Q&A with David Burrows

Bloomsbury Professional catch up with solicitor and family law author, David Burrows.

1 - What first attracted you to family law?

I wanted to help people (as I saw it). My clients were predominantly legal aid; and in my early days I did a lot of children work.

2- Is there a particular family law case that stands out for you?

Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech AHA [1985] UKHL 7, [1986] 1 AC 112, [1986] 1 FLR 224 – this case is about children’s rights; is still entirely relevant to our daily practice now; it deals with rights and confidentiality in a way which is applicable today as ever; and it shows what exceptionally good and very human people can be top lawyers (especially Lord Scarman: vies with Lady Hale and McFarlane LJ for my ultimate pin-up judge).

3- What do you consider to be the biggest misapprehension about family law/ family lawyers?

The idea that we do it for money; and that we only want to make the case more difficult to earn more from it. Family lawyers have been the most active – I was one of the first in the 1970s - in promoting mediation, which is designed to help a case settle and save time in litigation.

4- What do you think will be the next big development in family law?

(1) Probably divorce law reform; but what would I like to see?...

(2) A full review of children right’s and an extensive reform of the procedure for children, their views and cases (see eg Preface to Children’s views and evidence by David Burrows, Bloomsbury Professional, 2017).

David Burrows is the author of Children's Views and Evidence and Privilege, Privacy and Confidentiality in Family Proceedings. 

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