Robert Wilkinson


BarristerCall 2007

Robert specialises in all aspects of the law relating to children. Robert’s practice increasingly involves representing children through their appointed Guardian, both in public law care proceedings, and to a greater extent in private law proceedings through Rule 16.4.

Robert also readily receives instructions on behalf of Local Authorities, parents and interveners in public law children proceedings as well as the full range of private law children and Family Law Act work. Robert frequently acts in complex care cases involving allegations of serious physical, emotional and sexual abuse and has appeared at all levels from lay justices to the Court of Appeal.

Robert is fully qualified to undertake work on a Direct Access basis from members of the public.

Robert previously worked within a firm of specialist family solicitors in London focusing on all aspects of public law and private law children matters including child abduction under the Hague Convention and urgent applications covered by the Family Law Act 1996.

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (Law LLB)

College of Law, London (Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent)

Neville Laski Pupillage Award (Inner Temple)

Re J

Representing the children, via their Guardian, appointed under Rule 16.4, in lengthy and highly protracted private law proceedings. The case included separate multi-day fact-finding and welfare hearings. At the fact-finding stage the court considered allegations of a campaign of harassment and domestic violence perpetrated by the father, with cross-allegations by the father of domestic violence against him and coercive and controlling behaviour by the mother. At the welfare stage, Robert was able to successfully argue against any shared child arrangements order and argued on behalf of the children for a non-molestation order against the father in light of his harassing and inflammatory conduct towards the mother.

This was a case of implacable hostility between the parents which the judge described as ‘highly troubling’ given the lengths to which the father in particular went to discredit the mother, including a campaign of harassment through her workplace.

 

Re S

Robert acted for the Local Authority in care proceedings where the child’s eventual placement in a residential unit was agreed by the parties, but the legal basis of placement was fundamentally in dispute with the mother (who had severe learning disabilities and required an advocate and support worker) and maternal grandmother arguing that not only should the court make no order, but the threshold for the making of orders was not even met.

This was a heavily contentious and difficult final hearing. The court agreed that threshold was met and agreed that the final care order was necessary due to the lack of stability in the relationship between the mother and maternal grandmother. The court agreed that this could lead to their consent to the agreed placement being withdrawn and consequently there was a high likelihood of further proceedings, which would be contrary to the child’s best interests.

 

Re M

Representing the Local Authority in an application for care and placement orders involving an extremely vulnerable mother who had spent a number of years imprisoned by a sex trafficking gang. She suffered from significant mental health problems and her volatile and aggressive presentation to professionals throughout the Local Authority’s involvement spilled over into the court proceedings. All professional witnesses were excused from attending court and gave their evidence via video link from an undisclosed location following multiple threats to kill the Social Worker and Guardian. Similar threats were made to those in court when judgment was given in the Local Authority’s favour.

 

Re D

A highly complex High Court care case acting for an intervenor accused of murdering his  baby. The subject child in the proceedings was the baby’s surviving half-sibling by a different father and the responsibility for the baby’s death was central to the question of whether the surviving child could return to the mother’s care.

 

Re C

A protracted and lengthy case representing a father in private law proceedings. The father faced allegations of domestic abuse and a CAFCASS report which recommended no contact of any form without the father successfully completing a Domestic Violence programme, something which he had been kicked off during the lifetime of the proceedings. Robert was able to successfully challenge the negative CAFCASS report and secure an immediate reintroduction of face-to-face contact and final orders for the children to spend regular, unsupervised time with their father on an overnight basis.

Family Law Bar Association

Inner Temple

PRIVACY POLICY FOR ROBERT WILKINSON

 

Data Controller

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My registered address is New Court Chambers, Temple, London EC4Y 9BE and my registration number is Z3124865.

 

Data Collection

All of the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered by me in the course of your case and/or proceedings. Your solicitor and I will tell you why we need the information and how we will use it.

 

Lawful Basis for processing your information

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires all organisations / individuals that process personal data to have a Lawful Basis for doing so. The Lawful Bases identified in the GDPR are:

·      Consent of the data subject
·      Performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract
·      Compliance with a legal obligation
·      To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
·      Performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
·      The legitimate interests of ourselves, or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.

 

Examples of legitimate interests include:

  • Where the data subject is a client or in the service of the controller;
  • Transmission within a group of undertakings for internal administrative purposes;
  • Processing necessary to ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access;
  • Processing for direct marketing purposes, or to prevent fraud; and
  • Reporting possible criminal acts or threats to public security.

 

My Lawful Basis is:

·      Your consent
·      To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another person
·      Compliance with a legal obligation

 

My Legitimate Interest is:

·      You are a client
·      The processing is necessary for administering justice
·      The processing is necessary in relation to legal proceedings, for obtaining legal advice, or otherwise for establishing, exercising or defending legal rights

I use your information to:

  • Provide legal advice and representation
  • Communicate with you about services, updates and events

 

I do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data.

 

I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. This includes:

 

Client data

  • Name;
  • Email;
  • Phone number;
  • Address;
  • Date of birth;
  • Location details;
  • Medical history and current medical health;
  • Criminal convictions;
  • Social work involvement;
  • Ethnic origin;
  • Religious background.

 

I may share your personal data with:

  • Instructing solicitors;
  • Pupil or mini pupil, under my training;
  • Opposing Counsel, for the purposes of resolving the case and complying with court orders or procedure rules;
  • My Chambers management and staff who provide administrative services;
  • My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute or other legal matter;
  • Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties to meet our legal obligations;
  • Any other party where I ask you for your consent to the sharing.

 

Transfers to third countries and international organisations

I store my case files on Dropbox which is a cloud hosted environment based in the US.

Dropbox relies upon a variety of legal mechanisms for its international transfer of personal data from the EU to the United States. Dropbox is certified under the EU-US and Swiss US Privacy Shield Programs regarding the collection, use and retention of personal data and its transfer from the EU and Switzerland to the United States.

In addition to the Privacy Shield, Dropbox also provides strong contractual guarantees around the privacy of its services and relies on the EU Model Contract Clauses to cover its international transfers of data.

As an extra layer of security I encrypt all documents before they are stored in Dropbox. I am the only person who can access the encrypted files and they can only be opened by me on one of my devices. In the unlikely event that such files are intercepted, they cannot be accessed by any other person as a result of their being encrypted at source.

I am satisfied that such transferred data is fully protected and safeguarded as required by the General Data Protection Regulation.

 

Retention of data

I retain your personal data while you remain a client unless you ask me to delete it.

 

My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held. I will delete or anonymise your information at your request unless:

  • There is an unresolved issue, such as claim or dispute;
  • I am legally required to; or
  • There are overriding legitimate business interests, including but not limited to fraud prevention and protecting customers’ safety and security.

 

Your Rights

The General Data Protection Regulation gives you specific rights around your personal data. For example, you have to be informed about the information I hold and what I use it for, you can ask for a copy of the personal information I hold about you, you can ask us to correct any inaccuracies with the personal data I hold, you can ask us to stop sending you direct mail, or emails, or in some circumstances ask us to stop processing your details. Finally, if I do something irregular or improper with your personal data you can seek compensation for any distress you are caused or loss you have incurred. You can find out more information from the ICO’s website http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information and this is the organisation that you can complain to if you are unhappy with how I dealt with you.

 

Accessing and Correcting Your Information

You may request access to, correction of, or a copy of your information by contacting me at rwilkinson@newcourtchambers.com

 

I will occasionally update my Privacy Notice and it is reviewed annually in May. When I make significant changes, I will notify you of these by email. I will also publish the updated Notice on my website profile.

 

 


 

Data Protection Policy available on request.