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Family - Children

Elizabeth Isaacs QC


Clerk Enquiries:


(Year of Call 1998, Silk 2013)

Joined Chambers: 2006


BA (Hons) Psychology (Dunelm)

MA Social Work

LLB (Hons)


Elizabeth is an engaging and knowledgeable advocate who quickly identifies the practical implications of complex cases involving all aspects of child law, including a strong appellate practice. She has an established reputation for compassionate client care, excellent advocacy and forensic preparation, and a pragmatic and tactical approach.  Elizabeth is the head of the Chambers Childcare Group.

Care proceedings and adoption

Elizabeth has substantial expertise in acting for all parties in legally and factually complex care, adoption (including revocation) and wardship proceedings and has a detailed knowledge of the legal and social care issues relating to local authority planning and decision making for children.

Elizabeth has particular interest in:

  • Child death
  • Serious physical injury, including non-accidental head injury
  • Sexual abuse
  • Fabricated and induced illness (FII)
  • Insulin poisoning
  • Judicial review
  • Human rights issues relating to children
  • Disclosure and public interest immunity (PII) issues relating to children

Private law

Elizabeth acts for parents and children in complex private law proceedings, including –

  • Children's living arrangements
  • Contact
  • Domestic relocation
  • Leave to remove from the jurisdiction and international relocation
  • Allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Education, religion, medical and change of name disputes
  • Child abduction
  • Surrogacy and parental order applications
  • Parenting disputes arising from same-sex relationships
  • LGBTQ parenting issues

Elizabeth is Public Access trained and is therefore able to advise and is happy to accept instructions from prospective clients directly.

Member of Chambers Management Committee.



Legal 500 2017: “She radiates creative energy and has one of the quickest minds in the business”

Legal 500 2016: ‘Her expertise in care work includes complex cases involving child fatalities, serious injuries and sexual abuse.’

Chambers & Partners 2016: "She would always be my first choice - an excellent advocate. She is very well prepared, has very good client care skills and is very approachable. She is bright and passionate about what she does. I would go to her with any family matter that needed silk." "I would single her out as a really strong feisty advocate who is incredibly thorough in her preparation and extremely effective."

Chambers & Partners 2015: "Continues to be regarded as a go-to barrister for complex children matters involving death and serious injury. She has a keen interest in the academic side of litigation and is a thorough and versatile advocate."

Legal 500 2014: ‘Approachable and a pleasure to deal with.’

Chambers & Partners 2014: “A child law expert in care proceedings as well as child abduction and forced marriages…..and she is well versed in dealing with cases concerning learning disabilities. A competent lawyer who handles her clients very well and provides sensible advice.”

Legal 500 2013: New silk Elizabeth Isaacs QC is ‘a brilliant barrister’.

Chambers & Partners 2013: A former social worker, she is valued for the unique perspective that her previous job affords her. Those that use her do so as "she is very personable and has very good judgement".

Legal 500 2012: Elizabeth Isaacs 'fights her corner with determination'.

Chambers & Partners 2012: "Personable, sensible, and highly knowledgeable," she is "excellent with clients" and "fights their corner doggedly." As a former social worker, she brings to the table invaluable added insight into the workings of the care system.

Legal 500 2011: 'Superb'.

Notable Cases:

Re N-S (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 1121

Re AD, AE, AF, AG & AH (HFEA 2008) [2017] EWHC 1782 (Fam) President's guidance in straightforward apps for declarations of parental status

Re P-K (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 965

Re Z (A Child) (No 2) [2016] EWFC 1191

RE M (A CHILD) sub nom (1) H (2) B v (1) S (2) M (A CHILD BY HER GUARDIAN) [2015] EWFC 36

RE Z (A Child) [2015] EWFC 73

RE F (A CHILD) (International Relocation Cases) sub nom DF v N B-F [2015] EWCA Civ 882

Re X (A Child) (Surrogacy: Time Limit) [2014] EWHC 3135 (Fam)

Re B (A Child) [2014] EWHC B1 (Fam)

Re S (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1073

SMBC v RG et al [2013] EWHC 2373 (COP)

Re M (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 446

S v Z [2012] EWHC 84 (Fam)

Re D O'H (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 1343

Re L (Duty to the Court of a Psychologist) [2011] EWHC B29 (Fam)

Re C and D (Photographs of Injuries) [2010] EWHC B27(Fam)

Re X, Y and Z (Children) [2010] EWHC B12 (Fam)

Re W (Care: Threshold Criteria) [2007] 2 FLR 98 (CA)

Re B (Appeals: Lack of Reasons) [2003] 2 FLR 1035 (CA)

Further Information:

Elizabeth is Public Access trained and is therefore able to advise and is happy to accept instructions from prospective clients directly.

Regular training and lecturing. Invited speaker at the 2013 Lexis Nexis Butterworths Annual Child Care Conference. Invited speaker at the 2014 and 2013 Jordans Annual Children Law & Practice Conference, the 2013 Lexis Nexis Butterworths Annual Child Care Conference and the 2013 Association of Lawyers for Children annual conference. Invited speaker at the Hanson Renouf / ALC conference 2014.

Member of Chambers Management Committee.


Silk Member of The Family Justice Council

Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) (elected member)

Advocacy Training Council

Association of Lawyers for Children


Crown Court Recorder (SE Circuit) 2009

Public and Private Family Law Recorder (SE Circuit) 2012

Deputy High Court Judge of the Family Division 2016 


Clarke, Hall & Morrison on Children – contributing editor from 2014

Family Court Practice (Jordans) – contributor from 2014

Challenging and Defending Local Authority Child Care Decisions (April 2013) Jordans Publishing (Co-author)

Social Work Decision Making: A Guide for Child Care Lawyers (2nd Edition March 2012) Jordans Publishing (Co-author) - "A valuable addition to any Childcare library." 

* Denotes door tenant

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