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Katharine Elliot

Call: 2016
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Practice Summary

Katharine has a diverse practice, encompassing planning, environment and public law, particularly Court of Protection, mental health, education, election and tax matters. Her extensive knowledge of trusts, probate and general private client law makes her exceptionally well placed to advise in cases where public and private law issues meet. She also handles cases at the interface of public and criminal law.

Katharine is a strong and accomplished advocate, who appears in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court, High Court, Court of Protection, First-Tier Tribunals and professional disciplinary panels, both as junior counsel and in her own right. Katharine also has extensive experience in private and public inquiry work, including acting as junior counsel to the Dame Linda Dobbs Review commissioned by Lloyds Banking Group.

Katharine was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in 2021. Prior to her appointment, she was instructed off panel by both the GLD and HMRC to act in high value litigation alongside leading counsel.

Some practice highlights include:

  • Kent County Council v P & Anor [2022] EWCOP 3: A determination by the Court of Protection that previously private health and welfare proceedings should be opened to the public despite ongoing police investigations into the neglect and abuse of P. Katharine acted for the local authority.
  • Vachha v Hamilton [2020] EWHC 3728 (Ch): An application for multiple injunctions aimed at controlling the internal workings of the United Kingdom Independence Party, and for the expedited trial of a dispute over who held various party offices. Katharine acted as junior counsel for the successful respondents.
  • Land at Ware Park (APP/M1900/W/17/3178839): An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a sand and gravel quarry development in Hertfordshire. Katharine acted as sole counsel for a community action group Rule 6 party in this 11-day inquiry, successfully arguing that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused on the basis that the development threatened to pollute a vital source of local drinking water.

A strong believer in promoting both access to justice and diversity at the Bar, Katharine regularly accepts pro bono instructions through Advocate and is a session leader and mentor for BME Legal. She is also a tutor with The Access Project, a charity which supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access top universities.

Beyond the Bar, Katharine sings as a soprano with the London Symphony Chorus and the Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir. She is also a keen rugby union fan and played for Haringey Rhinos RFC until she retired from the sport in 2019.

Planning and Environment

Katharine accepts instructions in all areas of planning and environment law, advising individuals, local authorities, planning consultants and land agents across a wide range of matters including:

  • Air quality and water pollution;
  • Conservation areas, heritage asset management, and assets of community value;
  • Community Infrastructure Levy;
  • Estate regeneration;
  • Compulsory purchase orders;
  • Traffic Management Orders and Highways Act 1980 issues; and,
  • Section 106

During the 11-day Ware Park inquiry (APP/M1900/W/17/3178839), an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a sand and gravel quarry development in Hertfordshire, Katharine acted as sole counsel for a community action group Rule 6 party, successfully arguing that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused on the basis that the development threatened to pollute a vital source of local drinking water.

Katharine also has particular expertise in advising on issues arising from the material change of use of residential property, including HMOs and Airbnb rental.

Public Law

Katharine accepts instructions in all areas of public law, including judicial review.

Katharine was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in 2021. Prior to that appointment, she was instructed by both the GLD and HMRC to assist in the conduct of high value litigation alongside leading counsel. This has included claims under Article 1 Protocol 1, claims for Frankovich damages arising out of judicial review proceedings and high value tax litigation dealing with complex offshore asset holding structures.

Katharine also regularly acts for local authorities in education law matters, including advice and representation in appeals to the First-Tier SEND Tribunal and claims for judicial review.

More widely, Katharine is a regular contributor to the Association of Electoral Administrators ‘Arena’ magazine, writing on issues such as election fraud and voter disability discrimination. She spoke on election law and litigating elections at the recent ALBA Summer Conference 2021.

Court of Protection

Katharine has an extensive Court of Protection practice, with expertise in advising local authorities, family members and government bodies in both health and welfare and property and affairs cases, including dealing with:

  • Disputed/borderline capacity (in particular lack of capacity due to alcoholism);
  • Contact with third-parties;
  • Validity and revocation of lasting powers of attorney;
  • Ineffective LPA provisions (including due to conflicts with company law);
  • Overseas assets held by P;
  • Tenancy agreements;
  • Injunctions to prevent P’s removal from the jurisdiction;
  • Service out of the jurisdiction; and,
  • Third-party disclosure, including in the context of divorce proceedings involving P and to police forces handling related criminal

Katharine also has experience with cases under the Mental Health Act 1983 and is well placed to advise on the interface with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Katharine contributed to the Court of Protection Bar Association’s response to the Government’s proposed reforms to Lasting Powers of Attorney in October 2021.

Qualifications

  • University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College): Classics, BA (Hons) (starred first class) (2014)
  • Kaplan Law School: Graduate Diploma in Law, distinction (2015)
  • BPP Law School: Bar Professional Training Course, outstanding (2016)

Katharine speaks Italian, French and Russian.

Scholarships & Prizes

  • Shelford Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Excellence Award, BPP Law School
  • Lord Bowen Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Griffiths Roman Prize, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
  • Foundation Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Professional Memberships

  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Court of Protection Bar Association
  • Planning and Environment Bar Association
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn (ad eundem)

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