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Alison Leivesley


Head of Family and Matrimonial

Alison regularly represents parents in complex care proceedings including those involving international elements; where non accidental injury, physical abuse or sexual abuse of children has been alleged; fabricated illness; domestic abuse and cases with parallel criminal proceedings. She is experienced in acting in private and public law children cases where there are issues of radicalisation.

Alison has experience of the many different aspects of international family law, including child abduction, wardship, jurisdictional disputes, international relocation of children, registration and enforcement of foreign orders, stranded spouses, forced marriage and FGM.

She also advises parents in respect of disputes about where a child lives and who child spends time with. This includes cases where there is social services involvement with the family.

Alison is experienced in acting for parents where there is a dispute with treating doctors as to what treatment a child should receive. Alison frequently represents vulnerable clients and is known for her calm, patient and compassionate approach.

Alison provides training in her fields of expertise for other professionals including lawyers, social workers, health care professionals and advice agencies. She also enjoys training and developing the next generation of lawyers, and is a mentor for YLAL (Young Legal Aid Lawyers). 

In 2022, Alison was shortlisted for Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards, and was also shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award in the Family Law category.

Before joining Bindmans Alison was a member partner, the head of the family department and on the firm’s management team of a well-known and highly respected practice. 


Alison’s notable cases include:

  • Re O (child abduction and custody rights) [1997] 2 FLR 702
  • Re A (change of name) [2003] 2 FLR 1
  • Re S (a child) [2012] Lawtel/AC 9201031
  • The London Borough of Tower Hamlets v M [2015] EWHC 869 (Fam)
  • AS and BS (Habitual residence) [2020] EWFC 101
  • Re KM (A child: jurisdiction: habitual residence ) [2022] EWFC 132
  • Re SV [2022] EWCOP 52 (08 December 2022)
  • W v Z [2023] EWHC 469 (Fam)
  • KN & Anor v RN & Ors [2023] EWHC 712 (Fam)
  • Coventry City Council v The Mother (BB) & Ors [2023] EWHC 1284 (Fam)
  • N and A (1996 Hague Convention: Article 13) [2023] EWCA Civ 623
  • N and A (1996 Hague Convention: Costs) [2023] EWCA Civ 887
  • SA v AA [2023] EWHC 2016 (Fam)
Chambers and Partners 2023
  • Alison is ranked Band 1 in Children: Public Law Matters. Feedback describes her as “a very capable and thoughtful practitioner who fights for her clients with tenacity”
  • Alison is also ranked as Band 2 in Children: Cross-Border Disputes
  • “Alison Leivesley is head of the family practice at Bindmans and very well regarded in the market. She has experience acting on behalf of parents in public law children matters, such as care proceedings involving non-accidental injury and abuse allegations. She is also noted for her expertise in trafficking cases”
  • Clients commented that”She is one of the most committed, hard-working lawyers I’ve ever come across and she is truly meticulous in her planning.” and that “She goes the extra mile for her clients”
  • Alison is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Family. She is described as “superb in her sensitive approach. Tactically she covers all bases, scrutinises all possibilities so is always well prepared. Excellent legal knowledge”
  • “Alison Leivesley is a partner who provides a steady hand on the tiller. She is authoritative, supportive and client focused”
  • Alison is also described as a ‘real class act’ who is ‘extremely knowledgeable
  • “Alison Leivesley has an experienced, hands-on approach to the work of her department, and a knowledge which extends to expertise in highly specialised fields such as international CoP cases”
  • Feedback says she “is as experienced as they come, combining excellent technical knowledge with clear case strategy and outstanding client skills. Her reputation goes before her and stands out as a real star of the field. Well known for her mentoring and training of others, she is a natural leader”
Chambers and Partners 2022
  • Alison is ranked as Band 2 in Children: Public Law Matters
  • Feedback describes her as “incredibly intelligent, thorough and proactive” 
  • “An expert who is incredibly thorough in looking through the details of cases”
  • “She’s a determined, thorough, forensic advocate who goes above and beyond. She is creative and solution-focused”
  • Alison is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Family. Feedback says “Alison Leivesley – exceptional client commitment, eye for detail, approachability. Fights doggedly for clients and leaves no stone unturned. The lawyer you would want fighting for you on your case”
Chambers and Partners 2021
  • Children: Public Law Matters – Ranked Individual 
  • “Alison Leivesley is well regarded in the market for her experience acting on behalf of parents in public law children matters, such as care proceedings involving non accidental injury and abuse allegations”
  • “She is great with parents and makes sure they get a good outcome. She also gets to the heart of the matter and manages expectations”
  • “She’s very thorough, skilled and committed”
  • “Alison is professional, organised and committed to her clients”
Chambers and Partners 2020
  • Children: Public Law Matters – Ranked Individual
  • Described as being held in high esteem as a “highly competent and client focused” solicitor who has a “calm and collected manner”
  • Leading Individual 
Chambers and Partners 2019
  • Children: Public Law Matters – Ranked Individual
  • “A supremely experienced, sensible and grounded practitioner who deals with her work with aplomb”. She comes recommended for her public law experience, including care proceedings and cases involving issues of FGM and ‘honour’ based violence
  • Leading Individual 
Professional memberships
  • Resolution 
  • Association of Lawyers for Children 
  • Associate member of NAGALRO 
  • Association of Women Solicitors 
  • Legal Aid Practitioners Group
  • Affiliate Member of Chartered Management Institute
  • Women in Family Law
  • Child Abduction Lawyers Association
  • Contributor to LNTV Family: domestic abuse injunction relief
  • Contributor to London Borough of Tower Hamlets Multi Agency Guidelines on domestic violence and no recourse to public funds
  • Contributor to Female Genital Mutilation: Law and Practice by Zimran Samuel 
  • Resolution Accredited Specialist in public law children, private law children, domestic abuse, forced marriage and honour based violence 
  • Law Society’s Family Law Advanced Accreditation in private law children, violence in the home