Charles has practised family law for more than 25 years, initially as a solicitor and since 2006 at the Bar. He practises in all areas of family law but particularly in difficult and unusual children law cases. He is the Head of the Family Team at No.6.
He has worked for small (Parker Bird, Oates Hanson), medium (Lee & Priestley) and large (Addleshaw Goddard) firms of solicitors, for local government (East Sussex County Council) and with central government (CAFCASS).
As Director of Legal Services at CAFCASS (2001-2005) Charles was directly responsible for a team that represented children in particularly unusual and difficult cases. More than 20 of these were reported in the Family Law Reports. Cases included:
* representing children convicted of murder in high profile application to protect their new identities;
* many medical issue cases, including operating on conjoined twins, and end of life cases;
* issues about the exercise of parental responsibility, including about circumcision and the triple-jab ('MMR') vaccination;
* the 'internet twins' adoption case.
Recent notable cases, in which he has acted for parents, local authorites and children, include:
* many non-accidental head injury ('NAHI') cases, including cases in which a child had died;
* the first vitamin D/rickets case to reach the Court of Appeal following the decision in Islington LBC v Al Alas, Wray & Al Alas-Wray;
* sexual abuse allegations (including whether children who were not party to the proceedings should be required to give oral evidence, and whether a child contracted a sexually transmitted illness as a result of abuse);
* permission for a child to leave the jurisdiction to be adopted in Latin America;
* jurisdiction under Brussels IIA;
* issues following the death of a child in care.
Charles in a legal author, writing for both Lexis Nexis (the Butterworths Family Law Service) and Jordans Family Law (including the Family law Precedents Service and the twin volumes, the Family Law Case Library: Children & Finance).
He frequently lectures, both to lawyers and for the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health (for paediatricians) and the Royal Society of Medicine (for psychiatrists).