Elizabeth McGrath QC > Chambers of David Berkley QC > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Berkley QC
B4 6AT

Work Department



Elizabeth McGrath QC (Liz) was called to the bar in 1987 and for over 20 years has practiced exclusively in the field of family law. Liz was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.

Liz appears regularly in complex high net worth financial remedy cases and has particular expertise in dealing with cases involving private limited companies, partnerships and extensive property and pension portfolios. Liz is often instructed in cases in which there are parallel private law children issues with particular emphasis on ‘residence’, ‘contact’, relocation, LGBT parenting and surrogacy.

Liz has extensive expertise in public law, acting for Local Authorities, parents and children in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. She has been instructed in a number of complex fact finding hearings involving allegations of sexual abuse and non-accidental injuries, and has appeared in a number of reported cases.

Liz’s vast experience across the field of private and public family law, and her down to earth, approachable manner, is known to inspire confidence in her instructing solicitors and enables her to establish a productive and easy rapport with lay clients. Her thorough approach to preparation means that she is quick to identify the crucial issues in complex cases.

Whilst Liz gives firm and fair advice with an eye to early resolution where possible, if proceedings require a judicial decision she has a reputation for concise, robust and effective advocacy.

Liz was called to the bar in 1987 and for over 20 years has practiced exclusively in the field of family law. She appears frequently in complex and sensitive cases involving children (public and private) as well as cases within the financial remedies remit, dealing with issues involving substantial assets and often where the Court is faced with complex factual and expert evidence.

Liz has a proven ability to deal with high conflict issues in a calm and professional manner whilst devoting significant energy to her client’s case.

Liz is available for work internationally on all family law matters.

Reported Cases 

  • B-T (A Child: Threshold Conditions) [2020] EWCA Civ 697
  • RE AA (Children) & 25 Ors [2019] EWFC 64
  • E (A Child) (Family Proceedings: Evidence), Re [2016] EWCA Civ 473; [2016] 4 W.L.R. 105
  • Stockport MBC v AM [2016] EWFC 12
  • A CC v AB [2015] EWFC 82
  • W (Children) (Adoption: Procedure: Conditions), Re [2015] EWCA Civ 403; [2016] 1 F.L.R. 454; [2015] 3 F.C.R. 99; [2015] Fam. Law 765
  • Coventry City Council v B [2012] EWHC 4014 (Fam); [2015] 1 F.L.R. 411; [2014] Fam. Law 954
  • E (A Child) (Wardship Order: Child in Voluntary Accommodation), Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1773; [2013] 2 F.L.R. 63; [2013] Fam. Law 399
  • K (A Child) (Post Adoption Placement Breakdown), Re [2012] EWHC 4148 (Fam); [2013] 1 F.L.R. 1; [2012] Fam. Law 1450
  • Coventry City Council v O [2011] EWCA Civ 729; [2012] Fam. 210; [2012] 3 W.L.R. 208; [2012] P.T.S.R. 835; [2011] 2 F.L.R. 936; [2011] 3 F.C.R. 38; [2012] B.L.G.R. 279; [2011]
  • Fam. Law 921; (2011) 108(27) L.S.G. 23; (2011) 161 N.L.J. 952; Times, July 1, 2011; Official Transcript
  • J (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Injuries), Re [2009] EWHC 1383 (Fam); [2009] 2 F.L.R. 99; [2009] Fam. Law 479

Private Law Children and Domestic Abuse 

Liz acts for parents and guardians (where appointed) in residence and contact cases of great sensitivity and often where the evidence of expert psychologists or psychiatrists aids the courts determination on welfare issues. She is a fierce advocate in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse and parental alienation. Her vast experience in this field extends to cases involving an international element where clients need to be given comprehensive advice on an urgent basis.

Liz has represented clients from a range of backgrounds, including those with learning difficulties, and her experience and maturity enable her to establish a rapport with the client to achieve the best outcome possible.

Public Law Care and Adoption 

Liz acts for Local Authorities, parents, guardians and grandparents/other interested parties, in cases involving serious non accidental injury, sexual abuse, chronic neglect, death of the child and fabricated and induced illness (FII).

Liz is experienced in complex public law cases under the children and adoption legislation, in particular those involving complex medical issues; cases where placement of children outside the jurisdiction is proposed; cases where confidentiality and disclosure are an issue, including restraint of publication by the media and cases involving the use of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.


Liz acts for wives, husbands and intervenors in cases involving substantial assets and often where the Court is faced with complex factual and expert evidence. In recent years she has specialised in cases involving businesses where the Court has been required to consider forensic accounting evidence in order to value shareholdings and to assess liquidity. She has acted in a number of cases involving minority shareholdings where the issue of quasi partnership has arisen and where contribution arguments have featured. Liz has extensive experience of cases involving significant pension assets where the issue of pension sharing /offset has been the subject of expert actuarial evidence.

Her breadth of experience in the field of family finance enables her to give forthright views as to likely outcomes at an early stage in proceedings and in that way to ensure that financial dispute resolutions are as effective as they can be.

Liz believes that her expertise in private law children cases can be of significant benefit to those clients facing marital breakdown who need swift advice and able representation on both money and the arrangements for their children, who would prefer to obtain it from one source.

Remote FDR Hearing Service
Liz is available for private remote FDR hearings. For more information on private remote FDR hearings please click here.


Called 1987; Silk 2014.


  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Family Law Association
  • British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Family and children law

(Leading Silks: Divorce and Financial Remedy) Ranked: Tier 1

Elizabeth McGrath QC3PBShe is extremely good at getting to the heart of the matter and connecting with the client.

(Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)) Ranked: Tier 1

Elizabeth McGrath QC3PBShe is extremely good at getting to the heart of the matter and connecting with the client.

3PB is primarily known in the Midlands for its contingent of care-focused barristers, whose practice involves serious non accidental injuries, sexual abuse allegations, adoption orders and more for the full range of parties including local authorities, parents and children. However, the set also houses several barristers with experience in financial remedy proceedings, such as Elizabeth McGrath QC and Vanessa Meachin QC, both of whom have seen recent substantial cases involving private clients with large asset portfolios in addition to their child law practices. Turning to the set’s the junior ranks, Michael George is praised for his ‘exceptional aptitude for financial remedy work, particularly cases involving company law, complex accounts and pensions‘; on the care side, key juniors include Lawrence MesslingSuzanne Coleclough , and Stephen Abberley, while practitioners such as Poonam BhariAimee Fox, and Nicola Martin spread themselves across both areas.