Claire Heppenstall

Claire is an extremely experienced barrister who practises exclusively in private family and family related work. Her practice is largely split between all aspects of Private Children Law and Financial Remedies work. She also has particular expertise in dealing with Schedule 1 claims (financial provision for children of unmarried couples) and also advising and representing clients in relation to child support issues.

She was called to the Bar in 1990 and practices from 1GC|Family Chambers at 10 Lincolns Inn Fields. She is a dual qualified arbitrator under both the IFLA financial scheme and IFLA children scheme.

Dealing with both children and money work allows her to assist the private client across most areas of dispute that arise during difficult family breakdowns in a highly effective way.

As a barrister she acts in all levels of court and is frequently instructed in cases where Queen’s Counsel is instructed on the other side.

In the area of Private Children Law, she has a particular interest and a huge amount of expertise in cases involving relocation, both external and internal.  International leave to remove cases are a specialist area and Claire has most recently been involved in contested removals to Brasil, USA, Germany, Italy and Australia.

In Financial Remedies work, Claire is often instructed in difficult cases involving issues of non-disclosure or where careful analysis of family businesses and trust interests is required. She has considerable experience of dealing with Schedule 1 applications and is regularly instructed in this type of claim.

As an arbitrator qualified to take on both private children and financial remedies work under the two separate IFLA schemes, this dual qualification allows her to provide clients with the opportunity for all aspects of their separation (children and financial issues) to be determined in one consolidated hearing – saving huge amounts of time, money and stress.

Claire has been instructed to arbitrate both narrow “single issue” disputes eg change of name, schooling choices as well as the more complex child arrangement issues that arise on family breakdown.

In financial work – she has been instructed in both straightforward lower value cases in addition to more complex high net worth disputes. No matter the degree of complexity – all arbitrations conducted before her receive the same careful consideration and special attention to the detail of the dispute.

Claire is ranked as a Leading Junior for both Children and Matrimonial Finance Work by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Most recent descriptions –

An instinctive lawyer with an empathetic manner with clients. She is able to get the heart of the case and tackle it with both clients and the tribunal effectively and strategically. Her advocacy style is engaging and to the point, and she is determined and stylish in cross-examination and representations to the court.” Tier 1 Children– Legal 500, 2022

She is very focused and hones in on the key issues of a case very quickly. She has good judgement and is a fierce advocate when it is required.” Tier 2 Matrimonial Finance – Legal 500, 2022

A practical lawyer who is hands-on, analytical and good with clients who need reassurance.” “Claire is always calm in the way she interacts with clients, and her advice is focused and clear. She is always well prepared for hearings and has good advocacy skills.” Band 3 – Chambers and Partners, 2022

An absolute star player. Claire has an easy and straightforward manner with clients and adapts with emotional intelligence to the individual personality and needs of a case. She has a keen intellect and is skilled in getting to the heart of a case. Just as keen to weigh into a contest or to settle where required. Well prepared for both court and conference.” Tier 2 – Legal 500, 2021

Excellent on complex children matters and robust when needed. She has a clear way of providing advice to clients” and “a calm, self-assured manner.” Band 3 – Chambers and Partners, 2021

Claire can be contacted via her clerks at 1GC|Family Law: Her clerks will be able to assist with her availability and give an indication as to likely fee.