Kim Lehal RWK Goodman

Kim Lehal

Partner | Head of International Children

Adoption | Child abduction | Children Disputes | Domestic Abuse | Family | Relocation | Surrogacy

About Kim:

Kim is a recognised expert practising exclusively in all aspects of international and domestic children law. This includes international child abduction – Hague Convention and Non-Hague Convention wardship proceedings pursuant to the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court and relocation proceedings. RWK Goodman is one of the specialist firms appointed by the Ministry of Justice to sit on the Child Abduction: Accredited Solicitors Referral List.

Kim advises in complex family disputes in Child Arrangements proceedings, recognition and enforcement of judgments, adoption and matters concerning parental responsibility. Kim also advises and represents victims of domestic abuse, honour-based violence, forced marriage, FGM and abandoned spouses in foreign jurisdictions.

Kim is highly regarded as a specialist in assisted reproduction law and advises on complex international surrogacy arrangements and in multifaceted parental order cases where there have been issues with domicile, consent or where nationality or immigration law has caused difficulties with Family Court applications in the UK.

International child abduction & children disputes

The international movement of children in the event of relationship breakdown can result in several issues arising which our experts at RWK Goodman can advise on.

International Child Abduction

Kim’s practice areas and specialisms include:

  • International child abduction
  • Recognition and enforcement of international orders
  • Relocation
  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption
  • Domestic abuse
  • International child law
  • Complex child arrangements
  • Forced Marriage

Memberships

  • Accredited specialist by the Law Society Family Law Advanced panel in International Child Abduction and Children Law since 2013.
  • Accredited member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) Specialist Solicitors Panel, the Reunite Panel of Recommended Lawyers.
  • Founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA) and has previously been appointed and acted as its membership secretary.
  • Resolution
  • Surrogacy UK
  • Member of the Association of Lawyers for children

Notable Cases:

Re C (Surrogacy: Consent) (Rev1) [2023] EWCA Civ 16 (16 January 2023) (bailii.org)

Represented the Respondents in the first reported decision to consider the matter of consent in a surrogacy arrangement pursuant to s54(6) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

Re G (a child) [2021] UKSC 9

Represented Reunite in this landmark decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that a child who can objectively be understood to be an Applicant for asylum cannot be returned to the country from which they have sought refuge before their asylum claim has been decided.

[2020] EWCA Civ 1185 Z (Recognition of Foreign Adoption: Refusal) (2020)

Represented a parent in complex international adoption proceedings where a single-parent sought to have an Iranian Adoption Order recognised in the UK.

Uhd v McKay [2019] EWHC 1239 (Fam)

In this highly publicised case, represented a parent seeking to defend Hague Convention 1980 proceedings pursuant to Article 13(b).

R v R (Jurisdiction and Acquiescence) [2016] 1339 EWHC (Fam)

This judgment addressed imperative issues about jurisdiction when issuing private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 in any case that has an international element, particularly in cases where a parent has recently arrived in the jurisdiction with their children.

Y (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1208

Successfully represented a parent in the Court of Appeal against an order under the Hague Convention for a parent to return two children to Canada.

Re S (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 1453

An appeal raising the question as to whether and when it may be appropriate for the Court to dismiss a Hague Convention application. Kim was successful in defending a Hague Convention application.

Re C (Children) (Abduction: Article 13(b)) [2018] EWCA Civ 2834

Successfully represented a parent in the Court of Appeal in relation to the dismissal of a Hague Convention application to have two children returned to South Africa.

JEG v IS [2014] EWHC 287 (Fam) (13 February 2014)

Represented a parent who had abducted a child to Russian where there were serious allegations of sexual abuse.

Re B (A CHILD) (1980 HAGUE CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS) [2014] EWCA Civ 375

In another Hague Convention case, successfully represented a parent, in the Court of Appeal, whose child had been wrongfully removed from France. This case also involved care proceedings in which the child had been removed from the abducting parenting and placed with her uncle under an Interim Care Order.

ED (A Child) 2014 EWHC 2731 (Fam)

Represented a parent who did not have parental responsibility and successfully argued that where a Polish parent had retained the child in Poland after a holiday in breach of promises to the English Court, those promises amounted to an express and unequivocal acceptance that the English Court had jurisdiction in matters of parental responsibility.

CB v CB [2013] EWHC 2092 (Fam) (10 April 2013)

Represented a parent and successfully returned her child to Australia under the Hague Convention 1980.

Client testimonials:

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