Professional practice

Katherine’s practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes, both in litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on civil fraud, professional negligence, banking and finance, and shipping.  Since commencing practice, she has been instructed in several large-scale cases, the majority of which have had an international element, including Libyan Navigator Co Ltd v Libya Insurance Company, ID v LU [2021] EWHC 1851 (Comm) and E D & F Man Capital Markets Limited v Come Harvest Holdings Limited & Ors (which is listed for a five week trial in 2021).

Katherine also recently undertook an eight month secondment at RPC within their civil fraud and regulatory practice areas.

Alongside her commercial practice, Katherine is also developing a practice in art litigation.

 

Arbitration & related court applications
  • Acted in a commercial arbitration under the JAMS International Arbitration Rules for a claimant in a claim arising out of breaches of a securities loan agreement and involving allegations of force majeure, penalty clauses and relief from forfeiture. Led by Jeremy Brier.
  • Provided research assistance to two Members of Chambers for the new edition of Mustill and Boyd on Commercial Arbitration, including on s.67 and s.69 of the Arbitration Act, on the applicable law of the arbitral agreement, and on the choice of law principles for issues such as capacity, separability and non-arbitrability.
  • During pupillage, Katherine assisted with a range of arbitration cases, including commercial arbitrations, enforcement and applications under the Arbitration Act. Examples include:
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in an ICC arbitration concerning a dispute arising out of an agreement for the supply of specialist telecoms equipment to a state entity.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in an ICC arbitration concerning a dispute arising out of the purported termination of a shareholders’ agreement.
  • Assisted two Members of Chambers on an application for an interim injunction under s.44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 to prevent a lender from wrongfully taking collateral under a securities loan agreement.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in resisting a s.103 challenge to an order enforcing an investment treaty arbitral award which raised issues of estoppel and waiver.
  • Assisted two Members of Chambers in resisting a s.103 challenge relating to whether there was a written arbitration agreement between the parties. The case raised complex issues including issues as to the applicable law and public policy grounds for refusing to enforce an arbitral award.
Banking & financial services
  • Advised (as sole counsel) on the circumstances in which an all monies guarantee can be varied.
  • Provided research assistance to Members of Chambers on consumer credit transactions, performance bonds, bank guarantees, letters of comfort, and the law surrounding contracts of suretyship when the principal becomes insolvent for the 8th edition of Andrews & Millett on Guarantees (forthcoming).
Civil fraud & asset recovery

Katherine has a particular interest in civil fraud litigation and is developing a broad fraud practice. Having been seconded to the civil fraud team at RPC for five months in 2021, as well as instructed on a number of substantial matters, she has gained considerable experience of civil fraud litigation. For example:

  • E D & F Man Capital Markets Limited v Come Harvest Holdings Limited & ors. Acting as junior counsel (led by Huw Davies QC and John Robb) in Commercial Court proceedings arising out of a £300 million fraud involving the provision of forged warehouse receipts in a “repo” transaction for the sale and repurchase of nickel. A five week trial is listed for 2021.
  • ID v LU [2021] EWHC 1851 (Comm): Acted (led by Huw Davies QC and Felix Wardle) for a Ukrainian oligarch in a high-value claim involving in resisting a jurisdiction challenge.
  • Advising (as sole counsel) on a potential civil fraud claim for £100,000 against an accountant and financial adviser which raises a number of complex issues of misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
Commercial chancery disputes

Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute concerning whether a trustee was permitted to make relevant payments under a trust deed to certain entitled beneficiaries. The case raised a number of complex issues surrounding Benjamin orders and the circumstances in which such a hearing can be held in private.

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers, Katherine taught trusts law at the London School of Economics to undergraduates.

Commercial dispute resolution

Commercial dispute resolution lies at the heart of Katherine’s practice and the majority of Katherine’s cases, both led and unled, have a commercial context. Examples include:

  • Acting (led by Huw Davies QC and John Robb) in E D & F Man Capital Markets Limited v Come Harvest Holdings Limited & ors for the claimant. This involves a claim arising out of a £300 million fraud involving the provision of forged warehouse receipts in a “repo” transaction for the sale and repurchase of nickel.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) in a claim in the Commercial Court for damages for breach of a netting agreement between two oil traders.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) in a dispute arising out of a consultancy agreement which gives rise to issues relating to implied terms and unjust enrichment.
  • Acted (as sole counsel) in a dispute between a finance company and borrower involving allegations that the finance company failed to mitigate losses by using an auction process rather than a private sale.
  • Assisted two Members of Chambers with a dispute between an investor and an investment manager operating an algorithmic trading strategy concerning allegations of misrepresentations and breach of contract.

