June Venters QC

June Venters QC

June Venters

Year of call: Queen’s Counsel:2006

Call clerks: 0113 297 1200

Email clerks: clerks@kbwchambers.com

  • Practice Summary

    June Venters QC is a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor who specialises in family law, children disputes and crime. Appointed the first woman solicitor Queen’s Counsel in 2006, she is a trailblazer and leader in her field who is fearless in her pursuit for justice and fair representations.
    Her extraordinary blend of professional qualifications, accolades and expertise means she is uniquely placed to deliver the highest level of client service.
    Whether her clients are legally aided or privately funded, she is known for her commitment, dedication, hard work and enthusiasm. ‘She sets extremely high standards’ [Chambers & Partners 2008].

    In 2021 she was shortlisted as Family Law QC of the Year at the prestigious Family Law Awards.

    In 1996 June featured in a BBC 1 documentary about her working life as a criminal duty solicitor and an updated documentary was filmed by BBC 4 in 2008. Both documentaries provided the public with a true insight into the work of solicitors engaged in this field.

    She has undertaken considerable work in the media, taking every opportunity possible to promote the need for Access to Justice. When collecting an award for Legal Business Woman of the Year in 2009 and in her speech she said ‘ Without Access to Justice the Rule of Law is meaningless.’

    Children: Public

    June Venters QC specialises in every aspect of care proceedings and routinely appears in the Family Court, High Court and Appeal Courts throughout the UK. She has considerable experience in cases involving the most serious of allegations and involving:
    • The death of/catastrophic injuries to a child
    • Physical injuries, often referred to as Non Accidental Injuries [NAI]
    • Genetic disorders including Vitamin D/Ricketts/(Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) [EDS] where symptoms can often mimic suspected child abuse
    • Fabricated Induced Illness (FII)
    • Sexual abuse
    • Ritualized child abuse such as symbolic or group clandestine activities with overtones of religious, magical, or Satanic intent
    • Child cruelty/neglect

    Cases of this nature often involve vulnerable children and vulnerable adults. As a Law Society trainer of vulnerable witnesses, June is experienced in the questioning of such witnesses and does so sensitively, whilst ensuring that every relevant issue is fully and properly explored.

    Children: Private

    Experienced in representing children, parents and other interested parties in private children law matters, including:
    • Parental Responsibility
    • Children arrangements [with whom a child[ren] should live and stay and spend time with]
    • Children re-location [in the UK or abroad]
    • Same Sex Families
    • Prohibited steps eg Child abduction
    • Specific Issues eg Medical treatment/attendance at a specific school

    She has considerable expertise in cases that have a cross-over with criminal proceedings.
    Re-location
    June’s thorough preparation and formidable court advocacy skills means she is routinely instructed in these often emotional and complex cases. She has a wealth of experience with these cases, both as a practitioner and as a Judge.

    International Private Law

    June’s extensive experience in both family law and criminal law, means her advice and representation is regularly sought after, nationwide and internationally. She often represents parents who have taken their child to live abroad in order to flee domestic abuse. Because of June’s recognition Internationally in this field, she was invited to deliver a lecture to the Bar Council and its members in Poland
    • Children being removed without a parent’s consent from the UK to a country abroad
    • Children being removed without a parent’s consent from a country abroad to the UK
    • Parental contact with a child abroad

    Mediation

    June Venters QC is an accredited senior family mediator and is qualified to undertake child consultations within mediation. This means that children can meet with her, and their voices can be heard. June is particularly experienced in child consultations within mediation and has the additional qualification to do so.

    June was invited to participate in the voice of the child’ advisory group; the government select committee on mediation and was host to senior government ministers in 2010, including the legal aid minister and the attorney general who, with the media, visited June at her pro bono clinic in a GP’s surgery in order to observe and discuss with her the mediation process. Details of this can be found on the Ministry of Justice website. In addition, and because of June’s recognised ability and experience she was invited to lecture in Latvia on family mediation.

    Arbitration (Children Law)

    June Venters QC is a Children Law Arbitrator who is qualified through the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators [IFLA] and a panel member of the Chartered institute of Arbitrators [CIArb].

    Notable Cases

    Re: E (CARE PROCEEDINGS: WELFARE DETERMINATION) 2021

    This was a complex care proceedings case which involved International Child Abduction, Care Proceedings, Extradition Proceedings and parallel Criminal Proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction.
    June’s client had serious mental health issues necessitating constant review and demanded extreme sensitivity. This case spanned a period of three years with various hearings taking place over a period which exceeded 15 weeks.

