Richard Westley

Richard Westley

Legal Director - Head of Children Law

Legal Director Richard Westley expertly leads our children law team in private and public matters and has achieved Legal 500, 3rd tier for 3 consecutive years.

He has practised family law in the West Midlands and Staffordshire throughout his career, since qualifying as a Solicitor in 2010 and is accredited by the Law Society, having been an active member of its Children Law Accreditation Scheme (authorised to represent children as well as adults) since 2014.

Richard specialises in representation of children involved in care proceedings or private law disputes, taking instruction from guardians or from the child directly.  Richard also represents parents and other family members with his reputation having been built on conducting a wide range of serious and complex proceedings and high value cases.  He appears regularly before all levels of the Family Court and from time-to-time, the High Court. 

Richard has strong working relationships with both professional and lay clients, who are  able to rely on Richard to produce consistently high-quality work. He has dealt with a wide range of cases, including those involving issues such as inflicted injuries, sexual abuse (including inter-sibling), fabricated illness, murder, deprivation of a child’s liberty and high court injunctions to restrict the communication of information.

Key Specialisms

• Adoption (including step-parent and international)
• Applications to withhold disclosure of evidence
• Conflicting medical evidence
• Deprivation of a child’s liberty
• Disabilities/learning difficulties
• Fabricated/induced illness
• Guardianship and special guardianship
• Implacable hostility/parental alienation
• Inflicted/non-accidental injuries
• Injunctions to restrict the communication of information and to protect against abusive behaviour
• Sexual abuse (including inter-sibling)
• Surrogacy; and
• Transfer out of jurisdiction


  • Child death
  • Murder of a parent
  • International issues

Contact Richard on 01827 317059 or

Richard is recommended in The Legal 500 2024

The 'professional and strong' team at Pickerings Solicitors is jointly led by Susan Davies who concentrates on divorce and finance work and Richard Westley who excels in children matters. It regularly deals with high-net-worth matrimonial cases where there are businesses, properties and pensions involved. Three of the solicitors who specialise in children work are members of the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme and are frequently instructed by the children’s guardians.


‘I work with Richard Westley, Victoria Harvey and Jo Craddock. Each is unique in their own way but have a shared ethos in how they represent children and execute directions from guardians. I have full confidence that having worked with them for a number of years any decision they make or suggest can be trusted’.

‘Pickerings solicitors offer a range of expertise in private and public family law work.  Richard Westley or Jo Craddock and Vicky Harvey – All 3 offer a considered child focussed service to Guardians, are happy to meet with children who they represent and offer good legal advice promptly and excellent representation in court hearings‘.

Richard was recommended in The Legal 500 2023

The family team at Pickerings Solicitors is jointly led by Susan Davies, who specialises in divorce and finance, and Richard Westley, who leads the children law team. 


‘Great team. The staff is all professional and caring and explained everything well to me so I knew the process . Would highly recommend this firm !’

'Westley leads the children team and has particular expertise in public law proceedings. The group is often instructed by the children’s guardians to act in the most serious and complex cases.'

‘I have found the team to be personally and professionally supportive. The team is keen to meet the children they represent. The team is personable, good fun and always professional. Great with children. Great knowledge of the court system and separate local authorities. Great connections‘.

‘Pickerings Solicitors is a brilliant choice for child care cases locally. It has a broad range of highly capable lawyers who provide an exceptional level of client care. They conduct some of the most complex and difficult child protection cases with confidence and their conscientious approach inspires confidence‘.

‘Richard Westley is an excellent choice for the most serious child protection cases. He is always very well prepared and goes above and beyond in serving the interests of his clients. I have found him to be unflappable in high stress situations’.