The Lord Chancellor has appointed 2 new members to the Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC), Tony McGovern as solicitor member from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2023, and Bill Turner as lay member from 4 November 2019 to 3 November 2022.
The Lord Chancellor has also appointed 3 practitioner members, Poonam Bhari, Graeme Fraser and Rhys Taylor for 3 years from 1 March 2021.
The Lord Chancellor has also reappointed Melanie Carew, as the Cafcass nominated member, for a second two year term from 1 December 2020.
The FPRC was established under Section 77 of the Courts Act 2003 to make family procedure rules. Its aim is to make clear, easily understandable rules to create an accessible, fair and efficient family justice system.
Tony McGovern qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has since worked within the area of child protection. His practice is predominately representing young people within public law proceedings ensuring that their views and voices are heard. He is passionate about the right of children and ensures that they are fairly represented.
Bill Turner is a qualified social worker with extensive experience of working in children’s social care and has worked in a variety of frontline and leadership roles across London boroughs. He has extensive experience of complex safeguarding interventions and of public law proceedings in the Family Court and is currently Head of Safeguarding for Children and Adults at St George’s NHS Acute and Community Services Trust.
Poonam Bhari is a family law barrister called in 1999, who practises from 3PB (3 Paper Buildings). Poonam specialises in, and has considerable experience of, public and private family law cases involving children. Poonam has appeared at all levels of the Family Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal. She is a former primary school teacher and special educational needs coordinator.
Graeme Fraser is a family law solicitor specialising in finance and children cases. He is a partner at London firm OGR Stock Denton LLP. He has experience at High Court and County Court levels of the Family Court. Graeme is a Resolution accredited specialist in complex financial remedies and cohabitation, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and has the Law Society Family Accreditation. He is Chair of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee.
Rhys Taylor MCIArb:
Rhys Taylor MCIArb is a barrister, arbitrator and mediator. Rhys specialises in financial remedy and cohabitation cases. He is a Bencher of the Inner Temple and a member of the national committee of the Family Law Bar Association. He was a member of the Pension Advisory Group, co-author of Pensions on Divorce and other publications.
Melanie Carew was, in 2015, appointed as a member of the FPRC. Since 2010, Melanie has been Head of Legal Services at Cafcass. She previously worked in private practice in Herefordshire and had specialised in Family Law, both within the private and public sector throughout her career. She joined the FPRC in her capacity as the Cafcass Head of Legal Services and has taken particular interest in the development of the rules as they affect children.
Appointments and re-appointments to the FPRC are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and comply with the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments.
Appointments to the FPRC are made by the Lord Chancellor in consultation with the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales who has delegated this to the President of the Family Division.