Rachel Bennett

Call 2002 (Former Solicitor 2008) (Pupillage 2018)

Rachel has a varied family law practice encompassing private children law, public children law, applications under Part IV Family Law Act 1996 (domestic violence), and financial remedy on divorce.

Rachel has a particular interest in cases involving allegations of parental alienation and other abuse.  She has significant experience working with adults and children with learning differences, mental and physical health challenges, complex needs, communication difficulties, and those who are neurodiverse.  She has a confident, calm and sensitive approach to clients with all forms of vulnerabilities and puts her clients at ease.

In private children proceedings, Rachel represents parents, family members, intervenors and children (through their r16.4 children’s guardian) at all stages of applications under s8 Children Act 1989. This can include fact-finding hearings where allegations of serious abuse (physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, financial) towards children and parents have been made. She is sought after for her skill in dealing with cases involving intractable disputes and intense hostility.

In public law matters, Rachel has acted for children (through their children’s guardian), parents, family members, special guardians, intervenors and local authorities at various stages of care proceedings.  She has dealt with issues such as threshold, non-accidental injury, separation, neglect, special guardianship orders, sexual abuse, supervision and care orders, placement and adoption orders, foster care both within the family and in local authority placements, and education supervision orders.

Rachel is often thanked by lay clients for her attention to detail without losing sight of the “bigger picture”, and for making them feel listened to and understood.  She is popular with professional clients for her astute insights into complex cases, prompt updates, thoroughness, and detailed attendance notes.

In financial remedy matters, Rachel has particular experience in cases of modest or limited means, where she strives to help her clients to find creative solutions and reach settlement through a tactical approach and negotiation where possible.  Rachel is available to provide bespoke advice remotely as well as in person, meaning that she can take instructions regardless of a client’s geographical location.

Before Pupillage at Magdalen Chambers under Elizabeth Willsteed (now HHJ Willsteed), Rachel had many years’ experience as a solicitor and paralegal.  In addition, Rachel worked as a freelance legal researcher, and was commissioned by a former prison governor and adviser to the secretary of state for justice to produce research on extremism in prisons and the rehabilitation of radicalised offenders.  Rachel was also a university lecturer in law (Exeter) where she taught and examined in the Advocacy, Negotiation and Tort modules. Furthermore, Rachel was a Special Police Constable (latterly Inspector) for over 10 years, receiving a number of awards for exceptional service. 

In her spare time, Rachel enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, sea swimming, singing professionally both in the UK and internationally, teaching singing, and choral conducting.

Notable Cases
Professional Memberships

Back to list of Barristers