Richard Westley

Richard Westley

Legal Director - Head of Children Law

Legal Director Richard Westley expertly leads our children law team in private and public law matters, and has achieved Legal 500 third tier ranking for six consecutive years. Since qualifying in January 2010, Richard has dedicated his career to practising family law, specialising for over a decade solely in children law – in the West Midlands and Staffordshire. 

He has been a member of The Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme since 2014 and as such is authorised to represent children as well as adults.

Richard’s particular specialism is the representation of children who are involved in public or private law disputes, although he also represents parents and other family members. He also has experience of advising/representing foster carers, adopters and local authorities. His reputation is built on conducting a wide range of serious and complex cases, appearing before all levels of the Family Court (including at High Court ). Richard’s in-depth knowledge (of the law and of his cases) and his attention to detail, the level of his preparation and tireless work ethic, and his approachability have led to him building strong working relationships with both professional and lay clients, who are able to rely on him to produce consistently high-quality work.

Richard has experience of dealing with the following issues:

  • Adoption (including step-parent, foster-to-adopt and international);
  • Applications to withhold the disclosure of evidence;
  • Child death;
  • Conflicting medical evidence;
  • Deprivation of a child’s liberty and secure accommodation;
  • Disabilities and learning difficulties;
  • Emergency protection of children;
  • Fabricated/induced illness;
  • Guardianship and special guardianship;
  • Implacable hostility/parental alienation;
  • Inflicted/non-accidental injuries;
  • Injunctions to restrict the communication of information;
  • Injunctions to protect against abusive behaviour;
  • International issues regarding the placement of children and assessment of family members;
  • Murder of a parent (having experience of acting in different cases for the victim’s family, the victim’s children and the murderer);
  • Sexual abuse (including on an inter-sibling level);
  • Surrogacy; and
  • Transfer out of the jurisdiction, including recovery of a child from a non-Hague Convention country.

Richard has high expectations of himself and his team, and is well-respected on the Circuit.

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’.