Elizabeth Isaacs QC is a door tenant at 1 KBW. She was formerly a child protection social worker, was called to the Bar in 1998 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013. In June 2016 she was appointed as Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division.

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 a member of the Family Justice Council, she contributes to Jordans Family Court Practice and is a Contributing Editor to Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children (Lexis Nexis). She provides regular training and lecturing including invited speaker at the 2014 Jordans Annual Children Law &  Practice Conference, and the 2014 Association of Lawyers for Children annual conference. She was also commissioned to provide courtwork skills training to 14 local authorities in 2011 as part of the West Midlands Social Work Retention Project (funded by the Government Office).

Elizabeth has substantial expertise in acting for all parties in legally and factually complex care, adoption 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. She is highly regarded for her knowledge of disclosure and public interest immunity (PII) issues arising within local authority practice and procedure.

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

Notable Cases

  • 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 M (A Child) [2015] EWFC 36
  • 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)

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

  • Residence
  • Contact
  • Leave to remove from the jurisdiction and international relocation
  • Parental alienation
  • Allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Education, religion, medical procedures and change of name disputes
  • Child abduction
  • Surrogacy and parental order applications
  • Parenting disputes arising from civil partnerships and same-sex relationships

Elizabeth advises and acts in all aspects of child abduction work.

Elizabeth acts for all parties in Court of Protection health and welfare proceedings relating to vulnerable adults, including local authorities and the Official Solicitor. She has a particular interest in cases involving transition planning for young people with learning disabilities.

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

Reputation & Awards

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.

Chambers and Partners 2015

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 – “Widely regarded as a stellar performer…and admired for the depth of her knowledge of children law matters.”

Legal 500  2013 – “a brilliant barrister”.

Shortlisted for the Jordans Family Awards 2012 Junior Barrister of the year.
Chambers and Partners 2013: Elizabeth Isaacs is “very personable and has very good judgment”.

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

Chambers and 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”.

Legal 500 2010: “Elizabeth Isaacs is a wonderful advocate who is always well prepared.”

Legal 500 2009: “Elizabeth Isaacs is pragmatic and easy to approach – she doesn’t attempt to  bamboozle with jargon.”


  • BA (Hons) Psychology (Dunelm)
  • MA Social Work  (Distinction)
  • LLB Hons

Professional memberships:

  • Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division
  • Recorder (SE Circuit) (Crown Court, Family – Public and Private Law)
  • Member of the Family Justice Council
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Association of Lawyers for Children


  • Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children – contributor.
  • Jordans Family Court Practice – contributing editor.
  • Challenging and Defending Local Authority Child Care Decisions (Jordans 2013) (co-author)
  • Social Work Decision Making: A Guide for Child Care Lawyers (2nd edition, Jordans 2012) (co-author)
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