Cara Nuttall

Partner and Family Law Solicitor

I have gone through a very nasty separation with my ex over the children custody arrangements for 2 years. Cara Nuttall worked on my case as a family lawyer. Cara is a legend in her field. She has been an amazing support for me. She was phenomenal and so dedicated and I trust her completely. I felt so safe with her. I was so amazed by Cara’s extraordinary ability to grasp details. She worked on my case day and night with full dedication. She was very emphatic about my situation. I can’t find words to say thanks to her. I am so grateful that she was recommended to me. My girls and I owe her so much.Vildan Buruk Taylor
Thank you Cara. We are so happy with the outcome. [My Husband] and myself want to say thank you for everything, you made this process so easy and stress free for us. We are so grateful for all your help. Just wanted to add joe was amazing and so helpful.Surrogacy Client

Cara is a Partner and Family Law Solicitor.  She leads the specialist Modern Families team,  who help people build and protect their families, however they are formed.

She has specialised in Family Law since 2005.  She helps clients with all aspects of Family Law such as divorce, financial settlements and child arrangements, but she is particularly known for her expertise in complex child law and fertility law. With over 15 years’ experience of helping parents resolve difficult legal disputes, including those with international issues, she is nationally recognized for her expertise.

Cara is known for her passion for fighting her client’s corner, and finding creative ways to solve legal obstacles.  She is committed to helping people from all walks of life obtain the legal advice and assistance they need. She has represented people from all backgrounds and from all over the country, and abroad.

Cara helps with the legal aspects of building a family and has extensive experience of domestic and international surrogacy arrangements, donation (also known as pre-conception agreements) and co-parenting/platonic parenting and complex legal parenthood issues.

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Cara’s work often involves international issues.  Her experience includes:

  • International surrogacy;
  • International relocation;
  • International recognition and enforcement of children and financial orders;
  • Child abduction/unlawful movement of children internationally.

Her work has included cases involving Australia, USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Far East, Ukraine, Georgia, Mexico and Columbia.

She often helps settle extended family and step-family issues and deals with issues of disputed parenthood, and disputes over parental responsibility.  This includes:

  • Applications for contact and SGOs for grandparents and other family members;
  • Contact, parental responsibility and adoption for step-parents;
  • Disputes between parents about “residence” and “contact” (known as Child Arrangements);
  • Disputes about all aspects of a child’s upbringing such as education, health and religious issues;
  • Cases where there are serious allegations of domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour and sexual abuse, and where there are welfare (safety) concerns such as drug or alcohol problems, or mental health worries;
  • Relocation within the UK.

As well as working on children cases, Cara also undertakes all aspects of divorce and financial work, including cases where asset-tracing is required. For example, where a divorcee has assets overseas or business and trust assets. She has acted for people with straightforward circumstances, through to cases involving multiple business, properties and trust assets spread over different countries.  She has also helped people enforce orders when they have not been complied with, obtained enforced orders for sale and even orders for committal.


Cara was awarded a degree in Law from Kings College London, where she received the Manches Prize for Family Law, before completing her LPC at Nottingham Law School. She was trained and worked in large, specialist Family Law teams.

Not only does Cara lecture on family law but also she writes articles for the press and professional publications and is regularly quoted in national publications. Cara has appeared on regional and national radio and television discussing Family Law issues and recently appeared on the “Strangers Making Babies” documentary.

Cara's Clients Comments

When I found out that my ex partner was attempting a relocation with my two children, my world felt like it had been turned upside down. Cara Nuttall was recommended to me as someone who was the best in their field. This recommendation was the best I could have ever received. From day one, it was clear that Cara was an absolute legal legend! What she does not know about the family law system is not worth knowing. From the beginning, I knew that this was a person who would be honest, supportive and fight my corner every step of the way. Cara was always there at the end of the phone or was only ever an email away when times got tough and reassurance or advice was needed.
Throughout the whole 12 month process, Cara expertly knew how to handle each aspect of the case and was extremely skillful and knowledgeable in handing sensitive situations. Whilst working with Cara, I felt understood the whole time. As well as being sensitive and understanding, Cara knew how to tackle each aspect of the case and how to approach the opposing side, be it the aforementioned sensitive and tactful way or a more assertive and authoritative approach. Cara is a true force to be reckoned with! I felt like I could trust Cara with absolutely anything and I had complete faith in her every step of the way. As a result of her expert advice and the way she handled my case, we ended with a positive result for my children. I am truly grateful for everything Cara has done for me and my family and I really did get the best in the business! As I said, a true legal legend.Anon

