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Mary Richardson, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Mary Richardson

Associate Solicitor



Expertise and experience

Mary is a Resolution Accredited Specialist children law solicitor specialising in local authority care proceedings and other public law matters.

Mary advises and represents parents and family members at all levels of the family court, including the Court of Appeal and the High Court of the Family Division.

The types of cases that Mary has been involved in include:

  • Where there is contested evidence of a medical or scientific nature, including metabolic bone disease, fabricated or induced illness, disputed hair strand testing, bone fragility linked to rare chromosomal abnormalities and connective tissue or haematological disorders linked to unexplained bleeding and/or bruising.
  • Challenging local authorities in cases of unexplained injury to a child, securing the early withdrawal of proceedings and ensuring the children remained in or were rehabilitated to their parents care.
  • Representing parents who are accused of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII). Mary has advised many parents, often mothers, accused of FII and has developed a specialism in this area.
  • Representing parents of children with life threatening or life limiting conditions where there is a disagreement over provision of medical care and where the children should live.
  • Representing parties in care proceedings where a child or parent has died and the death is the subject of a parallel criminal investigation.
  • Successfully securing the prompt return of a very young child to his mother’s primary care after the father had unilaterally taken him and restricted all contact.
  • Successfully challenging negative viability assessments carried out by local authorities on relatives of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. Mary assists family members to obtain orders, such as special guardianship orders, that allow children to be raised within their families instead of being placed for adoption or in long term foster care.
  • Representing parents of children with additional and/or complex needs, often including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and helping the parents secure a higher level of support from the local authority.

Mary Richardson is recognised in the 2023 Legal 500 as a ‘recommended lawyer’, with these particularly excellent testimonials:

‘I have worked with Amanda Dench, Mary Richardson. I have been impressed by their professionalism, ability to work under pressure, knowledge and understanding of the law and the issues. I think that Mary Richardson in particular is an outstanding lawyer. Her client care skills were impressive and her hard work made the case that I did with her move smoothly, with a great outcome for our client.’

 ‘Mary Richardson – a rising star in public law care proceedings. Exceptionally talented. Loves cases with complex medical/scientific issues. Explores every avenue on behalf of her clients. One KC said she had drafted the ‘best client statement he had ever read’.

Mary’s reported cases include:

E (A Child- Care Proceedings Fact Finding) [2023] EWCA Civ 858

This was an appeal of the judgment following a lengthy fact-finding hearing in care proceedings relating to a child (“E”). The issue on appeal was whether the local authority’s failure to disclose a viability assessment and associated documents in relation to the paternal grandmother meant the findings against the mother were wrong or unjust.

Re AB (A Child: Diabetic Care) [2023] EWFC 149

Mary represented a mother accused of Fabricated and Induced Illness by way of covert and chronic insulin administration. After a three-week fact-finding hearing, the Court determined that the mother was ‘a long way from the sort of ‘FII by proxy’ parent that is seen in more egregious cases and which, initially, she was portrayed to be’. The original suggestions of chronic and covert insulin maladministration were not substantiated. The Court indicated in its judgment that the mother’s statement prepared by Mary was the best drafted statement that the Judge had encountered in public law proceedings, going on to say that for ‘Ms Richardson to have dedicated that amount of time, commitment and care to the preparation of a statement in a legally aided case speaks clearly of the quality of service that she provides’.

A County Council v A MOTHER & ORS [2018] EWHC 3283 (Fam)

Mary represented a respondent mother accused of perpetrating multiple injuries to her infant child. Although findings were made against the mother, the outcome was positive as the young children were rehabilitated to the mother’s care. The Judgement noted that ‘despite the Court making trenchant findings of fact against both parents; that there are circumstances in which, notwithstanding the serious nature of the injuries, with considerable professional input, and the cooperation and support of the immediate and wider family, where it is possible, balancing the risks, for parents and their children to be successfully reunited, which is what very happily has occurred for this family’.

LA v XYZ (Restriction on Father’s Role in Proceedings) [2019] EWHC 2166 (Fam) (18 February 2019)

This case raised wider issues concerning applications to restrict disclosure and/or discharge a party in family proceedings in exceptional situations.

NP v DP (Hague Convention; abducting parent refusing to return) [2021] EWHC 3626 (Fam) (17 November 2021) 

Mary represented a respondent mother in a 1980 Hague Convection Child Abduction matter. Mary helped the mother to raise a successful Article 13 (b) defence. The father’s summary return application was dismissed and the child remained in the mother’s primary care.

U v E [2024] EWFC 39

Mary represented a respondent mother in a case where the child’s habitual residence moved during the course of proceedings and the English court lost jurisdiction over the matter.

Joined Miles & Partners
Qualified as a solicitor
Nominated for 'Exceptional Newcomer' in Legal 500
Winner of Association of Lawyers for Children’s ‘Outstanding Newcomer’ award
Became an Associate Solicitor
Became Resolution Accredited Specialist
Joined Association of Lawyers for Children Executive committee

What clients say

Accolades, accreditations and memberships