Zosia Keniston

Zosia Keniston

'Zosia was excellent'

May 2021

‘She is a very experienced barrister with excellent advocacy skills and a very calm manner, so you always feel like your case is in good hands.’

Legal 500, 2020

"Zosia’s reading of the Judge (particularly in view of him being a DDJ and not a family barrister) and her presentation of the case swung the decision in our clients"


“Excellent advocate who always does a very thorough job. Highly knowledgeable and always approachable.”

"Zosia is incredibly client focused and diligent in her preparation of cases.”

"Instructing Zosia was an absolute delight"


“She is extremely helpful and approachable.”

“I've always received very positive feedback from clients she has represented in children matters, putting clients at ease in stressful circumstances."

Practice Overview

Practice Overview

Zosia has a busy family law practice, specialising in children (public and private law). She is a committed advocate, who combines tenacity in court with attention to detail in her case preparation. She is known for her calm manner and ability to deal with clients in volatile circumstances.

Her main areas of work are:-


  • Children (public law)
  • Children (private law)
  • Domestic violence and injunctions

Zosia studied Modern Languages (French and German) at Brasenose College, Oxford  and graduated in 2002 in Modern Languages (French and German), with distinction in colloquial French, before converting to law the following year at City University. She completed the Bar Vocational Course in 2004. She was awarded a scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn for both her GDL, BVC and Pupillage years.

She has undertaken the Public Access training and is able to take direct instructions from members of the public. She is experienced in dealing directly with clients and guiding them through the court process.

Children (public law)

Zosia has extensive experience of dealing with public law proceedings and has come to specialise in this area. She regularly represents Local Authorities, parents and also accepts acts for the Children’s Guardian. She is experienced in dealing with cases that involve allegations of non-accidental injury, including allegations of fabricated or induced illness. She has previously acted for the Official Solicitor and is experienced in representing clients with learning and/or mental health difficulties.


Recent cases include:-


  • Represented LA in a five day Final Hearing, with complex family dynamics, resulting in the making of Child Arrangement Orders and Special Guardianship Orders to family members.
  • Represented a Mother within care proceedings; these proceedings concluded with a family placement for the child and a high level of contact to the parents going forward.
  • Represented a Step-Father within care proceedings, where there were allegations of over-chastisement.
  • Represented a LA in complicated public law proceedings, which started life as a Forced Marriage Protection Order application and then proceeded through care proceedings.
  • Represented a LA in care proceedings, which involved a young person at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation and included applying for and obtaining a Recovery Order.
  • Advised on whether placements are a private family fostering arrangement, or are in fact placements under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
  • Represented a Mother with severe learning difficulties over a three day final hearing in care proceedings that involved six children. Mother was initially assessed as lacking capacity and the Official Solicitor was instructed; however a subsequent cognitive assessment found that she had capacity. She was assisted by intermediaries throughout the proceedings. Although final care orders were made, and placement orders in respect of the younger children, the Judge was persuaded to record in judgment that if possible the Local Authority should inquire of potential adopters whether they would consider direct contact with the parents post adoption.
  • Represented aLocal Authority in making an application for leave to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to enable an application to be made under the inherent jurisdiction so as to make the child, aged sixteen years, a ward of court and place her in secure accommodation. This case involved legal argument as to the correct mechanism whereby a secure accommodation order could be made, or not, in respect of a sixteen year old young person.
  • Represented Local Authority in care proceedings, where the Mother suffered from mental health difficulties, including a phantom pregnancy.

Children (private law)

Zosia regularly deals with residence/contact disputes, as well as applications to remove from the jurisdiction. She is experienced in applications by grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren. She takes a practical and sensitive approach to dealing with matters, which through the nature of the proceedings cause high levels of emotion. She is regularly instructed to act for clients in fact-finding hearings where there has been a history of domestic violence, or alleged domestic violence, between the parties. She is committed to obtaining the best resolution for her client and is always happy to advise in conference prior to the matter going to Court.


Recent cases include:


  • Represented a Father throughout his application for a live with Child Arrangements Order, which following a fact-finding hearing where all allegations were prove, resulted in a live with Child Arrangements Order in the Father’s favour.
  • Represented a Grandmother in proceedings concerning her grandchildren, which following a contested final hearing resulted in her obtaining a live with Child Arrangements Order in respect of her grandchildren.
  • Represented a Mother successfully in proceedings where an abusive family member had applied for leave to spend time with the child.
  • Represented a Mother in private law proceedings, which spanned some three years. Mother was hostile to Father having contact with his three children. The proceedings were dotted with committal hearings in respect of Mother breaching Court orders; despite numerous hearings and non attendances by the Mother, she was not committed to prison.

Domestic Violence and Injunctions

Zosia represents both Applicants and Respondents in domestic violence injunctions, using her calm manner and courteous persistence to secure the best outcome for her client. She focuses on obtaining the best outcome for her client, and tempers her advice with pragmatism.