Nicola Harries was admitted as a solicitor in 1979. She worked in East London for six years before starting her own general High Street practice in Essex in 1985. She has wide ranging experience of many areas of law but delevoped a specialism in family law and in particular, public law children work over the last twenty years. She was senior partner at Baxter Harries solicitors in Ongar until 2015. She joined Goodman Ray as a consultant in September 2015.
Nicola has a particular interest in the representation of older children. She has been a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel since 1989. She has acted extensively for parents, special guardians and adopters and has been involved in two of the leading family cases of 2013, Re B-S  EWCA Civ 1146 – where she represented the adopters in a landmark decision in the Court of Appeal . The President of the Family Division gave guidelines for the conduct of care cases where adoption is the proposed plan, and for the making of applications for leave to oppose an adoption order pursuant to Section 47(5) ACA (2002).
and Re B (a child)  UKSC 33 – where she represented the Father in Care Proceedings where the decision to make a full care order was challenged by both parents in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
She has also been involved in the following reported cases ;
P and L (Minors)  EWHC 3431 and ML and AR v RW and SW  EWHC 2455 where she represented the lesbian mothers of two children in lengthy High Court proceedings following applications by the known sperm donor and his male partner for Contact and Parental Responsibility Orders . Mr Justice Hedley defined the concept of primary and secondary parents and highlighted the need for proper advice and written agreements to be entered into before such arrangments are contemplated.
Re H-T (Children)  EWCA Civ 1215 where she represented the children in an appeal to the Court of Appeal from a Circuit Judge’s decision to refuse contact pursuant to Section 34 (4) Children Act 1989. The Court of Appeal held that the refusal of contact was premature given the outstanding expert assessments, and could prejudge the final outcome .
Re G and B (Children)  EWCA Civ 358 where she represented the children as Solicitor Advocate in the Court of Appeal. The mother had appealed against Placement Orders on the ground that the Local Authority should be required to assess her foster sister as a potential carer. Appeak dismissed.
Re S (Change of surname)  1FLR 672 Court of Appeal – where she represented a young person in the care of the Local Authority who wished to change her surname following allegations of sexual abuse made against her father. The judge at first instance refused to allow the change,but the decision was successfully overturned on appeal .
LM v Essex CC  1FLR 988. where she represented a young person in secure accomodation on an application for habeas corpus for wrongful detention after the Section 25 Children Act criteria for detaining a child in secure accommodation were no longer found to be met, but the Local Authority wished to continue to detain the young person until the end of the secure accomodation order. The young person regained her liberty.
Jackson and others v Pigott Brothers  ICR 85. Court of Appeal , where she successfully represented three women in a claim for unfair dismissal arising out of their refusal to work with materials that caused illness.