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Arlene Small

Arlene became a barrister in 1997, and soon after developed a keen interest in family law. She has now become a dedicated advocate in this field and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of both family finance and children matters.

Arlene works in London and the South East but is willing to travel. She accepts legally aided, direct access and privately funded work, and is happy to undertake all levels of casework including initial applications, conferences and the preparation of written advice.



Arlene Small

Arlene's Experience

Called in 1997

Validity of Marriage with an International element

Public Access Accredited

Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Family Law

With a wide-ranging and thriving practice, Arlene has extensive experience in providing advice and representation in family law cases. This enables her to adopt a multi-faceted approach when assisting clients who have more than one element to their case. Arlene has a particular interest and experience in validity of marriage cases where there is an international element.

Incredibly passionate about helping her clients find the best possible solutions to their family-related problems, Arlene will often ‘go the extra mile’ to achieve this. She has a robust approach to advocacy where the situation demands it but is also able to balance that with sensitivity to the particular challenges that clients experience when going through court proceedings, as she is aware that, for many, it can be a very stressful and difficult time.

Areas of Law:

  • Child Arrangements Orders

  • Adoption

  • Schedule 1 of the Children Act

  • Care Proceedings

  • Non-molestation and Occupation Orders

  • Divorce including validity of marriage cases

  • Financial Remedies Applications

  • Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996

Notable Cases
  • Re C (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 72 - Arlene represented the paternal grandmother at all substantive hearings in the lower courts including the final hearing, and as a Respondent in the leave application in the Court of Appeal.
Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Arlene Small, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:

Arlene's Testimonials

May I please take this opportunity first to thank you for getting this case back on track as you so brilliantly did yesterday. The client asked me to specifically thank you again for the expert way in which you handled the case yesterday. This case has been through different counsel, and no one has been able to grasp it and see through the smoke (and frankly cut through the nonsense) like you did yesterday; and as good as it was for the client it was quite a treat and learning experience to watch you for me too. The order is perfect. Client insists on having Arlene represent him in this case in the future for all hearings.

Burhan Malik

Shah Law Chambers

I write this letter with sincere gratitude and thanks for the services of Arlene Small. Arlene represented me in my divorce proceedings. In this short time of representation, Arlene provided clarity and the utmost professionalism. I have seldom seen such a committed and dedicated person to a task. Arlene’s eye for detail and determination to succeed in my case was truly remarkable. Prior to seeking Arlene’s help and advice my case had elongated over a period of 2 years, to which no solution had been found by my Solicitor. Within two meetings Arlene had a better grasp on my case and set down clear and distinct guidelines that could not be misinterpreted. Arlene represented me in Court to which again her professionalism was on full display. It was so refreshing to see how Arlene calmly took control of previously convoluted information from the proceedings and placed it into a clear and legible language for all parties to understand.

Neil J Guerin


I frequently instruct Arlene on a range of family matters. Arlene clearly has a passion for all areas of family law. Arlene is approachable and is always extremely helpful and thorough in her work. Arlene builds good relationships with the clients and is always willing to go the extra mile for them. Clients will often request that Arlene continues to deal with their matter as they have been impressed by the support she provides as well as her extensive knowledge of the law. I would not hesitate to instruct Arlene in the future and would definitely recommend Arlene to anyone looking for a family law barrister.

Miss Arani

Director, Arani Solicitors



Family Law Barristers (1)-1


Contact us about working with Arlene

If you’d like to work with Arlene Small or any of our other specialist barristers, send us your details and we’ll get back to you.