Rachel Benett

Associate Solicitor

Rachel is an associate solicitor in the family law team based in the Manchester office.

Rachel specialises in the law relating to children and is a member of the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation scheme. Rachel’s particular expertise is in representing parents and other family members in care proceedings and other cases initiated by social services due to concerns about children’s safety and welfare. She has substantial experience in complex cases, including where there are allegations of non-accidental injury, fabricated and induced illness, sexual abuse, radicalisation and extremism, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

She also regularly represents parents with mental health difficulties and learning difficulties, and in cases where children have very complex needs. Rachel has experience of acting in cases concerning medical treatment for children, including in one recent case where in addition to achieving a successful outcome for the parents (and their child), she obtained an order that a portion of their legal costs be paid by the local authority and NHS trust, which is very rare in cases involving children.

Rachel also frequently represents parents in a wide range of private law proceedings. These include disputes about where a child lives and the time that they spend with each parent and sometimes other significant adults, as well as in relation to their education, religious observance, and medical treatment. She has extensive experience of cases involving allegations of domestic abuse, child abuse and parental alienation, and also represents victims of domestic abuse in applications for protective orders. Rachel has a particular interest in cases with an international element. She has advised and represented parents accused of abducting their children into and out of the jurisdiction, those whose children have been abducted to or unlawfully retained in another country, those seeking to prevent the removal of their children, and those seeking to relocate with their children.

Rachel also has an interest in ‘modern families’, including same-sex parenting, co-parenting, surrogacy and adoption.

Rachel has acted in the following cases:

  • Egeneonu v Egeneonu [2018] EWCA Civ 1714; [2018] EWCA Civ 2565; [2018] EWHC 524 (Fam); [2017] EWHC 2451 (Fam) ; [2018] EWHC 1392 (Fam); [2018] EWHC 3029; [2017] EWHC 43 (Fam) ; [2017] EWHC 2336 (Fam);  [2015] EWHC 954 (Fam)
  • Re H (A Child) (Interim Care Order: Fact-Finding) [2017] EWHC 518 (Fam)
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets v M and Others [2015] EWHC 869 (Fam)
  • Re Y (A Child: Private Law: Fact-Finding) [2014] EWHC 486 (Fam)
  • A (Care Order) (Rev) 1) 2014 EWFC B210​

Rachel trained and practised in two well-known human rights firms in London, qualifying in 2012. In 2015, she was awarded the Association of Lawyers for Children’s Outstanding Newcomer Award. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Jordan Family Law Young Solicitor of the Year Award. According to Legal 500 2020, Rachel has ‘a fantastic ability to relate to clients who are often dealing with stressful and life changing events. She is able to distil complex legal issues for the benefit of her clients’. She is a trustee of Re-Frame, an organisation seeking charitable status which supports parents and families to engage with, and to bring about change within, the child protection system.

Rachel studied History and Politics at Oxford University. Whilst working for several years as a youth worker and teacher with young people who did not attend mainstream education, she studied the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at Manchester Metropolitan University, obtaining distinctions in both.