Isabel practices across the main areas of Chambers' work, with particular experience of public, regulatory and human rights law, competition law, commercial litigation, public international law and sanctions and employment law. She is ranked as a "rising star" in The Legal 500 for Administrative & Public Law and Immigration; and is there described as: "... excellent. Bright, hardworking and committed"  (2021).

Isabel combines her commercial practice with a substantial pro bono and publicly funded practice.  She has appeared before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, Competition Appeal Tribunal, First Tier Tribunals (Immigration), SIAC and Employment Tribunals.   

Some recent highlights of Isabel's practice include:

  • Acting for the claimants in a challenge (before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) to the fee set by the SSHD for children's applications for registration of their citizenship (R (PRCBC) v SSHD [2020] 1 WLR 1486 (High Court); [2021] 1 WLR 3049 (Court of Appeal)).
  • Acting for Visa in its defence of multiple claims brought by retailers alleging that interchange fees charged on card transactions are anti-competitive and breach Article 101 and Article 102 TFEU.
  • Acting for HNA Group Co Ltd in an appeal before the Supreme Court relating to the admissibility of evidence alleged to have been obtained by torture (Shagang Shipping CO Ltd (In Liquidation) v HNA Group Co Ltd [2020] 1 WLR 3549).
  • Acting for Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein (on issues related to international law and diplomatic assurances) in proceedings before the Family Division (Re Al M [2019] EWHC 3415 (Fam), [2020] 1 WLR 1858).
  • Advising the Equality and Human Rights Commission on its work relating to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry ("Following Grenfell: the human rights and equality dimension"). 
  • Acting for a number of prisoners, strip searched in contravention of Article 8 ECHR, in successful claims against the Secretary of State and prison contractors (e.g. LW v Sodexo Ltd [2019] 1 WLR 5654).
  • Successfully acting for the claimant in obtaining a US$1.5 billion worldwide freezing order and other injunctive relief (ArcelorMittal USA LLC v Essar Steel Ltd [2019] EWHC 724 (Comm)).
  • Acting for Libyan investment funds in a matter involving the application of sanctions regimes and Libyan public law. 

Before coming to the Bar, Isabel worked as a caseworker for Justice Project Pakistan, providing pro bono representation to persons facing the death penalty in Pakistan.  Isabel also taught jurisprudence and property law at the University of Glasgow and equity and trusts and contract law at Birkbeck College, University of London.  She was a legal panellist and contributor to Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (London: Hart Publishing, 2018).  She is the author of Trials: On Death Row in Pakistan (London: Jonathan Cape, 2016) which won the Saltire Scottish First Book Award and was an Economist and Spectator book of the year.  

Isabel is member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's panel of counsel and the Bar Human Rights Committee's Executive. She was recently appointed to the Attorney General's panel of counsel (C panel), effective from September 2021.   

Experience

Shortlist

Public & Regulatory

Isabel frequently acts and advises, both led and unled, on public and regulatory matters ranging from human rights claims to commercial public law challenges.  Her clients include regulators, government departments, individuals, NGOs and companies.  In addition to privately paid and publicly funded work, Isabel undertakes substantial pro bono work.

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Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Isabel frequently acts and advises, both led and unled, on matters concerning civil liberties and human rights in both a domestic and international context.  Her clients include charities, government departments, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and individual claimants.  In addition to privately paid and publicly funded work, Isabel undertakes substantial pro bono work.  Isabel is also a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee's Executive. 

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Commercial

Isabel frequently acts and advises, led and unled, on a variety of commercial matters, ranging from small claims in the County Court to cases involving complex international and cross-jurisdictional disputes in the High Court and appellate jurisdictions.  She has particular experience of the intersection between international, commercial and public law.  In that context, she is regularly instructed in cases that involve the application of foreign law.  

