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Kate Beattie

Call: 2007


Kate’s expertise spans public and private law with particular expertise in public law, human rights and equality. She regularly acts for claimants in human rights and judicial review challenges, and has a high profile public inquiry and inquest practice. She also acts in a range of health law cases, including clinical negligence.

Kate has been appointed to the Panel of Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Public law and human rights

Kate has considerable experience in the field of public law and human rights.  Recent work includes:

R (Whitston, Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK) v Secretary of State for Health & Association of British Insurers [2014] EWHC 3044 (Admin). Successful challenge to the Lord Chancellor’s decision to include mesothelioma victims within the funding reforms in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).  The High Court held that the Lord Chancellor had failed to conduct a proper review of the likely effect of the LASPO reforms on mesothelioma claims, as required by section 48 LASPO.

R (Tracey) v (1) Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2) Secretary of State for Health [2014] EWCA Civ 822. Judicial review and human rights challenge to the local and national practice and policy of Do Not Attempted Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation orders.  Kate acted for the claimant, led by Philip Havers QC and Jeremy Hyam.  The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in the case in support of the claimant.

R (Patel) v General Medical Council [2013] EWCA Civ 327; [2013] 1 WLR 2801; (2013) 133 BMLR 14; Times, June 21, 2013.  Successful Court of Appeal challenge on behalf of claimant doctor to GMC on grounds of legitimate expectation that his overseas degree would be accepted as an “acceptable overseas qualification” under s.21C Medical Act 1983.  Kate was led by Richard Drabble QC.

R (Llewellyn) v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board [2013] EWHC 4099 (Admin).  Challenge to refusal to reimburse medical treatment costs incurred in Germany.

In addition to her domestic practice, Kate acted for the intervener Mencap (led by Philip Havers QC) in X, Y and Z v UK and has acted in other Strasbourg cases.

Kate contributed to the new edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England (Volume 88A, Rights and Freedoms, 5th ed., 2013), writing on the right to life.  She is the co-author of several chapters in Lester & Pannick, Human Rights Law and Practice and has published widely in the European Human Rights Law Review and other journals. 

Kate sits on the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association

Public inquiries

Kate has a high profile public inquiry and inquest practice with her work covering the NHS, Iraq and, most recently, the BBC.

Her public inquiry experience includes:

Dame Janet Smith Review into Jimmy Savile.  Kate is junior counsel to the Dame Janet Smith Review commissioned by the BBC to conduct an impartial, thorough and independent review of the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there. The Review is chaired by the former Court of Appeal judge, Dame Janet Smith DBE.

Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry: Junior counsel for the patients and relatives represented at the year-long inquiry which reported in February 2013 into the role of the commissioning, supervisory and regulatory bodies in the monitoring of Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust. The Inquiry was established under the Inquiries Act 2005 and chaired by Robert Francis QC. 

Baha Mousa Public Inquiry:  Kate was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor before the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry to represent military witnesses.


Kate has extensive experience of appearing at inquests for a wide range of parties including families, doctors, NHS Trusts and care homes.  Her inquest experience includes cases raising complex child protection issues and mental health law.

Clinical negligence

Kate is regularly instructed in professional negligence cases, in particular clinical negligence.  She has experience of claims relating to neonatal deaths, fertility treatment and missed cancer diagnosis, as well as cost of upbringing claims, among others.  She also has experience of solicitors’ negligence cases.  She acts for both claimants and defendants.

Kate was recently sole counsel in successful settlement of wrongful birth claim following hospital’s failure to offer genetic counselling and embryo testing to couple resulting in birth of child with cystic fibrosis.

Professional disciplinary and regulatory law

Kate has appeared before the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the General Chiropractic Council and the General Social Care Council.  Kate has acted pro bono for a nurse before the Nursing and Midwifery Council for a full fitness to practise hearing over five days, arising from serious allegations of neglect of vulnerable patients.

Kate’s public law practice encompasses challenges to regulators’ decisions.

Pro bono work

Kate undertakes regular pro bono work.  This includes representation at inquests, disciplinary hearings, cases at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and advisory work on public law and human rights.

Previous experience

Kate gained substantial legal experience prior to coming to the Bar, including Parliamentary drafting experience, human rights research and work for a major commercial law firm in both London and Sydney.  Kate worked closely with Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC on drafting the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill, which went on (with Government support) to become Part 4A of the Family Law Act 1996.


Kate is ranked in Chambers & Partners for Administrative & Public Law and Inquests & Public Inquiries and Legal 500 for Administrative & Public Law.

"She is very thorough, very approachable, and very good with clients." "She has an infectious enthusiasm for what she does, and is completely committed."(Chambers & Partners 2015)

"She is very impressive and very good on the crossover between public and healthcare law." (Chambers & Partners 2015)

“A rising star”  (Legal 500 2014)

“Very bright, capable and hard-working.” (Chambers & Partners 2014)


Bachelor of Arts (First Class and University Medal), University of Sydney
Bachelor of Laws (First Class), University of Sydney
Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law, Sydney
Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Test, College of Law, London
Bar Aptitude Test, BPP Law School, London
Admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW


Kate has published widely on public law and human rights and her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada.  Her published work includes:

“Mind the gap: When does a failure to prosecute health and safety violations breach human rights?” New Law Journal, 29 November 2013

“The right to life” in Halsbury’s Laws of England and Wales, Volume 88A “Rights and Freedoms” (5th ed., 2013)

Co-author of chapters in Lester & Pannick, Human Rights Law and Practice (3rd ed., 2009) – chapters on freedom from retroactive punishment (Article 7), freedom of assembly (Article 11), right to education (Article 2, Protocol 1) and right to free elections (Article 3, Protocol 1)

“New Life for the Reynolds ‘Public Interest Defence’? Jameel v Wall Street Journal Europe” [2007] 1 EHRLR 81 (cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Grant v Torstar Corp 2009 SCC 61)

“Human Rights and the British Constitution” in Jowell and Oliver (eds), The Changing Constitution (6th ed., 2007) (with Anthony Lester QC)

Lectures and training

Kate regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and delivers training for solicitors and clients, including taking part in mock hearings. Kate has previously conducted human rights training in Sierra Leone as part of a joint project with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Bar Human Rights Committee.


Panel of Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Member of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association

Professional Memberships

Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association (ALBA)
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association (HRLA) (Executive Committee member)
Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC)
Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)
Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)

Other information

VAT Registration No:  972 7559 70


Phone Clerk
020 7797 7500

Email Clerk


Philip Havers QC, Rachel Marcus and Kate Beattie contribute to 5th edition of Clinical Negligence
Jeremy Hyam and Kate Beattie successful in court fees challenge for mesothelioma victims.
Jeremy Hyam and Kate Beattie succeed for AvMA in duty of candour challenge
Kate Beattie and Adam Wagner appointed as counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission