Iain Goldrein QC

Call 1957 / Silk 1997

About Iain Goldrein QC

Silk 1997 | Call 1975

A highly-accomplished and well-respected advocate, Iain is a talented all-rounder. Whilst family law is major area of specialism, he is also an acknowledged expert in civil and criminal law.  A qualified and accredited mediator, he is a keen supporter of the mediation process and has provided the foreword for a leading publication in this field.

A determined and resourceful supporter of the rights and interests of young people, Iain is committed to diversity and equal opportunity; he has always sought to ‘level the playing field’ whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.

Noted for his thorough and meticulous preparation, he leaves no detail to chance. In court, he is viewed as fearless and courageous and is at his best when required to mount a particularly vigorous defence. He is highly adept at explaining and summarising difficult case issues for the benefit of the jury. Thinking creatively and finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems presents a welcome challenge that he relishes.

Regarded as a true polymath, Iain is a Deputy High Court Judge, a member of many august bodies such as the Academy of Experts and the Muslim-Jewish Forum, a prolific and highly-respected author and commentator on complex legal issues, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


School: Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby, Merseyside [1961-1970]; Merchant Taylors’ Company Prizes, Harrison Scholar and Royal Air Force Flying Scholarship, gliding wings at 16 with a full pilot’s licence at age 17 [having spent several years in the Air Cadets].

Hebrew University, Jerusalem: Spring and summer terms, 1971: Fluent Modern Hebrew.

Cambridge 1971-1974: Cambridge University Squire Scholarship for Law, Pembroke College Exhibitioner [x 3] and Ziegler Prize for Law.

Inner Temple: Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship.


Acting Deemster, Isle of Man [2012] Deputy High Court Judge [2008] Recorder with authority to sit in:
• Crime [1995] • Civil [1998] • Family [1998] Queen’s Counsel [1997] Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal [Restricted Cases Panel] 1999 – 2002
Visiting Professor [The Sir Jack Jacob Chair in Litigation], Nottingham Law School. Iain was offered this Chair because the Law-School Professors perceived from his publishing that he shared their agenda of achieving greater equality and diversity in litigation, to which end he assisted in setting up the Centre of Advanced Litigation and also in drafting the LLM course in Advanced Litigation. The Chair is explicitly in Procedural Law.
Companion of the Academy of Experts – appointed by Lord Slynn for assistance to the Academy, the aim being to level the playing field for litigator, litigant and expert irrespective of background [His chapter on the practice and principles of expert evidence in the Butterworth’s Personal Injury Litigation Service was, he believes, the first such treatise in the UK in the field of common law];
Advisory Editor: Hong Kong Civil Procedure [The Hong Kong “White Book”] International Advisory Editor: Malaysian Civil Procedure [The Malaysian “White Book”] Council Member: International Institute of Experts [Hong Kong] Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.


Member of the Association of Northern Mediators
Current Member of the following:
• Muslim-Jewish Forum [to achieve harmony in relationships between Muslim and Jew];
• Bar Pro Bono Panel
• Free Representation Unit
• Criminal Bar Association
• Personal Injury Bar Association and Administrative Law Bar Association
• Council Member: Faith in the Future.
Past member of:
• Young Barristers’ Committee
• Bar Technology Committee
• Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association
• Bar Council Law Reform Committee
• Some-time Inner Temple Representative in Liverpool
• Advisory Council – Centre for Opposition Studies:
Background: Iain accepted an invitation [with permission of the Bar Council] to join the Advisory Board of the non-political body: Centre for Opposition Studies. This Board currently includes celebrated academics and peers. Based in Westminster, the Centre exists to promote greater study of political opposition in the UK and elsewhere. It is a cross-party organization that operates as non-profit.
What is the Centre? The Centre for Opposition Studies is a research group dedicated to the study of political opposition in the UK and other political systems. Opposition, and specifically Loyal Opposition, is a crucial part of the political system in the UK and elsewhere. The scrutiny of those in power is a fundamental principle of a free and open society, and the effectiveness of a political opposition can have a profound impact on the functioning of democracy.
Other posts:
• Advisory Board: Faith in the Future – an organisation dedicated to inculcating leadership skills in the new young generation, in which context he also addressed the Annual Conference of Young Mensa.
• International Advisory Board, Centre for Islamic Finance, Bolton University.
• [Liverpool] Mayoral Commission on Environmental Sustainability: One of 6 members.


