Katharine Bailey has a busy practice which spans Chambers’ core practice areas, with a particular focus on commercial, insolvency, employment, travel, and appeals to the Privy Council. Katharine has appeared both led and unled in the High Court and led in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council.

Katharine is an accomplished advocate and appears regularly as sole counsel in the County Court, Employment Tribunal, and High Court, in trials, interim applications (including for urgent injunctive relief), preliminary hearings, and costs and case management conferences. Katharine enjoys being led and working as part of a team – for example, she is part of a team of four English barristers (three juniors, one silk) working closely with Gibraltar-based legal professionals in a complex, high-value insurance insolvency case.


Katharine is developing a broad practice encompassing all aspects of commercial, company and insolvency litigation and advisory work. She is currently instructed on cases concerning civil fraud, breach of director duties, and complex contractual disputes. Much of Katharine’s caseload has an international element giving rise to jurisdiction challenges, cross-border recognition, and enforcement considerations. In addition, Katharine is instructed on cases involving complex expert evidence.

Recent cases include:

  • GR123: Katharine (led by Daniel Feetham KC (Gibraltar)) is currently instructed as junior counsel (alongside Rowan Pennington-Benton and Thomas Horton), in litigation arising out of the collapse of GR123 (formerly MCE Insurance Ltd), a UK/Gibraltar motor insurance underwriter. This case involves complex forensic accountancy and actuarial expert evidence. Katharine has been heavily involved in the preparation of the claim, and more recently the application to the Gibraltar Supreme Court for permission to serve out.
  • Matrix Receivables Limited v Musst Holdings Limited: Katharine is led by Peter Knox KC in this financial services sector dispute. Matrix claim for a share (in contract or quantum meruit) of Musst’s management and performance fees derived from managed funds which follow a specific investment strategy (to invest primarily in synthetic asset-backed securities). In May 2024, Peter and Katharine argued Musst’s application for reverse summary judgment on, and/or strike out of, Matrix’s claim, which was heard over two days in the Business & Property Courts (Business List) before Mr Justice Freedman. This litigation is linked to the on-going dispute between Musst Holdings Ltd v Astra Asset Management UK Ltd (see below).
  • Innovate Pharmaceuticals Limited v University of Portsmouth Education Corporation [2023] EWHC 35 (TCC): Katharine, led by Thomas Roe KC (Deputy Head of Chambers), acted on behalf of Innovate who succeeded in their claim for breach of contract against the University of Portsmouth. The dispute arose from a contract to evaluate the efficacy of a new drug and involved complex patent value and pharmacology expert evidence.
  • Musst Holdings Ltd v Astra Asset Management UK Ltd: Katharine is led by Peter Knox KC in this dispute, which arises out of the three-week trial before Mr Justice Freedman in 2021 ([2021] EWHC 3432 (Ch)). Musst claims it is entitled to management/performance fees arising from further funds managed by Astra which follow the same specific investment strategy. Recently, Musst successfully resisted Astra’s application for strike out and/or summary judgment ([2023] EWHC 432 (Ch); [2023] 2 WLUK 448).
  • Musst Holdings Ltd v Astra Asset Management UK Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 128; [2023] 2 WLUK 191: Katharine, led by Peter Knox KC, acted for Musst, who succeeded in the Court of Appeal in upholding the decision of Mr Justice Freedman: see report here.
  • Innovate Pharmaceuticals Limited v University of Portsmouth Higher Education Corporation [2022] EWHC 1681 (TCC): Katharine, led by Thomas Roe KC, successfully resisted an application for security for costs on the unusual ground of the merits of the claim as demonstrable on a summary basis.

Katharine also has a busy advocacy and advisory commercial practice as sole counsel, acting on behalf of both individuals and businesses. Recently, Katharine acted as sole counsel in a three-day commercial trial in the Central London County Court (Business & Property List), during which Katharine cross-examined three factual witnesses. Katharine’s client succeeded on the contract claim and recovered costs on the indemnity basis.

Katharine also regularly deals with company and insolvency matters as sole counsel. She is instructed to appear in winding up and bankruptcy petitions on a regular basis, and she has recent experience advising office-holders in connection with potential claims against company officers involving breach of fiduciary/statutory duty, misfeasance, and antecedent transactions.

Katharine’s offshore practice includes regular appearances as junior counsel in appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from the Caribbean. Katharine acts for governments, businesses and individuals and has appeared in appeals from The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia. Recent cases include:

Katharine is also currently instructed as junior counsel in a complex, large-scale cross-border insolvency matter involving a Gibraltar-based insurance company. Katharine is led by Daniel Feetham KC (Gibraltar) (alongside co-juniors Rowan Pennington-Benton and Thomas Horton), as part of the UK-based legal team working closely with Gibraltar-based lawyers and recovery professionals in investigatory and advisory work concerning the collapse of GR123 (formerly MCE Insurance Ltd), a UK/Gibraltar motor insurance underwriter.

Katharine has considerable experience advising on employment law. She worked as a Consultant to Withers LLP between September 2021 and March 2022, where she was involved in matters concerning breach of contract (including post-termination restrictions), bonus and other contractual disputes, unfair and constructive unfair dismissal, partnership and shareholder disputes, whistleblowing, and discrimination. Prior to commencing pupillage, she worked for over a year as a paralegal with the employment team at Withers LLP.

Katharine appears regularly in the Employment Tribunal in preliminary and final hearings across a range of claims. Katharine has dealt with claims concerning unfair dismissal, discrimination, TUPE, and unlawful deduction of wages. Katharine also has experience of judicial mediation and negotiations. Katharine acts for both employers and employees and is particularly well-placed to advise on employment claims litigated in the civil courts, including breach of contract claims and those where there is a potential personal injury and/or common law negligence component.

Katharine also brings her employment/labour law expertise to bear on her Privy Council practice. Recently, she was led by Dywan Rodgers (Meridian Law Chambers, The Bahamas) in Ervin Dean v Bahamas Power & Light Company Limited, an appeal to the Board in which the principal issue was the scope of the principle of ‘unjust dismissal’, as distinct from statutory ‘unfair dismissal’, as a matter of Bahamian law in the context of an Industrial Agreement between BPL and its workforce.

During pupillage, Katharine assisted Tom Poole KC in a 10-day Employment Tribunal hearing involving allegations of sexual harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal; she also assisted Tom in connection with advisory work addressing unlawful deduction from wages and the enforceability of restrictive covenants. Under supervision, Katharine assisted on a variety of complex employment matters, which often raised discrimination and data protection considerations. Katharine co-wrote an article for the International Employment Lawyer on how employers can prepare for an emerging AI regulatory landscape and recently delivered a presentation to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s enforcement team on artificial intelligence and algorithmic bias in the employment context.

Katharine is a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Junior Scheme. She is particularly interested in public and constitutional law.

Katharine is instructed as Junior Counsel to the Iraq Fatality Investigations, established following R (Ali Mousa and others) v Secretary of State for Defence [2013] EWHC 1412 (Admin) in order to meet the state’s obligations under Article 2 of the ECHR. Katharine’s role involves assisting the current Inspector, Dame Anne Rafferty, with her investigations into the deaths of Radhi Nama and Mousa Ali (two detained civilians who deaths involve allegations of ill treatment at a British army base near Basrah in May 2003) and Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali (an investigation concerned with identifying whether there was a systemic practice of ‘wetting’ as a law-enforcement mechanism in the post-war phase of British Occupation in 2003). The Iraq Fatality Investigations held public hearings on 11, 12 and 13 April 2023, and 7 August 2023, during which. Katharine posed questions, on behalf of the Inspector, to a military witness to the death of Radhi Nama.

Through the Attorney General’s Junior Scheme, Katharine is currently instructed on Phase 5 of the Post Office Horizon Inquiry (which addresses, amongst other things, access to justice, responding to the scandal and compensation schemes). Katharine is assisting the Counsel to the Inquiry Team by reviewing relevant documentation and preparing questions for the cross-examination of witnesses.

Katharine is also interested in constitutional law, and is regularly instructed as junior counsel in appellate work before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, working in particular on disputes arising out of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Katharine’s recent highlights include:

Katharine also gained experience during pupillage assisting Leading Counsel in the following constitutional and public law matters:

  • Duncan and Jokhan v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 17. Katharine assisted Tom Poole KC in drafting the Respondent’s Written Case in an appeal concerning whether there was a violation of the Appellants’ rights under section 4(a) of the Constitution not to be deprived of liberty and security of the person except by due process of law.
  • Betaudier v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [2021] UKPC 7. Katharine assisted Tom Poole KC in drafting the Respondent’s Written Case in an appeal concerning the lawfulness of the Appellant’s arrest and subsequent detention.
  • Katharine assisted Thomas Roe KC in preparing the Respondent’s Written Case for an appeal concerning apparent bias and the scope of the protection afforded by sections 4(a) and 5(2)(f)(ii) of the Constitution.
  • Katharine assisted Tom Poole KC in connection with a judicial review of the Government’s support package to universities and further education colleges in the wake of COVID-19.

Katharine is regularly instructed in matters involving the Package Travel Regulations, the Montreal Convention, and the Athens Convention. Katharine’s caseload covers fast / multi track trials, interim applications, and costs and case management conferences. She also maintains a busy paperwork practice in this area, drafting advices (eg. on jurisdictional and procedural points, local standards/expert evidence, or quantum), pleadings, and schedules of loss. Katharine also represents various airlines in passenger claims for compensation under the EU Denied Boarding Regulations (EC Regulation 261/2004).

Katharine is instructed in a range of property matters (both residential and commercial), including claims for interim and final injunctive relief and Part 8 claims. She has appeared in the High Court (unled) defending a complex, multi-party urgent application for injunctive relief arising out of allegations of nuisance, trespass and harassment. Katharine is regularly instructed to advise and act in possession claims (including claims against trespassers), business tenancy disputes and disputes concerning trusts of land and co-ownership. She also has a busy paperwork practice in these areas.

During pupillage, Katharine assisted Tom Poole KC in the legally significant Privy Council case of Gordon v Havener (Antigua and Barbuda) [2021] UKPC 26, in which Lord Burrows clarified the law of proprietary estoppel as it relates to contract-breakers.

Katharine is instructed in a range of (non-clinical) professional negligence cases, especially against legal practitioners and property professionals. She has a busy advisory practice in this area. Recent highlights include:

  • Acting (led by Tom Poole KC) in a claim against solicitors for alleged misconduct of an investment treaty arbitration.
  • Advising in a claim against architects for providing negligent advice on the scope and content of an application for planning permission, and for failing to advise adequately on costs and fees.
  • Advising in a claim against surveyors where the client suffered significant loss flowing from inaccurate advice on the demarcation of boundaries.
  • Advising (as junior counsel) in a claim for damages for misconduct of litigation/settlement at an undervalue of a high-value equal pay claim.

For Help or Advice…

Please contact us either by telephone: +44 (0)20 7415 7800 or email: clerks@3harecourt.com

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