Robert Povall

Call 2019

povall@exchangechambers.co.uk

Photo of Robert Povall

Family

Robert was called to the Bar in 2019 and joined Exchange Chambers in November 2020. He specialises in family law.

Diligent and down-to-earth, Robert’s top priority is achieving the best outcome for his clients whilst ensuring they understand what is happening every step of the way.

Robert has experience in cases involving complex features such as non-accidental injury, experts, capacity, parental alienation and jurisdiction. He has represented clients at all stages, including contested final hearings. He has appeared before the Magistrates as well as District, Circuit and Deputy High Court Judges. Robert is a confident advocate and has cross-examined a range of witnesses from lay parties to professionals and experts.

Children: Private

Robert provides confident and practised representation in the following types of case:

  • Child Arrangements (including Rule 16.4 cases)
  • Prohibited Steps
  • Specific Issue
  • Enforcement & Committal
  • Family Law Act Applications (Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders)

Robert adopts a robust but fair approach and works hard to broker amicable agreements between parties. If this cannot be achieved, clients can rest assured that he will fight valiantly on their behalf until the case’s conclusion.

Children: Public

Robert regularly appears in proceedings featuring the following:

  • Care & Supervision Orders
  • Special Guardianship
  • (Contested) Interim Separation
  • Interim Care Orders
  • Part 25 Applications
  • Applications to Discharge

Robert acknowledges that his clients are going through an invidious time. He appreciates that his role extends beyond courtroom representation and thus endeavours to put his clients at ease from first contact with empathy and compassion.

During pupillage, Robert shadowed Kathryn Dale in the reported case of Re C [2020] EWCA Civ 257, where the Court of Appeal reinforced the test for interim separation. Robert’s first-hand experience of this case provides him with an additional level of insight into the approach of the family court in cases of this nature.

Cases

  • Successfully represented an applicant in complex domestic violence proceedings with historical allegations and voluminous digital evidence. Findings made that the respondent’s ‘relentless’ harassment would continue without an order and that his conduct during proceedings constituted an extension to his controlling behaviour. (2020)
  • Defended a client with over 140 breaches proven against him in an application by a local authority for a total exclusion clause. Detailed written submissions prepared on the client’s Article 8 rights which persuaded the court against making the order. (2020)
  • Represented a mother at an interim hearing where the care plan had changed last minute, causing great distress to her and the child. HHJ Sharpe described Robert’s advocacy as ‘compelling.’ (2021)
  • Successfully applied to dispense with notice of proceedings upon a father incarcerated for attempted murder and kidnap. Robust submissions made that the mother and children’s Article 6 rights should supersede those of the father (2021).
  • Successfully opposed interim separation of a new-born from his mother even though his four older siblings had been removed seven months prior under the same threshold. (2021)
  • Cross-examined an independent social worker on behalf of a father and undermined the fairness of her assessment. Resultantly, the matter was adjourned part-heard for the instruction of a fresh expert. (2021)