da costa-waldman

Barrister | Mediator 
Year of call: 1990

About Elissa

Called in 1990, Elissa has a wealth of experience and expertise.  She prides herself on having an ‘inclusive practice’ demonstrating approachability and sensitivity in dealing with alternative family structures.  In addition to her Matrimonial Finance practice, Elissa is a well-known expert on cohabitation claims, representing both heterosexual and homosexual partners in litigation concerning their property disputes. To assist in avoiding litigation later on in relationships, Elissa often advises on and drafts cohabitation agreements at the outset of a cohabitation relationship, or pre and post nuptial agreements in the case of those intending to marry.

Elissa also undertakes private law children matters including contact and residence disputes although she specialises in relocation applications whether domestic or international.  Elissa also undertakes work within the Court of Protection.

Although a fearless and effective advocate in court, Elissa is committed to assisting parties resolve their family disputes outside the court arena.  She is an experienced and principled negotiator, a mediator of 17 years, a qualified collaborative lawyer and since 2012, she has been an accredited Family Law Arbitrator (Finance).  Given her wealth of experience, Elissa is also able to conduct private FDRs.


  • 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
  • Co-Author of Cohabitation Claims, Resolution Guide 2019
  • In addition Elissa has authored various articles on both Matrimonial Finance and Cohabitation for Family Law and other publications


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 has been a regular speaker for Central Law Training and conducts virtual training for TSG (The Solicitors Group).


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 adored brood of grandchildren.