Role: Regional Director & Head of Care for (Cambridgeshire)

Rachel MacLean

Rachel MacLean


Rachel is a Regional Director and Head of Care for Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas.

She has over 25 years of legal experience in child care and family law, where she has worked as an in house advocate across the Midlands and the South. Rachel has used this time to improve and develop her advocacy skills representing children, parents, Guardians and other family members. She has appeared before all levels of the Judiciary across the regions and represented clients at all types of hearings. Rachel directs hearings and has contested removal hearings and lengthy trials including Fact Find hearings where children were injured. She has represented parents and Guardians in final hearings that ran beyond 5 days.

Rachel has been on the Children’s Panel since July 2000 and represented many children throughout her career and feels that representing the Children is always the greatest honour.

Rachel has a wealth of experience representing Children in public law and 16.4 cases. She has represented many Eastern European families and has an understanding of their issues and difficulties. Many of her cases have had jurisdictional elements. She has regularly advised parents and family members who have learning difficulties, lack capacity and require the assistance of the Official Solicitor.

She recently represented a parent from overseas and their access to representation was a challenge because of the logistics. However, this parent was able to take part fully in the the proceedings before the High Court and Rachel ensured that they were assessed and contact with the child was re established. The Local Authority refused to assess the father and she had to argue that the case was not ReBS complaint and that assessment had to be carried out despite all of the practical problems . The Court gave permission for a specialist ISW to do an assessment. The logistics were very challenging  because it took the Local Authority 6 months to do the paternity test.

Rachel has considerable experience dealing with complex Non Accidental Injury cases, including brain injuries, bruising and fractures. She has dealt with cases involving sexual abuse, emotional harm and neglect.

Rachel has advised parents and children in care cases involving Deprivation of Liberty and Aeecure accommodation applications.

She has a wealth of experience dealing with Domestic Abuse, Relocation, Parental alienation and all private law cases. Rachel has also advised on Surrogacy cases. 

 Rachel completed her Vulnerable Witness training and believes this complements her Children’s Panel membership and helps ensure that all parties in cases have  a fair hearing and support within these complex proceedings

Outside of the legal field, Rachel enjoys listening to Radio 4, podcasts and reading. She likes to spend time outside, gardening and walking. Rachel also takes an interest in history and enjoys attending concerts.


  • University of Leicester LLB 2:1
  • Nottingham Law School LPC

Career History

  • Sills and Betteridge LLP September (1994 – October 2017)
    Trainee to Partner. Head of Children’s team. Managing Partner from 2009 to 2010. Branch development and Head of several branches. Department Head of Crime team. Training and Recruitment Partner
  • Family Law Group (January 2018 - July 2019)
    In house Family law advocate covering all types of Children's cases.
  • Bird & Co LLP (July 2019 - February 2024)
    Partner covering public law and private law children’s cases.
  • Rachel worked as a paralegal for the Johnson Partnership in her University School holidays and this is where she had her first experience of Family law in Practice which helped shape her career. 

Advises On

Specific Areas of Expertise / Recognised For

  • Rachel has many years’ experience advising and assisting the Eastern European community and representing Vulnerable Clients with learning difficulties.
  • Expertise in family law, particularly in representing children and parents in both private and public law proceedings.
  • Extensive experience in representing children in public law and 16.4 cases.
  • Recognised for her advocacy skills, having represented clients at all levels of the Judiciary across various regions.
  • Specialisation in cases involving children with jurisdictional elements, including those from Eastern European families.
  • Proficiency in advising parents and family members with learning difficulties, lack of capacity, or requiring the assistance of the Official Solicitor.
  • Successful handling of complex Non-Accidental Injury cases, including brain injuries, bruising, fractures, sexual abuse, emotional harm, and neglect.
  • Skill in making connections with children and ensuring their representation in legal proceedings.
  • Experience in cases involving Child Deprivation of Liberty applications and secure accommodation applications.
  • Competence in handling cases related to domestic abuse, surrogacy, and alienation.
  • Completed Vulnerable Witness training, enhancing her ability to ensure fair hearings and support for all parties in complex proceedings.

Notable/Reported Cases

Panel Memberships and Accreditations

Charity Membership/Fundraising Activity/Pro Bono Work and Initiatives

  • Rachel has links with the Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark and supports them whenever she can.
  • Furthermore, Rachel is a Trustee to a local Foundation raising money for Children with brain injuries. They raised £40k and money was given to the QMC, The Children’s Brain Trust, individual children and contributions were made to fund two assistance dogs for children.

Rachel's team. Here for you.

Here to help. Contact Rachel.

Rachel and all the team at Cartwright King are dedicated to helping you. If you need help, contact Rachel by email using this form or using the details below:

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