    June led her team through the various challenges this case involved and on her client’s behalf successfully challenged allegations of sexual abuse and resisted the child being placed in the long term care of her Father, strenuously opposed by her client. The case exceeded 10,000 pages of evidence and the cross examination of numerous witnesses often over video link from abroad and through the assistance of interpreters. Both the client and a child witness were classified as “vulnerable witnesses” which added to the need for professional expertise.

    June and her team were commended by the Judge in her final judgment as follows:

    “I wish to pay particular tribute to the mother’s legal team. As will be apparent from the contents of this judgment, their client presented them with significant difficulties arising from her mental ill-health. They did everything possible to ensure the mother’s active and full participation in the proceedings and presented her case to its best possible advantage. I am extremely grateful to them for their hard work and engagement with their client which, from time to time, placed them in professional and personal difficulties.”

    Re: D (A child – parental alienation) (Rev 1) [2018] EWFC B64 (19 October 2018)

    At first instance and after a fully contested hearing in a case involving alleged implacable hostility [parental alienation] the Judge was clear when he said “The history of this case reveals a mother whose desire to have D in her care was so strong that she would not consider letting the truth get in the way of her attempts to achieve her objective.”
    He went on to find the Mother had deliberately alienated the child from the Father. This hearing had involved a very careful analysis of historical evidence arising from earlier proceedings prior to June being instructed to represent the Father and the cross examination by June of the child concerned.

    The Mother subsequently appealed and the case was eventually concluded by agreement with the Father acknowledging that the child was of an age [by then 15] where no amount of persuasion could reverse what had gone before.

    This is a case which June says clearly demonstrates the need for early intervention and resolution, if necessary through the courts if parents’ relationships with their children are not going to be irretrievably fractured.

    R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198

    On 16th February the Court of Appeal handed down R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198 a judgment arising out of an appeal hearing heard on 6th December 2017.
    The father appealed against numerous findings made against him at a fact finding hearing including that he had “used unreasonable force and unlawfully killed the mother”.

    By the time the fact finding hearing took place, the father had been acquitted of murder in the Criminal Courts. The judgment deals with the issue of the extent to which, if at all, the Family Court should use elements of criminal law in fact finding hearings within Care Proceedings. The judgment also deals with Article 6 ‘right to a fair trial’.

    The Court of Appeal set aside the lower court’s judgment in its entirety and the matter was ordered to be re-tried by a different High Court Judge. This case changed the landscape of how court’s approach fact finding hearings and the deployment of criminal law into its analysis most notably referred to in the landmark decision of Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings)2021] EWCA Civ 448. In that case the President of the Family Division made reference to this case and to the sound observations which had been made by Miss Venters in relation to the defence of “loss of self-control”

    Looked at from another angle, if the Family Court were required to deploy the criminal law directly into its analysis of the evidence at a fact-finding hearing such as this, the potential for the process to become unnecessarily bogged down in legal technicality is also plain to see. In the present case, the judge’s detailed self-direction on the law of self-defence, and the resulting appeal asserting that it was misapplied, together with Miss Venters’ late but sound observations about the statutory defence of ‘loss of self-control’, are but two examples of the manner in which proceedings could easily become over-complicated and side-tracked from the central task of simply deciding what has happened and what is the best future course for a child. It is also likely that the judges chosen to sit on such cases in the Family Court would inevitably need to be competent to sit in the criminal jurisdiction.

  • Queen’s Counsel 2006

    Qualifications and Accreditations

    Family Arbitrator Children Law 2018
    Qualified Barrister 2017
    Family Mediator and Civil Mediator 2007
    Queen’s Counsel 2006
    Recorder 2000
    Solicitor Advocate Higher Courts 1999
    Qualified Solicitor 1984
    Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives 1979

    Awards

    2021 – Family Law Awards – Family Law QC of the Year (shortlisted)
    2020 – Law Society Excellence Awards – Woman Solicitor of the Year (shortlisted)
    2009 – Law Society Excellence award: Best Woman Solicitor Managing a Legal Aid Practice (AWS)

    Professional Memberships

    Resolution
    Family Mediation Council Accreditation
    Family Mediator’s Association
    Association of Lawyers for Children
    London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association.
    International Bar Association