About Chris

Chris is a Partner and Head of the Family Law Department.

Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1994, his practice has exclusively covered a wide spectrum of family law issues. He regularly advises spouses and civil partners in relation to divorce and financial matters arising out of the breakdown of marriages and also advises on the drafting of cohabitation, pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and separation agreements.

Chris is an experienced and respected court advocate and has represented parties in cases which have been cited in the Law Reports and on matters which have attracted national media coverage.

He has also acted for and against people in the public domain.

Chris has been a long standing member of the Law Society’s specialist Children Panel since 1999 and was elected to the North and West Yorkshire Regional Committee of Resolution in 2013.  He is also the Press Officer for the Regional Committee which covers West and North Yorkshire.

Clients value the depth and breadth of experience, pragmatism and detail that Chris offers when advising, negotiating or litigating in family law matters.

He is often instructed to advise Local Authorities on a wide range of child protection issues, prior to and following issue of proceedings.

Chris is a member of the firm’s Family Business team. He is able to advise business owners on how best to protect their wealth and business assets in the event of a marital breakdown.

He also advises schools in relation to their internal policies, procedures and responsibilities and ensures policies are compliant with regulation and law.

Chris also has experience in representing parents in appeals against Local Authorities decisions and has been instructed to represent parents at a First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

He is a regular author of articles in local newspapers which cover various topical family law issues.

When not at work

When not at work Chris enjoys walking which is sometimes combined with the odd game of golf. Otherwise, he enjoys the theatre, cinema, music, and cooking.

Professional Societies

  • Law Society
  • Leeds Law Society
  • Member of Resolution
  • Member of Law Society’s specialist Children’s Panel
  • Resolution Regional Committee Member


Sectors that Christopher is involved in:

Education, Academy Conversions and Projects, , Independent Schools,

Contact Staff Member

Accreditations / Awards

Chris Burns, Head of Family Law, discusses the new divorce laws

Legal Matters with Head of Family Law, Chris Burns

Chris Burns, Head of Family Law, answers questions on the legal sector

Pencil iconBy Christopher Burns on 5th November 2020

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

For Richer For Poorer: Secret Bank Accounts

“…for better for worse, for richer for poorer"…These instantly recognisable vows from the Church of England wedding ceremony reflect the promises that a bride

Pencil iconBy Richard Buckley on 19th June 2019

Considering options for the future of a family business

The Post Nup, the Silver Splitter and the Family Business

The term 'pre-nup' is widely used and understood through all aspects of Family Law as a way to protect your assets. But how can a

Pencil iconBy Christopher Burns on 22nd May 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

Can the media report on my divorce?

Family matters are incredibly private subject, so how would you feel if the media had the ability to publish private family legal proceedings to the

Pencil iconBy Richard Buckley on 14th May 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

Spouses will no longer have to play the “blame game” under new divorce reforms

Groundbreaking reforms have been announced the Justice Secretary to bring in legislation for 'no-fault' divorces, this is a huge step to reducing the amount of

Pencil iconBy Sophie Arrowsmith on 11th April 2019

Schools' obligations to disabled pupils

Keeping our children safe in school

Children’s safety should come as standard in all school’s without exception, which makes safeguarding paramount for any education establishment.

Pencil iconBy Christopher Burns on 5th April 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

When do informal agreements between unmarried couples about property become binding?

Informal agreements never seem to be taken seriously at the time, but what if the discussions you have and they agreements you make hold weight

Pencil iconBy Sophie Arrowsmith on 20th March 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

Going through Separation or Divorce? What are your options?

A divorce or separation can be a very emotionally draining process for both parties that are involved. But there are options to reduce the stress

Pencil iconBy Richard Buckley on 15th March 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

Social Media in Family Cases

With Facebook alone now having over 2.2 billion active users every month, it is hardly surprising that family law practitioners are regularly faced with questions from

Pencil iconBy Richard Buckley on 20th February 2019

Divorce Day – Why Monday 7th January 2019 is the day to Divorce.

The Hacking of Ashley Madison: Evidence of Adultery?

For those of you living under a rock who still haven’t heard of it, Ashley Madison is the adulterer’s website, where people in

Pencil iconBy Christopher Burns on 11th February 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

The Sanctity of Full and Frank Disclosure in Financial Remedy Proceedings

We look at the decision of HMRC v Charman and Another [2012] and the Court’s view on whether HMRC should have access to documentation disclosed

Pencil iconBy Sophie Arrowsmith on 11th February 2019

Protecting Inheritance from the pitfalls of Divorce

Busting the myths on divorce

A divorce is often said to be one of the most stressful life events, and while certain myths surround the legal process, a leading Yorkshire

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett on 8th February 2019

It’s rare to come across someone like Chris (Burns), absolutely clued up in his area, pragmatic and direct, yet supportive and respectful. As clients, he guided us through the process, quickly picking out what was important, remaining focused on the end game and delivering more than we could have expected. We would not hesitate to recommend Chris.


'Chris Burns – experienced, capable, easy to talk to, provides an all round specialised knowledge of family work.‘

Legal 500 2021

Chris Burns and Alice Evans guided me through my separation and were able to provide extensive legal knowledge surrounding my financial entitlement to our joint assets. Alice was able to efficiently agree terms with my former partner and diligently meet my objectives. Alice then drafted a highly comprehensive separation deed to reflect this. Both were very attentive to me during the process and remained professional yet sympathetic throughout

Mr M

Chris Burns is an experienced dedicated family lawyer who practices a range of family and children work. He is an excellent practitioner and fights hard for his clients.

Legal 500 2019

Chris (Burns), I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done. Your firm is amazing. You and Sophie have been fantastic in dealing with my divorce and complex financial issues, as well as resolving the long term arrangements for my son. Your staff do what they are supposed to do. They do it with respect, professionalism, kindness and care at some of the most difficult times I have had to face. No words can tell you what this has meant to me. I will never be able to thank you enough.


I instructed Chris Burns to advise on an appeal against my child’s permanent exclusion from 6th form college. Chris identified a number of procedural irregularities in the college's disciplinary procedure. He drafted extensive grounds of appeal which highlighted various deficiencies in the process and obtained additional evidence to support our case. The appeal was successful. Chris was very attentive to me during the process and without his input, I do not feel that I would have been successful in appealing the college’s decision on behalf of my child.


"Not only do I think Chris Burns is a good solicitor, he was able to calm me down and reassure me when things got tough."

Chambers and Partners 2019

Chris Burns was recommended to me by a business contact. He guided me through my divorce and helped me reach a financial settlement which I was satisfied with as well as the other party. Chris also provided a high level of service and always offered sensible and clear advice throughout the process

Mr G

I instructed Chris Burns to draw up a post nuptial agreement as I was undertaking a management buy out of my business. Chris provided clear, practical and pragmatic advice. He was assisted by Richard Buckley and together they were able to advise me about and draw up the Agreement and helped me reach my objective diligently and efficiently.

Steve Adams

Mattress Online

Lupton Fawcett's Family team is recognised as a 'solid family practice' headed by Chris Burns who is described as a 'top-class advocate'

Legal 500, November 2018

To the point, direct and no-nonsense approach: he tells it like it is and he is very good at what he does.

Chambers & Partners UK

Chris Burns heads the practice and is 'a top-class advocate'; he handles a range of family and financial remedy matters and has a specialism for children's work.

The Legal 500 2018 Legal Directory

“It is a great reflection on the advice we give, and the way we handle matters, that many new cases come through recommendations from former clients.”

Chris Burns, Lupton Fawcett Head of Family Law


Completed LL.B (Hons) degree

Qualified as a Solicitor

Assistant Solicitor at Lee & Priestley LLP

Salaried Partner at Lee & Priestley LLP

Equity Partner at Lee & Priestley LLP

Director at Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley

Director at Lupton Fawcett LLP

Appointed as the Regional Committee's Press Officer for North Yorkshire Resolution

Appointed as the Regional Committee's Press Officer for West and North Yorkshire Resolution

Appointed Head of Family Law at Lupton Fawcett LLP

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