Daniel Isenberg

Daniel successfully completed pupillage and joined Chambers this spring. He accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ work, in particular in public (including public international) and commercial matters.

In 2016-17 Daniel was the Judicial Assistant to Lord Sumption and Lord Carnwath at the Supreme Court, assisting the Justices on a number of the leading and high-profile cases across Chambers’ areas of practice.


Public & Human Rights

With his background at the Ministry of Defence, and having been DV-cleared, Daniel has particular experience and expertise in defence and national security matters. He was the Deputy Executive Editor (Print) of the Harvard National Security Journal and has acted as a researcher for the then-Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC.

In the national security field, Daniel has been involved in L1 v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1410, concerning whether the exercise of the power to deport and exclude an individual while he was out of the country was an abuse of power (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC); and Belhaj v Straw [2017] UKSC 3, regarding the application of the ‘foreign act of state’ doctrine (as a judicial assistant).

Daniel has also developed significant experience in relation to historical claims in the defence and national security context, including:

  • Sophocleous v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2018] EWHC 19 (QB), raising conflict of laws and limitation issues in respect of events in Cyprus in the 1950s (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC).
  • Kenya Emergency Group Litigation, instructed through the GLD’s ‘junior junior’ scheme.
  • Advising the UK Government on issues relating to detention in Northern Ireland during the Troubles (as a pupil, assisting Julian Blake).

During his time as a judicial assistant, Daniel worked on the leading constitutional cases before the Supreme Court, including R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, regarding the Government’s ability to notify the EU of the UK’s withdrawal under Article 50 TFEU without Parliamentary approval.

Daniel has had particular involvement in various aspects of education law, including cases arising out of ‘Operation Trojan Horse’, prohibiting individuals from participating in the management of an independent school (Alam v Secretary of State for Education, as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC).  He also advised on the Secretary of State’s power to ban individuals from acting as school governors; and separately in relation to orders under section 120 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 (both as a pupil, assisting Andrew Sharland QC).

His public law experience further includes:

  • BF (Eritrea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 1113, an EU law and Article 5 ECHR challenge to the Home Office policy on age assessment of asylum seekers (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC).
  • R (Med Chambers Ltd) v MedCo Registration Solutions Ltd [2017] EWHC 3258 (Admin), a commercial judicial review of the decision to restrict operators’ access to the MedCo online portal (as a pupil, assisting Andrew Sharland QC).
  • Advising on the interpretation of legal aid provisions within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC).
  • Advising in relation to the setting of the national rail timetable and to agreements between the Secretary of State and franchisees (as a pupil, assisting Daniel Stilitz QC).

Daniel is also familiar with a range of aspects of data and information law and has experience drafting in relation to issues of data protection compliance arising from CCTV recordings (as a pupil, assisting Christopher Knight).

As a pupil, Daniel also advised on matters of public procurement, including in relation to procurement exercises undertaken in the context of the ‘community right to challenge’ (assisting Patrick Halliday).

Public International Law

Daniel is experienced in a wide range of complex issues of public international law, with a particular expertise and interest in questions of immunities and privileges (especially under the VCDR).

He has been involved in most of the leading recent cases on questions of immunity, including:

  • Reyes v Al-Malki [2017] UKSC 61, concerning the application of the ‘commercial activity’ exception under Article 31(1)(c) of the VCDR to allegations of trafficking (as a judicial assistant).
  • R (Bancoult No. 3) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2018] UKSC 3, about the admissibility of a ‘Wikileaks’ cable under the VCDR (as a judicial assistant).
  • Al-Juffali v Estrada [2016] EWCA Civ 176, concerning the immunity of a permanent representative to the International Maritime Organisation and whether the court can ‘look behind’ his status (as a pupil, assisting Martin Chamberlain QC).
  • Benkharbouche v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2017] UKSC 62, regarding the compatibility of provisions of the State Immunity Act 1978 with the ECHR and EU Charter, and their basis in customary international law (as a judicial assistant).
  • R (Freedom and Justice Party) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2018] (CA, judgment pending), concerning the existence of ‘special missions immunity’ under customary international law (as a pupil, assisting Karen Steyn QC).

Daniel has worked on further PIL matters, including Al-Waheed v Ministry of Defence [2017] UKSC 2 on the power under international law to detain in a non-international armed conflict (as a judicial assistant); as well as during his time as a ‘Foreign Law Clerk’ at the Supreme Court of Israel.


Daniel has significant experience of heavyweight commercial litigation across a range of industries, including:

  • Libyan Investment Authority v Goldman Sachs International [2016] EWHC 2530 (Ch), a $1.2bn undue influence and unconscionable bargain claim – one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2016 (as a pupil, assisting Roger Masefield QC).
  • Lowick Rose LLP v Swynson Ltd [2017] UKSC 32, a £16m claim raising issues of subrogation/unjust enrichment, transferred loss, and the doctrine of res inter alios acta (as a pupil, assisting Mark Howard QC).
  • Lehman Brothers Waterfall Litigation [2017] UKSC 38, proceedings to determine claims in relation to the estimated £8 billion surplus arising in the estate of Lehman Brothers International (as a judicial assistant).
  • Hinduja Automotives v BMW, a multi-million pound claim for a breach of a contractual indemnity (as a pupil, assisting Gerard Rothschild).
  • Advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants and injunctive relief (as a pupil, assisting Julian Wilson).
  • Advising on the validity of exclusion clauses under the FCA’s Conduct of Business rules (as a pupil).


