Ranked in The Legal 500 (2023) for Family and Children Law, Kate has specialised almost exclusively in public and private law children throughout her career, with a particular emphasis on complex care, adoption and private law proceedings.
Kate has represented parents, children and Local Authorities in some of the most serious and difficult sets of circumstances to come before the Family Court, both with Leading Counsel and alone. Kate has successfully appeared solo in the Court of Appeal.
Kate prides herself on her approachability and is sought-after for her pragmatic approach to solving problems despite the complexity of the proceedings.
Public Law Children
Kate has extensive experience of representing children, parents and Local Authorities in complex family law cases. She is regularly instructed in cases involving serious non-accidental injury and as junior counsel in cases involving allegations of FII.
Kate is particularly sought after for cases involving allegations of serious sexual abuse of both adults and children – including historical allegations and grooming. Kate recently secured findings of serious sexual abuse perpetrated on a child who was non-verbal due to a genetic condition.
Kate has also acted in cases involving the highly sensitive issues of FGM and forced marriage.
Kate also has a strong jurisdictional practice and has been instructed in cases involving both EU and non-EU countries. In addition, Kate has particular expertise in cases involving the inter-play between deprivation of liberty and the Scottish jurisdiction.
Kate is sought after for cases involving the Deprivation of Liberty of children (“DOLS”), having appeared successfully before Cobb J in Re RD (Deprivation or Restriction of Liberty)  EWFC 47. Kate has particular expertise in this area and is often invited to advise on satellite litigation arising from DOL issues (ie. Human Rights Act claims) as well as acting in the substantive proceedings.
Cases of note:
- Re NW (2023) – Led by Charlotte Worsley KC for the children in a case concerning allegations of FII. The case involved multiple experts and over 10,000 pages of medical evidence.
- Re SE (2023) – Represented the Local Authority and secured findings of sexual abuse in respect of a disabled, non-verbal child.
- Re ET (2022) – Led by Charlotte Worsley KC for the Mother in a case concerning allegations of FII.
- Re RC (2021) – Led by Tina Cook KC for the complainant child in a case concerning allegations of inter-sibling sexual abuse, including penetration. All findings were secured.
- Re RD (Deprivation or Restriction of Liberty)  EWFC 47
- Re B-S (Children) (2018); appeared solo in the Court of Appeal and successfully appealed the Court’s earlier decision to refuse the Local Authority’s application for Care and Placement Orders
- Re O (2020); successfully represented the Local Authority in the High Court in respect of an application for an FGM Protection Order and concurrent Care Proceedings.
- Re C (2020); represented the Local Authority during a 9-day finding of fact hearing involving malicious allegations of sexual abuse of the child made by each parent as against the other.
Private Law Children
Although Kate is instructed in applications by parents for Child Arrangements Orders, she specialises in complex private-law proceedings. She is generally instructed in cases where there are welfare issues affecting the children, such as domestic violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse or child abduction.
Similar to her expertise in the sphere of Public Law, Kate has a strong practice in relation to allegations of sexual abuse made within Private Law proceedings, both for the complainant and the alleged perpetrator.
Kate is also well versed in cases with an international element, including applications for leave to remove a child/children from the jurisdiction as well as issues that have arisen as to the jurisdiction of the English court.
- North Eastern Circuit
- Family Law Bar Association
- The Honourable Society of Inner Temple
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS & EDUCATION
- Public Access Qualified
- ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator
- Bar Professional Training Course, Bristol Institute of Legal Practice
- LLB (Hons), University of Exeter
Kate is available to deliver CPD training to solicitors and clients across her specialist areas.
Outside of Chambers, Kate is a keen lacrosse player, having previously played for Bristol and Southampton in the South West League. Also keeping Kate busy are her two miniature dachshunds who require regular walks along the beaches in Tynemouth.