Expertise and experience
Zahra represents children and parents in care proceedings and is regularly instructed by intervenors and family members within the court process.
She is highly experienced in child protection law, having specialised in cases involving Children’s Services since the outset of her career.
Zahra undertakes her own advocacy in court, including multi-day final contested hearings,
Zahra has always enjoyed representing clients from the outset of when Children’s Services become involved with a child, including negotiation of a child protection plan or public law care proceedings. This has given her a strong grounding to challenge a local authority on behalf of children and parents when matters have escalated to court and the right support has not been put in place.
Where a child requires separate representation from a guardian or parent, Zahra is experienced in assessing their capacity to give instructions directly to a solicitor and is committed to ensuring a child’s voice is heard by a judge.
The types of cases that Zahra has been involved in include:
- non-accidental injury, including where there has been a death of baby, allegations that a baby has been shaken, or where fractures and bruising have been found; Zahra is experienced in analysing a wide range of medical evidence which may be collated, for example from paediatricians, radiologists, neuro-radiologists, neurosurgeons, haematologists, and geneticists.
- issues related to learning difficulties and parenting abilities, often involving the Official Solicitor;
- where there has been alleged domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse, or mental health difficulties which have an impact on the children in a household;
- where a child has been deprived of their liberty or placed in a secure accommodation unit;
- determining whether allegations of a sexual nature are true via a fact-finding hearing;
- allegations that a child has been ‘alienated’ or influenced by one parent against the other; and
- representing family members, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, who put themselves forward to care for a child.
Zahra also volunteers on various projects within her own religious community. For example, she has delivered a two-day training programme on domestic abuse to volunteers working with vulnerable people within the community. During the Covid19 lockdown she was part of a nationwide project donating items to ten different women’s refuges around the country.