Olivia Checa-Dover

Olivia Checa-Dover

Called to the Bar 2007/Lincoln’s Inn

  • University of Durham LLB (Hons): 2:1
  • BPP Law School (Bar Vocational Course): Outstanding
  • Recipient of the Buchanan Prize
  • Pupil of Ian Skelt and Amanda Denton, KBW
  • Regional Panel Member of Junior Counsel to the Crown
  • Legally Qualified Chair of Police Misconduct Hearings
  • External Assessor with the College of Policing
  • Deputy District Judge

 Area of Practice: Family Law


Legal 500 [2018] ‘A seasoned advocate’

Legal 500 [2017] Her charm connects her with professional and lay clients alike.’

Legal 500 [2016]Experienced in cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

Chambers and Partners [2016]  “She is very down to earth and very good with witnesses

Legal 500 [2015]Well prepared, clear, concise and approachable.’

Chambers & Partners [2015] recommended for Family/Matrimonial proceedings.

Handles the full range of family law matters, with a particular specialism in sensitive public and private law children cases. She is instructed on behalf of a wide variety of parties, but has specialist experience in representing vulnerable victims of sexual abuse.’

‘She is excellent in the way she deals with clients.’


‘She is very prompt with attendance notes and good with her clients as well, particularly in children matters.’

Legal 500 [2014] ‘recommended for public and private law children proceedings.’

Legal 500 [2013] ‘recommended for her approach to care proceedings.’


Areas of Practice

Olivia practises in all areas of family law with an emphasis on public and private law children proceedings. Olivia is head of the family law team in Chambers. She has a loyal client base of family law practitioners across the region.


Public Law
  • Acts for Local Authorities, parents, Guardians and interveners.
  • Experienced in particularly sensitive care proceedings, including those heard in the High Court due to legal complexity and/or the death of a child. Has a wealth of experience in both alleged and serious non-accidental injury cases and proceedings set in unusual or sensitive cultural context.
  • Experienced in detailed cross-examination of expert witnesses.
  • Has particular interest in Court of Protection work.
  • Acted for Applicants and Respondents in applications for Forced Marriage Protection Orders.


Private Law
  • Regularly acts for applicants and respondents in a wide range of s.8 applications, with particular experience of representing victims of sexual abuse who are initially reluctant, or even unable, to provide full instructions.
  • Is regularly instructed to represent clients seeking contact in the context of another parent implacably resistant to such contact taking place.
  • Has experience of adoption applications made by family members.


Notable Cases
  • Represented a mother accused of fabricating illnesses in her children, an allegation disproved through the use of expert evidence and the marshalling of voluminous medical records in an attempt to ascertain which, if any, purported illnesses had linked objective evidence supporting its legitimacy;
  • We were ultimately able to ascertain expert evidence that contradicted the Local Authority’s assertions that Mother was deliberately fabricating illnesses;
  • Represented a mother during protracted care proceedings where she and her partner were named in the pool of potential perpetrators of almost fatal non-accidental injuries, including multiple fractures and retinal haemorrhages, sustained over an extended period of time to a baby. Case involved complex causation issues, most notably the presence of another illness which had the potential to mask the symptoms of the alleged non-accidental injuries to a non-perpetrator;
  • Representation of the child in a case of multiple non-accidental fractures, involved chairing experts’ meetings relating to complex issues of causation;
  • Experience of representation of families from the Roma Gypsy community;
  • Experience of representing parents with severe mental health difficulties;
  • Represented a mother during care proceedings arising out of a suspected skull fracture sustained by Mother’s baby whilst in her care. The case has a number of complicating features, both medical (conflicting expert evidence) and social in nature;
  • Represented a mother in private law proceedings relating to a child conceived between first cousins, arising out of an alleged rape.


  • ‘Mental Capacity: Ten Years the Wiser?’ Family Law Journal, June 2014
  • ‘The Limits of Confidence – an article on the varying rights to be balanced when considering witness anonymity.’ Family Law Journal, May 2013
  • ‘Addressing the ‘necessity’ of expert evidence.’ Lexis PSL Family [Lexis Nexis] 29th April 2013



Family Law Bar Association