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Richard O’Sullivan



Richard is an experienced family barrister recommended in the last 10 editions of the Legal 500 for his work across all aspects of family law, but in particular public law child cases.   Unflappable, hardworking and approachable, with an eye for detail and a particular focus on the needs of his client.


Before joining Coram in 2014, Richard spent 14 years at East Anglian Chambers where his family practice included an equal split of matrimonial finance and public and private law cases. He continues to appear regularly in courts in Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Suffolk, but more recently his work has taken him across the country. 

The majority of Richard’s time is now taken up with childcare law, in particular care and adoption proceedings, abduction proceedings, cases involving international relocation of children, wardship proceedings and the deprivation of liberty, but he continues to regularly accept instructions in matrimonial property disputes.  He has a particular interest in cases involving head injuries to infants and special guardianship orders. 

In the last twelve months his caseload has included applications for forced marriage protection order, female genital mutilation, serious sexual assaults, allegations of trafficking and fabricated illness.  

Routinely instructed on behalf of local authorities, parents, relatives and children, Richard is regarded as an accomplished problem solver, noted for his well-considered arguments and his sensitivity to the needs of his client and his tribunal.  He can be relied upon to provide timely reasoned advice in a manner tailored to his audience and has a kind and patient approach to lay clients rooted in a desire to dispel the anxieties that inevitably arise during court proceedings.  

Richard is accredited by the Bar Council to provide advice direct to individuals under the public access scheme, which he does on a regular basis. 

Practice Areas

Public Law Children

Private Law Children

Local Authority

International Family Law


‘Richard O’Sullivan covers the whole spectrum of family worker’. Legal 500 (2011) 

‘He deals with high value, complex family matters’.  Legal 500 (2012) 

‘Noted for his expertise in the fields of matrimonial finance and childcare’. Legal 500 (2013) 

‘Incredible knowledge’. Legal 500 (2014) 

‘He deals with extremely sensitive matters with ease’.  Legal 500 (2015) 


Re AX-BX and others (Revocation of Adoption Orders) [2021] EWHC 1121 (Fam) 

Re LC (A Child – Placement Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 787  

Re E (Care Proceedings: Fact Finding) [2020] EWFC 24  

Re FL (A Child) [2020] EWCA Civ 20 

Re E (A Child: Questioning a Vulnerable Witness) [2019] EWHC 3808 (Fam) 

Re S (Wardship) [2016] EWFC B1 

Local Authority v. XYZ (No 1) [2015] EWFC 69 

A Local Authority v. XYZ (No 2) [2015] EWFC 70 

T (Habitual Residence: Article 15 Transfer)[2014] EWFC B148 

J (Discharge of A Care Order)[2014] EWFC B199 

Re A (Adoption versus Special Guardianship Order) [2014] EWCC B39 (Fam) 

Re A-F [Final Order][2014] EWCC B59 (Fam) 

Education and Professional Memberships

BA Joint Hons University of York 

CPE College of Law 

BVC Inns of Court School of Law 

Family Law Bar Association 

Essex Family Justice Board 

Inner Temple 


Include: film, falconry, sailing and cooking.