Professional Memberships & Accreditations

Cara is Resolution Accredited Specialist in Private Law Children and Children Abduction cases. She has been a member of Resolution since she qualified in 2006 and was on the founding committee of Young Resolution Manchester.

Taking part in fundraising committees for several local charities over the years, Cara is now a member of the Women in Family Law committee and the LBGT Family Law Institute.

She previously acted as a Legal Advisor to After Adoption’s North West adoption panel and now supports the important work of Progress Educational Trust and Donor Conception Network.

Cara is an advocate of the importance of the law catching up with modern family set ups and as well as her work in cutting-edge cases and the forefront of the law in certain areas, she has participated in national and international projects that look at how the law could and should be improved, including the All Parliamentary Party Group on Surrogacy reform.

Professional recommendations

Cara has been ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners Directories since 2013 and is named as leading individual.   

She is cited as “astute and tenacious…combining being a compassionate lawyer with being a gladiator for her clients in court” and having “a real eye for detail and a real passion for her client’s case, striving to always achieve the best results possible. She is everything that a demanding private law client requires: intelligent, experienced and completely committed.”

“I was impressed by how she works at the speed of light, will drop everything for you and puts up a good fight."

"An excellent team player" who "has an admirable ability to cut through to the central plank of a case" with interviewees noting they “can’t speak highly enough of her.

Interests outside of work

Outside work, Cara enjoys a range of creative pursuits including photography and is an avid Formula 1 fan.  She can often be found baking, coming up with creative excuses to avoid the gym or trying to bribe her little nephew to speak to her on zoom instead of watching Paw Patrol.

Reported Cases

Re A (s54 Criteria) 2020 EWHC 1426 Fam

A case where several of the s54 criteria for the making of a parental order presented difficulties, including where one of the intended parents had not spent time with the child.

TT V CDS (Conduct) EWCA 1215

Court of Appeal decision which confirms a financial settlement can be significantly impacted by the bad behaviour (conduct) of one party.

Re Z (Care Proceedings: Surrogacy) EWHC 589 Fam

The first known case with parallel care proceedings and an application for a parental order.

Re z (Parental Order: Child’s Home) EWHC 29

A parental order application where the family had been separated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the intervention of the Local Authority.

Re H (Contact) 2010 ALL ER 229

successful appeal in the Court of Appeal against an order for shared care of a newborn baby.

Re S (Foreign Surrogacy) 2014 EWHC 2121

complex international surrogacy where there were queries over the marital status of the surrogate after she disappeared.

L v M (Stranded Spouse) 2012 EWHC 4299

case involving allegations of stranding abroad

Re EP 2014 EWFC B136

case involving falsified evidence and a rare no contact order

Re V 2016 EWFC 58

case dealing with shortcomings of the local authority in a long-running and difficult child arrangements dispute.

M and S v F 2017 EWHC 2176 Fam

case involving a single parent application for a parental order, before the law changed to allow single parents to apply.

R v R (2017) EWHC 3709 (Hague Convention: Wardship)

case dealing with the interaction of Wardship and Hague Convention proceedings in a case of child abduction. 

Rothschild and Radziszewska v De Souza [2018] EWHC 1855

case involving assertions that the matrimonial assets were owned by a member of the Husband’s family.

Rothschild v De Souza (December 2018)

a suspended committal order after repeated breaches of a financial settlement order.         

TT v CDS [2019] EWHC 3572 (Fam)

financial remedy case confirming the assets can be divided unequally where one party’s need is greater and where one party’s bad behaviour has caused a shortfall.

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