Katharine is recognised by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 in employment law and prior to taking silk, was the Chambers & Partners Employment Junior of the Year in 2018. Katharine is regularly instructed in high-profile, high-value and complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, including many lasting in excess of 20 days. In a number of cases, the other side have withdrawn their claims and/or conceded their case after Katharine has cross-examined their witnesses. In addition, Katharine has a busy appellate practice and appears in the EAT, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on employment law matters, particularly those involving important points of legal principle affecting large sections of the UK workforce such as the Deliveroo “gig economy” test case on employment status.
Katharine’s experience encompasses a wide range of sectors, but she has particular expertise in acting for:
- Banking and Financial Institutions where instructions have included acting on behalf of major investment banks such as Citigroup, JP Morgan, RBS, Barclays Bank Plc, Credit Suisse, UBS, HBOS and Ahli United Bank.
- Law Firms accused of discrimination.
- Media organisations including Telegraph Publishing Ltd, Guardian Newspapers, Associated Newspapers and Evening Standard Ltd.
- Museums including the V&A Museum, Science Museum, Museum of London, Museum in Docklands, and The National Gallery.
- NHS Trusts where Katharine has successfully defended numerous NHS Trusts in relation to various lengthy discrimination and whistleblowing claims brought by both current and former employees in all courts including the Court of Appeal.
- Airlines including British Airways Plc, Qantas, and American Airlines;
- Schools and Universities including many well-known public schools and Russell Group universities.
- Unions where Katharine is regularly instructed by various unions on important matters. She successfully acted for the teaching union NASUWT in the Supreme Court; was instructed to advise the BMA during the high-profile Junior Doctors’ Strike; acted for Unite the Union in the leading case of Unite v Nailard in the Court of Appeal; currently acting on behalf of the IWGB union in both the Deliveroo and Foster Carers employment status appeals in the Court of Appeal.
- High profile individuals including royalty, celebrities and peers as well as Claimants holding both senior and junior roles.
Some examples of Katharine’s recent work are as follows:
Discrimination and Whistleblowing
- Sati v Citibank NA. Katharine successfully defended Citibank in a claim brought by a former employee for whistleblowing, race and religious discrimination on grounds of his Muslim faith, and unfair dismissal.
- Guglani v Citibank International Ltd. Katharine successfully defended Citibank in a complex case of sex discrimination arising out of the dismissal of a relationship manager in the bank’s wealth management department.
- Katharine acted for the individually named Respondent in the widely reported sexual harassment case of Weston v Merrill Lynch & Ors.
- Eweida v British Airways Plc. Katharine acted on behalf of British Airways in this high-profile claim of religious discrimination and victimisation brought by an employee who had previously sued BA, alleging its uniform policy did not allow her to display her Christian cross.
- Unite the Union v Nailard  ICR 28. Katharine acted with Oliver Segal KC in this leading Court of Appeal case on the legal tests for (a) sexual harassment under the Equality Act 2010 and (b) the liability of employers for the discriminatory acts of third parties.
- A v Barclays Bank Plc. Katharine successfully acted for Barclays Bank Plc in a disability discrimination claim involving the interplay between disability discrimination and requests for early retirement.
- Crompton v Telegraph Publishing Ltd. Katharine acted on behalf of The Telegraph in a claim of direct and indirect age discrimination brought by the assistant arts editor at The Telegraph. She was challenging the contractual redundancy scheme as being discriminatory on grounds of age. The claim settled shortly before trial.
- Bodi v Guardian Media Group. Katharine acted for The Guardian in a claim for religious discrimination arising out of The Guardian’s decision to block an individual from commenting in its forums. The claim was ultimately withdrawn.
- Coleman v Telegraph Publishing Ltd. Katharine acted on behalf of The Telegraph in this claim of sex and age discrimination brought by its legal editor.
- Cook v United Utilities Plc. Katharine successfully defended the Respondent in this complex and long running whistleblowing, disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claim.
- Rendall v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Katharine successfully acted on behalf of the Claimant counter-terrorism officer in his claims for disability discrimination against the Met Police. The Claimant had suffered PTSD as a result of his experiences as a soldier in Northern Ireland.
- Jay v Chief Constable of Essex Police. Katharine acted for the Claimant Police sergeant in her claim for indirect sex discrimination. The claim settled after Katharine had cross-examined the Respondent’s key witnesses.
- Mullarkey v Magrath LLP & Or. Katharine acted for the Claimant in this complex claim of disability discrimination brought by a lawyer against Magrath LLP solicitors.
- Fidler v Allianz Cornhill Engineering. Katharine successfully represented the Respondent at the ET and EAT in a 20-day claim for disability discrimination and constructive dismissal brought by a dyslexic employee. Katharine also obtained an indemnity costs order worth in excess of £100,000 against the Claimant at the conclusion of the trial.
- Mirikwe v Wilson & Co Solicitors & Ors. Katharine successfully defended the Respondent law firm and three named partners in this complex case of direct race discrimination brought by one of its trainee solicitors. Katharine also obtained an indemnity costs order against the Claimant at the conclusion of the trial.
Industrial Action and Collective Issues
- Hartley & Ors v King Edward VI College  ICR 774. Katharine successfully appeared, with Oliver Segal KC, instructed on behalf of NASUWT, in the Supreme Court test case concerning the correct deduction from pay for participation in strike action.
