Photo of Isabel Barter

Isabel Barter

Call 2010

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

“Very pragmatic and commercial”

Chambers UK Bar 2021

“An amazing eye for detail and a powerful intellect”

Legal 500 2021

“A real star”

Legal 500 2021

"Frighteningly intelligent"

Chambers UK Bar 2020

"Always planning the next step"

Chambers UK Bar 2020

"Piercing insight"

Legal 500 2020

"Her advice is practical, commercial and thorough"

Chambers UK Bar 2020

"A pleasure to work with"

Legal 500 2019

"I see her going places"

Chambers UK Bar 2019

"Produces a quality of advice well beyond her years"

Chambers UK Bar 2018

"She has an exceptional style with clients"

Chambers UK Bar 2018

"Super-bright, ferociously hardworking and a delight to work with"

Legal 500 2017

"Driven and intelligent, she is excellent"

Chambers UK Bar 2016

"Very user friendly and approachable"

Legal 500 2016

Practice Overview

Isabel has a flourishing commercial and common law practice, with a particular focus on professional negligence, product liability, property damage, travel and jurisdiction, commercial dispute resolution and commercial fraud.

Isabel has appeared in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court and has experience of mediation.

Isabel has been recommended in both legal directories for a number of years. Recently she has been described as being “frighteningly intelligent” (Chambers UK Bar) and having “piercing insight” (Legal 500).

Isabel is particularly well regarded for her specialist expertise in professional negligence and product liability. Much of her work in the property damage field, travel and jurisdiction and commercial disputes draws on her broad experience across these other areas and clients often come to her for this combined expertise.

She has been described as having an “exceptional style with clients”, being “bright and user-friendly” (Chambers UK Bar) and a “delight to work with” (Legal 500).

Isabel has recently joined Professional Negligence and Liability (ed. Mark Simpson QC, Informa) as an expert contributor, alongside Charles Dougherty QC.

Prior to coming to the bar, Isabel worked in the charitable sector. She graduated from Cambridge with a BA (Hons) in History. She obtained a Distinction on the GDL and an Outstanding on the BVC. She was also a Major Scholar of the Inner Temple.

Professional Negligence

Isabel has a flourishing professional negligence practice, acting for both claimants and defendants. She is regularly instructed in cases concerning solicitors and barristers, accountants and financial advisers, mortgage brokers, surveyors and valuers, receivers, approved inspectors, construction and design professionals. Her work complements and overlaps with the work of her other practice area of property damage.

Isabel has been listed for some years in both legal directories for professional negligence for some years, where most recently, she has been described as “frighteningly intelligent” (Chambers UK Bar).

Notable cases include: IAP v Jeffcote Donnison (acting for a tax advisory firm in a 35m claim alleging dishonest assistance and fraudulent trading), a multi-million pound claim against a barrister; and Mehjoo v Harben Barker, concerning accountants’ negligence. Isabel is currently acting in a £16.6m claim brought against Law of Property Act receivers alleging negligence in the sale of a development site, Tolworth Tower v Receivers  (led by Mark Simpson QC).

Isabel has also recently become an expert contributor to ‘Professional Negligence and Liability’ (ed. Mark Simpson QC).

Product Liability

Isabel has a busy product liability practice, acting for both claimants and defendants.  She is ranked again as a leading junior in Chambers UK Bar, where she is described as giving “practical, commercial and thorough” advice. Her work complements her property damage expertise.

Isabel’s product liability practice includes automotive products, white goods, medical devices, bicycles, toys, gas products, domestic electrical appliances, industrial machinery and even parts of a nuclear fusion reactor.

Notable cases include Wilson v Beko Plc (concerning whether a consumer could make a claim under safety regulations/s.41 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987) and Allen v Depuy (concerning the applicable law and territorial scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1987).

Click here for links to Isabel’s and Charles Dougherty QC’s Short Introduction to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and to Isabel’s and Dan Crowley’s article on Causation: Sherlock Holmes, Submarines and the Hard Rock Café.

Property Damage

Isabel has a particular focus on property damage and the interrelated areas of professional negligence and product liability. Much of her work in the property damage field draws on her broad experience across these other areas and clients often come to her for breadth of experience.

Recent cases include those concerning damage to domestic and commercial premises caused by fire, floods and explosions, and cases involving nuisance and igniis suus. Notable cases include Wilson v Beko Plc (concerning whether a consumer could make a claim for property damage under safety regulations/s.41 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987).

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Isabel’s commercial practice arises naturally out of her other practice areas, particularly professional negligence, property damage and product liability.

She has particular expertise of claims arising out of the supply of professional services, contractual ‘chains’ in relation to construction work, sale of goods claims, and profit-sharing agreements. She has a special interest in questions to companies’ vicarious liability having appeared in Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc.

Commercial Fraud

Isabel’s commercial fraud expertise complements other areas of her practice, particularly professional negligence. Significant recent cases include a defending a professional in a million-pound claim brought in deceit and negligence (sole counsel), acting for tax advisers in relation to a to a £35m claim by their former client for, inter alia, advising its client to participate in a tax fraud, dishonest assistance, conspiracy, fraudulent trading and fraudulent breaches of fiduciary duty (led by Mark Simpson QC), and acting for defendants in a multi-million pound claim who were accused of fraudulently creating documents to evidence terms of an oral contract relating to a development site (led by Mark Simpson QC).

Private International Law & Travel

Isabel’s conflict of laws practice crosses her product liability, property damage, commercial dispute resolution, professional negligence and personal injury expertise.

Recent cases concerning defective products include: questions of jurisdiction and service out in relation to products imported into the UK; the territorial scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Allen v Depuy); complex issues arising out of large multinational contracts; and being part of a team of junior counsel in a foreign fatal accident claim arising from an allegedly defective tyre (Groupama).

Claims involving personal injury include claims involving the Package Travel regulations and accidents sustained outside the UK, including acting recently in a million-pound claim concerning St Lucian local standards. Isabel has also been instructed in relation to claims brought against holding companies for, inter alia, the actions of their African subsidiary.