Elissa Da Costa-Waldman MCIArb


Since her call to the Bar in 1990, Elissa has become an established practitioner in her chosen field.  Using a creative and innovative approach to finding solutions to client’s financial matters on divorce, she is also an experienced and principled negotiator as well as an assertive and effective advocate, being National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) trained.  Elissa prides herself on having an ‘inclusive practice’ demonstrating approachability and sensitivity in dealing with alternative family structures.  Indeed, in addition to her practice in Matrimonial Finance, Elissa is also an expert in cohabitation claims of both heterosexual and homosexual partners.  She is able to draft cohabitation agreements at the beginning of the cohabitation relationship as well as a ‘separation agreement’ in the event of relationship breakdown.  In addition, a fearless advocate and well-versed in the Civil Procedure Rules, Elissa represents many former cohabitants in court to deal with their property disputes where the parties have been unable to resolve them using other forms of dispute resolution.

Elissa also undertakes private child law matters including contact and residence disputes and relocation whether domestic or international.  Elissa also undertakes work within the Court of Protection.

Elissa is an experienced mediator having qualified in 2003, a qualified collaborative lawyer and, as of June 2012, she is also an accredited Family Law Arbitrator (Finance and Children).

Elissa is based in central London but is happy to travel. In her limited free time she is a formidable Scrabble player, card player, budding novel writer but most importantly grandma to the ‘Magnificent 7’, her brood of grandchildren.


  • Contributor to Blackstone’s Civil Practice 2000 – 2003
  • Co-Author of Family and Matrimonial Law for Cavendish, 2001
  • Author of ‘Everything You Wanted to Know About Practising Family Law’ for Cavendish, 2004 and author of various articles on both Matrimonial Finance and Cohabitation for Family Law and other publications
  • Co-Author of Cohabitation Claims, Resolution Guide 2019

Training and achievements

Elissa is an experienced and engaging trainer and has created, designed and delivered the Family Electives on the College of Law Professional Skills Course on Advocacy, Interviewing and Negotiating Techniques as well as courses for the Continuing Professional Development of Solicitors. In addition she has designed, written and delivered Advocacy Training Courses for family practitioners in conjunction with Resolution and the College of Law.  She continues to train for Central Law Training both externally and internally.