‘James Dunn is an exceptional solicitor who has and continues to go over and beyond expectations. His client care and attention to detail is superb. He is a brilliant, intuitive and compassionate lawyer.‘ Legal 500 2021
Family & Divorce Law
James is a specialist in domestic and international family law matters, particularly involving children.
Primarily, he focuses on:
- Child abduction matters involving the Hague Convention as well as non-Hague Convention countries;
- Forced Marriage Protection Orders; and
- Jurisdictional issues.
James is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in child abduction and domestic abuse and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor through the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit to secure the return of abducted children. He is listed with the international child abduction charity Reunite, as a specialist family lawyer with a particular interest in the field of international parental child abduction and the movement of children across international borders.
James also deals with domestic child arrangement matters, often involving complex issues such as parental alienation.
Notable reported cases include:
- F v M & Ors  EWHC 3532 (Fam) – acting for a father in a parental alienation case where the High Court allowed his appeal against an order for indirect contact only and transferred the matter back to the family court for further consideration.
- B v A  EWHC 3138 (Fam) – acting for a father in child abduction proceedings where the court rejected the mother’s two defences that the child objected to a return and that the impact on the mother’s parenting capacity would be so severe as to put the child at risk of severe psychological harm.
- Amine v Amine  EWHC 2339 (Fam) – acting for the father in child abduction proceedings where the court took the unusual step of naming the family to deter the mother from attempting a fourth abduction.
- West Sussex County Council & The Chief Constable of Sussex Police v F, M, N, P and T  EWHC 1702 (Fam) – a decision clarifying the difference of approach to prohibitory and mandatory orders in forced marriage proceedings;
- T (A Child: Hague Convention Proceedings)  EWHC 3554 (Fam) – a High Court decision summarizing the test to be applied when the “settlement” defence is raised in child abduction proceedings;
- TF v PJ  EWHC 1780 (Fam) – a case in which the High Court’s power to set aside a final order was considered;
- Re F (A Child)  EWCA Civ 275 – a Court of Appeal decision relating to the instruction of experts in child abduction proceedings
Other recent cases include:
- Acting for a father on his successful application for the return of his children to Morocco following repeat abductions by the mother;
- Acting for a mother and securing the prompt return of her young child who had been abducted by the father to Egypt;
- Acting for a father in forced marriage proceedings brought by the police, where all findings of forced marriage were resisted and the children returned to the father’s care.
Out of work James enjoys cooking, cycling, running and socialising. He is a fluent speaker of French and also speaks Spanish and German.
“James Dunn is incredibly diligent and responsive. Coupled with genuine empathy with his clients and a sharp intellect, it is difficult to fault him” – Legal 500 2019.
“Since I am not from the UK it was very difficult for me to find a lawyer in the UK who could help me with my case in the field of family law. The first lawyer I used was a big disaster and so working together was not possible. After this bad experience I found Hanne & Co and was referred to James Dunn who was a miraculous support for me. With his help I reached my goals quickly and he removed all the burdens that such a case can bring. I liked his responsive and straightforward attitude and the patience he took to break things down so that a person who is not involved with these legal issues on a daily basis can understand what it is going on. I am very impressed about his genius, deep knowledge of international family law. Thank you very much for that brilliant work”.
“I just wanted to thank you for all the time, effort and meticulous attention to detail regarding my case over the past year or so. You are always prepared to go the extra mile, working long hours and your ability to recall the smallest and often most significant details amongst a wealth of facts in my highly complex case never ceases to amaze me. Your knowledge on family law with an international element is truly remarkable. I appreciate all you have done and the manner in which you conducted my case and liaised with me throughout. It was a pleasure doing business with you and very reassuring to have you on my side. I do not know what I would have done without you”.
“I will never forget the feeling when I heard the outcome of the court ordering my children to be returned home. I cannot thank you enough for your assistance. Your legal expertise, professionalism and attention to details went above and beyond my expectations throughout the course of my case”.
“You have been a phenomenal support for me and I can’t honestly thank you enough. I can’t tell you how appreciative and thankful I am”.