Outside Chambers life John can often be found wondering the Kent countryside or otherwise trying to keep up with his three children.
John’s practice encompasses public and private child law, matrimonial finance and unmarried couples’ disputes.
He has been listed in the Legal 500 United Kingdom 2019 and 2018 guides. He is described as ‘very experienced in public and private children law matters’ and ‘pragmatic, forthright and intelligent’.
John is a regular speaker at seminars held by chambers in his specialist areas.
John accepts instructions on direct Public Access basis.
- Public Law Children
- Financial Remedy – including complex and high value disputes
- Private Law Children
- Cohabitation Disputes / TOLATA claims
- Schedule 1 claims under the Children Act 1989
O v B-M (2019) EWFC B23
Successfully represent the respondent in a contested divorce matter in the Central Family Court. The applicant argued that they had undertaken a customary marriage in Ghana in 2009. The expert evidence strongly favoured that assertion, as did numerous witnesses present at the ceremony. Following a 5-day hearing the court did not find that the parties had married. The court found that the expert witness had ‘over reached’ and that the applicant lacked credibility.
Mc v S and Ors (2019
Successfully represented a mother with four children in care proceedings. A previous Supervision Order had failed and the Local Authority (supported by all the experts) sought a plan for the children to remain in long-term foster care. The mother had been diagnosed with a personality disorder and had attempted to take her own life. Following a 6-day final hearing the children were rehabilitated back to the mother; the Local Authority was criticised by the Judge for its failure to support her during the Supervision Order. The Local Authority, eventually, agreed to pay £7,000 to fund the mothers therapy.
A v A (2018)
Successfully represented the father in a private law child case where all contact had stopped between him and his children following serious allegations of domestic violence made against him by the mother. The allegations included rape. Having heard evidence over a number of days the court made no finding of fact on the allegations; reinstated contact and determined the mothers’ allegations were ‘implausible’. The court also made a costs order against the mother.
W v W (2018)
Successfully represented the father in a private law child case where all contact had stopped 18 months previously due to allegations of domestic abuse by the mother. The cafcass officer recommended no contact and that the father attend a 42-week domestic violence perpetrator program. After a multiple day hearing the court made no findings on any of the allegations made against him and determined that the cafcass officer’s analysis had been ‘inadequate’. Contact was reinstated.
- O v B-M  EWFC B23 (16 February 2019)
- KCC v A & Ors (Progress by adults with large family over 12 months. Finely balanced departure from experts opinions)  EWFC B95
- KCC v D & Ors (5) (Re-hearing)  EWFC 96
- KCC v D & Ors (4) (Re W)  EWFC 94
- KCC v D & Ors (3) (Application for Re-Hearing)  EWFC 94
- KCC v D & Ors (2) (Fact Finding)  EWFC 93
- KCC v D & Ors  EWFC 59
- FLBA (Family Law Bar Association)
- ALC (Association of Lawyers for Children)
John Thornton – Stour Chambers, 8 Vernon Place, Canterbury, CT1 3HG
My registration number is: Z1313111
Client personal data processed
I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. I may process the following client personal data:
- Date of Birth
- Phone number
- Email address
- Identification Data such as Passport or Driver’s License details.
- Bank account details
- Data relating to the legal matter for which I am providing services to you
- Location details
- Financial Information, Medical records, Criminal records
How I will use your personal data
All the information that I hold about you is provided to or gathered in the course of your case and/or proceedings.
The lawful basis’ identified for processing your data is your consent, processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, compliance with my legal obligations as a barrister regulated by the Bar Standards Board.
Your personal data is required in order for me to provide you with representation. If you do not provide me with the required personal data, I may not be able to represent you.
Your data may be used to:
- Provide legal advice and representation
- To ensure that I do not enter into any other contracts or agreements which may create a conflict of interests between the duties I owe to you and to another person
- Assist in training pupils and mini-pupils
- Investigate and address your concerns
- Investigate or address legal proceedings or complaints relating to your use of my services/products, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law
- Provide information as required by the Bar Standards Board, my indemnity insurers and HM Revenue and Customs
Sharing of Data
I may share your data with
- My Chambers management and staff who provide administrative services
- Instructing solicitors
- Pupil or mini pupil, under my training
- Opposing Counsel, for the purposes of resolving the case
- My regulator or legal advisors in the event of a dispute or other legal matter
- Law enforcement officials, government authorities, or other third parties to meet my legal obligations
- Any other party where I ask you and you consent to the sharing
How long I keep your personal data for:
Your personal data is held by me for as long as I represent you and in chambers in accordance with chambers’ data retention policy.
Any personal data that is emailed to me will be kept on chambers’ email systems in line with its email retention period.
Transfer of your personal data outside of the European Economic Area
I confirm that I do not normally transfer your personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). In the event that personal data does need to be transferred outside of the EEA then I will ensure the necessary safeguards are in place as required under the GDPR.
Your rights as a data subject:
The General Data Protection Regulation provides data subjects certain rights relating to the processing of their personal data. Given the nature of personal data processed by me, and the lawful basis I have identified for doing so you have the following rights:
You may request access to the personal data I process concerning you through making a subject access request (SAR).
You may request rectification of the personal data I process concerning you where it is incomplete or inaccurate.
You may request, subject to certain criteria, the erasure of the personal data I process concerning you.
You may request that I restrict the processing of personal data concerning you. Restriction means that I will only store the personal data and not further process it.
You have the right to data portability whereby I will provide you (or another data controller where technically feasible) your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
You can make a request expressing your rights by contacting me at the details provided above.
Lodging a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office
If you feel that your personal data has been, or is being, processed in an inappropriate manner; or you feel that your rights, as described above have been infringed, you may lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK’s supervisory authority regarding data protection matters and has a responsibility to act on complaints made to it. You may lodge a complaint by visiting the website below or calling the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113.
This set comes recommended for its members' expertise in children and matrimonial finance matters. The children cases range across both public and private law work, and include those concerning non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and fabricated illness. On the financial side, the set's barristers demonstrate the ability to act in substantial financial remedies cases as well as Schedule 1 and TOLATA matters.~ Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020
Stour Chambers has 'a range of barristers at different levels suited for different cases'. Members continue to be instructed in complex multi-day cases in the public law space, where it provides 'expert counsel' across Kent and further afield involving non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and extreme neglect. On the family finance front, Elizabeth Spence is a go-to barrister for high-value cases with issues of minority shareholdings and opponents deploying hostile litigation tactics.~ Legal 500 Bar Guide 2021