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20 February 2024 | Firm News | Article by Victoria Cannon

5 Jurisdictions Family Law Conference 2024 comes to Wales for the first time

Hugh James and 30 Park Place Chambers are delighted to be sponsoring the annual 5 Jurisdictions (5Js) Conference which is being hosted in Wales for the first time. The event will feature leading family law experts from across the UK and Ireland, including esteemed members of the judiciary, barrister and solicitor professions.

The 5 Jurisdictions Conference is a highlight in the family law calendar and has been taking place over the 25 years, hosted each year by one of the five jurisdictions: England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, bringing together leaders in the family law field. It wasn’t until 2020 that Wales became a jurisdiction in its own right as a result of devolution, and this is the first time the event will take place in the principality.

The Five Jurisdiction Family Law Conference logo

The conference will start with welcome drinks at the National Museum Cardiff on Friday 15 March, followed by a conference and gala dinner at the St David’s Hotel on the Saturday 16 March.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Modern Family Lawyer”, with talks focusing on transparency and open justice, the concept of family, and dilemmas facing family lawyers today and how to overcome them.


  • Friday 15 March: Welcome Address at the National Museum Cardiff: President of The Family Division
  • Saturday 16 March: Conference followed by a gala dinner, both at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay

Keynote address: Mr Justice MacDonald

  • Talk 1: Transparency and Open Justice in the Family Courts to be chaired by the President of the Scottish Tribunals and Senator of the College of Justice, Lady Wise, who will be joined by Her Honour Judge Mererid Edwards, His Honour Judge Malcolm Sharpe and Melanie Rice KC.
  • Talk 2: The Concept of a Modern Family to be chaired by the Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Siobhan Keegan, who will be joined by Ms Justice Nuala Jackson, Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Maguire, His Honour Judge Mark Haigh, His Honour Judge Adem Muzaffer and Kathy Downey BL.
  • Panel Discussion: Dilemmas Facing the Modern Family Lawyer: Problems and Solutions to be chaired by the Family Presiding Judge for Wales, Mrs Justice Morgan. Others on the panel include Celestine Greenwood (barrister, Exchange Chambers), Victoria Cannon (Head of Family Law, Hugh James), District Judge Nigel Broderick and Paul McCarthy.

Commenting on the event, Melissa Jones and Lowri Patterson, barristers at 30 Park Place Chambers and members of the 5Js Wales organising committee, said:

“We are so excited to welcome delegates to Wales for the first time in the history of the conference, for what is going to be a day filled with fascinating and relevant talks from esteemed members of the profession across the UK and Ireland.”

Victoria Cannon, Partner and Head of Family Law at Hugh James added:

“As a Top 100 UK Law firm and the largest firm in Wales, I am delighted that the family law team at Hugh James has been given the opportunity to sponsor such a prestigious event, particularly as this is the first time for the event to be hosted in Wales. I am looking forward to listening to the most respected lawyers from the five jurisdictions speak on topical issues facing the profession today and I have no doubt that the conference will be a great success.”

Consisting of six CPD hours, the event will cover both children law and ancillary relief.

Author bio

Throughout her career spanning over 19 years in family law, Victoria Cannon has amassed extensive experience in advising business owners on safeguarding their enterprises during divorce proceedings and minimising disruption to their business.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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