I am a Senior Associate Family Law Solicitor with expertise in complex children law matters, divorce/dissolution and the financial consequences of relationship breakdown. I lead the firms National Complex Children Law Team of Excellence. I work with heterosexual and LGBT+ Family Law clients. I have a national reach and represent clients across England and Wales (and internationally). I am regularly involved in complicated and high stakes negotiations/court proceedings related to children and financial matters. I hold an LL.M in International Human Rights Law & Practice which can be invaluable when dealing with international matters related to children and or financial matters.
I am known to be robust, comfortable at grappling with difficult issues and driving forward a plan of action to maximise the outcome for a client. I have advised and worked on a number of High Court cases. I also have experience in public interest litigation in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. I have been involved in several landmark cases on family law and human rights matters. I have a keen interest in academic legal issues and welcome instructions on cases which demand thorough legal advice, often on technical specialist issues in both children law and financial matters.
I am known to be a strong common sense negotiator. I have considerable experience in getting cases resolved in a dignified and diligent manner.
In relation to children law I have considerable experience on:
- Future child arrangements during difficult periods where parents cannot agree a way forward
- Allegations of significant domestic abuse
- International and internal relocation of children
- International Child abduction
- LGBT+ children law issues – be it LGBT+ parents and/or children
- Transfers of residence (where a child will live moving forward)
- Factitious illness and/or alleged non accidental injury to children
- Parental alienation issues.
In respect of financial matters I regularly advise during the divorce/dissolution process across a breadth of financial issues when people separate, especially: division of equity in property (often several properties), business interests, division of savings / ISAs / stocks and shares, spousal maintenance, family trusts issues, valuable pensions, tax issues and/or inheritance matters.
What inspired you to get into law?
I wanted to be at the forefront of the profession to be involved in public interest cases to develop the law. I also wanted a career which meant that I was advising and supporting clients through extremely difficult and important life events. That has always been a driver to my practice.
I have advised clients and organisations in a number of significant cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Notably, I was instructed in Re H-N and Others (children: finding of fact hearings)  EWC Civ 448, a landmark Court of Appeal case dealing with allegations of domestic abuse and how the Family Court grapples with these issues.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
My job is a privilege. I advocate for my clients on a daily basis during one of the most distressing moments in their life. My intervention is pivotal and will impact on a client’s future success and happiness. It can be extremely difficult for clients going through the process. The real reward for me is being the person trusted to drive forward the plan of action and getting results.
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
Irwin Mitchell is a full service national law firm of talented solicitors. We are regularly involved in pioneering difficult cases. The firm is at the forefront. I lead on the firms Complex Children Law Team of Excellence. I really enjoy supporting colleagues in that role, offering support and advice on difficult cases nationally. The firm is strong, modern and dynamic.
What do you do away from the office?
I continue to be engaged in academic legal issues. I often lecture on family law, LGBT+ legal issues and human rights. I have also published widely on family law and human rights law in legal journals as well as in the national press and radio. On a lighter note I enjoy a good glass of wine with friends at the weekend. I run most evenings and play golf in the summer.
'Scott Halliday approaches each case with enthusiasm. His briefs are always thorough and focused. He is happy to involve counsel from the early stages of the case. He is responsive to suggestions and leaves no stone unturned.' - Legal 500, 2023
'He is a very capable and switched-on practitioner who holds the client’s interests at the forefront...Scott is an excellent strategic thinker...He is brilliant - very caring, knowledgeable and great counsel' - Chambers and Partners, 2023
'He’s a phenomenal lawyer who does really interesting LGBTQ+ work. He is involved in all the big cases with points of law that push the boundaries of what it is to be a family.'- Chambers and Partners, 2023 (EDI Champions List)
'Scott is really well known for LBGTQ+ rights in a family law context...He has a really good and incisive legal mind. He can identify issues very clearly and devise a good strategy for his client’s case... He is going to be a big star in family law nationwide.' - Chambers & Partners, 2022 (Associates To Watch)
'Scott Halliday is a bright, engaging and committed solicitor. His enthusiasm for his case is matched by his excellent legal judgment and hard work. A star of the future... Scott Halliday – the go to lawyer for all matters relating to LGBTQ+ family law issues. He is involved in cases that are at the cutting edge of family law... Scott Halliday is one to watch and will be a star of the future (he, in fact, is already a star). Has expertise beyond his years in a wide range of family law areas already, but has a particular specialism in international cases and alternative family cases.' - Legal 500, 2022 (Rising Star)
'Scott is technically excellent and absolutely diligent in his approach. He is a good strategist and very intellectually sound… Scott [also] has specialist knowledge in all matters concerning LGBTQ issues in family law.' - Legal 500, 2021 (Rising Star)
