Katrina has a busy advisory and court practice specialising in insolvency, commercial and property law. She is particularly sought after for cases which straddle one or more of her specialist areas. She is listed as a Leading Junior in The Legal 500 and is frequently instructed on complex matters which are of commercial significance as well as high value.
Katrina prides herself on providing clear, practical, commercially astute advice. Clients appreciate her tactical judgement and her genuine commitment to their best interests.
She is approachable and personable which makes her a popular choice with lay and professional clients. She is retained as standing counsel by institutional clients including investment, hedge and pension funds as well as major financial institutions. She is noted for taking a rounded approach to cases where reputational risk can be as important as winning a particular dispute.
Katrina is an experienced advocate and is frequently instructed as sole counsel to appear in the higher courts. She is a popular choice as junior counsel on large scale litigation due to her dedicated and hardworking nature. Judges have rated her submissions as “exceptionally intelligent and well measured” and cross-examination as “remarkable, particularly for one so junior”.
Before commencing practice at the Bar, Katrina had a successful career in politics which saw her sit on a government select committee for two years during which time she was instrumental in bringing about legislative reform. Her natural oratory ability secured her reputation as a ‘go-to’ media spokesperson and led to her giving speeches to EU summits and in the House of Lords chamber.
Areas of expertise
- Insolvency & restructuring
- Directors’ disqualification
Katrina is regularly instructed to advise and act in proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. She also has notable experience advising on bankruptcy restriction orders made under the Insolvency Act 1986. She is also able to assist with applications to vary insolvency restrictions and for permission to act notwithstanding disqualification.
Katrina authored the Disqualification chapter for the most recent edition of ‘Atkin Court Forms – Corporate Insolvency’.
Examples of recent work:
- Advising on an application for permission to act as a director where the client had given a disqualification undertaking.
- Appearing for a director in disqualification proceedings.
- Advising on the likelihood of being found to be a shadow director in circumstances where the individual was subject to a bankruptcy restriction order.
- Property insolvency
The cross over between insolvency and property law is a large part of Katrina’s practice. She is uniquely placed to provide a breadth and depth of advice in both disciplines, therefore bringing a unique viewpoint to this area which is rare at the Bar.
Katrina acts for office holders in cases dealing with insolvent commercial tenants’ property interests (whether they are a landlord or tenant), advises landlords on the impact of tenants entering into an insolvency process, advises tenants on the impact of their landlord becoming insolvent, deals with disclaimer and vesting applications, as well as advising on the process of transferring a property asset when there is value. She has a particular interest in CVAs having authored this chapter for the most recent edition of ‘Atkin Court Forms – Corporate Insolvency’.
On the bankruptcy side, Katrina is regularly instructed by trustees on complex possession and sale applications, particularly where the status and rights of the occupants are unknown. She is also instructed by office holders to advise on their liability for property forming part of the insolvency estate. Her property law experience means she is go-to counsel for beneficial ownership disputes in the bankruptcy context.
Recent instructions include:
- Instructed in applications and to advise on numerous high-profile CVAs including B&Q, Carillion, New Look and Paperchase.
- Advising the administrators of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited on enforcing the terms of commercial leases.
- Advising office holders as to their obligations in relation to properties leased to the insolvency party and disclaimer of the same.
- Applications for vesting orders of bona vacantia property.
- Advising a landlord with a large property portfolio on the impact of a corporate tenant company, which occupied numerous properties owned by the landlord entering an insolvency process.
- Acting in a three-day trial concerning the beneficial ownership of a property which had legally vested in a bankruptcy estate.
- Advising a trustee in bankruptcy on the prospects of establishing that a trust deed purporting to attribute beneficial ownership of a property to family members was a sham.
- Advising on obtaining possession of a property in a bankruptcy context where a number of the occupiers suffer from severe disabilities and the property is specially adapted.
- Advising a trustee in bankruptcy as to the beneficial ownership of a property in circumstances where a wife had paid a husband’s bankruptcy debts and expenses pursuant to a consent order in possession and sale proceedings but husband’s trustees had failed to transfer the property into wife’s name.
- Corporate insolvency
Katrina is regularly instructed to advise and appear in insolvency matters. She has experience dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters including insolvency claims (including misfeasance and transactions at undervalue), disputed winding up petitions, injunctions to restrain presentation and advertisement of petitions and cases concerning COMI.
In addition, Katrina drafted the CVA and Disqualification chapters for Atkins Court Forms and is a regular contributor to the LexisNexis CRI Case Alerter Service.
