Profile

Admitted to the roll of solicitors: 1984

Appointed QC in 2006

Called to the Bar in 2017

Awards and Accreditations

Since inception – Law Society Children Panel Solicitor

Ditto – Law Society Criminal Litigation

2009 – Family Mediator’s Association : Family Mediator

2009 – Law Society Excellence award: Best Woman Solicitor Managing a Legal Aid Practice (AWS)

2010 – Resolution Accredited Specialist in Domestic Abuse and Children’s Advocacy

2011 – Resolution Accredited Specialist in International Child Abduction

2017 – Institute of Chartered Arbitrators: Children Arbitration

2018 – Highly recommended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2018 as Solicitor Advocate of the Year 2018

Conferences and Publications

2014 – “Voice of the Child” Advisory Group [Ministry of Justice]
General Principles for mediators and mediation

2008 – Chaired Jordan’s conference “Medical issues arising from abuse.”

2008 – “Child Care Case Management” (and updates) Family Law [Jordans]

1995 – “Standard Letter and Forms”

Appointments

Recorder: 1998
Family Mediator: 2009
Children Arbitration: 2017
EDUCATION:
Honor Oak Grammar School
Institute Legal Executives: Fellowship examinations
Law School: Law Society Finals

Memberships

Law Society
Middle Temple

Further Professional Information

June Venters QC accepts Direct Access work.

Practice Areas

Civil

Cases

2021

 Re: O 2021

 June Venters QC represented a Father who was seeking to have a relationship with his daughter.  The Father had suffered catastrophic injuries following a car crash some years earlier and this had affected both his mental health and physical functioning.  The relationship with his daughter’s mother was complicated and, at times, destructive.  Matters came to a head when the child made serious physical allegations against the Father and when the matter came to court this was compounded by cross allegations by both the Mother and Father against one another.

Through June’s persistence and experience evidence was unravelled and witnesses were cross examined in such a way which led to the Judge dismissing the allegations made by the child against the Father who made findings that the child had been negatively influenced into making untrue allegations by a close family relative whose future contact with the child was brought into question.

Re: L 2021

 Miss Venters represented the partner of a Mother of two children who had been joined to care proceedings as an intervener following the death of the Mother’s youngest child who was a toddler at the time of his death, having suffered a catalogue of physical abuse which ultimately resulted in a final devastating injury and death.  Care proceedings had been issued because the court needed to determine whether the Mother’s older child should be removed from her permanent care.

Whilst the court determined that the Mother’s partner was responsible for the child’s death, June and her team were able to satisfy the Judge by their representation of her partner that the mother’s assertions that he caused all the injuries to the child lacked credibility and that she could not be entirely exonerated and most significantly representations advanced on her behalf that she was the “victim of his control, unable to exercise freewill” were simply not accepted.

 Re: E (CARE PROCEEDINGS: WELFARE DETERMINATION) 2021

 This was a complex care proceedings case which involved International Child Abduction, Care Proceedings, Extradition Proceedings and parallel Criminal Proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction.  June’s client had serious mental health issues necessitating constant review and demanded extreme sensitivity.  This case spanned a period of three years with various hearings taking place over a period which exceeded 15 weeks.

June led her team through the various challenges this case involved and on her client’s behalf successfully challenged allegations of sexual abuse and resisted the child being placed in the long term care of her Father, strenuously opposed by her client.  The case exceeded 10,000 pages of evidence and the cross examination of numerous witnesses often over video link from abroad and through the assistance of interpreters.  Both the client and a child witness were classified as “vulnerable witnesses” which added to the need for professional expertise.

June and her team were commended by the Judge in her final judgment as follows:

“I wish to pay particular tribute to the mother’s legal team. As will be apparent from the contents of this judgment, their client presented them with significant difficulties arising from her mental ill-health. They did everything possible to ensure the mother’s active and full participation in the proceedings and presented her case to its best possible advantage. I am extremely grateful to them for their hard work and engagement with their client which, from time to time, placed them in professional and personal difficulties.”

