Paul Hopkins Q.C.

Paul Hopkins Q.C.

Year of Call: 1989
Year of Silk: 2009
Clerk: Lesley Haikney

Paul is Head of Chambers at 9 Park Place and has been a specialist family law practitioner since relocating to Cardiff in 1997 from chambers in London. 

Paul handles all aspects of public and private law child work as well as divorce / cohabitation related financial claims. Recent cases include:  Re X (Russell J) (alleged factitious illness); Re X (advising a Guardian on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014; Re X (Moor J) (alleged Islamic radicalisation); Re X (Moor J) (alleged homicide of 1 party by another / sexual abuse); Re X (Moor J) (infant sibling fatality / historic NAI involving half sibling); Re X (Hayden J) (sexual abuse / disclosure of police evidence into care proceedings); Re X (Mostyn J) (extreme NAIs); Re X (Newton J) (sexual abuse / factitious illness).

Paul's most recent reported cases include Re R (An Infant) [2016] EWFC 60 (causation / attribution of injuries); Re L and M (Children) [2016] EWHC 3969 (Fam) (causation / attribution of wrist fractures in relation to a deceased sibling); Re R (Children)[2015] EWCA Civ 167 (an appeal concerning whether one of the subject children in care proceedings aged 14 years old should be permitted to give oral evidence).

Other reported cases include Re MW (Case Management)  [2010] 1 FLR 1093 (care case where he appeared on behalf of a local authority in an infant NAHI seeking to re-open the cause of death of the child’s half sibling) and Re N (Jurisdiction) [2007] 2 FLR 1196; [2007] EWHC 1274; [2007] Fam Law 901, (a matrimonial case involving the detailed application of the principles of domicile and Brussels II). In Re E.N. (Adoption: Special Guardianship) [2008] 2 F.C.R. 229; [2007] EWCA 264; [2007] Fam Law 459 Paul appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of a Guardian and successfully resisted an appeal against the making of a care and placement order.

Past reported cases include M v M (Specific Issue) [2007] 1 FLR 251; Re C (Adoption: Disclosure to Father) [2006] 1 FLR 589; Re R (Care: Plan for Adoption: Best Interests) [2006] 1 FLR 483; Re Y (Removal from Jurisdiction) [2004] 2 FLR 330; Re I (Care Order) [2003] EWHC 2447 (Fam); Re S (Contact: Appeal) [2001] Fam Law 505; Re C (Contact: No order) [2000] 2 FLR 723; Re A (Change of Name) [1999] 2 FLR 930 and E v C (Child Maintenance) [1996] 1 FLR 472.

Consistently recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers Directories, Paul is named as a popular choice both for ancillary relief matters and a wide range of private and public law children work. He is recommended as a "Leading Silk" by The Legal 500 2016 in which he is described as ‘a family law specialist with vast experience in difficult and sensitive cases,’ The previous edition reported that he is "extremely knowledgeable in relation to childcare issues, and very sensitive in his approach." Chambers UK 2017 reports "I would struggle to find a better trial advocate, he is fantastic at cross-examining. He is also very approachable and very good at working as a team, and the quality of his paperwork is second to none." The previous edition said that "he is an experienced trial advocate who predominantly works on complex childcare proceedings for both private and public clients." "His advocacy and attention to detail were outstanding - the amount of detail and knowledge of the case he displayed was particularly impressive." 

The Legal 500 2014 reported that he is "a strong all-rounder in both children and financial remedy cases"

Chambers UK 2015 says he "exels at complex matters involving cross jurisdictions and vulnerable clients. He can handle the most demanding of clients excellently"

Chambers UK 2014 records that "He is deiligent and sensible with a good manner in court."

Chambers UK 2013 notes that his “absolutely charming and hardworking” approach sees him identified by sources as “a great all-rounder.”

Paul has been a Recorder of the Crown Court since 2005, where he is authorised to try serious sexual offences. He is also approved to sit as a County Court Recorder on private and public family cases. Paul has been a Bencher of Gray's Inn since 2013 and is currently the Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit.

Paul is a case reviewer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit. He has also acted as a member of the combined Bar Council / SRA fees appeal tribunal. Paul was  formerly director of Family Contact (Cardiff) for over 10 years has also been an external examiner on the Cardiff University Law School B.P.T.C. course. From 2009 to 2013 Paul was approved counsel on the Welsh Government Panel of Advocates under the category of Family and Children Law.

Before coming to the Bar, Paul acquired extensive experience, in a residential social worker capacity, in working with deaf people and people with learning disabilities and mental illness.

Paul is a Welsh speaker who is married with one son.