T: 020 7092 3700
DX 404 Chancery Lane

Richard O’Sullivan

Call 2000

About Me

Richard has been recommended in the last eight editions of the Legal 500. In particular, he has been noted:
– for his ability to cover the ‘whole spectrum of family work’ (2011);
– for his skill in dealing with ‘high value, complex family matters’ (2012);
– for his expertise in the fields of matrimonial finance and child care (2013);
– for his ‘incredible knowledge’ (2014); and
– ‘He deals with extremely sensitive matters with ease’ (2015)
– Very good with both clients and professionals’ (2020)
Before joining Coram in 2014, Richard spent 14 years at East Anglian Chambers where his family law practice included financial provision proceedings, public and private law proceedings. He continues to appear regularly in the region’s courts and is routinely instructed by solicitors and local authorities in the area.
His recent work has included:
– Care proceedings
A Local Authority v. XYZ (No 1) [2015] EWFC 69
Investigation of inflicted injuries to a deceased child.
A Local Authority v. XYZ (No 2) [2015] EWFC 70
Representation of a father in care proceedings
‘Nothing more could have been said or done behalf of any of the parties and, in particular, on behalf of the Father.’ Mr Justice Moor
Re T (unreported) October/ November 2014
Representation of a local authority in proceedings relating to a severely autistic child with very limited communication skills. Mrs J Parker having found that the mother’s perception that he had undiagnosed problems which, if treated, could stop him suffering from autism was misplaced had caused the child unnecessary harm approved a plan that the child should remain in the care of his grandparents. Judgment was reserved, but in advance of it being handed down the child was reported to have swallowed lighter fuel whilst in his grandparents’ care which promoted an emergency application for removal, which was granted by the court.
– Application for Secure Accommodation Orders and Discharge of Care Orders
J (DIscharge of A Care Order)[2014] EWFC B199
Richard represented a local authority in discharge proceedings brought by various family members all unrepresented in respect of a teenage child who wished to remain in foster care.
Re J (unreported) April 2014
Representation of a local authority in care proceedings where the 14 year old subject of the proceedings had been the subject of a succession of Secure Accommodation Orders. At the final hearing both parents and the Guardian argued that the child should be made the subject of a Supervision Order due to their agreement and co-operation with the placement plan. Court agreed with the local authority that a Supervision Order was not appropriate where a child was beyond parental control.
Brussels 2
T (Habitual Residence: Article 15 Transfer)[2014] EWFC B148
Dispute over habitual residence within care proceedings concerning a 12 year old Romanian child who had been brought to the UK by his mother and then left in the care of his brother until he was returned to Romania when he became home sick. Habitual residence established but Article 15 request made due to his connection with Romania.
Special guardianship applications
Re A (Adoption versus Special Guardianship Order) [2014] EWCC B39 (Fam)
Grandparents successfully applied for an adoption order in care proceedings where the local authority were proposing placement of the child with them under a Special Guardianship Order.
In addition to the above Richard regularly appears in cases involving:
– Ancillary relief and financial provision arising out of marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation
– Removal from jurisdiction and child abduction
– Domestic violence
– Child arrangement disputes (Residence, contact and parental responsibility)
Regarded as an accomplished problem solver and noted for his well-considered arguments, Richard is commended for his straightforward approach and succinctness in court.
He is acknowledged as an effective communicator who can be relied upon to provide firm and fair advice, particularly when representing vulnerable clients. His patient and kindly approach does much to dispel their inevitable anxiety when facing court proceedings.
Richard is accredited by the Bar Council to provide advice to direct to individuals under the Public Access rules.
His web site can be accessed here: www.thefamilybarrister.co.uk
Richard provides training advocacy training for local authority lawyers and regular mock trials for social workers.
Family Finance
Direct Access


BA Joint Hons University of York
CPE College of Law
BVC Inns of Court School of Law


Professional Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Essex Family Justice Board
Inner Temple



Include: film, falconry, sailing and cooking.

‘A highly experienced child care practitioner who represents local authorities and parents in public law proceedings.’ Legal 500, 2021

‘Noted for his expertise in care cases’ Legal 500, 2018

‘Recommended for the full range of family cases, including family finance’ Legal 500, 2016

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)

S (wardship), Re [2016] EWFC B

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)


South Eastern Circuit
Leading junior 2020

South Eastern Circuit
Leading junior 2019

South Eastern Circuit
Leading junior 2018