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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). 

Alison was named Family Lawyer of the Year at the British Family Law Awards 2024. She was also highly commended as Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards 2023.

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)
  • Re RO (Schedule 3 MCA 2005) [2023] EWCOP 55
Chambers and Partners 2024
  • Alison is ranked Band 2 in Family/ Children Law: Cross-Border disputes.
  • “Alison really is the most extraordinary solicitor I’ve worked with. She is really excellent in what she does, super committed and hard-working and does the very best for her clients.”
  • Alison is also ranked as a ‘Star Individual’ in Family/ Children Law: Public Law Matters.
  • Clients noted that, ‘ “She is experienced, very level-headed, shows attention to detail and creates excellent working relationships with counsel.”
  • “She has real strength in terms of her ability to deliver calm but difficult and insightful advice.”
Legal 500 2024
  • Alison has been ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Family.
  • A client commended her saying, ‘I particularly wish to pay tribute to Alison Lievesley. Alison is very experienced and has great insight.’
  • Clients note that, ‘Alison Leivesley has a long-standing background in complex care, which she utilises when dealing with difficult, high-profile, international and private client cases. She heads a team of excellent associates.’
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”
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
  • Member of Working Together with Parents Network
  • 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