Peggy specialises in complex cases concerning children. She acts for children, young people and parents involved in both complex cases between parents and in care proceedings. She also undertakes adoption and other child related cases. She works in both privately paying and legal aid cases.
For many years Peggy has been involved in shaping policy and promoting the rights of children and young people. She was closely involved in the consultation process that preceded the Children Act 1989, being Chair of the Children Committee of the Solicitors Family Law Association (now Resolution) at that time. She is frequently asked to contribute to policy consultations. She is currently involved in policy considerations concerning deprivation of liberty orders.
She regularly speaks, writes and lectures on related issues. Between 2007 and 2019 she sat as a Recorder in the Family Court.
In 2001 she was named UNICEF Child Rights Lawyer of the Year, and was the driving force behind the development of a unique website for children in care, a joint venture between Resolution and the children’s charity Action for Children (previously NCH).
Peggy was a dual American/UK citizen who settled in the UK in 1971. She co-founded Goodman Ray in 1985. Since 2014 she has been a governor of an award winning alternative provision school in London based on a systemic family therapeutic model; she is an advisory member of the Board of Just for Kids Law.
- Citywealth Magic Circle Award, Entrepreneurial Individual of the Year, 2018
- Shortlisted for Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards, 2018
- Cornwell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Law, Jordan Family Law Awards, 2014
- Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (Family), 2005
- UNICEF Child Rights Lawyer of the Year, 2001
Peggy is consistently highly recommended by the leading legal directories. She is top ranked as a leading individual by Chambers and Partners and highly recommended in the Legal 500:
- “Peggy Ray is a phenomenal solicitor and a powerhouse who demonstrates a real warmth and instinct with clients. She has her finger on the pulse of family law, and she takes a robust, pragmatic approach towards cases.”
- “She’s a great tactician with a brilliant, strategic brain.”
- “She’s incredibly tenacious and has brilliant judgement. She relentlessly fights her client’s corner.”
Chambers and Partners 2022
- Peggy Ray – the doyenne of family law. Kind, down to earth despite being magnificent at every aspect of her role, she fights for her clients with courage and compassion‘.
- Peggy Ray is imperious as a children and human rights lawyer‘.
Legal 500 2021
- “She’s very good and has a wonderful manner. Her instincts are really thoroughly excellent. She’s also persuasive, child welfare-driven and a good fighter.”
- “She’s a very strong advocate. She will bend over backwards to help the client.”
Chambers and Partners 2021
- “incredibly empathetic and supportive”
- “clear and straightforward advice.”
Chambers and Partners 2020
- “…maintains a reputation as one of London’s foremost children’s lawyers. She has a particular specialism in public law matters, which sees her acting on behalf of children and parents in cases of severe abuse that often involve complex medical evidence. Commentators describe her as an “intellectually elegant” lawyer who “guides her clients with the benefit of much accumulated experience and real empathy.”
Chambers and Partners 2019
- ‘Peggy Ray has a powerful and acute intellect, and grapples with difficult and challenging
Legal 500 2019
SIGNIFICANT REPORTED CASES
- Judgments (22/03/2016)
Mother’s application under the 1980 Hague Convention for the summary return of her 15 year old son to the USA. Review of the principles to be applied when considering whether to make a child a party to proceedings under the Convention.
- Association of Lawyers for Children