Katherine Deal QC

Katherine Deal QC



Katherine Deal specialises in all aspects of high value personal injury claims often involving fatal accidents and catastrophic brain injuries of maximum severity. She has a particular expertise dealing with claims arising from overseas accidents, in particular concerning issues of jurisdiction and choice of law. She is widely considered a leading expert on the interpretation and application of Rome II, and acted for the claimant in the first ever decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union to consider the scope of Rome II, Homawoo v GMF Assurances (CJEU Case C412/10).

She has particular interest in the application by the English court of foreign principles of assessment and is very used to working with foreign law experts to achieve the best results. She is currently instructed in what is believed to be the largest foreign fatal accident claim ever brought in an English court, in which the preliminary schedule exceeds £90 million. As part of her specialism in international claims, she has a growing interest in appeals to the Privy Council, with recent cases involving alleged police brutality in The Bahamas, accidents in the course of employment in Mauritius and stolen aircraft in The Bahamas.

She has considerable experience in jurisdictional disputes and has acted in four landmark judgments concerning the direct right to sue foreign domiciled defendants in England, Jones v AGF [2010] IL Pr 4, Thwaites v Aviva Assurances [2010] Lloyd’s Rep IR 661, Panagaki v Minetta SA General Insurance [2015] EWHC 2700 (QB), and, with Howard Stevens QC, Keefe v Mapfre & Hoteles Pinero Canarias SL [2015] EWCA Civ 598, which was considered by the Supreme Court before reference to the CJEU.

She has a particular interest and expertise in claims involving disputes of forum between England and other national courts, as in Le Guevel-Mouly v. AIG Europe Ltd [2016] EWHC 1794 (QB). She also has extensive experience in package travel claims, acting for and against all of the major tour operators in claims ranging from mass outbreaks of gastric illness in hotels or on cruise ships to deaths overseas. She is currently acting for numerous victims of the Tunisia terrorist attack. She is also instructed on behalf of the claimant in the appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of X v Kuoni Travel Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 938 which will clarify the law as it relates to liability of tour operators for deliberate assaults overseas.

She is also regularly involved in claims proceeding in the Admiralty Court under the Athens Convention, arising from accidents which occur at sea, and is well placed to advise on the procedural and substantive issues which are particular to such claims.


In addition, Katherine acts in a large number of aviation claims. These range from fatal air crashes to claims arising from faulty ejector seats and seat belt airbags, as well as employers’ liability claims for cabin crew. She was involved in various claims arising out of the Vauxhall helicopter crash. She is currently acting in litigation arising out of the Germanwings crash, the Jet Airways crash and the Indonesia Air Asia crash, amongst numerous others. She has extensive experience of Convention claims, and has a particular interest in claims arising out of medical treatment on board aircraft. As part of her growing appellate practice she is currently instructed as sole counsel in an appeal to the Privy Counsel arising out of the theft of an aircraft from a Bahamian airport.


Katherine has immense experience in alternative dispute resolution, and has acted for claimants and defendants in joint settlement meetings and mediations on numerous occasions. She has settled claims running into many millions of pounds. She has represented clients in numerous inquests including those with juries, and was instructed throughout the lengthy and high profile inquest arising out of the Sousse terrorist attack in Tunisia in summer 2015.


  • Katherine was appointed conciliator for the Passenger Shipping Association, as it was then known, in April 2010 and advised cruise lines and disgruntled passengers within the scope of the conciliation scheme until its conclusion in 2014.
  • She was a volunteer barrister for Disciplinary Hearings held by the Council of the Inns of Court from 2009 to 2013.
  • Katherine is a Recorder (Crime and Civil) for the London and South Eastern Circuit.
  • Katherine has recently been accredited and appointed as a PIcArbs panel arbitrator.
  • Katherine is head of pupillage for Chambers and oversees all aspects of pupillage after recruitment.


Who's Who Legal UK Bar 

  • Katherine is ranked as one of the 5 most highly regarded juniors for her work in Aviation and Travel, and is described as ‘tenacious’ yet ‘a pleasure to work with.’