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EU & Competition

Isabel is presently acting in one of the largest domestic competition cases being litigated in the United Kingdom, representing Visa in defence of multiple competition damages claims alleging that multilateral interchange fees charged on the use of credit and debit cards breached EU and English competition law.  Isabel also acts in matters in which issues of EU law arise, in a sanctions context or through the application of directives and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. 

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Public International Law

Isabel has a significant public international law practice which is centred on cases raising issues of international human rights and humanitarian law. Her clients range from individuals to NGOs, companies to public bodies and governments. She frequently advises on and acts in cases that concern the application of international human rights law in both the UK and foreign jurisdictions, and the interaction between public international law and domestic law in this jurisdiction. Isabel has also published in this area. She is the author of Trials: On Death Row in Pakistan (London, Jonathan Cape). And in 2018 she was a legal panellist and contributing author to Children in Armed Conflict (London, Hart) (of which she worked on four of the book’s eight chapters). Prior to coming to the bar, Isabel spent several years working in Pakistan as a caseworker with local lawyers providing pro bono defence representation to death row inmates.  

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Sanctions

Whilst on secondment in the US in 2016, Isabel gained experience of US-Iran sanctions, working with attorneys challenging and advising on the regime. She has since acted in cases involving the application of EU and UN sanctions regimes and provided advice in relation to such regimes.  For reasons of confidentiality, many of these matters are not detailed here.

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Immigration

Isabel has experience of both advising on and acting in cases concerning immigration, asylum, deportation and citizenship. In particular, she has recently acted for several individuals subject to deportation orders, individuals who have been deprived of their citizenship, individuals appealing refusals of asylum.  She has represented clients before the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration) and SIAC and in the Admin Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on applications for judicial review (and appeals therefrom).  

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Employment

Isabel has experience in a range of employment cases. Her practice has generally centred on unfair and wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunals. She also has particular experience of advising on employment issues arising in a public and public international law context. She has acted for both claimants and respondents.  

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Sport

Isabel has recent experience of advising sports teams and institutions on regulatory compliance generally, and financial regulation particularly.  Being confidential, these matters are not further detailed below.  She also gained a broad experience of sports law as Nick De Marco's pupil.  

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Achievements

Education

LLB (Hons) (Glasgow): First Class; MRes (Glasgow): Distinction; Kennedy Scholar (Harvard); BPTC (BPP): Outstanding

Prizes & Scholarships

  • Saltire Scottish First Book Award (awarded for Trials: On Death Row in Pakistan)
  • Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn, 2015)
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn, 2014)
  • Lord Mansfield Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2013)
  • Kennedy Memorial Scholarship (Kennedy Memorial Trust, 2012)
  • Reprieve Fellowship (Reprieve, 2011)
  • Theodore David Lowe Prize (Glasgow University, 2009)

Publications


  • Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (Legal Panellist, Contributor) (London: Hart Publishing, 2018)
  • Trials: On Death Row in Pakistan (London: Jonathan Cape, 2016), winner of the Saltire Scottish First Book Award and an Economist and Spectator book of the year.
  • ‘Torture in Pakistan: A Lawyer’s Handbook’ (Lahore: Pakistan’s Parliamentarians’ Commission for Human Rights and Open Society Foundations, 2012)

Memberships

  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Advocate Pro Bono Panel
  • Bar European Group
  • Bar Human Rights Committee (Executive Committee Member)
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Justice
  • Liberty
  • Young Fraud Lawyers' Association
  • Young Public Lawyers' Group (Committee Member)

Other relevant experience

  • Prior to joining Chambers, Isabel worked in Pakistan as a caseworker for Justice Project Pakistan, a charitable organisation in Lahore which provides pro bono defence representation to persons facing a death sentence in Pakistan and Pakistani detainees in Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan.  During this time, she also wrote instruction manuals for litigation in Pakistan and authored several UN shadow reports on Pakistan’s compliance with UNCAT and ICCPR. 
  • Isabel was judicial assistant to Lord Reed JSC at the Inner House of the Scottish Court of Session. 

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