'He is an extraordinary lawyer - genuinely felt like he was on my side. He was responsive and kept me up to date at each step along the way. The divorce process is extremely emotional and stressful -the process would’ve been much worse if I didn’t have Scott as my lawyer. He went above and beyond for me - and I really appreciate it.' - 5* Trustpilot review
'Scott was so understanding, empathetic and was very reassuring to both me and my partner every step of the way. We felt like we had an ally, someone who understood our case nearly as much as we did, and someone who was just honest throughout the process. We worked as a team, and always respected and took on the advice we were given as we trusted Scott to have our best interest at heart at all times. His expertise and experience in family law is second to none, and he is extremely methodological and strategic in his approach that meant we were always at ease. I cannot recommend Scott enough, and if there was one thing I would sum up my experience working with Scott, it would be that he genuinely cared.' - 5* Trustpilot review
'Scott was very knowledgable, with lots of experience and as a result of this, he was able to offer excellent advice for my case. I felt heard and that I could trust him to lead the way, which lead to a positive outcome in court.' - 5* Trustpilot review
'Scott goes to the next level when it comes to giving a service to his clients…his knowledge of family law is more befitting of someone who has been in the industry for over 20 years and I would highly recommend his services for anybody wanting to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves in a divorce, especially where there are children involved.' - Client
'Scott is the complete family lawyer; he combines his impressive knowledge not only for the law but for the nuances around family law that others gloss over. He is fastidious in all aspects of his case preparation, with a keen awareness of strategy and tactics. He is thoroughly professional and yet has an empathy and understanding for clients in the most difficult circumstances. He protects and looks after his clients prioritising their needs above everything else. Any client should want Scott in their corner. Any barrister would want Scott as their instructing solicitor. Scott is a first-class family solicitor, there are few better.' - John Jackson, Barrister, Park Lane Plowden, Leeds
'Scott never ceases to impress with his dedication to his clients who he provides a first class service. He has a keen eye for detail and produces impeccable work. He has great ability to give complex decisions clarity and demonstrates superb knowledge of the law. Very highly recommended.' - Julia Nelson, Barrister, Park Lane Plowden, Leeds
'Scott is an expert in international children’s cases. I have worked with him on a number of international cases this year. He is intelligent, great with clients and really understands the strategic points.’ - Michael Edwards, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, London
‘I have had the pleasure of working with Scott many times over the past few years. My briefs are always detailed and well prepared, the bundle always in order and his communication is spot on. I always feel that his clients have been well advised by the time that I meet them, often at Court for the first time, and it is clear that they have trust in his representation. Scott’s dedication to do the best for his clients is evident. He is wonderful to work with.’
Emily Ward, Deputy Head of Family Law, Broadway House Chambers, Leeds
“Let children speak to Judges”, The Times Legal Brief, 2017
“Should children be heard in court?, Family Law, 2017
“Surrogacy Law Reform”, Family Law Journal, (2018) 48(2) 229
“Constitutionalising Family Law and Justice: Framing a Role for the Appellate Courts in the Family Jurisdiction” Academia.edu, 2018
“Civil Partnerships, human rights, constitutionalism and the UK Supreme Court” Family Law Journal, (2018) 48(5) 608
“Family: Transgender and the law”, CityWealth, 2018
“Heterosexual civil partnerships, legal hegemony and the future of relationship status” European Convention on Human Rights Sexual Orientation, 2018
“Supreme Court declares Civil Partnership Act incompatible with human rights law” Family Law, 2018
“Civil partnerships could open to all after supreme court rules they are discriminatory” Daily Telegraph, 2018
“Transgender parents, registration of children at birth and human rights” Family Law, 2018
“The future of Civil Partnerships in an era of human rights incompatibility: An analysis of Steinfeld & Keidan” , Family Law Journal, (2018) 48(8) 942
“An Introduction to the English Legal System” Law Society Gazette, Book Review, 2018
“Family Justice Council Annual Debate 2018: ‘Nothing to hide – what’s wrong with covert recordings?’” Family Law Journal , (2019) 49(2)
“Trans Man Named Mother Of His Child In ‘Breach Of Human Rights’, Experts Say” RightsInfo, 2019
“A High Court Judge Has Ruled That ’Mother’ No Longer Means ’Woman’ Buzzfeed, 2019
“Trans man who gave birth loses historic court battle to be named his child’s father” PinkNews, 2019
Published public lecture – “LGBT+ family law reform – paradoxes in policy and procedure” Queen Mary University of London School Of Politics lecture
“Trans Man Banned From Legally Being Called Father by Courts” Out Magazine , 2020
“Trans man who gave birth is fighting back after court legally declared his child’s mother” Pink News, 2020
LBC Radio - LGBT+ Family Law Interview - 17 November 2020
“A moving target: achieving best evidence in domestic abuse cases (control and coercion) in the context of Re H-N and Others” Family Law Journal , (2021) 51(6) 743 (Scott Halliday and John Jackson)
Not All Lawyers Have Law Degrees - BBC Interview - 29 June 2021
'Autism Acceptance Week: how can autistic parents be supported and protected in the Family Court?' Todays Family Lawyer - April 2022