As well as an advocate, Catherine is an experienced legal adviser and representative. She has been practising as a barrister since 2011 but prior to that spent 10 years as a solicitor (and later solicitor-advocate) in two large City firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Nabarro LLP. At the time she joined Cloisters she was a partner at Nabarro.
Catherine’s practice focuses on employment, discrimination, information (including data protection and freedom of information) and commercial law. Due to her background in commercial law firms, she is often instructed by organisations to advise on preventing litigation and on strategy where litigation is likely, as well as internal investigations and policies and procedures. She is a team-player with a hands-on approach, and enjoys working with her clients to obtain the best possible solution for their particular circumstances.
Catherine acts for both corporate and individual clients. She has represented and advised organisations ranging from multinationals such as HSBC to small family businesses, and individuals from all walks of life. She is registered with the Bar Standards Board for Public Access work, which means that in certain circumstances she can advise and represent clients directly, without involvement of a solicitor.
“Catherine is very thorough, a real fighter, positive, very hard working, and offers assistance above and beyond what she’s been asked to do”.
“Catherine really knows the law but is prepared to be pragmatic, which is crucial. She's always my first choice and obviously has far more experience than the average junior barrister”.
“Catherine has an easy manner about her, which clients like, and has often gone the “extra mile” in terms of the service she has provided”.
(Linda Jones, Partner, and other solicitors at Pinsent Masons)
"The way you represented me at the Tribunal was wonderful. Your preparation and sharpness on the day really impressed me. I was most impressed by the openness of the Tribunal Judge to your arguments in comparison to the short shift he gave the [employer's] highly reputed representative".
(An individual claimant, ex-CEO of a not-for-profit organisation)
Acting for a college of the University of Cambridge and the Office of Intercollegiate Services in a Freedom of Information Act appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) against a decision notice of the Information Commissioner (Girton College v Information Commissioner)
Advising a University on its information and data protection policies and procedures, including subject access requests and the balancing of different employees’ rights to privacy or disclosure in internal disputes such as grievances
Acting for a Borough Council in relation to an individual's complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding data protection issues
Advice to a UK consumer electronics, hardware and software retailer with around 30 stores UK-wide on privacy issues relating to the monitoring and recording of employees and customers
Unfair dismissal, breach of contract and other claims
Successfully defending clients such as Apple, the Scout Association, BUPA, Kraft Foods and Lloyds TSB against unfair dismissal, breach of contract and other claims (e.g. Christophe v Apple Retail UK Limited, Wolstenholme v Scout Association,Adeshiyan v BUPA, Ashley and Evans v Kraft Foods Limited and Wood v Lloyds TSB Bank)
Successfully obtaining compensation for individual clients from defendants such as Islington Borough Council and the Ministry of Defence (Mama v Islington Borough Council,Dure v Ministry of Defence)
Discrimination and equality
Race and sex discrimination:successfully defending the General Dental Council in Reid v GDC
Pregnancy, maternity and sex discrimination and unfair dismissal: successfully defending the employer in Jones v Radian Housing
Disability discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal: Abukar v Serco, representing a vulnerable claimant
Sexual orientation harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal:acting for the NSC in Ensor v National Shooting Council
Age discrimination:successfully defending HSBC in Farmer v HSBC Bank, an age discrimination claim worth around £300,000 relating to pension benefits in a final salary scheme where the claimant was made redundant just before his 50th birthday; acting (as solicitor) for Toronto-Dominion Bank in its defence of an age discrimination claim relating to Restricted Stock Units by the ex-VC of its Credit Products Group, in Gisborne v Toronto-Dominion Bank
Less-favourable treatment as a part-time worker: as a solicitor, acting for the University in Hudson v University of Oxford in the EAT ( All ER (D) 411 (Jul)) and Court of Appeal ( EWCA Civ 336,  All ER (D) 356 (Feb))
Part-time worker and flexible working detriment and indirect sex discrimination in a healthcare context: representing Care UK in Rajaratnam v Care UK
Protection from Harassment Act 1997 claims: acting (as a solicitor) for Oxford University in a PHA claim against it in the County Court
Catherine worked as a volunteer for 6 years on the Maternity Alliance, later Working Families, charity legal advice helpline for low-income families
Whistleblowing-related detriment and dismissal:representing the social-worker claimant in Balfe v West Sussex County Council
Whistleblowing detriment and dismissal in the financial services sector, relating to compliance with FCA/PRA obligations: representing the underwriter claimant in DeSouza v Direct Line
TUPE, business restructuring, redundancy programmes, outsourcing, business and share sales
In the EAT and ET, successfully representing employees in a multiple claim for unfair dismissal and failure to consult under TUPE against the administrators and purchaser of an insolvent business (Kneeshaw & ors v Gate-a-mation Holdings Ltd & ors), including on appeal by the losing transferee employer in the EAT
Advising an employer on multiple threatened claims for failure to inform and consult staff prior to a TUPE transfer. Settlement obtained in such a way as to enable the related business sale to go ahead without delay
Advising an employer on a major restructuring involving 50+ redundancies and job-changes for 30+ staff
Advising a nationwide service provider on issues arising from third-generation outsourcing changes involving staff previously employed by local government and who had pension rights in the Local Government Pension Scheme
Advising the administrators of a UK equities and fixed income agency broker on difficult TUPE and Acquired Rights Directive issues arising from the sale of the European, Middle Eastern and US businesses
Internal and regulatory investigations and disciplinary hearings
Assisting the ‘designated independent person’ investigate the alleged misconduct of the Chief Finance Officer of a Borough Council
Advising a University on an internal disciplinary hearing into alleged misconduct by a University professor, including advocacy before the University decision-making board in relation to the proposed dismissal of the individual
Advising an employer subject to investigation by the Financial Services Authority on its management of staff alleged to have committed the misconduct leading to the investigation and its duties toward the FSA
Confidential information, employee competition and directors’ duties
Guiding the board of a property management company through a dispute with its CEO regarding his compliance with his fiduciary duties and use of the company’s confidential information
Acting (as a solicitor) for a group of employees resisting their ex-employer’s High Court application for an interim injunction to prevent the operation of their new business. Succeeded in obtaining a settlement under which the application was withdrawn and the employees permitted to proceed
Acting (as a solicitor) for a software development company in relation to attempts by an ex-employee to set up in competition, in breach of employment duties and post-termination covenants. Obtained undertakings from the individual and the return of information and materials belonging to the company
Advising a partner in a top 20 solicitors’ firm on an internal dispute and issues arising from the partnership deed
Advising a firm of accountants on its powers to expel or discipline a poorly performing partner
Advising various GPs and GP practices on the terms of their partnership deeds and rules