Kate Beattie’s practice encompasses public law and human rights, professional (especially clinical) negligence, public inquiries, professional disciplinary and regulatory law, equality and discrimination law, inquests and personal injury. She is also interested in environmental law.
Recent work includes:
- Public law – Judicial review challenge brought by doctor against GMC for frustrating his legitimate expectation that his overseas degree would be accepted as an “acceptable overseas qualification” under s.21C Medical Act 1983; on appeal from High Court decision  EWHC 2120 (Admin); (2012) 128 BMLR 146. Junior counsel for the claimant, led by Richard Drabble QC.
- Human rights – Judicial review and human rights challenge to the local and national practice and policy of Do Not Resuscitate orders:  EWHC 3670 (Admin);  EWHC 3860 (Admin). Junior counsel for the claimant, led by Philip Havers QC and Jeremy Hyam.
- Clinical negligence – 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.
- Public inquiries – Junior counsel for the patients and families represented before the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.
- Junior counsel to the Dame Janet Smith Review into the allegations against Jimmy Savile and the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there.
- Author of chapter on the right to life (Article 2 ECHR) for the new edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England (forthcoming).
Kate appears regularly before a range of courts and tribunals including the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Courts, Coroners’ Courts and a wide range of professional disciplinary bodies.
Public law and human rights
Kate has considerable experience in the field of public law and human rights, including judicial review and Human Rights Act claims. 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 is currently instructed in other proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.
Kate is the co-author of several chapters in Lester & Pannick, Human Rights Law and Practice, the chapter on the right to life for the new edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England 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.
Kate has a high profile public inquiry practice with her work covering the NHS, Iraq and, most recently, the BBC.
Kate was junior counsel for the patients and families represented at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, whose report was recently published. Kate has recently been appointed as junior counsel to the Dame Janet Smith Review commissioned by the BBC into the allegations against Jimmy Savile and the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there. Kate was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor before the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry to represent military witnesses.
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.
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 recently represented a nurse pro bono 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 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.
Kate regularly advises on liability and quantum in personal injury cases. She appears in trials and interim hearings in fast track and multi-track claims before the County Courts and the High Court.
General civil litigation
Kate regularly appears in hearings ranging from summary judgment and strike out applications to enforcement proceedings.
Pro bono work
Kate undertakes regular pro bono work. This includes representation at inquests, disciplinary hearings and cases at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
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 on drafting the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill, which went on to become Part 4A of the Family Law Act 1996.
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:
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”  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. Recent talks have covered the interaction between clinical negligence and human rights claims in light of the Rabone judgment, and the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010. She 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.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers' Association
Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association (ALBA)
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association (HRLA)
Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)
Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
VAT Registration No: 972 7559 70