Marisa has practised exclusively in family law since 1998 and is joint Head of the Family Team. She joined Zenith chambers in 2010 following 10 years at the bar in Leeds, Marisa is the pro-bono champion for Zenith. A tenacious advocate when she needs to be, Marisa is known for her clear advice and creative, pro-active approach to negotiating settlement. She was one of the first barristers outside London to train as a Collaborative Lawyer and also practices as a mediator. Clients particularly welcome her calm and collected approach.
Marisa specialises in complex financial remedies cases, particularly involving multiple businesses, family trusts, and international assets. Her international expertise extends to cases involving relocation, removal from the jurisdiction and child abduction, cross-jurisdiction recognition and enforcement, being only a handful of barristers on circuit regularly appearing in cases of this nature.
In addition to her experience in foreign jurisdiction matters, Marisa has developed a niche practice in fertility law and surrogacy and is co-author of “Children and Same Sex Families: A Legal Handbook” aimed at family lawyers, professionals and people in same sex relationships (published by Jordan Publishing in March 2012). She continues to train solicitors around the country in this area, as well as acting in a number of high profile cases.
Marisa is available to provide training and seminars in all areas of her practice. She regularly accepts instructions directly from members of the public as well as via solicitor referrals, and is happy to receive direct enquiries via her email address from people seeking advice, representation or guidance as to the most appropriate form of dispute resolution.
Areas of Expertise
reg  EWCA Civ 305
A v B  EWHC Civ 328
Re H (A Child) (Surrogacy Breakdown)  EWCA Civ 1798
Re Z (A Child)  EWCA Civ 228 – Surrogacy breakdown
Re the HFEA 2008 (Case I)  1 FLR 998
MG, JG v JF and JFG  Fam Law 514: Successful application for litigation funding of private law case
X v Y & St Bartholemew’s Hospital CRM & CAFCASS Legal  EWFC: 13. Advocate to the court in fertility law case
Re E & F (Assisted Reproduction: Parent)  EWHC 1418: Successful application for a declaration that second female was not a parent.
Zuk v Zuk  EWCA Civ 1871: Successful appeal of committal to prison for non-payment of lump sum
In the matter of B (a child)  EWCA Civ 858: Successful appeal against a transfer of residence to a grandmother.
Re S (a child)  EWCA Civ 617 Re CAFCASS: Officers who had opposing views on the suitability of supervised contact.
SH v MM and RM  EWHC 3314: Concerning whether a removal from the jurisdiction had been unlawful where legal parentage is in issue.
Re H (Contact: adverse findings of fact)  EWCA Civ 585
T v B  EWHC 1444: Case determining that a natural parent who is not a legal parent in a same sex relationship is not liable to make financial provision under Sch. 1 of the Children Act.
Re H (a child)  EWCA Civ 190: Clarified the law regarding changing the forename of a child.
Walker v Innospec Ltd: Pensions, Civil Partnership and Inequality http://www.zenithchambers.co.uk/current-awareness/...
Lost in translation? Converting statutory criteria into clinic practice; www.bionews.org.uk
‘Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 - Top Ten guide to the new act’ http://www.zenithchambers.co.uk/site/zenith_news/n...
"She is quite tough and can certainly stand her ground. Her approach with the court is very successful, and her approach with clients is measured, balanced and well accepted."Chambers & Partners (2015)
"Very bright." "She is exceptional. She has a good grasp of the legal issues and is easy to work with." "Calm and unflappable. She has an approach which is collaborative whilst being strategic. Her paperwork is thorough and well represented."Chambers & Partners (2019)