Practice Areas


LexisNexis shortlist: “Family Law Young Barrister of the Year” (2022)
Gray’s Inn: Bedingfield Scholarship
City Law School: Academic Scholarships for GDL and BPTC
Bar Council: 1st Prize, Law Reform Essay Competition
Harvard-UNICEF: Child Protection Certificate
New College, Oxford: Academic Scholarship

“Clarissa has an outstanding knowledge of all aspects of children work and has a particular talent for complex cases. She is extremely intelligent, passionate and has the confidence and expertise of a barrister many years her senior.” (Instructing Solicitor, 2022)



Year of Call: 2019


City Law School: Graduate Diploma in Law and Bar Professional Training Course
Harvard University: Human Development, Psychology and Child Advocacy, M.Ed
University of Oxford: Experimental Psychology, BA (First Class Honours)


Clarissa joined chambers as a tenant in October 2020 after successful completion of her pupillage under Nicholas Fairbank, Sally Bradley, and Jacqueline Renton.

Clarissa is a specialist children practitioner with a busy practice across public, private and international children law. Clarissa is known for her meticulous preparation, empathetic and pragmatic advice, and confident and clear advocacy.

She is regularly led in high profile and complex cases, and appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel in Re H-N and Others [2021] EWCA Civ 448 – the conjoined appeal to the Court of Appeal reviewing the application of PD12J in cases involving allegations of domestic abuse.

Clarissa was shortlisted for “Family Law Young Barrister of the Year” in the 2022 Family Law Awards.

Public children

Clarissa represents local authorities, parents and children at all stages of care proceedings including those involving allegations of domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse, and non-accidental injuries to children. In addition to representing clients at Interim Care Order hearings, Case Management Hearings, Issues Resolution Hearings, fact finding hearings and final hearings (including applications for special guardianship, care and placement orders), Clarissa has experience of applications for deprivation of liberty of a minor and applications to the High Court for passport orders and port alerts under the inherent jurisdiction in cases with an international element.

She was recently led by Cyrus Larizadeh KC in a 2-week fact finding involving allegations of non-accidental injury to infant twins with highly complex medical presentations.

She has assisted in training expert witnesses at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Private Children and Domestic Abuse

Clarissa represents parents (and occasionally grandparents) at all stages of private children proceedings including fact finding hearings involving complex allegations, including allegations of serious domestic abuse, substance misuse, and intractable hostility to contact. She has experience across all areas of private children law, including applications for child arrangements orders, domestic relocation, prohibited steps orders and other injunctive relief, and disputes as to the medical treatment of children. Clarissa also has experience in cases involving same sex parents, non-traditional family structures, and applications for declarations of parentage, and expertise in the particular issues that arise in these cases.

Clarissa is known for her sensitive and pragmatic approach, and ability to cut through highly contentious disputes.

International Children

Clarissa is building a practice across the spectrum of international children law. She has experience of applications for summary return under the 1980 Hague Convention and under the inherent jurisdiction, and applications by parents for permission to relocate abroad with a child.

Clarissa has been instructed as junior counsel in a range of international cases: she was recently led by Chris Hames KC, defending an application to relocate to Hong Kong; by Jacqueline Renton pursuing an application to relocate to Italy; and by Michael Gration KC seeking a summary return to the USA under the 1980 Hague Convention.

Court of Protection

Clarissa has experience of applications to the Court of Protection for deputyship, in disputes as to capacity in relation to both issues of welfare and property and financial affairs and in cases where the Official Solicitor has been instructed to represent a vulnerable party.

Other experience

Before joining chambers, Clarissa was a Director of the School Exclusion Project. She provided pro bono representation for parents at appeal hearings. She also volunteered with the National Centre for Domestic Violence, drafting applications for injunctive relief for victims of domestic abuse.

Clarissa spent a year at Harvard studying the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, neural development, and the experience of children in the justice system. She subsequently won the Bar Council’s Law Reform essay prize, arguing for removal of the “reasonable punishment” defence to common assault of children.

In her spare time, Clarissa enjoys reading, live music, and trying out new recipes.


The Law on interim removal – where are we now? Clarissa Wigoder and Mani Basi, Jan [2022] Fam Law

Businesses on divorce: how does the sharing principle apply? Nicholas Fairbank and Clarissa Wigoder, June [2020] Fam Law


Professional Memberships

The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
Family Law Bar Association
Women in Family Law