Katherine has also recently published an article on how the scope of the transferred loss principle has been clarified by English courts in the last four years, which is available here.

Conflict of laws & private international law

Katherine’s practice has an international focus and she is frequently involved in litigation involving jurisdictional issues. Most recently, she acted (led by Huw Davies QC and Felix Wardle) in ID v LU [2021] EWHC 1851 (Comm) on behalf of the claimant who was seeking to resist a jurisdiction challenge. She has also been involved in cases involving a foreign governing law, including the laws of Ukraine and the United States.

Employment

Katherine has a particular interest in employment law. She has advised pro bono on employment law issues including claims for constructive dismissal, discrimination and victimisation. During pupillage, she also assisted a Member of Chambers with a dispute relating to the enforceability of an agreement settling an unlawful dismissal claim.

Energy & natural resources
  • Acting (as sole counsel) on a claim in the Commercial Court for damages for breach of a netting agreement between two oil traders.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute relating to the application of a costs option in an agreement to transport oil.
Insurance & reinsurance

Acted (with David Walsh) in Libyan Navigator Co Ltd v Libya Insurance Company (The “BADR”) for underwriters in a c.US$40m claim for the total loss of a vessel following a prolonged stay in Bulgaria. The case raised issues of material non-disclosure, and also involved an application for a letter of request for documents to be produced in Bulgaria.

During pupillage, Katherine worked on a number of insurance claims, including the FCA test case concerning whether business losses suffered as a result of COVID-19 fall within the scope of business interruption insurance. Katherine also assisted two Members of Chambers in an arbitration relating to an insurance claim arising from a $300 million loss.

Media, art, entertainment

Katherine has a particular interest in cases relating to media, art and entertainment. She is presently acting as sole counsel for a highly-regarded art dealer, as well as for a well-established auctioneer in relation to a claim relating to their lease. Katherine also recently wrote a case note (available here) on the decision of Hickox v Dickinson [2020] EWHC 2520 (Ch), in which Ms Clare Ambrose sitting as a deputy High Court judge considered the art-world custom of not disclosing the names of private buyers of art works.

Katherine has also assisted with advising on media law issues, including potential claims arising from the publication of personal information in newspapers and the availability of injunctions for defamation and the publication of confidential information.

Professional negligence

Katherine was recently seconded to RPC for eight months, during which time she assisted RPC’s regulatory team with an FRC investigation.

Public international law

Assisted a Member of Chambers in an arbitration involving issues of state immunity and of when an entity will be treated as an organ of the state.

Shipping & admiralty
  • Instructed (with David Walsh) in Libyan Navigator Co Ltd v Libya Insurance Company (The “BADR”) for underwriters in a c.US$40m claim for the total loss of a vessel following a prolonged stay in Bulgaria. The case involved an application for a letter of request for documents to be produced in Bulgaria.
  • Advised (with David Walsh) charterers on a claim arising out of the fouling of the chartered vessel which was unable to enter the port where it was due to deliver cargo.
  • Advised on a defence to a demurrage claim and a potential unjust enrichment claim relating to the failure to deliver vessels to the owner.
Unjust enrichment & restitution claims

Many of Katherine’s cases involve claims arising out of unjust enrichment, which is an area of English law in which Katherine has a particular interest having studied restitution on the BCL. Katherine is currently advising as sole counsel on a potential civil fraud claim which raises issues of failure of consideration and undue influence and also recently assisted with research for a claim relating to mistaken forbearance and set off. During pupillage, Katherine worked on a number of unjust enrichment cases including claims arising from a breach of privacy and in relation to a proprietary claim for the return of Bitcoin.

Career

2020: Tenant at Essex Court Chambers

2019-2020: Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers

2019: Called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn)

2018-2019: Guest Teacher in Law at the London School of Economics

Education

2020: BPTC, City University, Outstanding

2019: BCL, Merton College, Oxford (studied conflict of laws, restitution, commercial remedies and corporate insolvency)

2018: BA Law (Jurisprudence), Merton College, Oxford, First Class

Awards

2018: Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn

Third in the OEC Times Law Awards 2018

Highly commended in the Bar Council Law Reform Essay Competition 2018

2017: South Square Chambers Scholarship for the BCL

Merton College Barton Scholarship for the BCL

Gibbs book prize for Finals

2016: Reached national semi-finals of the Philip C. Jessup moot, representing University of Oxford

Winner of the Herbert Smith Freehills Disability Moot and the Oxford University Legal Assistance Public Law Moot.

2015: Slaughter and May Prize for Criminal Law, University of Oxford

Academic Scholarship, Merton College

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