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29 Park Street


Established to meet the need for high quality legal advice and advocacy in Somerset and the West Country, Octagon Chambers has increased in size and legal practice to match the demand.

Bridget McVay


Year of Call & Inn: 1990, Inner Temple
Qualifications:  LL.B (Hons) London School of Economics, Qualified Mediator
Professional Membership:  Western Circuit, Family Law Bar Association

Bridget joined Octagon Chambers in September 2009.  She has brought with her many years of experience in London and the South West. 

Bridget practises exclusively in Family and Immigration Law. She is renowned for being very approachable but robust when a case demands it. Her expertise and enthusiasm lies in cases involving children (both public and private), where children/parents have special needs, learning difficulties or are simply struggling in difficult emotional situations. 

Bridget is equally happy acting for parents, children or the local authority in care work and has considerable experience in all aspects of children law. She is frequently instructed in cases involving habitual residence and leave to remove from the jurisdiction.  She specialises in cases of domestic violence, injunctions, occupation orders and finding of fact hearings.  She also has experience in matrimonial finance cases and in particular enjoys the legal challenge of TOLATA cases where the parties cohabited.  

Bridget has a sympathetic and insightful approach to all her cases.  She takes the time to help and support her clients through the court experience.  In May 2010 a client in a TOLATA case wrote, "a huge thank you for your work and especially your support and  warmth through the court case."  All Bridget's creative energy is used in approaching her cases from all angles to ensure that a successful and workable outcome is achieved.  She is a qualified mediator and uses these skills in her negotiation of settlements/agreements.

A fluent French speaker herself, Bridget's other expertise lies in her work with foreign clients which has developed in her immigration and family practice over the years. She is used to working through interpreters.

Bridget had extensive experience of immigration law whilst in London and was often in the High Court doing emergency applications.  Since moving to the South West she still takes on immigration cases and particularly welcomes instructions in asylum, marriage and student visa cases.

Cases of Interest:

  • SSHD v Nargis Chowdry (2nd February 1998) Court of Appeal
  • The Queen on the application of AM (Cameroon) v the AIT and the SSHD [2008] EWCA Civ 100

Previous Experience:

  • Clerksroom (2004-2009)
  • Mitre House Chambers, London (1995-2004)
  • Britton Street Chambers, London (1994-1995)
  • Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (1990-1993)

Hobbies & Interests:
Bridget has two lively sons and two dogs who keep her busy.  Her interests include travelling, swimming and pottery.


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