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Damian Broadbent

Year of call: 2019

Damian practises on the North Eastern circuit and in London. Damian is a family law specialist. He accepts instructions in public law, private law, and financial remedy matters.

Damian represents, local authorities, parents, guardians and intervenors.

In his first three years of practice Damian undertook criminal trials in the Crown Court where he honed his abilities as a cross-examiner and witness handler. In the Family Courts, he routinely acts in cases turning on contested factual and expert evidence and involving difficult findings of fact. Damian has been successful both in bringing and challenging serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault, historical physical and sexual abuse, serious non-accidental injury and fabricated and induced illness.

Damian is also regularly instructed to represent police forces in the Family Courts, especially on applications for forced marriage protection orders and female genital mutilation orders, and in cases where public interest immunity is sought.

In 2022 Damian was invited to Sierra Leone by the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone as part of a delegation of four lawyers. Damian, together with Justice Teresa Doherty CBE, Professor Saul Lehrfreund MBE, and HHJ Heywood met judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Court of Sierra Leone. Damian advised on the creation of a sexual offences court and on the creation and implementation of sentencing guidelines for offences which had previously attracted the death penalty.

Public law children

Practice summary

Damian has extensive experience of representing local authorities, parents, guardians, intervenors, and separately represented children. He has experience in the following areas:
  • Non-accidental injuries, including shaken baby cases, multiple fractures, and fatal injuries.
  • Fabricated and induced illness.
  • Serious sexual abuse, including historic sexual abuse of children.
  • Secure accommodation.
  • Female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
  • Mental health.
  • Neglect and substance misuse.
  • Domestic abuse.
Damian is known for taking a hands-on approach to the preparation of his cases; he works closely with his professional client to provide careful assistance throughout the proceedings. He is often instructed to review schedules of allegations and witness statements before they are finalised.

In his public law cases, Damian brings the knowledge and understanding acquired whilst working in two local authority legal departments before he joined chambers.

Notable cases

LA v G and Others (2023): Damian, together with Jess Butterell, was led by June Venters KC in a case involving a child who had sustained fatal injuries. The case involved over 90,000 pages of evidence.

LA v H and Others (2023): Damian represented a local authority which sought findings that a young baby sustained a skull fracture and was shaken. The case involved complex medical evidence from a variety of disciplines, including neuroradiology, neurosurgery, haematology, paediatrics, and psychiatry. All the other parties were represented by senior junior counsel. The court made all the findings sought by the local authority.

LA v W and Others (2023): Damian successfully represented a grandmother accused of inflicting several fractures to a young baby’s arms and legs. Under cross-examination by Damian, another party admitted for the first time that they had caused the injuries.

LA v M and Others (2023): Damian represented a father who faced allegations of historical rape and physical abuse against the children. The court dismissed all the findings and the children were placed in his care.

LA v T and Others (2022): Damian represented a father who was alleged to have sexually abused his child. The case involvement arguments of law about the admissibility and weight of an ABE interview which did not comply with best practice guidance.

LA v H and Others (2022): Damian represented a father who was alleged to have sexually abused his child. Damian successfully resisted any findings being made against his client, and the child was placed in his care at an interim stage, following the fact-finding hearing.

LA v H and Others (2022): Damian represented a father who was alleged to have administered unprescribed medication and caused a fractured rib to his child. Damian successfully resisted any findings being made against his client.

LA v O and Others (2021): Damian represented a local authority in a final hearing in the High Court for a complex case involving children being removed from their adoptive parents.

LA v K and Others (2021): Damian represented a local authority pursuing findings of non-accidental injuries against a 3-month-old child. Damian worked closely with the local authority to provide comprehensive advice on the strength of the evidence and the appropriate findings to pursue, including drafting the schedule of findings sought.

Private law children

Practice summary

Damian has experience representing parents and guardians. He has experience in the following areas:
  • Fact-finding hearings.
  • Parental alienation or intractable hostility.
  • Cases involving a local authority or which become care proceedings.
  • Specific issue orders.
  • Non-molestation orders and occupation orders.
  • Enforcement orders.
  • Contempt proceedings.
Notable cases

R v H (2023): Damian represented a mother faced with an application for an enforcement orders and costs. The application was abandoned after Damian’s skeleton argument was served making it clear that the application was legally unsustainable.

W v A (2023): Damian represented a client in contempt proceedings who had breached undertakings he had given to the court. The breaches involved harassment of the most serious nature, including accessing a covert listening device in the former matrimonial home. Damian was closely involved in the preparation of the case. At the final hearing Damian was able to negotiate an agreement which included the other side abandoning their contempt application.

R v B (2023): Damian successfully represented a mother bringing allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and physical abuse. The client was extremely vulnerable and had mental health difficulties. The case involved a large amount of medical evidence.

C v C (2021): Damian represented a mother. The father had removed the child from mother’s care and pursued findings that the mother had inflicted non-accidental injuries. No findings were made, and Damian successfully argued the child should return to the mother’s care.

R v H (2021): Damian successfully represented a mother in a complex private law finding of fact. The mother sought 14 findings against the father and the father sought 12 findings against the mother. The court made all the findings sought by the mother, and none of the findings sought by the father.

Financial remedy

Practice summary

Damian accepts instructions in financial remedy claims. He welcomes instructions prior to the issue of proceedings and prefers to see cases through from the first directions appointment to the final hearing.

Damian also accepts instructions to represent clients engaged in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and private FDRs.

Recent cases

W v H (2023): Damian represented an applicant wife in a case involving parties who had been married twice. The case involved consideration of the validity of a consent order made following the parties’ first divorce on which the husband sought to rely even after the parties re-married.

W v H (2023): Damian represented an applicant wife seeking a financial remedy following her divorce. After detailed cross-examination by Damian, the court was satisfied that the respondent husband had not provided full and frank disclosure to the court. The court was also persuaded that the husband’s pension which was accrued completely before the marriage should be shared with the wife.


2018 – 2019: LLM., Master of Laws, with Distinction.

2015 – 2018: LLB., Bachelor of Laws, with Honours.

Professional memberships

Treasurer, North Eastern Circuit Bar None.

Member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.


Vulnerable witness handling.

Rape and serious sexual assault training.

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