Chambers and Partners 2020 

  • "She combines her unrivalled knowledge and exquisite advocacy skills with a practical attitude that focuses on the needs of the client."
  • "A very impressive silk with a razor-sharp intellect."
  • "Great with clients - she's very pragmatic and takes a commercial approach." 
  • "She has a phenomenal knowledge of the subject area across all categories of claims, including aviation and serious injury Montreal Convention claims. She's extremely helpful and incredibly approachable. She's a cross-border transaction star in her field."

Chambers and Partners 2019 

  • "She continues to be the best of the best when it comes to this area. Her unrivalled knowledge and exquisite advocacy skills combined with a practical attitude that focuses on the needs of the client make her the go-to name in this field."
  • "She is incredibly knowledgeable, very sympathetic to clients and a fearless advocate."
  • Travel: International Personal Injury - Star Individual 
  • "I'd use her for anything out of the ordinary or strange. She's just a go-to barrister; she's amazing."
  • "She's technically excellent."
  • Aviation

Chambers and Partners 2018

  • 'She has an excellent understanding of the area, demonstrates great tenacity, and is a good team player.'
  • Aviation
  • 'Katherine is always ready for a challenge. She is phenomenally swift and technically sharp in all areas of travel litigation and cross-border issues. She gets to the heart of the issues and turns matters around quickly.'
  • 'A brilliant advocate with stellar knowledge of the subject matter and a very practical attitude to cases.'
  • Travel: International Personal Injury - Star Individual

Chambers and Partners 2017

  • 'She's very accessible and a phenomenal advocate.'
  • 'She demonstrated excellent skills in a complicated international air accident litigation.'
  • Aviation
  • 'She's clearly trusted to take on difficult cases and does a very good job at taking these through to trial.'  
  • 'Katherine is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense litigator who is very well respected and very adept at managing the client's expectations.'
  • 'What she doesn't know about travel law isn't worth knowing.'
  • Travel: International Personal Injury - Star Individual

Chambers and Partners 2016

  • ‘She will always look at a case from a fresh and refreshing angle. She is not afraid to confront challenging legal issues and look at them from a different perspective in order to find a potential solution… She gets down to the issues quickly, speaks authoritatively and is very approachable.’
  • Travel: International Personal Injury - Star Individual
  • ‘She is a class act and has a genuine interest in aviation matters. She's frighteningly clever, a very clever advocate and a delight to work with.’
  • Aviation 

Legal 500 (2020)

  • ‘Extremely practical, has integrity with opponents, and always provides advocacy of the highest calibre.’
  • Personal Injury
  • She is extremely efficient and knowledgeable about cross-border claims, jurisdictional disputes, and aviation in general. Katherine is an open book and would deal with the cases above and beyond of what she is required to. Her attention to detail is great too.
  • Aviation
  • An extraordinary advocate with an unrivalled depth of knowledge. She provides clear written advice and excels at explaining what are often quite complicated technical issues in terms that lay clients can understand.
  • Travel Law

Legal 500 (2018)

  • ‘She is a phenomenal advocate.’
  • Aviation – Leading juniors
  • ‘She is robust and good with difficult clients, you want her on your side.’
  • Personal injury – Leading juniors
  • ‘She is a very capable advocate and the go-to person for anything involving travel insurance.’
  • Travel Law: Leading juniors

Legal 500 (2017)

  • 'She gives clear advice that is easy to understand, and grasps the issues with both hands.'
  • Aviation: Leading Juniors
  • 'The doyenne of travel law and aviation claims.'
  • Travel Law: Leading Junior
  • ‘She has exemplary technical skills and unsurpassed knowledge of cross-border litigation.’
  • Personal Injury: Leading Junior

The Legal 500 (2016)

  • 'Her expertise in the field of jurisdiction and choice of law issues in international personal injury cases is second to none'.
  • Personal Injury: Leading junior 
  • 'She provides impeccable client care.'
  • Aviation: Leading Junior


  • She contributed to Oliver & Dingemans on Employers’ Liability Cases and to the APIL Guide to Accidents Abroad.
  • She edits and contributes to the Chambers’ Travel and Personal Injury bulletins.
  • She also gives frequent talks on various areas of interest in the fields of travel or personal injury law and regularly lectures at PEOPIL and APIL conferences. 


  • PIBA
  • Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL)


MA (Modern Languages) (First Class), St Hugh’s, Oxford University


French, German and basic Spanish.