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Elaine Palser

Elaine Palser

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Elaine Palser has an extensive chancery and commercial practice, with an emphasis on contentious probate, trusts, insolvency, and related professional negligence.

“An excellent advocate”, “technically superb”, “very good with clients”, “a team player”, and “a seasoned legal gladiator” (Legal 500), Elaine is recommended as a Leading Junior for Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Insolvency and Professional Negligence. She won Contentious Trusts and Probate Lawyer of the Year 2016 and 2017 (Women in Law awards) and Commercial Disputes Barrister of the Year 2015 (the Lawyer Monthly awards).

With degrees in both law and business, Elaine is uniquely well placed to handle the complex commercial and financial issues that arise in all of her practice areas.

Elaine is also a former lecturer in Trusts, Land and Tort at Oxford University, and a CEDR-accredited mediator.

Commercial & Chancery

Elaine Palser has a broad commercial practice, including claims involving contentious trusts and those arising in the insolvency context.

Elaine is recommended as a Leading Junior for Insolvency and Private Client: Trusts and Probate in the Legal 500.  She was named Commercial Disputes Barrister of the Year (the Lawyer Monthly awards 2015) and Contentious Trusts and Probate Lawyer of the Year (Women in Law awards 2016 and 2017).

Having degrees in both law and business, Elaine understands businesses and is uniquely placed to deal successfully with complex commercial and financial issues.

Examples of Elaine Palser’s commercial cases include:

  • Acting (with Jonathan Crow QC and Isaac Jacob) for a Russian businessman in a US$2 billion claim concerning Angolan diamonds, breach of trust, dishonest assistance, and conspiracy.
  • Acting for a commercial agent in a multi-million pound damages claim concerning risk-analysis software.
  • Acting for a major investment company in a claim by a Texan company for breach of an oil and gas exploration contract.
  • Acting for an Italian company in an appeal against registration of a foreign judgment, involving questions of Massachusetts and Italian law and assignment issues.
  • Acting for a company and its liquidator in a claim by a former tax advisor for alleged conspiracy, abuse of process, and  malicious prosecution of civil proceedings.
  • Acting for a high profile businessman in a Quistclose trust dispute.
  • Acting for the creditor company in a statutory demand set aside application concerning multiple transfers of alleged  trust monies in England and Italy.
  • Acting (with Isaac Jacob) for an Israeli businessman in a multi-jurisdictional contractual dispute worth over US$100  million concerning mining ventures in the DRC and the enforcement of securities in the BVI and Gibraltar.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
  • Contentious Trusts Association
  • Insolvency Lawyers’ Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • CEDR Exchange


  • Outstanding Expertise in Commercial and Chancery Law 2020, Women in Law Awards
  • Contentious Trusts and Probate Lawyer of the Year 2017, Women in Law Awards
  • Contentious Trusts and Probate Lawyer of the Year 2016, Women in Law Awards
  • Commercial Disputes Barrister of the Year 2015, the Lawyer Monthly Awards
  • Highly Regarded in Insolvency Law – UK 2015, Corporate LiveWire Awards
  • Outstanding Expertise in Contentious Trusts and Probate 2015, Women in Law Awards
  • MA (Oxford)
  • MA (Cambridge)
  • BBusSc (Cape Town)


  • “Remote Mediation: The New Normal and the Future” [2020] ACTAPS newsletter, July 2020
  • “The super power of the revocable discretionary trust” [2019] Corporate Rescue and Insolvency, August, 145.
  • “The court’s approach to claims against an estate by a cohabitee” [2018] Lexis Nexis Legal Analysis, 13 Sept 2018.
  • “Bold Petitioning Creditors Beware” [2016] Lexis Nexis Case Analysis, 8 June 2016.
  • “A trust by any other name” [2015] New Law Journal, 23 October, 15.
  • “Costly consequences: who bears the costs of statutory demands?” [2015] New Law Journal, 22 May, 18.
  • “Appointment of Administrators Out of Court: Clarity at Last?” [2012] Insolvency Intelligence 25(8) 113.
  • “Appointing administrators out of court: validity problems and retrospective administration orders” [2011] Insolvency  Intelligence 24(8) 113.
  • “The duty of care in gross negligence manslaughter” (with Jonathan Herring) [2007] CLR 24 (described by the Court of  Appeal in R v Evans [2009] EWCA Crim 650 as “an illuminating analysis”).

Elaine Palser is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law


“Great technical ability” Professional Negligence, Legal 500 2020

“A very thorough and efficient junior” Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Legal 500 2020

“She is commercial, understands the bigger picture and is good at identifying the weaknesses in a case at an early stage” Insolvency, Legal 500 2020

“She is an excellent advocate who puts forward the case robustly.” Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Legal 500 2019

“Very astute and commercial.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2019

“Technically superb, and a tenacious advocate.” Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Legal 500 2018

“Very good at identifying and dealing with the key issues.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2018

“A seasoned legal gladiator, equipped with robust intellect, empathy and pragmatism.” Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Legal 500 2017

“Very analytical, with a good eye for detail.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2017

“She is quick to respond, clear on the law and very good with clients.” Private Client: Trusts and Probate, Legal 500 2016

“A team player who synergises the efforts of clients, solicitors and clerks towards effective problem solving.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2016

“Very analytical and works hard to get to the nub of the issues.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2014

“Technically excellent, and no shrinking violet when it comes to advocacy.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2012


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