Elisabeth Cooper

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2008

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Elisabeth read Law at the University of Manchester and was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 2008 having received the JJ Powell prize from Middle Temple in recognition of her bar vocational course results. She is an elected member of the Bar Council, and sits on the Social Mobility Committee and Young Barristers’ Committee.

Memberships

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Employment Law Association

Expertise

  • Family - Children

    Public Law

    Elisabeth routinely acts on behalf of local authorities, parents and children in public law proceedings, from the commencement of the proceedings until (and including) the final hearing. Elisabeth has experience in public law proceedings (including acting on behalf of the Official Solicitor) involving the following issues:

    • Death of a child
    • Non-accidental injury
    • Fabricated illness
    • Sexual abuse
    • Serious emotional harm and/or behavioural difficulties requiring residential placement or secure accommodation
    • Disabilities; of the parents and/or the child(ren)
    • Cultural issues
    • Serious drug/alcohol misuse
    • Chronic neglect

    Elisabeth is regularly instructed to draft case summaries; threshold documents and PLO compliant orders and prides herself on prompt completion and submission to court.

    Elisabeth represents local authorities who require legal representation and advice at legal gateway meetings and PLO meetings such as pre-proceedings meetings, advising on all aspects as to the PLO process including whether threshold for public law proceedings is met; whether the matter requires urgent issue or whether the PLO pre-proceedings process should be entered into. With regard to the latter, Elisabeth advises on issues including the expectations of the local authority during the pre-proceedings process and the content of written agreements or schedule of expectations, to ensure that if the matter is issued following pre-proceedings, the case is ready for the court arena.

    Elisabeth also receives instructions in the Crown Court in regard to Public Interest Immunity matters.

    Private Law

    Elisabeth regularly acts in a wide range of private Children Act cases for parents, relatives and children with party status, as well as local authorities that require representation but are not parties. Elisabeth routinely acts in CAP matters including cases involving issues such as:

    • Disputes about with whom the child(ren) should live
    • Disputes about the nature/frequency of the time a parent should spend with a child, including cases resulting in ‘no contact’ orders
    • Leave to remove the child from the jurisdiction – permanently and temporarily
    • Internal/domestic relocation
    • Change of the children’s school
    • Non-accidental injury allegations
    • Sexual abuse allegations
    • Drug and alcohol misuse
    • Serious domestic violence/domestic abuse requiring findings to be pursued
    • Emotional abuse
    • Parents with psychiatric and/or psychological disorders
    • Intractable contact disputes

    Solicitor recommendations

    “I have worked with Lis on many occasions in family proceedings and have never failed to be impressed by her detailed preparation, even on last-minute issues. She is calm and reassuring for clients, and gives them confidence in her authority, whilst being friendly and approachable. I have had nothing but praise from the clients she has represented for me and she has obtained some excellent results in difficult cases. Without question a safe pair of hands, and a lovely person to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.” Cara Nuttall, Senior Associate, Slater & Gordon

    “I instruct Ms Cooper on a frequent basis, not only because she excels in all the qualities you would expect from a barrister such as client care, through to her advocacy, but she is able to sympathise with clients, understand them, and make them feel like they are being listened to, which for me is a must for family clients. She is a natural at dealing with complicated cases. She acts upon/presents difficult instructions elegantly before the court and in negotiations with other parties. She is prompt at providing clear feedback, and advice following a hearing. I will definitely continue to instruct Ms Cooper, my clients always speak positively about her following her representing them and always ask for her again!” Emma Cordock, Associate Solicitor, AFG Solicitors

    “I regularly instruct Elisabeth for complicated Children Act matters and challenging Family Money cases. I find Elisabeth is personable, client friendly, quick to pick up the issues and clear in her advice. Elisabeth has a very commercial perspective and is also happy to provide guidance out of hours and at short notice”. Gareth Curtis, Associate Solicitor, DWF LLP

    A Local Authority v B [2014]

    Represented a mother throughout public law proceedings brought after the death of a child. Successful in obtaining an independent social work assessment in the 'necessary' climate resulting in the local authority changing its care plan from adoption to rehabilitation to the mother’s care.

    A Local Authority v W [2013]

    Mounted a HRA claim within existing proceedings following the local authority’s unlawful removal of the child from the parents’ care, resulting in the claim being settled in terms favourable to the parents.

    A Local Authority v J [2012]

    Represented a kinship carer for whom the local authority initially refused to fund discretionary payments for a home extension which would have ensured compliance with fostering regulations. Drafted written representations on behalf of the kinship carer and a letter before action resulting in the local authority agreeing to fund the requested discretionary payments.

    T v D [2014]

    Successfully represented a parent pursuing a change of ‘residence’ due to the inability of the child’s primary carer to promote a relationship with the ‘non-resident’ parent.

    I v I [2013]

    Represented an extended family member in his application for contact with his grandchildren, responding to allegations of domestic abuse and rape of the mother. Successfully awarded contact following a six-day finding of fact which resulted in no findings made against him.

    G v G [2012]

    Successfully represented a parent who wished to relocate to South Africa.
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  • Family - Finance

    Elisabeth is regularly instructed at all stages of financial remedy proceedings including pre-issue. Elisabeth also receives instructions to advise on settlement offers, to act on behalf of parties within applications for freezing orders and for variation and enforcement of financial orders.

    Elisabeth is instructed as a consultant for Old Court Chambers in the Isle of Man with regard to financial remedy proceedings conducted in the High Court of the Isle of Man.

    Elisabeth routinely acts on behalf of appellants and respondents to appeals to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal in relation to CSA/CMS assessments. Elisabeth is regularly instructed to advise at initial stages as to prospects of success. Elisabeth has consistently achieved success in the Lower Tier Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, with all of her contested proceedings resulting in significantly higher or lower income assessments in accordance with the party for whom she was instructed to represent.

    Elisabeth receives instructions as to prospects of success in appealing to the Upper-Tier Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.

    L v L [2014]

    Represented the wife in financial remedy proceedings with a matrimonial pot in excess of £3 million, with 12 bundles of disclosure.

    B v B v B [2012]

    Led by David Berkley QC in a preliminary hearing dispute within financial remedy proceedings regarding whether monies received were gifted or subject to an enforceable loan agreement.

    B v A [2010]

    Represented the wife responding to the husband’s application for a declaration that a ‘partnership agreement’ was binding on the parties within the financial remedy proceedings as a post-nuptial agreement such that the disputed matters should be considered within the commercial/administrative court. Following detailed skeleton arguments, successfully argued that the ‘partnership agreement’ was not a binding post-nuptial agreement and that the family court within the financial remedy proceedings had jurisdiction to fairly apply all of the section 25 factors.

    O v O [2014]

    Represented a NRP in a successful appeal resulting in the income assessment being reduced by £900 per week.

    P v P [2014]

    Represented a NRP in a successful appeal resulting in the weekly maintenance assessment being reduced by over £100 per week.

    H v P [2013]

    Represented a PWC in her appeal against a CSA decision. Elisabeth produced a detailed analysis of the NRP’s business accounts resulting in the income assessment increasing by over £1,000 per week.
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