Having established an exceptionally strong junior practice, Ruth took silk in 2006. She is described as bright, approachable and tenacious. Ruth is an expert in the law relating to children and vulnerable adults. She regularly appears in the High Court and County Court in sensitive and complex Children Act proceedings (both public and private law) and in proceedings brought under the Inherent Jurisdiction. She appears in the Administrative Court in relation to education and the provision of services both to children in need and to vulnerable adults. Ruth has a significant Court of Protection practice. She acts for local authorities, LHBs, hospitals, parents and relatives, interveners, incapacitated adults, children and Guardians.
Ruth also practices from 30 Park Place, Cardiff where she is Head of Chambers.
• Child death
• Shaken baby cases
• Ehrle’s Dahlos syndrome
• Salt poisoning
• Sexual abuse
• Alleged “paedophile” rings
• Historic abuse
• Chronic and gross neglect
• Children and adults with mental and physical disabilities
• Right to life
• Right to die
• Medical treatment cases
• Restricting publicity
• School closure
• Statement of Special Educational Needs.
• School transport
• Abuse between teachers and pupils
• Children abusing each other
• Dispensing with the nearest relative
• Best interest decisions including residence and contact under the MCA
• Dols procedure
• Distinction between deprivation of liberty and restriction of freedom
• Care plans under the Community care legislation
‘Among the most prominent and “brilliant” care work silks on the Wales & Chester Circuit. She is particularly noted for her work with vulnerable children and adults, handling complex and sensitive cases. Sources praise her client manner as a key strength.’ “No papers unread, no stones unturned. She is extremely bright and you can always go back to her for more advice. She is of the highest mettle.” “She is completely top-class in care work.” (Chambers UK 2016)
‘She is always well read, and has a clarity of purpose’ (Legal 500, 2015)
‘Widely well regarded for her work on cases concerning vulnerable adults and children, she is often instructed in the most serious of children’s proceedings. She regularly appears on Court of Protection matters and acts for a wide client base.’ (Chambers UK 2015, Family/Matrimonial)
‘Specialises in public law proceedings arising from family law and childcare. She has further experience in appearing in the Administrative Court in relation to education and the rights of children and vulnerable adults to the provision of services.’ (Chambers UK 2015, Administrative & Public Law)
Shortlisted by Legal 500 as Silk of the Year: Regional and Scottish 2014
“Specialises in the law relating to children and vulnerable adults” (Legal 500, 2014)
“She is a highly skilled advocate, thorough in case and paperwork preparation.” (Chambers UK 2014 )
“Handles public law proceedings relating to childcare and social care. Henke is also noted for her handling of administrative law cases concerning the education and provision of services to children or vulnerable adults.” (Chambers UK 2014. Administrative & Public Law)
“Market sources praise Ruth Henke QC for her excellent command of childcare work and administrative law matters. She acts for a wide range of parties, including children, guardians, interveners and local authorities.” (Chambers UK 2013)
Ruth Henke QC handles complicated children work. Sources describe her as “excellent and very bright” and praise her ability in the most complicated cases ( Chambers UK 2012)
Ruth Henke specialises in children work and was described by one as “complete dynamite” as well as “tenacious in court and sympathetic with clients” ( Chambers UK 2011)
“With her on the other side you’ll have your work cut out…..an advocate known for her willingness to stand up and fight” (Chambers UK 2010)
‘Ruth Henke is “astute, sensitive and stands her ground in difficult children’s work” (Legal 500 2010)
Member of the Welsh Advisory Panel to the Law Commission
Member of the Panel of Council for the National Assembly for Wales
Family Law Bar Association
MA (Oxon) Juris
Notable and Reported Cases
Re G (A Child)  EWCA Civ 432 A case concerning an application for party status and leave to oppose the adoption of an unrelated child placed for adoption
Re W (a child)  EW Misc (CC)
Re AS (A Child)  EWHC 606 (Fam)
Re M (Children)  EWCA Civ 1170. A case concerning the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal when considering an appeal against a finding of fact made/not made in care proceedings where the final order made was not the subject of appeal.
Re P-S (Children)  EWCA Civ 223. Case on whether a competent child has the right to give evidence in relation to welfare issues concerning himself.
Re MW ( case management) (2010) 1 FLR 1093. The use of the overriding objective to limit issues in care case in which a child’s death formed part of the background.
Re A ( a Child) 2009 EWHC 865 Case concerning S38(6) CA 1989.
Re B (2008) EWCA Civ 835, 2 FLR 1404 case concerning the role of the Adoption panel.
Re AJ (child) [2007} EWCA Civ 55 distinction between Special Guardianship orders and Adoption orders.
Re A (A child) 19/10/06 Lawtel Court of Appeal’s view on the role of International Social Services (now CFAB) in care cases with a foreign element.
Re L (2002) 2 FLR 730 Care assessment- fair trial- rights of children and parents.