Kim Lehal

Partner

        • Kim Lehal
        • Partner
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        • 01788 557670
        • 07972 621070
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        • Montague House
        • 2 Clifton Road
        • Rugby
        • CV21 3PX
        • 01788 579579

    Kim Lehal

    Partner

    Kim Lehal is one of the country’s most talented family lawyers. Kim is an accredited specialist in international child abduction proceedings and has acted in a number of ground-breaking cases. Brethertons is one of only 42 specialist teams appointed by the Ministry of Justice to sit on the Child Abduction: Accredited Solicitors Referral List. Brethertons is the only law firm in Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire to have been elected to the Panel and have been a member since 2001.

    Alongside international child abduction, Kim is a recognised expert in all aspects of children’s law. This includes complex family disputes in Child Arrangements proceedings, international public law proceedings, cross-border adoption, wardship and proceedings pursuant to the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court, recognition and enforcement of judgments and matters concerning parental responsibility.

    Kim also advises and represents victims of domestic abuse, honour-based violence, FGM and abandoned spouses in foreign jurisdictions. She is also highly regarded as a specialist in assisted reproduction law and advises on complex international surrogacy arrangements and in multifaceted parental order cases where there have been issues with domicile, consent or where nationality or immigration law has caused difficulties with Family Court applications in the UK.

    Compassionate, assertive, multi-lingual, smart and honest, Kim focuses on listening to her clients and working with them to find the best strategy and solution to the issues they face. She is exceptionally proactive when it comes to keeping her clients up to date with progress. Kim is also careful to explain that in matters concerning children, her priority, along with the Court’s, is primarily concerned with the welfare of the child.

    Kim speaks fluent Punjabi and Hindi and is proficient in Urdu. Outside of work, Kim loves travelling, keeping fit and spending time with her family.

    Experience and Accreditations

    • Qualified as a Solicitor in 2009
    • Studied at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2007
    • Completed the Legal Practice Court at the College of Law Birmingham, gaining a Distinction in Family Law
    • An accredited specialist by the Law Society Family Law Advanced panel in International Child Abduction and Children Law since 2013
    • An accredited member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) specialist solicitors panel, the Reunite panel of recommended lawyers, a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA) and in 2018 appointed as the membership secretary for CALA
    • Kim is a trained Special Educational Needs lawyer. Kim works closely with parents and young adults and assists them to obtain support from Local Authorities with their education
    • A fluent speaker of Punjabi and Hindi and proficient in basic Urdu

    Memberships

    • Accredited specialist by the Law Society Family Law Advanced panel in International Child Abduction and Children Law since 2013.
    • Accredited member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) Specialist Solicitors Panel, the Reunite Panel of Recommended Lawyers.
    • Founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA) and has previously been appointed and acted as its membership secretary.
    • Trained Special Educational Needs lawyer - Kim collaborates closely with parents and young adults and assists them to obtain support from Local Authorities with their educational needs.

    Commentary

    ‘Kim Lehal is particularly recommended for her work in international child abduction proceedings. It is ‘one of the premier out-of-London firms’.’ – Legal 500

    Kim Lehal is outstandingly brilliant. She has an ability to settle anxious clients and explain complex legal matters in an understandable way. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of international adoption procedure and practice, with particular expertise at the recognition of foreign adoption orders.’ – Legal 500

    Noteable Cases:

    Re G (a child) [2021] UKSC 9

    Kim represented Reunite in this landmark decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that a child who can objectively be understood to be an Applicant for asylum cannot be returned to the country from which they have sought refuge before their asylum claim has been decided.

    [2020] EWCA Civ 1185 Z (Recognition of Foreign Adoption: Refusal) (2020)

    Kim represented a parent in complex international adoption proceedings where a single-parent sought to have an Iranian Adoption Order recognised in the UK.

    Uhd v McKay [2019] EWHC 1239 (Fam)

    In this highly publicised case, Kim represented a parent seeking to defend Hague Convention 1980 proceedings pursuant to Article 13(b).

    R v R (Jurisdiction and Acquiescence) [2016] 1339 EWHC (Fam)

    This judgment addressed imperative issues about jurisdiction when issuing private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 in any case that has an international element, particularly in cases where a parent has recently arrived in the jurisdiction with their children.

    Y (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1208

    Kim successfully represented a parent in the Court of Appeal against an order under the Hague Convention for a parent to return two children to Canada.

    Re S (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 1453

    An appeal raising the question as to whether and when it may be appropriate for the Court to dismiss a Hague Convention application. Kim was successful in defending a Hague Convention application.

