Zoe Fleetwood

Zoe Fleetwood


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What can Zoe do for you?

A highly experienced children lawyer, Zoe heads the firm’s children law team. Well-known for handling complex cases, Zoe’s experience includes child abduction, wardship, care proceedings, surrogacy, adoption and forced marriage, as well as disputes involving allegations of abuse. Zoe’s cases often have an international dimension.

Committed to children’s rights and ensuring the best outcome, Zoe has considerable experience of representing children directly. 

Supporting your ambitions

Zoe successfully defended a leave to remove application on behalf of a father. Her careful and thorough approach meant a strong defence was presented while also ensuring the integrity of the parties’ long term relationship as co-parents.

Zoe successfully appealed a fact finding after the wife’s allegations of serious sexual and domestic abuse were initially found not proven but on appeal and subsequent re-hearing all allegations were found proven. The Judge found there had previously been an error in both procedure and use of judicial discretion. The client’s concerns about arrangements for the children were then taken seriously.

What do others say?

"Widely acknowledged as the best of children lawyers of her generation" - Chambers & Partners 2024

"A stellar lawyer" - Legal 500 2024

"She is superb“- Chambers & Partners 2022

“Thank you. You believed me. That meant more to me than you can ever know.” - A client

“An amazing solicitor” - Legal 500 2021

"Very calm and collected, spot-on in her tactics and approach, and is very hard-working" - Chambers & Partners 2022

Awarded Family Law Case of the Year 2021 for Re H-N [2021] (with Claudia Gilham and others)

What else should you know?

A Resolution Accredited Specialist in Children Law, Child Abduction and Adoption and a Solicitor Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings), Zoe’s reported cases include Re F (A Child) [2017]  the lead authority on child relocation, Re H-N  [2021] a landmark case concerning domestic abuse allegations and London NHS Trust v CD and Others [2021]  where Zoë acted for the mother. 

Zoe's reported cases

  • KMM v NAM (Jurisdiction) [2021] EWHC 2300 (Fam)
  • London NHS Trust v CD and Others [2021] EWCOP 727
  • Re H-N and others (children) (domestic abuse: finding of fact hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448
  • AG and AB (Children) [2018] EWHC 381 (Fam)
  • HK (Serious Medical Treatment) (No.3) [2017] EWHC 2991 (Fam)
  • HK (Serious Medical Treatment) (No.2) [2017] EWHC 2581 (Fam)
  • S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 (Fam)
  • NHS Hospital Trust v GM & Ors [2017] EWHC 1710 (Fam)
  • Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam)
  • Re F (Child’s Objections) [2015] EWCA Civ 1022
  • In the matter of F (A child) (International Relocation Cases) [2015] EWCA Civ 882 
  • JC (Discharge of Care Order: Legal Aid) [2015] EWFC B39
  • London Borough of Barnet v M/F [2014] EWFC B152 
  • ML v KW and Anor [2013] EWHC 341 (Fam)

Zoe's awards and rankings

Chambers and Partners 2024 - Band 1 
Zoe Fleetwood is head of Mills & Reeve's national children team and has an impeccable reputation for her work in this field. She specialises in representing children and has broad experience across both private and public proceedings relating to child custody and welfare. Renowned for her strength as an advocate and for representing children. She has in-depth knowledge of care proceedings involving abuse allegations and domestic violence. "Even though the work she does is difficult and complex, she takes everything in her stride."

Legal 500 2024 - Leading Individual 
Zoe Fleetwood, who has a "great deal of integrity", sits at the helm of the firm’s national children team. "Zoe Fleetwood is just excellent. She is careful and patient with clients and able to deliver difficult advice to move a case forward. Her preparation is outstanding and her ability to lead a team means that large and complex cases are safe in her hands."

"She has an innate ability to cut through difficult issues in cases whilst finding practical solutions. She is a fearless lawyer and you want her on your side."

Chambers UK 2021 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood is renowned for her strength as an advocate and for representing children. She has in-depth knowledge of care proceedings involving abuse accusations, drawing on notable criminal strength. "She's very committed to her clients and works non-stop for them." "She is unflappable and always on top of all her cases."

Legal 500 2021 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood who is a name to note is accustomed to dealing with very serious cases involving non-accidental injury to a child, sexual abuse, trafficking, jurisdiction disputes and placements overseas. She “is an amazing solicitor. Her preparation is meticulous and she has a good common-sense approach to difficult issues, as well as managing client expectations which allows them to have realistic goals.”  “She is senior and experienced, and has helped to shape the modern law on relocation.”

Spear's 500 2020 - Outstanding in field - Recommended Family Lawyer
Well known for her meticulous children work, "clarity of thought" and "highly supportive and engaging manner."

Chambers and Partners 2020 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood is a highly respected specialist in public and cross-border children law. She has in-depth knowledge of care proceedings involving abuse accusations, drawing on notable criminal strength. An interviewee says: "She demonstrates unwavering commitment and compassion not just for clients but also in her fight for their cause. She has always been utterly fearless and determined whether she's at court or in correspondence, showing a steely and very effective strength."

Legal 500 2020 - Leading Individual
"Zoe Fleetwood is at the top of her game in children matters and is utterly dedicated to her clients". 

Chambers and Partners 2019 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood is a well-regarded lawyer who specialises in serious public law children matters, with deep knowledge of cases involving severe emotional and physical abuse, complex medical evidence and international child placement. One source considers her "a model of excellence," while another praises her "calm and reassuring manner" and "confident and assured approach."

Legal 500 2019 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood “strives hard to achieve the right outcome and to ensure that the client gets the best care". 

Chambers and Partners 2018 - Leading Individual
Zoe Fleetwood is an accomplished public law children's lawyer whose experience includes international child placement, serious non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and trafficking allegations. Sources highlight her "clarity of thought, and supportive and engaging manner," as well as her "very strong commitment to ensuring that the very best possible outcomes are achieved for children."

Legal 500 2017 - Leading Individual
“very empathetic” Zoe Fleetwood, who is "particularly outstanding when representing vulnerable children". 

The Times' Lawyer of the Week for her representation of "JS", the 14 year old teenager who was cryo preserved (October 2016)

Shortlisted for Jordan's Associate Lawyer of the Year (2014)

Zoe's press coverage and publications

1.  The mental load that women carry (2023) Resolution.org.uk

2. Family courts 'may allow abusers to inflict more harm'  (July 2019) The Times

3. Press coverage on Zoë’s case of Re JS ​

4. Press coverage on Zoë’s case of Re F


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