Justia Lawyer Rating
Badge - Universite Paris, Pantheon Sorbonne, Ecole de Droit de la Sorbonne
Badge - The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn
Badge - San Diego County Bar Association
Badge - Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
Badge - The State Bar of California
Badge - United States Courts, Ninth Judicial Circuit
Picture of Denise E. Oxley CFLS

Denise E. Oxley, CFLS

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Phone: (858) 486-4823

2214 Faraday Ave #108
Carlsbad, California 92008

I came to the practice of law later in life after spending 17 years traveling in a fun job as an air stewardess and then as a Purser on international flights. Traveling gave me a wonderful opportunity to see the world, meet different people and understand different cultures. I knew that I could not work in the airlines forever so, ultimately, in 1989, I followed my father's wish and enrolled to study in a three-year law degree program in Essex, England.

In the second year of my law studies, I was selected as one of 15 students from my college to participate in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. In this Program, I was privileged to live and study International Law for one year at Utrecht University, Holland.

I received my law degree in 1992 in London and immediately commenced training as a Barrister at Grays Inn, London. This was a wonderful experience. I was always busy, preparing for oral and written exams, completing legal research and written presentations to lecturers and judges on a broad range of subjects involving matters of international law, domestic tort, and criminal issues among other things. I passed my final exams with a grade of "Outstanding" in Advocacy.

A Barrister is a specialist advocate. There are relatively few Barristers in the UK when compared, for example, to the number of lawyers in California. I recall that when I qualified at the UK bar in 1994, there were only about 7,000 barristers in England and Wales. In 2015, that number had only increased to approximately 15,000.

There are four Inns of Court in England, Grays Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Lincoln's Inn. I am an active member of Lincoln's Inn. These four Inns of Court are the professional associations of Barristers in England and Wales.

All Barristers are required to complete a one-year pupilage after qualifying at the UK Bar, divided in a "first-6" and a "second-6." The first six months is a period of following your Pupil Master to all of his or her court appearances, robed in your wig and gown for Crown Court appearances absorbing vital refined training in the practice of law and ethics. I was fortunate that my Pupil Master was an experienced and very well-respected criminal Barrister. Therefore, I assisted and accompanied him on all of his trials, including murder trials at the famous Old Bailey in London. I also attended Family Law cases during this time and had an opportunity to observe trials, involving equitable division of substantial marital assets.

During the second sixth months, a Barrister is expected to take his or her own cases as presented by solicitors whose clients require the services of a Barrister's advocacy in court. Solicitors are civil attorneys and, as a general rule, did not represent their clients before the court, this role being reserved, for the most part, to Barristers. In the UK the rigid roles between Barristers and Solicitors are beginning to change somewhat.

As a barrister, I was proud to perform my duties in accordance with the high standards of practice and ethics required of representatives of the UK Bar.

After qualifying as a Barrister, I was able to apply my legal and advocacy skills to Family law, including assisting families separated from their children due to safety concerns, both for a parent and for children in the United Kingdom. These experiences helped me in creating and implementing thriving and surviving strategies on which parents could focus to help their children navigate life's challenges and become resilient in the face of many adversities.

In 1998, I moved to California and was an Intern to the Honorable Judge David Gill and the late Honorable Judge Ehrenfreund. Thereafter, I worked at the District Attorney's Office - Child Support Division.

I passed the California Bar Exam in 2002 and I became a California lawyer. I opened my practice in 2002 also, focusing solely on Family Law matters and subsequently included Estate planning to my practice. I am a California Family Law Certified Specialist and Minor's Counsel. I am pleased to continue to offer my services and expertise in these two critical areas that significantly impact my clients' lives.

My Philosophy
  • Preparation, preparation, and preparation.
  • Representation to the best of my ability.
  • Being frank and upfront with clients.
  • Develop case strategy in close cooperation with clients.
  • Ensure that clients understand there are no guarantees as, ultimately, the court decides; and,
  • Always provide a sound basis for being known as honest and ethical.

We look forward to working in partnership with you.


Degree in Law, Essex, London, England, 1992

with Honors

International Law, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Barrister, Inns of Court School of Law, Grays Inn, London, England., 1993

Achievements: Highest merit in Advocacy Skills.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Counsel in family law and criminal law matters in London, England, until December 1996
San Diego District Attorney Office, Child Support Division
Judicial Intern to the Honorable David Gill | Superior Court of California – Criminal Division.
Active Member of United Kingdom Bar, 1993
Federal Ninth Circuit, 2002
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

United Kingdom Bar
Member Since: 1993

Member Since: 2002

Federal 9th Circuit
Member Since: 2002

San Diego County Bar

Membership - California Bar Estate Planning Section

Membership - California Bar Family Law Section

Community Service
  • Past President 2013-2014: Point Loma Rotary Club
Client Reviews
I am very grateful to Denise Oxley for her help in resolving a very difficult family law situation. She was very professional and knowledgeable. She listened to all of my concerns and always found a successful outcome to the proceedings. Her correspondence and responses were timely and focused on the problem. I always felt prepared to stand in the court room and face the Judge’s decision. Thank you, Denise, for your help. I highly recommend her. Lana
A very highly respected individual first and foremost. As a lawyer, well...her opponent's fear her in a court of law due to her knowledge base, experience, diligence, and most of all commitment. A colleague once said, "I want to introduce you to Denise Oxley. You need her because she is in it for the long haul." At some time in our lives we all have to sit in the defendants/plaintiffs chair. Denise Oxley will give you strong representation. Remember, knowledgeable, experienced, diligence, committed. Stellar qualities dealing with sensitive lives! T. L. Holman
My family encountered one of the most difficult situations of our lives when my son's girlfriend decided to take the kids away from their father and our entire family. We are a very close family so this affected us all. My son hired Denise Oxley to represent him in family court and that was the beginning of our healing process. Denise is very personal, a great professional and very knowledgeable. She was very interested in helping my son and I could tell that she really cares. Thanks to Denise, my son now has close to 40% of custody after just having one weekend a month I feel very lucky to have Denise on our side. Ana