  

2020

 Re: K 2020

 A fellow Queen’s Counsel referred her client to June Venters QC because she was representing a Father of two children who had been accused of physically assaulting the Mother who was also pursuing a criminal prosecution against him, which, if proved would have had very serious ramifications for him in the community as he was a well-known and respected public figure. It was for that reason June was instructed to advise and assist. After a careful analysis of the family proceedings and cross referencing with the criminal proceedings, June was able to persuade the prosecution not to proceed and they agreed to withdraw all charges.

Re: F 2020

June Venters QC represented a Father who was seeking to have a relationship with his children.  When he instructed June he had endured two family court cases in the preceding 6 years in which the Mother had sought to restrict his contact including by applying to live abroad. Whilst on both occasions the court was not unsupportive of the father’s position, in reality his contact with his children continued to deteriorate due to the Mother’s increasing hostility.

By the time he instructed June he was facing allegations of physical and sexual abuse.  His contact was suspended, and he risked criminal proceedings which would have affected not only his family relationships but his career.  With considerable skill and expertise as well as tenacity, June Venters analysed the evidence and exposed the weaknesses of the Mother’s case, most notably during her cross examination of the Mother and the expert psychologist who had been instructed to assess the Mother as well as a number of witnesses the Mother had chosen to call to give evidence.

Ultimately, all the allegations against the Father were dismissed but most importantly the court was persuaded by Miss Venters to make an order often regarded as last resort which was to move the children from the care of their Mother to live permanently with the Father.  June was actively involved in the strategic planning of this move and the children are now settled in their Father’s care and thriving.

 

2019

Re: S 2019

 June Venters QC represented a Mother of two children who had repeatedly complained to the authorities that their Father had anger issues, experienced by her during their former marriage and that he was a risk to the children.  When she first instructed June Venters in 2016 she had already endured previous court proceedings but at that time the professionals and the court did not accept the Mother’s concerns.

The Mother continued to have concerns which were compounded by her children’s accounts of their time with the Father which they were able to articulate as they grew older.  June returned the case to the court and successfully achieved the re-opening of historical facts which were heard in a fact finding hearing in 2018.  This was the first time the mother had ever had the opportunity to have the father cross examined on oath, who until then, as a senior professional in the medical field, his accounts had always been assumed to be credible.  However, under cross examination, June exposed that he had physically assaulted one of the children in the presence of the other.  However, on this occasion the Judge determined it was a momentary loss of control although she found him less than credible as a witness.

In 2019 the Mother sought June’s advice and representation again following the children reporting a further and more serious physical assault.  A subsequent fact finding hearing was sought.  Again, the Father was found to have physically assaulted one of the children and again to have lied on oath.

The Mother’s concerns were finally validated with the expertise of June and her commitment to achieving justice for this Mother who had been simply disbelieved to the detriment of her children.

Regina-v-D 2019

June Venters QC successfully represented a father accused of 8 historical charges of a sexual nature in respect of his two daughters.  He instructed June having already stood criminal trial when the jury had been unable to decide on verdicts resulting in the jury being discharged.  A re-trial was ordered.

June meticulously explored with the client the family history including what had previously taken place in the family court proceedings involving his children.  She then persuaded the criminal court that such evidence should go before the jury.

Both children gave evidence and June sensitively examined them in the witness box and then delivered a carefully constructed closing speech drawing out the weaknesses of the prosecution case.

Throughout all of this she compassionately supported her client and his family for whom a conviction would have been life changing

The outcome was that the client was acquitted of all 8 charges.  The Judge provided the following  testimonial:

“June Venters QC appeared before me recently in the trial of XXXXX.  This was a difficult case in which the defendant was accused of sexually assaulting his daughters, in the context of a highly acrimonious contact dispute.  Ms Venters impressed me throughout as extremely conscientious and well prepared  Her cross examination of the complaints was both considered and sensitive  She is a first rate jury advocate and I have  no doubt that the acquittal which she secured was in large part due to her excellent jury speech.”

 

2018

Re: D (A child – parental alienation) (Rev 1) [2018] EWFC B64 (19 October 2018)

At first instance and after a fully contested hearing in a case involving alleged implacable hostility [parental alienation] the Judge was clear when he said “The history of this case reveals a mother whose desire to have D in her care was so strong that she would not consider letting the truth get in the way of her attempts to achieve her objective.”  He went on to find the Mother had deliberately alienated the child from the Father.  This hearing had involved a very careful analysis of historical evidence arising from earlier proceedings prior to June being instructed to represent the Father and the cross examination by June of the child concerned.