Appointed International Advisory Editor, Malaysian Civil Procedure, 2015

Appointed Advisory Editor, Hong Kong Civil Procedure, 2016

Iain Goldrein has been asked to provide the Foreword to the Singapore Edition of Bullen and Leake and Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings.

Iain Goldrein is consulting editor of “Commercial Litigation in Hong Kong – A Practical Guide”

Privacy and the Media: A Practitioner’s Manual  – Foreword by Lord Neuberger MR [“A”: Hart Publishing: February 2012, which embraces the arena of what are popularly known as “Super-Injunctions” and is intended to empower and enfranchise all stakeholders in this field, including the media and journalists, thus also to provide for a properly informed debate].

Commercial Litigation – Pre-Emptive Remedies: International Edition [General Editor: 2005 and 2nd edition January 2012, [“A” with a Foreword by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers].

Ship Sale and Purchase: Law and Technique [Forewords by Lords Justice Steyn, Anthony Evans, Rix and Lord Mance]. Lloyds of London Press/Informa: 6th edition due in August 2012. [Now with Clyde and Co]. From the first edition, he explored the needs of diverse stakeholders in the market throughout the world [irrespective of background etc] also to empower them in a legal context. It has been a market leader for nearly 25 years. [he first wrote the book in 1985 at the request of the publishers who had an urgent commercial need, and who turned to me because of his reputation in the publishing market for keeping to a publishing time-table and yet producing quality material].

Insurance Disputes [Informa: 3rd edition January 2012 with Lord Mance, Prof. Merkin and sub-editors, seeking to advance a genuine integrity and transparency in the conduct of insurance litigation and to empower litigators irrespective of background to achieve best practice];

Hong Kong White Book: Advisory Editor.

Child Case Management Practice; 2009 and 2nd edition in 2012, Jordans publishers; with Ryder J and sub-editors [This book highlights the importance of focus on the key issue(s) in the context of the Public Law Outline in family proceedings. It empowers litigators through its simple clarity in the further context of the time-table for the child, and the need for cost-effectiveness in this field of dispute resolution].

Civil Court Practice [“Green Book” – co-editor 1999 – 2012];

Editor of the forthcoming Hong Kong Bullen and Leake [again, with many HK editors from diverse backgrounds].

Criminal Law

Iain brings a variety of talents to his criminal cases, from his particular knowledge and expertise in matters relating to telephone evidence, covert surveillance and phonetic interpretation, to his enduing commitment to human rights issues including electoral representation and non-accidental injury to children.

His work has encompassed:

  • Representation of the People Act [election fraud]
  • He successfully prosecuted one of the earliest cases involving computerised telephone evidence [R v. Shacklady, one of the largest prosecutions brought by Preston CPS]
  • He has a special expertise in relation to covert surveillance and phonetic interpretation, and he has developed a practice protocol for covert surveillance evidence [R v. Albattikhi, one of the largest and highest profile cases outside London in 2007/8; acquittal]
  • He has defended a case where the central witness for the prosecution was anonymous [under the 2008 legislation, jury could not agree]
  • He successfully overcame a phalanx of pathology evidence ranged against him in a manslaughter prosecution against a club bouncer [drawing on his forensic medical  experience]
  • He has a broad experience of human rights issues [including in the Court of Appeal]
  • Complex issues of ballistic evidence and DNA [he has a particular expertise in genetics]
  • Confiscation and proceeds of crime, recovering for example over £2m in the Shacklady case
  • He deployed his expertise in child psychology [harvested from practice in the Family Division] successfully to defend an uncle charged as being part of a paedophile ring
  • He has a particular expertise in non-accidental head injury to babies, again harmonising his experience of the Crown Court and the Family Division
  • He challenged the telephone statistical evidence in one of the largest cases prosecuted by Avon and Somerset for 15 years [R v. Wall and others] securing an acquittal where his client was charged with conspiracy to murder, the telephone evidence being held out by the prosecution as pointing to his client as the focal point of the 9-hander conspiracy
  • Lead cases in the Court of Appeal as to joint enterprise, and SOCPA Agreements
  • He has been licensed to appear in criminal trials in the Isle of Man.
Family Law