- Advising on prospects of an appeal against a decision determining de facto directorship and subsequently that payments were misfeasant within the meaning of section 212 IA 1986.
- Defending (led Jonathan Titmuss) an application to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition.
- Advising on a matter concerning possible transactions at an undervalue or preferences under section 238 and 239 IA 1986.
- Obtaining retrospective permission to lift the statutory stay of proceedings against a wound up company under section 130 IA 1986.
- Appearing in an application for an order pursuant to section 284 IA 1986 for a prospective order permitting the sale of a Property.
- European Enforcement Order Certificate for a secured creditor to enforce a judgment debt against an arrested vessel.
- Attending contested winding up petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands and obtaining orders for sale.
- Personal insolvency
Katrina is experienced in handling bankruptcy matters such as contested bankruptcy petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands and obtaining orders for sale.
- Directors’ disqualification
- Commercial landlord & tenant
Commercial landlord & tenant
Katrina acts for both landlords and tenants in claims concerning dilapidations, lease renewals and forfeiture of commercial premises.
Katrina’s experience in insolvency is particularly valuable when considering the options available to companies concerned with commercial property.
- Junior counsel on a property damage case worth £12 million.
- Advising on and successfully negotiating release from restrictive covenants hindering development of commercial land.
- Advising and drafting proceedings in respect of a right of way across neighbouring commercial property
- Acting for a landlord in a defended claim for forfeiture.
- Advising on the extent of a tenant’s liability for terminal dilapidations following termination of its tenancy of a 900,00 sq.ft. office block.
- Advising on rights of pre-emption.
- Advising on the interpretation of commercial leases for the purpose of appointment of commercial service charges and recovery of legal costs in a block of units demised to various tenants, not all of whom were parties to the legal proceedings.
- Obtaining possession of commercial premises disclaimed by the OR and LPA Receivers.
- Leasehold & leasehold management
Leasehold & leasehold management
Katrina has a busy practice covering all aspects of residential landlord and tenant law. She is particularly experienced and interested in leasehold enfranchisement, service charges and possession proceedings, including claims regarding tenancy deposits.
- Acting on behalf of leaseholders in the FTT, successfully challenging the landlord’s costs and expenses in handling the lessees’ claims for lease extensions.
- Advising on a 1967 Act enfranchisement claim where the footprint of house was split across several freehold titles registered to different owners.
- Providing transactional advice on splitting the premium for an extended lease between head and intermediate landlord.
- Advising in respect of a claim by shared ownership lessees for extended leases under LRHUDA 1993.
- Drafting and advising on the validity of notices for landlords and tenants.
Service Charges & RTM
- Acting in a matter concerning service charges for major works worth over a million pounds seeking an assessment of reasonableness of charges and / or dispensation from the consultation requirements.
- Numerous instructions to appear at trial on behalf of landlords and managing agents seeking to recover unpaid service charges, administration charges and ground rent.
- Advising on the effect of service charges covenants and landlords’ entitlement to recover sums from tenants.
- Advising on costs recovery of proceedings pursuant to costs and service charge provisions within the lease.
- Advising on the possibility of brining a claim against fellow directors of RTM company.
- Appearing at trial in the FTT resisting an application to replace the manager of a block.
- Appearing at trial in the FTT in an application to appoint a manager.
- Advising on the effect of restrictive and positive covenants burdening and benefitting residential property.
- Appearing in the FTT at trial on a claim by a landlord alleging unauthorised alterations in breach of covenant.
Possession and TDS
- Advising, drafting proceedings and appearing in innumerable actions for possession on behalf of landlord.
- Acting in proceedings for forfeiture of residential property and relief from forfeiture.
- Appearing at trial in claims for compensation for non or improper protection of tenancy deposits and failure to provide the prescribed information.
- Instructed on behalf of a landlord at mediation resisting an allegation of unlawful eviction.
- Drafting claims on behalf of landlords and tenants.
- Advising on quantum.
- Advising on the prospects of success in claims raising issues of limitation and personal injury.
- Real property & mortgages
Real property & mortgages
Katrina accepts instructions to provide advice, advocacy and drafting services concerning adverse possession, trespass, boundaries, land development, easements and covenants, nuisance, right to light, party walls and applications under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.
She is instructed both on behalf of lenders and borrowers in mortgage claims, including issues of charges, orders for sale and possession, redemption, subrogation and notice of beneficial interests.
Recent Work – Real Property:
- Advising on the viability of land development in light of restrictive covenants and the prospect of obtaining release.
- Advising on the effect of freehold restrictive covenants and the enforceability of positive covenants.
- Advising on the possibility of purchasing council owned land adjacent to property and the utility supply implications of the same.
- Advising on action to restrain encroachment on a demise by a neighbouring land owner’s alterations in breach of planning control.
- Advising on disputed boundaries.
- Advising on maintenance obligations in respect of disputed party walls and access to neighbouring land for the purpose of carrying out maintenance.
- Acting for a land owner resisting a claim for adverse possession.
Recent Work – Mortgages:
- Advising on the rectification of a charge which was erroneously registered against only one parcel of land rather than against the two parcels which formed the demise and upon which the valuation for the mortgage had been based.
- Successfully resisting an application to enforce money judgment which was recorded not to be enforced prior to sale of the property without permission of the court; the property was worth several million pounds and market factors had resulted in no sale more than two years after the making of the order for possession and sale.
- Advising on the enforceability of mortgage and bridging finance charges in light of consumer protection legislation.
- Numerous instructions to represent major banks in obtaining a contested orders for sale and possession.
- Appearing on behalf of a respondent to an application for possession and sale pursuant to a multi-million pound bridging finance loan.
- Trusts of land
Trusts of land
Katrina is developing a practice in trusts and probate, largely but not exclusively as a result of her property expertise.
- She has been instructed to advise on the effectiveness of a trust scheme and on the distribution of assets held within trusts.
- She has appeared in the High Court on an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act matter.
- She has advised on the prospects of Inheritance Act claims based on dependancy succeeding and likely quantum.
- Katrina also has experience advising on TOLATA claims.
- Commercial landlord & tenant
- Commercial dispute resolution
- Banking & finance
Banking & finance
Katrina has particular expertise in litigation surrounding financial instruments such as mortgages and hedging products.
She also accepts instructions in relation to unfair terms and unfair relationships in consumer credit agreements.
- Acting as junior in a claim for consequential losses arising from mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
- Instructed by major banks in disputes over mortgage and loan repayments.
- Commercial litigation
Commercial disputes form a significant part of Katrina’s practice, be they litigated or arbitated. She is experienced in dealing with complex commercial matters having been instructed in her own right and as junior on trials and appeals.
She has experience of High Court advocacy and regularly participates in the Chancery Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS), providing advice and advocacy pro bono to unrepresented parties in the interim applications court in the Chancery Division.
- Drafting an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in a matter concerning the interpretation of the Income Tax Act 2007.
- Successfully appearing as sole Counsel at trial for unpaid agency fees.
- Advising on the construction of utility supply contracts.
- Acting in a matter concerning international debt recovering in Dubai.
- Advising in a conflict of laws matter to determine the appropriate forum.
- Successfully defending a claim for a substantial commercial debt on the basis of novation.
- Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
Katrina is fast developing a specific practice in director and shareholder work.
- Providing representation in a partnership mediation and securing a favourable settlement.
- Drafting an appeal from a director disqualification order.
- Applications to restore companies to the register.
- Advising on distribution of assets following dissolution of a partnership.
- Drafting share purchase agreements.
- Advising on shareholder disputes.
- Recovering sums pursuant to director guarantees.
- Banking & finance
CSR & pro bono
Katrina regularly participates in the Chancery Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS), providing advice and advocacy pro bono to unrepresented parties in the interim applications court in the Chancery Division.
Katrina is ranked as a Rising Star for property litigation by The Legal 500.
- “Very good at understanding difficult cases and constructing arguments, as well as managing client expectations.” (The Legal 500 2024, Property Litigation)
- “Very bright, user friendly and solutions based.” (The Legal 500 2024, Insolvency)
- “Katrina has a calm and persuasive advocacy style, possessing a brilliant ability to grasp complex matters.” (The Legal 500, 2023)
- “Bright and diligent, her charm inspires confidence in clients and courts alike.” (The Legal 500, 2022)
Contributor to Atkins Corporate Insolvency Forms (LexisNexis)
- BPTC, Kaplan Law School
LLB, London School of Economics
- Gray’s Inn, Lord Justice Holker Scholarship
London School of Economics, Academic Scholarship Award
- Harvard University, Harvard Book Prize
- Brook, Young Person of the Year
- BT, Seen and Heard Award
Chancery Bar Association
Property Bar Association
Bar Pro Bono Unit~
Free Representation Unit
Company Insolvency Pro Bono scheme