see Cases. His work in complex areas has been quoted by Sir James Munby P, who described it as “very impressive” and “illuminating” (In the matter of N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 1112 and X (A Child) and Y (A Child) [2016] EWHC 2271 (Fam)).

Alex studied history and modern languages at Trinity College Dublin where he was awarded the Gold Medal by the University Board (for receiving a First in all papers, essays and dissertation). He completed the GDL and the BPTC at the City Law School, where he won the Everard Van Heyden prize.

Before coming to the Bar, Alex worked for the United Nations in El Salvador. At that time, El Salvador suffered from the highest murder rate of any country not in open war. He assisted with an investigation into corruption in the justice system and worked with gang-related charities.

Alex speaks and writes fluent Spanish. He holds a DELE Diploma C2 (equivalent to doctorate level; certifies “mastery”)

Alex accepts instructions in all areas of family law. He has a broad practice, focussing on children law (international, public and private) and finance. He has a particular interest in international cases of all sorts.

He was recently instructed in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (formerly the Goddard Inquiry) on behalf of a high-profile participant.

He is a contributor on children and finance law to Family Law (journal), Family Law Week and a Bloomsbury blog. For a full list of his publications, see ‘Publications’ tab above.

When not at work, Alex can be found competing in mud and ice runs for a friend’s charity and he used to teach English in the Andes mountains in Peru.

Alex is an Affiliate Member of Resolution.

Adult and Social Care
Family Finance
Human Rights


Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn (top barrister)
The City Law School, BPTC (Outstanding)
Universidad para la Paz, Costa Rica, M.A.-level certificate, Transitions to Democracy (Distinction)
The City Law School, GDL (Distinction)
Trinity College Dublin, B.A. (Mod.) European Studies (Gold Medal; First Class Honours, with Distinction)



Italian (basic)


Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Affiliate Member of Resolution
Alex’s writing is described as “very good and a remarkably helpful and simple way to choose the right application” (Andrew Pack of Suesspicious Minds).


Villiers v Villiers: The Hammer of the Scots?: Part I (co-author, Michael Horton) The Review, May 2018
Why pro bono? [2018] Fam Law 361
Villiers v Villiers: An Update (co-author, Michael Horton) Family Law Week, 22 March 2018 (read http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed188904)
I Can’t Get No (Just) Satisfaction: Human Rights Act Claims in Family Law (co-author, Rachel Cooper), The Review, December 2017
Guidance on the Use of Professional Time to Benefit Children, The Review, September 2017
Children Giving Evidence in Family Proceedings: A Pocket Guide to the Law, Bloomsbury Law Online, 26 October 2016 (read http://www.bloomsburylawonline.com/children-giving-evidence-in-family-proceedings/)
Secure, Secure, Secure, Absconding, Bloomsbury Law Online, 5 October 2016 (read http://www.bloomsburylawonline.com/secure-secure-secure-absconding/)
Children Case Update: Public law: Part 3: Special guardianship orders; female genital mutilation protection orders; BIIa and other international care cases; inherent jurisdiction and wardship; decisions of the Supreme Court [2016] Fam Law 643
Children Case Update: Public law: Part 2: Fact finding; medical treatment; adoption and placement orders [2016] Fam Law 931
Children Case Update: Public law: Part 1: Care Proceedings, [2016] Fam Law 643
And There Lurks the Minotaur: The Interrelationship Between the Inherent Jurisdiction and Section 25, CA 1989: Part II, Family Law Week, 8 July 2016 (read http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed161670)
And There Lurks the Minotaur: The Interrelationship Between the Inherent Jurisdiction and Section 25, CA 1989: Part I, Family Law Week, 22 June 2016 (read http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed161398)
A Very Legal Playground: In the Matter of B (A Child) and the Habitual Residence Seesaw, Family Law (online), 22 February 2016
Saleem, Shivering and English Winters: Jurisdiction under Article 11 of the 1996 Hague Convention and is published on Family Law (online), 4 January 2015. (read here)
‘Calderback to the Future: A Debate on the Motion: This House Believes the Calderbank Regime Should be Restored in Family Cases’ [2015] Fam Law 1537
‘”… this can no longer be tolerated”: a short guide to the correct use of section 20, Children Act 1989’ Family Law Week, 11 November 2015 (read here)
‘Limping Infants and Article 15 BIIA: the “magisterial” judgment in In the Matter of N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction)’, Family Law Week, 10 November 2015 (read here)
‘Magna Carta 800 Years On: Faded Lustre and Family Law.’ Family Law (online), 17 July 2015 (read here)
Genes or Jeans? The Importance of the Genetic Relationship when Evaluating a Child’s Best Interests, Family Law (online), 3 June 2015 (read here)
Adopting Foreign Children: Part II: A Counter-Argument; Choice of Laws [2015] Fam Law 703
Adopting Foreign Children: Part I: Jurisdiction [2015] Fam Law 565 (read here)
Re J: A Lesson on Threshold and Logic, Family Law Week, 23 April 2015 (read here)
Daedalus’s Twist? Secure Accommodation after a Child’s 16th Birthday, Family Law Week, 9 April 2015 (read here)
Ariadne’s Golden Thread: Placing Children in Secure Accommodation, Family Law Week, 9 April 2015 (read here)

Podcast and Case Summaries

Secure Accommodation Orders and Deprivation of Liberty of Children and Young Persons, 29 July 2017 (listen http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed178924)
Alex writes weekly case summaries for Family Law Week. These are available to read http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=se0&s=Laing


T (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 2136
X and Y (Appeal against Care Order) [2018] EWFC B55
Williams and another v London Borough of Hackney [2018] UKSC 37
Letts v Letts [2018] EWHC 1639 (Fam)
Villiers v Villiers [2018] EWCA Civ 1120
A Local Authority v A’s Father, Mr F & Ors [2018] EWHC 1121 (Fam)

AB v CD [2018] EWHC 1021 (Fam)

A Local Authority v T (No. 2) [2018] EWHC 816 (Fam)

A Local Authority v T (No. 1) [2018] EWHC 576 (Fam)


F v H & Anor [2017] EWHC 3358 (Fam)
A London Borough v M, F and B [2017] EWFC B93
J (A Child) (Finland) (Habitual Residence) [2017] EWCA Civ 80


Magiera v Magiera [2016] EWCA Civ 1292
P (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 1127


Family Law Awards 2018 Shortlisted
Young Barrister of the Year


Family Law Awards 2017
Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year


Family Law Awards 2016
Young Barrister of the Year