Katherine Illsley

Katherine Illsley
Katherine Illsley

Joint Deputy Head of Chambers
View LinkedIn profile

Katherine is an experienced family law specialist whose practice focuses on the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns. Her practice covers the following areas:

  • Financial remedy
  • Property Law (Trusts of Land and Cohabitation Disputes)

She has experience in financial claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, and regularly acts in cohabitee claims.

Katherine is always meticulously prepared, and is dedicated to providing clear, pragmatic advice and to ensuring that clients feel at ease and have their voices heard.

Said by solicitors and lay clients to be “always thoroughly prepared, even at the shortest of notice. Many times, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting me and my clients”…”delivered the best result we could have hoped for”

Family - Financial Remedy

Katherine specialises in cases concerning the financial consequences of divorce and separation. She has advised and acted in cases involving hidden assets, bankruptcy and also where there are parallel Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings, multiple parties and claims about trusts.

She is happy to draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as well as handle cases in which a nuptial agreement is in issue.

Property – Trusts of Land and Cohabitation Disputes

Katherine accepts instructions in Schedule 1 applications and TOLATA claims. Recent cases have included a TOLATA claim involving an extensive investment portfolio of properties and a claim involving an argument around proprietary estoppel. She acts in cases of cohabitee relationship breakdown as well as family investment vehicle cases where disputes over beneficial shares arise.


Katherine frequently provides written advice on family and property law questions for the LexisNexis website. In addition, she has written several articles for lexology, for the chambers newsletter on family law matters and for the Legalease Family Law Journal:

“Immigration: the way forward?” the second of a two-part consideration of children and immigration law, looking at how other jurisdictions tackle this issue. Published in the Legalease Family Law Journal, July 2016. It was co-authored with Agata Patyna.

“No Place like Home“, the first of a two-part consideration of the rights of unaccompanied children seeing asylum within the immigration and family law process. Published in the Legalease Family Law Journal, June 2015. It was co-authored with Agata Patyna.

“Protective measures” discussed recommendations to increase protection from stalking and was published in the Legalease Family Law Journal, February 2014. It was co-authored with Chris Bryden.


2023: Recorder (South Eastern Circuit) (Family)

2020: Deputy District Judge (South Eastern Circuit) (Family)

Call: 2010
University of Oxford, BA (Hons) (English Language and Literature)
Oxford Brookes University (Graduate Diploma in Law)
College of Law, Bloomsbury (Bar Vocational Course)
Quatercentenary Scholarship (Middle Temple) 2008
Professional memberships:
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

BSB Registration: