“I have worked with Darren over many years on numerous public and private law children cases, usually on the instructions of a Children’s Guardian. His expertise has proven invaluable and particularly so since developing a particular specialism in parental alienation cases. Darren’s background in risk assessment work means that he can be relied upon to pick apart whether the parent who is not seeing the child is problematic or is being undermined by the parent with whom the child lives. His comprehensive reports have been relied on by Judges in a number of cases of this type and have led, to my own knowledge, to the reunification of a number of children with a parent who has suffered from alienation. He is willing to put forward robust recommendations which have proved particularly effective. His analysis is always thorough based on probing interviews and consideration of the written evidence but also armed with psychological and statistical research. He also gives his evidence in Court in a highly professional and accessible manner.”
Partner and head of family law department, Top 500 recommended lawyer and former Judge
“Darren was engaged to give an expert opinion of a complex situation by my daughter’s Court appointed Guardian. Darren’s expert analysis of the situation was based on a complete medical history of all parties, one to one interviews and an observation of a contact session with me as well as time spent observing my daughter with her mother.
My daughter’s behaviour at the time was misinterpreted by other less experienced professionals and this caused severe delay and confusion in the associated legal proceedings.
Darren’s analysis identified the real reason for my daughter’s behaviour and he made clear and unambiguous suggestions to resolve the situation. This was picked up by the Judge and was used extensively in her judgement.
Darren’s expert analysis was the key to a successful transfer of residence.”
Father alienated from his daughter by her mother. Residence changed to father following my advice to the Court
“Having read many of his reports in serious and complex public law proceedings, Darren’s reports rank amongst the best I have read. They are authoritative, well researched but above practical and written in language that not only lawyers can understand but the lay clients too. This easy style translates to Darren’s oral evidence too and having cross-examined him on numerous occasions I can state from experience that his evidence always remains calm yet firm and is invariably accepted and relied upon by the Judge. Darren has a particular expertise in parental alienation cases. His evidence and recommendations in one of my cases that had reached care proceedings and had run for a number of years literally “solved” the case so that the children are all now having a relationship with both parents. Darren is always my first choice of psychological expert and I wholeheartedly recommend him.”
“Very well presented, thorough but relevant and exceptionally useful”
“It was spot on, relevant, engaging and presented by an expert who is clearly at the top of his game”
“It was very interesting and delivered well”
“I found the event absolutely intriguing and informative”
“Well organised and useful content”
“The speaker was excellent”
“An excellent topic delivered with great enthusiasm and expertise”
“It was interesting, the speaker was excellent. It is a topic we all need to know more about”
“Informative and interesting, an expert perspective”
“Very interesting and informative. I loved the case examples emphasising the points”
“Very engaging and interesting with lots of case studies”
“Very informative and interesting”
“Absolutely brilliant and worth the journey. Fantastic speaker, superb organisation, thank you very much”
“Really interesting subject and excellent speaker. Extremely useful knowledge”
Feedback from half-day training event to legal, health and social care practitioners (July 2018)
“Darren Spooner is the first choice of most experienced solicitors in my area as an expert independent psychologist within court proceedings relating to children. His knowledge of research particularly in the field of children caught in highly contested private law proceedings is matched only by his problem solving common sense advice and solutions to previously intractable cases I would not hesitate to recommend him.
“Children Panel Solicitor/Partner, leading regional law firm
“It is rare in the UK for the issue of parental alienation to be properly recognised by psychology as child abuse, but Darren clearly does so and is not afraid to recommend the most robust of interventions such as residence transfer to support good outcomes for alienated children.
“Darren Spooner understands parental alienation in ways that many other psychologists in the UK do not. As a result, he has the capacity to provide well analysed reports which provide firm foundations for intervention with families. Unlike many, Darren is cognisant of the ways in which parental alienation as a concept, can become fused with the maladaptive response of the family to the post separation landscape, leading to false allegations of parental alienation being over used. Differentiating between these and the true case of parental alienation requires the highest level of forensic skill, which is clearly evident in Darren’s assessments. This forensic analysis allows for the right intervention to be utilised to bring about the swiftest change for alienated children and their families.
Having reunited children with the parent they were rejecting with the assistance of Darren’s reports, I can attest to the power of the provision of a firm foundation with clearly analysed dynamics. I can highly recommend his work in cases of parental alienation.”
“Darren has carried out a number of assessments for our local authority in parental alienation cases. His assessments and advice have been invaluable both in the court arena and following final hearing when we have sought advice as a corporate parent. In addition Darren has provided two excellent presentations to our Local Family Justice Board on the subject of PA which have been extremely informative and very well received. Darren is our local authority’s ‘go to’ expert on PA.”
Local Authority Principal Lawyer and Chair of FJB
“Alleged parental alienation cases are some of the most difficult cases we have to deal with. In such cases, experienced Social Workers and Guardians used to dealing with complex issues, often need to seek expert assistance. In such cases, Darren Spooner is the first choice of professionals in our area. Of particular note is his skill in working with both parents and children and getting them to open up in order to provide a clear analysis of the issues but also, crucially, to offer a realistic and pragmatic way forward, which essential in helping families, professionals, and the Court in resolving the most difficult of cases.”
Member of the Law Society Children Panel, partner and Top 500 recommended lawyer
“Darren is a pleasure to instruct. He responds to initial enquiries promptly; his assessments are thorough, well-considered and always received on time and most importantly Darren’s opinions and recommendations are respected by the Courts.”
Member of the Law Society Children Panel
“PA is something you are the absolute go to expert for!”
Member of the Law Society Children Panel Solicitor/Partner, leading regional law firm