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Isabel Hitching KC

Call 1992 • KC 2019

"industrious, meticulous and convincing … always has a good grasp of the case, and is a confident and persuasive advocate"
(Legal 500, 2022)

Insurance & Reinsurance

Isabel has acted in a wide range of insurance disputes for both insurers and insured. Matters have included:

  • Fraud, arson and non-disclosure.
  • Construction of the policy and scope of cover, including business interruption.
  • Disputes as to timing, both as to the inception of cover and the occurrence of the insured event.
  • Subrogation
  • Valuation of claims.

Many of Isabel’s instructions in construction and property damage cases are on behalf of insurers.

  • Isabel currently acts, leading a team of juniors, for a major insurer on its entire book of claims arising out of alleged failures in the installation of cavity wall insulation by installers.
  • She has also been instructed in test cases against Network Rail both in relation to liability and scope of recoverable damages following line incursions and property damage: including Network Rail v Handy et al [2015] EWHC 1175 (TCC) and Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v House of Goodness Ltd. 

In addition Isabel has a niche specialism in motor insurance.

She is instructed by the Attorney General on a portfolio of cases following the CJEU decision in Vnuk where claimants are seeking Francovich damages against the Secretary of State for Transport for alleged failure correctly to implement EU Directives on motor insurance resulting in compulsory motor insurance being of incompatible scope and where MIB has issued contribution claims against Secretary of State for Transport following findings that it is liable to meet claimants’ claims in direct effect: issued claims include Richards, Lewis, Olver, Telling-Evans and Tierney. Outcome of MIB’s application to Supreme Court for permission to appeal in Lewis awaited.

Isabel successfully defeated a multi-million pound claim against motor insurers by a passenger abandoned by a criminal taxi driver Carroll v (1) Michael Taylor (2) Michael Doyle (3) Emms Taxis Limited (4) QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited [2020] EWHC 153 (QB).  This instruction followed her successful defence of motor insurers (led by Andrew Bartlett QC and instructed by the same solicitors) in the claims by victims of the ‘black cab’ serial sex offender AXN v Worboys [2012] EWHC 1730 (QB) | [2012] 6 WLUK 554 | [2013] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 207 | [2013] L.L.R. 256.

Selected Cases

  • Neil Carroll -v- (1) Michael Taylor (2) Michael Doyle (3) Emms Taxi Limited (4) QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited [2020] EWHC 153 (QB).
  • AXN v Worboys [2012] EWHC 1730 (QB) | [2012] 6 WLUK 554 | [2013] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 207 | [2013] L.L.R. 256
  • Lewis v Tindale and MIB and Secretary of State for Transport (ongoing, MIB’s application for permission to appeal to Supreme Court pending). Court of Appeal [2019] EWCA Civ 909; first instance [2018] EWHC 2376 (QB).
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  • MA (First Class), Christ Church, Oxford
  • BCL, Christ Church, Oxford
  • Open Scholar, Open Exhibitioner, Radcliffe Exhibitioner and Dixon Scholar Christ Church, Oxford
  • Lord Justice Sachs Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Inns of Court Studentship
  • Previously non-stipendiary lecturer in law Christ Church Oxford
  • Accredited Adjudicator (TecBar)
  • Accredited Arbitrator (LCIA)


  • Civil Procedure Rule Committee
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law (and past committee member)
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association (and past committee member)
  • Joint editor of Emden’s Construction Law
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Former member of Attorney General’s Treasury Panel. Continues to act for government as silk.
  • Past member of Bar Standards Board Equality & Diversity Committee
  • Past member and vice-chair of Bar Standards Board Qualifications Committee
  • Past member of Bar Council and Bar Council International Committee


“Isabel is everything you want from a silk. Her mind is just razor-sharp, she will spot things in huge mounds of paperwork and see a relevance in them to then map it all through.”… “She is particularly good in cases that are a bit novel and different.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

‘Isabel has an innate ability to drill down to the main points and weed out irrelevant issues, from which instructing solicitors can then draw up a strong strategic approach which usually gets us to where the client wants to be.’

Legal 500, 2024

“Isabel is extremely astute, very careful and conscientious and always has a clear plan of action in terms of approach to the issues and getting the best out of the case for the client. She manages expectations in relation to delivering work and solicitors know exactly where they stand.”

Legal 500, 2024

“She is very knowledgeable of the construction sector, excellent with clients and a very persuasive advocate in court or arbitration.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2022)

“She always has a good grasp and understanding of the case, and is a confident and persuasive advocate.”

(Legal 500, 2022)

“Very sensitive to the needs of the client, and adopts a realistic and commercial view in order to achieve the best result.”

(Legal 500, 2021)

“A standout barrister at the construction Bar.”

(Legal 500, 2021)

“She is clear and concise as an advocate, with the ability to see the bigger picture in disputes.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2021)

“Boasts a tally of appearances in important and high-value construction cases… She has a chess grand master’s great grasp of strategy.”

(Chambers & Partners 2020)

“She has a chess grand master’s great grasp of strategy.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2020)

“She has an awesome intellect and always examines issues from all angles.”

(Legal 500)

“A superb tactician, who is masterly with the game plan.”

(Legal 500)

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