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Joanna Youll

Call 1989 | Barrister


Joanna is a dedicated and highly experienced specialist in family law. She has a considerable background in all aspects of this field with a particular emphasis on public law childcare work and adoption. Joanna is regularly instructed by local authorities, parents and children, CAFCASS and the Official Solicitor.  Often involved with cases where special guardians have a prominent role, Joanna excels in complex cases involving placement of children with family members outside UK jurisdiction. She frequently represents children in complex private law cases and has regularly appeared on behalf of CAFCASS.  


Joanna was called to the bar in 1989. Her original practice focused on general common law including criminal, civil and family work. Since 2000 Joanna has specialised in family work, undertaking work in all types of family matters and at all levels of court. Frequently involved in complex cases she specialises in all aspects of child protection work. Her extensive experience includes serious issues of non-accidental injury, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. Joanna represents teenage parents and regularly represents parents with mental health problems and/or addiction difficulties. 

She is frequently instructed to represent vulnerable parents in complex public law care proceedings. Her keen and genuine commitment to her clients enables her to obtain the best results yet provide them with helpful and realistic support and solid advice throughout the proceedings. She is a forceful and passionate advocate for her clients yet this never detracts from a sensible and practical approach that serves her clients well in dealing with the complexities of court proceedings. 

When acting on behalf of children Joanna is a forceful steer in achieving the right outcome for her clients and ensuring that their voice is heard, and their interests are upheld. 

Practice Areas

Public Law Children

Private Law Children

Human Rights

Education and Professional Memberships

Post Graduate Diploma in the History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London 

LLB (University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies) 




P (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 3 (20 January 2016) 

Re T (Wardship: Impact of Police Intelligence) Neutral Citation Number: [2009] EWHC 2440 (Fam). Decision of McFarlane J. 

Re S ( a child) (evidence: disclosure) [2008]EWCA Civ. 935 (Joanna was junior counsel to Lucy Theis QC in the first highly complex litigation case where special advocates were used to process and manage evidence via closed and open hearings where disclosure was resisted by the police.) 

Re K (A local authority N and others [2005] EWHC 2956 (Fam).