Marisa Allman

Year of call 1998


Practice Summary

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

  • Financial remedies on divorce or dissolution.
  • Non-matrimonial finance including financial provision for children.
  • Private law children matters; contact, residence, specific issues.
  • Cases involving foreign jurisdictions.
  • Cases involving issues of legal status, jurisdiction and recognition.
  • Cases involving families in same-sex relationships.
  • Fertility law

Reported Cases

reg [2018] EWCA Civ 305 

A v B [2018] EWHC Civ 328

Re H (A Child) (Surrogacy Breakdown) [2017] EWCA Civ 1798

Re Z (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 228 – Surrogacy breakdown

Re the HFEA 2008 (Case I) [2017] 1 FLR 998

MG, JG v JF and JFG [2015] Fam Law 514: Successful application for litigation funding of private law case

X v Y & St Bartholemew’s Hospital CRM & CAFCASS Legal [2015] EWFC: 13. Advocate to the court in fertility law case

Re E & F (Assisted Reproduction: Parent) [2013] EWHC 1418: Successful application for a declaration that second female was not a parent.

Zuk v Zuk [2012] EWCA Civ 1871: Successful appeal of committal to prison for non-payment of lump sum

In the matter of B (a child) [2012] EWCA Civ 858: Successful appeal against a transfer of residence to a grandmother.

Re S (a child) [2012] EWCA Civ 617 Re CAFCASS: Officers who had opposing views on the suitability of supervised contact.

SH v MM and RM [2011] 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) [2011] EWCA Civ 585

T v B [2010] 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) [2002] EWCA Civ 190: Clarified the law regarding changing the forename of a child.

Recent Articles

Walker v Innospec Ltd: Pensions, Civil Partnership and Inequality

Lost in translation? Converting statutory criteria into clinic practice;

‘Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 - Top Ten guide to the new act’

Recent Seminars

  • Family planning for modern families; a practitioner’s guide
  • Parental responsibility and registration of birth, assisted conception cases
  • The Child Arrangements Programme
  • Enforcement of financial orders

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"Clients respond brilliantly to her because of her firm, but kind and fair-minded, approach."

Legal 500 (2015)

‘A very thorough and sensible advocate, who is excellent with clients too.’

Legal 500 (2016)