Daniel has built up experience on a range of employment matters, including claims under the Equality Act, and with a particular focus on issues relating to pensions.

As a judicial assistant, Daniel drafted submissions to the Privy Council in place of the absent Respondent in University of Technology, Jamaica v Industrial Disputes Tribunal [2017] UKPC 22 (see para 2), about whether the Industrial Disputes Tribunal was entitled to take into account matters of which the employer was unaware at the time of the dismissal.

Daniel is well-grounded in equality and discrimination law following his involvement in:

  • Essop v Home Office, Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] UKSC 27, concerning whether in an indirect discrimination claim there is a need to establish why a provision, criterion or practice causes individuals with a protected characteristic particular disadvantage (as a judicial assistant).
  • X v Y LLP, on the territorial jurisdiction of the Equality Act 2010, as it applies to overseas members of UK solicitors’ firms (as a pupil, assisting Daniel Stilitz QC).
  • R (Harvey) v London Borough of Hackney, a discrimination claim under Article 14 ECHR in respect of survivor benefits for non-married cohabitees under the Local Government Pension Scheme (as a pupil, assisting Patrick Halliday).

Beyond Harvey, Daniel has gained experience in further pension-related matters, including Barrow v Attorney General of St Lucia [2016] UKPC 38, concerning judges’ pensions in St Lucia (as a judicial assistant); and drafting submissions for an internal review of a pension settlement (as a pupil, assisting Andrew Sharland QC).

His employment law experience also includes:

  • Hallett v Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (judgment pending), a widely publicised case of national importance on the construction of junior doctors’ contracts and the method of calculating compliance with natural break requirements (as a pupil, assisting Richard Leiper QC and Joseph Barrett).
  • An appeal against the refusal of interim relief in a whistleblowing claim under section 128 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as a pupil).


Daniel has broad-ranging experience with questions of EU and competition law. As a judicial assistant he was involved in R (HC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] UKSC 73, regarding the right of Zambrano carers and their children to social security benefits.  As a pupil, he has advised in relation to the European Basic Safety Standards Regulation (assisting Martin Chamberlain QC); and was involved in Accord Healthcare Ltd v Astellas Pharma GmbH [2015] EWHC 3676 (Ch), concerning marketing authorisations for medicinal products under Directive 2001/83/EC (assisting Gerard Rothschild).

During pupillage he was also involved in a range of competition law matters:

  • Société Coopérative de Production SeaFrance SA v Competition and Markets Authority [2015] UKSC 75, concerning the application of the merger control provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 to dormant/insolvent companies (assisting Gerard Rothschild).
  • R (Speed Medical Examination Services Ltd) v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 3585 (Admin), a competition law challenge to reforms to the commission of medical reports in soft tissue whiplash claims (assisting Gerard Rothschild).
  • Claims against banks concerning manipulation of the foreign exchange market (assisting Gerard Rothschild).


BA History, University of Cambridge, Pembroke College – Double First Class

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), City University, London – Distinction (top of year)

Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), City University, London – Outstanding

LL.M., Harvard Law School (Frank Knox Memorial Fellow)


Scholarships and fellowships:

  • Phoenicia Scholarship (Bar European Group), 2016
  • Wyndham Deedes Memorial Scholarship for Clerkship at the Supreme Court of Israel, 2015
  • Student Fellowship at the Project on the Foundations of Private Law (Harvard Law School), 2014-15
  • Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship (Harvard University), 2014-15
  • Conference Scholarship (ALBA), 2013
  • Excellence Award Scholarship for BPTC (City University, London), 2013
  • Queen Mother’s Scholarships for GDL and BPTC (Middle Temple), 2012, 2013
  • Foundation Scholarship (Pembroke College, Cambridge), 2009, 2010

Other awards and prizes: 

  • Certificate of Honour for BPTC results (Middle Temple), 2014
  • HRLA Judicial Review Competition – 2nd Place, 2014
  • 3 Verulam Buildings Prize for Best GDL Performance (City University, London), 2013
  • Excellence Prize for Highest Mark for an Intending Barrister (City University, London), 2013
  • City GDL Mooting Competition – Winner, 2013
  • UK Supreme Court Blog Essay Competition – Winner, 2013
  • Certificate in Intelligence Studies (King’s College, London), 2012
  • Brian Riley Declamation Prize (Pembroke College, Cambridge), 2009
  • Various College Prizes (Pembroke College, Cambridge), 2008-10


Prior to becoming a barrister Daniel spent two years as a desk officer in the fast-stream at the Ministry of Defence. He was DV-cleared and worked on various national and international security matters, including the defence effort for the London 2012 Olympics.

Daniel has also previously spent time as a ‘Foreign Law Clerk’ to Justice Hanan Melcer at the Supreme Court of Israel; volunteered as a student attorney at the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project; and regularly contributed to the UK Human Rights Blog.

When he can, Daniel enjoys competitive ballroom and Latin dancing; he (less frequently) brews his own cider; and (even less frequently) officiates at rugby matches as an RFU-certified referee. He is also a listening volunteer at the Samaritans.


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Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Daniel Isenberg

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