- Deliveroo test case  IRLR 249. Katharine is appearing with John Hendy KC in the Court of Appeal in this important test case on the Article 11 rights of Deliveroo riders.
- Foster Carers test case  IRLR 860. Katharine is appearing with John Hendy KC, on behalf of the IWGB union who are intervening in this test case on the Article 11 rights of foster carers.
- Post Office test case. Katharine is acting on behalf of 120 postmasters in this test case on worker status against the Post Office.
- Re BMA Junior Doctors’ Strike. Katharine advised the BMA on pay and contractual issues arising out of the high-profile strike action taken by junior doctors in response to the imposition of the new contract by the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt.
- (1) Taylor (2) Unite the Union v Birmingham City Council  EWHC 2576. Katharine, with Oliver Segal KC, obtained an urgent High Court injunction to stop more than 100 refuse workers being made redundant in a case arising out of the long-running bin strike in Birmingham.
- Re Govia strike. Katharine advised the RMT in relation to deductions from pay made by Govia as a result of strike action undertaken by conductors.
- Re Prison Officers’ Association (POA). Katharine was junior counsel, led by John Hendy KC, on behalf of the POA in successfully defeating a contempt of court application brought against the union by the Home Office.
- Katharine has also obtained interim relief in several cases on behalf of trade union activists.
- Browne, Stanton & Ors v Associated Newspapers. Katharine acted on behalf of Associated Newspapers in respect of equal pay claims brought by a number of ‘casual’ journalists who worked at the Mail on Sunday.
- Weeds v University of Essex. Katharine acted for the University of Essex in this claim for equal pay arising out of market supplement payments made to lecturers at the university.
- NHS Equal Pay litigation. Katharine acted on behalf of various NHS Trusts in the long running equal pay litigation which arose as a result of the Agenda for Change banding exercise.
- Katharine has also been instructed in numerous “individual” equal pay claims across the full range of sectors.
- Duff & Taylor v (1) Endeavour Insurance Services Ltd (2) CGNMB Katharine successfully acted for Endeavour Insurance Services in the first ever claim to test whether the TUPE service provision change provisions apply to binding authority brokerage business in the context of the Lloyds insurance brokerage market.
- Hill & Ors v Evening Standard Ltd & Ors. Katharine acted on behalf of the Evening Standard in a TUPE claim brought by over 100 newspaper sellers arising out of the decision to make the Evening Standard a free newspaper.
- Skittrall & Ors v (1) University College London (2) Camden PCT and (3) University of East London. Katharine acted for Camden PCT in both the ET and EAT in this complex TUPE claim which arose out of the decision to transfer a BSc Hons degree in podiatry from UCL to UEL.
- GMB v Southern Cross. Katharine acted for the GMB on behalf of thousands of workers affected by the collapse of the Southern Cross care homes and the transfers which subsequently took place.
Contractual Claims (including employee competition and employee status)
- Deliveroo test case on worker status  IRLR 249. Katharine is appearing with John Hendy KC in the Court of Appeal in this high-profile test case on the employment status and rights of delivery riders.
- Hartley & Ors v King Edward VI College  ICR 774. Katharine, led by Oliver Segal KC, was successful in this Supreme Court test case concerning the correct deduction from pay for participation in strike action.
- Foster Carers test case  IRLR 860. Katharine is appearing with John Hendy KC in the Court of Appeal, on behalf of the IWGB union, who are intervening in this test case on the Article 11 rights of foster carers.
- Baker & Ors v The Post Office. Katharine is currently acting on behalf of 120 postmasters in this test case against the Post Office to determine whether they are workers. The outcome of the case will affect more the 7,000 postmasters across Britain.
- Aforworki-Gabriel v (1) Citibank (2) Hudson York Farrell. Katharine successfully represented Citibank, the end user, in defeating a post-Dacas implied contract agency worker claim.
- Hashemi v University College Hospitals Trust Katharine acted for UCLH in this High Court breach of contract claim brought by a consultant. The claim ultimately settled.
- Nexus v Anderson & Ors  EWCA Civ 2084. Katharine, led by John Hendy KC, successfully acted on behalf of the Claimants in this Court of Appeal test case on the jurisdiction of ETs to construe contracts of employment in determining unauthorised deduction from wages claims. The case also involved the construction of a collective agreement.
- Atchoe v Camden PCT. Katharine successfully acted on behalf of Camden PCT in the ET, EAT and Court of Appeal in this case concerning the applicability of the wages provisions of the ERA and the question of whether or not overtime is a contractual right.
- Ekeocha & Ors v Dartford & Gravesend NHS Trust. Katharine acted on behalf of the NHS Trust in this test case regarding junior doctors’ pay banding.
- Katharine is regularly instructed to advise and represent both Claimants and Defendants in injunctive proceedings covering the full range of employee competition issues including restrictive covenants, team moves, confidential information and garden leave as well as industrial action injunctions.
- Employment Law Bar Association (Katharine is a past elected member and Treasurer of the ELBA Committee)
- Employment Lawyers Association (Katharine is a past elected member of the ELA Management Committee)
- Industrial Law Society