Iain’s keen interest and involvement in family work, human rights, in particular the rights of children, is amply demonstrated by the wide range and type of cases he has undertaken in this area. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Family Division.

He also has a keen interest in genetics and the human rights issues associated with this rapidly-developing field of law; he heads up the Genetics Law practice at Coram Chambers.

His cases cover:

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Genetics [including human rights]
  • Muslim circumcision
  • Proceedings under the Forced Marriage Act
  • Surrogacy
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology
  • Human rights and judicial review
  • Schedule 1 Children Act claims [property and maintenance]
  • Media Access to the Family Courts and Reporting Restriction Orders
  • Factitious Induced Injury [FII: “Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy”]
  • International child abduction
  • Non-accidental head injury [NAHI]
  • Wardship post Children Act
  • Inter-action of insolvency, divorce and the matrimonial home
  • International adoption
  • Public law Children Cases with a European and Foreign Dimension.
Civil Law

Iain’s civil work spans a wide variety of cases, sectors and areas of public life. Much of his work is at the forefront of rapidly-developing areas of law such as fracking, product liability and professional and clinical negligence and sports injury liability.

His experience has covered:

  • The regulatory framework for the extraction of shale gas
  • Privacy and the media – injunctive and “super” injunctive relief
  • Pre-emptive commercial remedies including freezing and seizing orders/injunctions
  • Insurance disputes
  • Engineering issues
  • Product liability including pharmaceutical product liability and blood products
  • Acted for directors of a major airline on an issue of alleged secret profits
  • Professional [including solicitors’] negligence
  • Liability for injuries sustained during competitive sport
  • Alder Hey Body Parts Enquiry – acting for 400+ parents [Redfern QC was Chair to the Enquiry]
  • Acted for estate developer in the context of the failed foundations to a large housing estate
  • The law relating to lottery syndicates
  • Clinical negligence [particularly brain damage at birth / cerebral palsy and any issue arising from genetics] and catastrophic injury claims [brain and spinal cord]. In this arena he has a wide knowledge and experience of medical matters, medical expert evidence and the welfare issues that flow from catastrophic injury at all ages [e.g. adult social care]
  • False imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office.

Iain is a Qualified Mediator in Commerce and Family matters:

  • Accredited by the Academy of Experts [1991] and the ADR Group [2009 and 2010]
  • His assistance with a leading book on mediation published in HK [“The Hong Mediation Handbook” 2010] is expressly acknowledged in that work by the Editor

In addition he is a Panel Member of:

  • Academy of Experts
  • Consensus Mediation
  • ADR Group
  • Belief In Mediation and Arbitration (BIMA – expressly aimed at achieving harmony in the context of diversity)

His other memberships include:

  • Civil Mediation Council and the Association of Northern Mediators
  • He has provided assistance to Ealing Law School as to the launching of a mediation course

He has formally proposed  a Royal College of Mediators to the Civil Mediation Council, [and also when asked to advise a group of Peers in the House of Lords in November 2011, see below]. Such Royal College would provide an over-arching body for training and regulation, but also expressed on the following basis:

“Royal” status provides not just concrete recognition of the central relevance and importance of mediation as an established and constitutional system of dispute resolution in its own right, but also helps to strengthen a culture which fits the paradigm demanded by a 21st century multi-cultural democracy: stake-holding in solutions achieved creatively bottom up, rather than imposed by a court top down.