The Mother subsequently appealed and the case was eventually concluded by agreement with the Father acknowledging that the child was of an age [by then 15] where no amount of persuasion could reverse what had gone before.

This is a case which June says clearly demonstrates the need for early intervention and resolution, if necessary through the courts if parents’ relationships with their children are not going to be irretrievably fractured.

R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198

On 16th February the Court of Appeal handed down R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198 a judgment arising out of an appeal hearing heard on 6th December 2017. The father appealed against numerous findings made against him at a fact finding hearing including that he had “used unreasonable force and unlawfully killed the mother”.

By the time the fact finding hearing took place, the father had been acquitted of murder in the Criminal Courts. The judgment deals with the issue of the extent to which, if at all, the Family Court should use elements of criminal law in fact finding hearings within Care Proceedings. The judgment also deals with Article 6 ‘right to a fair trial’.

The Court of Appeal set aside the lower court’s judgment in its entirety and the matter was ordered to be re-tried by a different High Court Judge.  This case changed the landscape of how court’s approach fact finding hearings and the deployment of criminal law into its analysis most notably referred to in the landmark decision of  Re H-N and Others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) 2021] EWCA Civ 448. In that case the President of the Family Division made reference to this case and to the sound observations which had been made by Miss Venters in relation to the defence of “loss of self-control”

Looked at from another angle, if the Family Court were required to deploy the criminal law directly into its analysis of the evidence at a fact-finding hearing such as this, the potential for the process to become unnecessarily bogged down in legal technicality is also plain to see. In the present case, the judge’s detailed self-direction on the law of self-defence, and the resulting appeal asserting that it was misapplied, together with Miss Venters’ late but sound observations about the statutory defence of ‘loss of self-control’, are but two examples of the manner in which proceedings could easily become over-complicated and side-tracked from the central task of simply deciding what has happened and what is the best future course for a child. It is also likely that the judges chosen to sit on such cases in the Family Court would inevitably need to be competent to sit in the criminal jurisdiction.

 

2017

Re: R [Central Criminal Court] 2017

Successfully representing a young man charged with numerous sexual offences and achieving an acquittal.

 

2015

Re P and Q (Children: Care Proceedings: [2015] EWFC 26 (Fam)

June Venters Q C represented the Father in a case in the High Court where the Judge found the Mother and her Partner had conducted horrific physical and psychological abuse of two young children, in the Hampstead area of North London in which sadism and witchcraft had been a feature of allegations made against not only the Father but the children’s school teachers, and many other professionals involved in the children’s lives.

This case caused considerable media interest. The Judge took the highly unusual step of granting permission to the Father, after hearing extensive representations by June Venters QC on his behalf, for the BBC to interview the Father so as to allow him to present a balanced account of the facts of the case and to facilitate his exoneration.  All allegations against the Father were dismissed and the children were subsequently placed in his long term care.

 

2014

Re: B Crown Court 2014

Representing celebrity’s brother in a high profile historical sexual offences case and achieving acquittal

 

2013

Re: N (Placement Order: Alternative option to Adoption) Court of Appeal 25.03.13

The Court of Appeal set aside a Placement Order in care proceedings which had been made pursuant to Section 52(1)(b) Adoption and Children Act 2002 because the Judge had failed to consider whether the welfare throughout the child’s life required adoption at a time when the court was aware the maternal grandmother wished to care for the child which necessitated further investigation.

Re: F 2013 Derby Family Court

June Venters QC successfully represented a Mother who was on the verge of being sent to prison for failing to comply with a contact order. The Mother’s case was that the Father was violent and a risk to the children but her difficulty had been when represented previously by a different legal team she had agreed not to pursue a fact finding hearing against the Father and, therefore, no court had ever determined the issue of his violence.

June Venters QC managed to persuade the court to re-open the previous proceedings [albeit they were some 4 years earlier]. A Fact Finding hearing was held and the Mother was completely vindicated. The Father was found to be violent and a risk to his children and the children were no longer compelled to see him.

