Isabella is a civil litigation and public law specialist providing thoughtful and effective problem solving and advocacy.


Client feedback reflects that I am collaborative, conscientious, calm, and communicative. My work is thorough and of high quality. My key strengths include oral and written advocacy, meticulous analysis, presenting complex concepts simply, attention to detail while maintaining the bigger picture, and developing strong relationships. I accept instructions for both junior and senior roles.

I am a highly capable and competent civil litigation and public law lawyer. I have appeared (as lead and junior counsel) in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and have acted as lead counsel in Supreme Court leave applications (on the papers). I have also appeared in the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori Land Court, and have been involved in a long running private arbitration since 2013.

I have experience in commercial and contractual disputes, Treaty of Waitangi, and public law litigation and advice. In 2008 I started my career at Russell McVeagh, where I acted on the Todd v Shell & OMV “Offtake” litigation. Following some overseas travel, I joined the Crown Law Office in 2011. Over the past decade, I have represented and advised a wide range of Crown agencies, Ministers, and officials. I came to the Independent Bar in 2020.

I am committed to the welfare of my colleagues and am an advocate for workplace safety, well-being, and respect. I have been a committee member of the Wellington Women Lawyers’ Association since 2018 and organised training and activities at Crown Law to raise awareness of issues for women and junior lawyers. Outside the law, I enjoy bush walks, theatre, book club, and collecting Beatles memorabilia.

In 2020, Charlotte Griffin and I established Kate Sheppard Chambers, New Zealand’s first fully virtual chambers structured to support and promote women barristers:


Degrees: LLB(Hons) / BA(Hons)
Admission to High Court: 2009


Kate Sheppard Chambers
PO Box 10 318, Wellington 6140

Mobile: 021 106 4816
Website | LinkedIn

Areas of practice

Commercial, Dispute resolution, Human rights, Immigration, Māori law, Privacy, Public law, Regulatory 

Languages spoken