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Barry Isaacs QC

Work 020 7696 9900
South Square (South Square)


Barry specialises in insolvency and restructuring, banking and finance, commercial litigation and arbitration, and company law. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and has particular expertise in cases of financial complexity. He often appears as an advocate or expert in overseas jurisdictions.

Barry has appeared in numerous substantial and high-profile cases in the Supreme Court/House of Lords (eg Lehman Brothers (Waterfall), Nortel (Expenses), Rubin/New Cap Reinsurance, Sigma Finance, Mainstream Properties, Three Rivers v Bank of England), in the Court of Appeal (eg Rosesilver v Paton, Woolworths, Davenham Trust, FKI v Stribog, Golden Key, Whistlejacket Capital, OT Computers), and at first instance, including several major trials and arbitrations.

Other recent cases of note include VB Football Assets v Blackpool Football Club, HSBC (ring-fencing scheme), Noble Group, Carillion, International Bank of Azerbaijan, Ve Interactive, Orion Insurance, Stemcor, APCOA Parking, MF Global, Punch Taverns, Travelodge, BTA Bank v Ablyazov, and AWAL Bank.

Recent cases in overseas jurisdictions include (in the Cayman Islands) Qunar, Abraaj CapitalNord Anglia, Platinum Partners, China Branding, Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund, Eurasia Drilling, Homeinns Hotel Group, Pacific Harbor Asia Fund, CHC Group, Primeo Fund, FFC Fund, China Fishery Group, Sterling Macro Fund, Caledonian Bank; (in Bermuda) Lehman Re, Saab Financial (Bermuda), Millennium Asset Management, KIC; (in the British Virgin Islands) Kaupthing, Monarch Pointe Fund, Thema Fund; (in the Bahamas) British American Insurance; (in Hong Kong) Noble Group, Mongolian Mining Corporation; (in the DIFC) Abraaj Capital; and (as an expert in proceedings in New York) Hellas Telecommunications v TPG, Mill Financial v Hicks, and Deutsche Bank v Serengeti.


Called 1994; QC 2011. Called ad hoc to the Bars of the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.


Associate of the Society of Actuaries, Commercial Bar Association, Insolvency Lawyers’ Association.


Oriel College, Oxford University (1987 BA); Harvard University (1989 MA).


Tennis enthusiast.

London Bar

Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

Within: Leading Silks

Barry Isaacs QC - South SquareA great advocate, both orally and on paper: he is concise, incisive, well-measured, nimble, and judges like and appreciate his style.

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Company and partnership

Within: Company - Leading Silks

Barry Isaacs QC - South SquareHe is is known for his precision and clear advocacy.

Within: Company and partnership

South Square is a 'modern and adaptable' set which stands out for handling English law-governed creditor schemes of arrangement across the globe; including in relation to House of Fraser, a matter multiple members are instructed on, including Tom Smith QC and David Allison QC. In another highlight, Smith QC acted for the successful appellant before the Privy Council in DD Growth, a case concerning the legality of payments made to shareholders from a company's share premium account, and the rights of a company to recover unlawful payments from a shareholder. With a practice that spans insolvency and company law, Barry Isaacs QC appeared as an independent expert in the High Court at the hearing to sanction the approval of a ringfencing scheme concerning the HSBC Group. In November 2018, Antony Zacaroli QC was appointed a High Court judge in the Chancery Division and will be joined in October 2019 by William Trowers QC.

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Within: Leading Silks

Barry Isaacs QC - South SquareHe has a proven ability to navigate a clear path through the most complex of matters.

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Within: Leading Silks

Barry Isaacs QC - South SquareOne of the best silks when it comes to numbers, he prepares cross-examination with surgical precision.

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