Elizabeth Shaw

Called: 1986


Over the last 30 years Liz has regularly acted in complex care cases which concern issues of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury and the death of children.
She is regularly instructed on behalf of the parents, Guardian and Local Authorities.

She is sought out by Solicitors to represent clients with speech/language difficulties and learning disabilities, as she has a huge amount of personal experience to draw upon as a parent of a child who is ASD with learning difficulties. Liz is renowned for her ability, thoughtfulness and patience when ensuring that such vulnerable clients understand the legal process and their voice is heard within the court room.

Liz has been actively involved volunteering with “The Christmas Dinner” in both Leeds and Bradford over the last 6 years, which provides a Christmas Day event on the 25th of December for up to 50 care leavers.


Chambers & Partners 2022 - "She is incredibly thorough and very approachable, and clients respond to her intuitive but no-nonsense advice." "She has gone over and above." "Elizabeth is very able and experienced."

Legal 500 2021 - "Miss Shaw is an outstanding lawyer and advocate, she is robust yet sensitive in her approach, down to earth and extremely experienced having undertaken and conducted the most complex cases in this particular field over many years. Miss Shaw is particularly gifted in dealing with clients who may have particular mental health needs, behavioural problems and/or communication difficulties, particularly those who may have autism."

Chambers and Partners 2020- “An excellent and powerful advocate who is as effective in court as she is sitting in a waiting room supporting a client in the midst of making an impossible decision."
"She will find points to turn a case and advocates particularly well."

Legal 500 2020 - 'Unreserved in her commitment to every case on which she is instructed.’

Legal 500 2019 - ‘Very empathetic and excellent with vulnerable clients’.

Chambers & Partners 2019 - "She is very good with clients and a good advocate." "She has sound judgement and is very thorough."

Legal 500 2018 - ‘A brilliant advocate, who holds her own against silks.’

Chambers & Partners 2018 - Senior junior who is an established expert on children matters specialising in complicated care proceedings. She has significant experience of public and private law and regularly acts for children, parents and local authorities.

Public Law Children.

Liz’s personal experiences enable her to offer practical, realistic and robust advice with confidence.

Notable Cases

M & L (Children) (2007) EWCA Civ 1307 - Acted for the Mother in Care proceedings where findings were sought that stepfather had sexually abused her daughter and physically and sexually abused the mother also. The issue on appeal was if the Judge had erred in considering the allegations of abuse by the father upon the mother when determining any “lingering doubts” he had in respect of the stepdaughter’s evidence. The appeal was dismissed.

Re T ( Children) [2012]UKSC 36 - Appeared on behalf of the local authority in the first instance decision where the Judge refused the costs of the interveners when no findings were made against them and they were exonerated. The Judge noted the local authority had acted reasonably in bringing the proceedings and joining the party as interveners. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal by the interveners and awarded costs against the local authority. Permission to appeal to Supreme Court was on basis the order for costs remained. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal decision. The Supreme Court concluded that the general principle of not awarding costs against a party in care proceedings, including a local authority, in the absence of reprehensible behaviour or unreasonable stance, is one that accords with the ends of justice and should not be subject to an exception in cases of split hearings.


Family Law Bar Association
North Eastern Circuit


Liz was part of a committee of professionals in Hull who devised the guidelines for the “expectations for CAFCASS/ Solicitors working together” in 2012.


Liz has presented a number of seminars to solicitors and other professionals in family law including court craft skills and taking part in public law updates as part of Chamber’s Family Law Seminars.

Since 2019 Liz has twice been invited to deliver a presentation about her experience of being a parent of a child who became “voluntary accommodated” and a “ looked after child “ as a result of their disability.