 

2012

Re: M 2012

Representing a Mother whose child had been abducted to Afghanistan by his Father.  Securing the incarceration of his close relative living in the UK by application to the High Court and achieving the Father and child’s return, as a consequence.  The Father was arrested on landing at Heathrow airport and the child was removed by the High Court Tip Staff from the plane and returned to the care of his Mother.

Guildford Crown Court 2012

A young man of good character faced almost a year of waiting for his trial to come before the Crown Court for an alleged assault on a taxi driver. As a result of instructing June Venters QC, and following representations which she made to the Crown Prosecution Service they were faced with no alternative but to drop all charges not only against him but his co-defendants too. Not only had this young man not committed the offences charged but the charges should never have been brought.

Re: F 2012

Representing a father whose baby had suffered fractures to all his limbs.  Both parents were suspected perpetrators of the physical abuse.  As a result of June’s analysis of the medical evidence and her sensitive but decisive and inquiring cross examination the Mother confessed to having caused all the injuries when the father was at work following the death of her dearly loved father and whilst suffering severe depression arising from bereavement.  The child was placed in the long term care of his father.

 

2011

Re: B 2011

Representation of a Mother whose new born baby’s tongue had been severed the day following his birth in hospital and the Mother was suspected of inflicting this injury. Care proceedings were issued.  It was only following June Venters QC scrutiny of the evidence including the police evidence and her identification of a fellow patient who had given birth at the same time in the same ward whom she required to give evidence was the truth established.

It was under cross examination that June was able to expose the fellow patient as the perpetrator of the assault on the baby which had occurred whilst the Mother had been in the bathroom.  Her motive was jealously on seeing the Mother with a loving and reasonably affluent family who had visited following the birth, compared to her own unstable marriage and financial strain.

  

2010

T v T [2010] EWCA Civ 136

Appeal by the mother of two children and her civil partner against a shared residence order made in favour of the mother and the children’s father. Appellants sought the substitution of a joint residence order in their favour with contact to the father.

In considering the appeal the court of appeal considered the hypothetical situation of the mother’s death. It was agreed, that in such a situation, there would be nothing to prevent the father asserting that the children should come to live with him full time. In these circumstances, the judge considered that a residence order in favour of all three adults would serve the children’s interests better, although she noted she would not have reached this conclusion had the father not indicated his agreement to this solution prior to the hearing.

 

2011

Re W (Shared Residence Order) [2009] EWCA Civ 370

Whilst sitting as a Recorder, decision upheld on appeal for a shared residence order with the court of appeal stating:
“Such an order emphasises the fact that both parents are equal in the eyes of the law and that they have equal duties and responsibilities as parents. The order can have the additional advantage of conveying the court’s message that neither parent is in control and that the court expects parents to co-operate with each other for the benefit of their children.”

 

2001

Re: C 2001

Being ordered by High Court Judge to accompany children’s guardian to Northern Cyprus to negotiate the return of two children abducted by their Father and which June achieved.

 

Non accidental injury cases

June Venters QC has represented numerous clients involved in what is known as non-accidental injuries involving a variety of injuries including brain injuries, bone injuries and other injuries affecting various internal organs.  In one such case the High Court Judge, now one of the most senior Judges in the country commended June for “being a thorn in the side” of the relevant local authority and by making them accountable by causing them to issue court proceedings so that their dealings with the child and the family could be under the scrutiny of the court.

Many such cases have involved what is known as “shaking baby cases.”  These are very emotive cases sometimes resulting in death or irretrievable brain damage.  Cases such as this require considerable experience and expertise which June is able to provide.

 

Forced marriage cases

June has represented clients involved in cases of this nature, including where children have been taken to Nigeria resulting in the prosecution of parents in the UK for having conspired to have their children abducted for this purpose.  One such case came about because the adult child was gay, which was culturally unacceptable.  This case received considerable media attention.

 

Factitious Illness

June has experience of representing clients involved in cases of this nature which almost always requires extensive analysis of various medical investigations/assessments/diagnosis and treatment which has taken place over a number of years in order to identify the underlying factual matrix.  Recently she was praised by a Judge in a case of this nature for her “meticulous preparation.”