Elizabeth Callaghan


Elizabeth was called to the Bar in 1998 but actually began her career in Family Law in 1987 when she commenced employment with North Yorkshire County Council as a Legal Assistant in the Child Care Department. Elizabeth has therefore over 34 years of experience in family law advocacy.

Elizabeth represents a wide range of clients, exclusively in Family Law, including local authorities, parents, grandparents, Guardians and the Official Solicitor.  Elizabeth is also regularly instructed on behalf of privately paying clients in private law disputes involving contact, residence, change of surname, change of school and move from the jurisdiction.

Elizabeth is often cited for her reassuring and calm manner with clients and for giving sound and sensible advice.  She  has gained considerable particular experience in dealing with vulnerable clients, particularly those who are enduring distressing and stressful personal circumstances and have communication difficulties.

In 2016 Elizabeth was awarded the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award having been nominated by the entire team of a local family law legal practice.  She was praised by the Chair of the Bar for her “outstanding advocacy, courtesy and compassion”.

During her time at the Bar, Elizabeth has been instructed in extremely complex cases and she has regularly appeared in cases in the County Court and High Court that have included issues of severe sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, fictitious illness, poisoning, death of a child, murder of a parent.

She is regularly praised by the Judiciary for her effective and skilled cross examination techniques and noted by those who instruct her for her strong and forensic presence in court.  She is often described as “charming with clients” and “elegant in advocacy”.

Elizabeth is regularly led by Leading Counsel in public law cases that involve significant and complex issues.

Elizabeth Callaghan is a committed family law advocate whose practice covers both public and private law, with a focus on cases involving sexual abuse and alleged non-accidental injury. She acts for parents, children and local authorities, though she has particular experience with vulnerable clients.

Chambers and Partners 2024

Recommendations and client feedback

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2024′

‘Always very prepared and has very good judgement’ ‘She’s very good with clients who are very vulnerable. With her, clients feel they are being represented really well.’

The Legal 500 2023 & 2024

‘She is always extremely well-prepared, and has a calm, reassuring manner. Elizabeth has an excellent grasp of the case from the outset.’

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2023

“Elizabeth is an extremely good advocate. She has great client care skills.”

“Elizabeth has handled some very difficult matters for us with great skill and care.”

“She is an exceptional advocate who is always thoroughly prepared, is a fantastic communicator and gives insightful and pragmatic advice.”

The Legal 500 2021/2022

“Liz is extremely professional and is always well prepared. She is a master of detail and is my first choice when a forensic approach is needed on a case. she also has a charming but firm manner with lay clients and makes them feel at ease.’

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021

“She has this ability to switch from an empathetic mode to barrister mode. There are not many with that skill.” “She is very thorough, very calm and very organised.”

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020

“She fights really hard and her advocacy is very good.” “She has got a very calm, reassuring manner with clients and can explain things to clients with different capabilities.” –

The Legal 500 2020

‘Very insightful with a strong presence in court.’

Chambers and Partners 2019

Always thorough and forensic. She also has a very professional and courteous manner with clients.” “Very knowledgeable and very personable.”

Chambers and Partner UK Bar 2018

“Charming with clients, elegant in advocacy.”


Family Law Bar Association


LLB (Hons) First Class at University of Teesside, Middlesbrough

Bar Vocational Course at University of Northumbria, Newcastle