Elizabeth Willsteed

Elizabeth Willsteed

Call 2004 - Inner Temple

The Legal 500 - UK Leading Individual 2021Recognised in the Legal 500
Chambers is delighted to congratulate Elizabeth Willsteed on her ranking as a leading individual on the Western Circuit by the Legal 500 in the area of Child Law. Elizabeth is lauded for being a ‘a highly skilled and effective advocate in the courtroom producing concise written legal documents and excelling in submissions and cross examination. She is highly regarded amongst clients and solicitors alike.... Elizabeth Willsteed is a go-to for children law matters".

Elizabeth is also recognised by Chambers and Partners:

Recognised by Chambers & PartnersBest known for her adept handling of serious child protection cases and ability to handle highly complex cases concerning allegations of emotional and physical abuse. Fabricated or induced illness cases are another area of expertise.
Strengths: "She brought balance and insight into the case and was perceptive and unflappable." "She’s a class act. She knows family law inside out and she is excellent in her knowledge."

Elizabeth undertakes instructions in Family law. Elizabeth has been based in the South West throughout her career, and has become well known on the Western Circuit for her skillful written and oral advocacy in both civil and family Law.

Family - Public and Private Law

Elizabeth practises mainly in Children Act proceedings which feature elements of particular complexity. She is regularly instructed in lengthy and complicated fact- findings, involving allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, non-accidental injuries and factitious or induced illnesses in children, as well as cases with complicating factors such as learning disabilities and mental health issues. She combines sensitive and effective court skills with an impressive grasp of detail and good knowledge of the law. She ensures that lay clients feel at ease and confident in her representation. She regularly appears in the higher courts, not only in particularly complex care proceedings and appeals but also in matters where jurisdictional issues or risks associated with removal from jurisdiction require wardship to be invoked. Elizabeth also acts in private law proceedings which involve aspects of particular complexity such as jurisdictional issues, FGM and parental alienation.

Elizabeth has a particular interest in the human rights aspects of cases and advises and represents parties seeking to judicially review the actions and decisions of Local Authorities. She also successfully challenged a Local Authority’s negative assessment of a proposed Special Guardian, resulting in the SGO being made and costs awarded.

Financial Remedies:

Elizabeth acts in all value financial remedies matters, from the very high value to cases where the most pressing matter for the parties is to ensure the division of mutual debts is dealt with satisfactorily. Elizabeth has experience in the full range of FR issues including interim applications for disclosure, applications for maintenance pending suit, FAs, FDRs, final hearings and enforcement applications.


        • LLB (hons) with European languages (fr,sp)
        • Appointment as a Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal assigned to the Social Entitlement Chamber.
        • Appointment as Family Recorder assigned to the Midland Circuit

Public Access

Elizabeth is authorised to undertake public access work, primarily in Private Children Law.

For details on how to instruct Elizabeth directly, please contact the clerking team on 01392285200.

Reported Cases

        • Re C (children) (psychiatric evidence) – [2007] EWCA Civ 486
        • Upper Tribunal(Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Appeal Number: IA/09497/2014: Doidge v Secretary of State for the Home Department.
        • Re S (a child) [2018] 7 WLUK 737: successful appeal against a decision to proceed with a lengthy and complex fact finding despite the late disclosure of voluminous disclosure.
        • Re N (children) [2021] EWCA Civ 785 representing Respondent Children by their Children’s Guardian
        • Re W (Young Person: Unavailability of Suitable Placement) [2021] EWHC 2345 (Fam)

Professional Memberships

  • FLBA
  • Western Circuit
  • Western Circuit Womens Forum
  • Association of Women Barristers