    Re C (Children) (Abduction: Article 13(b)) [2018] EWCA Civ 2834

    Kim successfully represented a parent in the Court of Appeal in relation to the dismissal of a Hague Convention application to have two children returned to South Africa.

    JEG v IS [2014] EWHC 287 (Fam) (13 February 2014)

    Kim represented a parent who had abducted a child to Russian where there were serious allegations of sexual abuse.

    Re B (A CHILD) (1980 HAGUE CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS) [2014] EWCA Civ 375

    In another Hague Convention case, Kim successfully represented a parent, in the Court of Appeal, whose child had been wrongfully removed from France. This case also involved care proceedings in which the child had been removed from the abducting parenting and placed with her uncle under an Interim Care Order.

    ED (A Child) 2014 EWHC 2731 (Fam)

    Kim represented a parent who did not have parental responsibility and successfully argued that where a Polish parent had retained the child in Poland after a holiday in breach of promises to the English Court, those promises amounted to an express and unequivocal acceptance that the English Court had jurisdiction in matters of parental responsibility.

    CB v CB [2013] EWHC 2092 (Fam) (10 April 2013)

    Kim represented a parent and successfully returned her child to Australia under the Hague Convention 1980.

  • Kim Lehal

    Partner

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  • What our clients say about Kim...

    • I was the respondent mother in a case of International parental abduction. After representing myself and had an under qualified lawyer I came in contact with this law firm and specifically Kim Lehal. I cannot thank her enough I went from having a draft to voluntarily return my children as the previous solicitor told me I did not have a case to a judge dismissing the case against me. Kim thanks for understanding and as I told you before the hearing even if was not in my favour I had the BEST representation I could ask for. Hague cases are almost impossible to win. You have my children peace of mind. Eternally grateful and anyone looking for a good family lawyer that’s empathetic should get Kim Lehal.
    • “Brethertons were recommended to me as specialists in international family law. I live in Greece and my children were taken to England without my consent or knowledge. I did not have contact with them for 3 years. I feel extremely lucky to have found Kim Lehal. Developing a relationship of trust was important to me and I felt I was in very safe hands. I received clear, tactical advice on a complex international contact case which involved parental alienation. I was kept fully informed and updated throughout. I cannot thank Kim and Brethertons enough for everything they have done for me and my children. After a challenging but worthwhile Court battle, I have been successfully reunited with my children. I will always be grateful to Kim and Brethertons for the rest of my life.”
    • “The team was always available and efficient in responding to me. I felt I was in safe hands during a difficult court battle. Everything was done promptly. Kim Lehal made sure I was fully supported. I received clear, tactical advice on a complex international contact case which involved parental alienation I felt she was knowledgeable and an expert in her field. She was also honest and upfront. I was kept fully informed and updated throughout.”
    • “I have used this company many times over the last 8 years for family law advice and always found them to be very helpful. Most recently Kim Lehal and her team assisted me with family law proceedings. They are highly professional and always happy to answer any questions I may have. I found them to be very responsive and kept me informed at all times. Kim always made sure I was prepared for any upcoming hearings. I can’t fault them at all. They made the whole process a lot less stressful than it would have otherwise have been, I’m incredibly grateful for all the hard work they have done.”
    • “Incredible amount of professionalism by all staff. They all worked so hard and were always available for contact. I felt completely safe when entering a hearing due to how prepared they were. I recommend them to anyone that needs honest advice or representation. Thank you.”
    • “I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and for my daughter. I will be grateful for this my whole life, and I know for sure she will be when she gets older. I can't explain all the weight, pressure and pain I am now able to lose, thanks to your job. I will be in debt to you all my life!"
    • “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for the time, effort and respect that you put in, to helping me deal with the case brought to you just a little over a month ago.
    • Working with you has been an extreme breath of fresh air after trying to deal with: Other solicitors (being told it was impossible to help in such a short time), The applicant’s solicitors.
    • And I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company to other people, in-fact I already have. Without you and your team, I do not think I would be where I am today.”
    • "I am more than happy and satisfied with the results. I can't hide my relief and I would like to thank you for your effectiveness."
    •  “I wanted to write a testimonial for you because so far I could not have imagined someone doing a better job for me thus far in this situation than you have. I work long hours and it is difficult to get time for appointments. When I started contacting law firms I was expecting to have to wait a week for a cold business like response and in some cases that is what I got.  But in a few interactions with Kim I got a person whose extremely prompt and knowledgeable advice has helped bring order and calm to a situation which seemed chaotic and unmanageable. Thank you, Kim."
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