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Kate has particular and wide-ranging expertise in environmental law. She also practises generally in the areas of European Union, public international, human rights, and domestic public law.

Her recent work includes acting for the Australian government in Australia v Japan (“Antarctic Whaling”), and advising on the new EU common fisheries policy as it relates to fishing outside Union waters (including on the negotiation of sustainable fisheries partnership agreements with developing countries).

She has appeared in a range of judicial review cases involving EU and human rights challenges to the hunting ban; arms export licences, the Gurkhas’ challenge to discriminatory practices in the British Army and the legality of public private partnership arrangements for London Underground.

She regularly advises NGOs, international organisations and others on European and WTO issues in areas such as animal welfare and environmental protection, most recently on amendments to the EU restrictions on trade in seal skins and on controls on international trade in timber.

Notable public international law cases include:

  • ICJ Croatia v Serbia (2014)
  • ICJ Australia v Japan (“Antarctic Whaling”, 2013)
  • ICJ Argentina v Uruguay (2009)

Before joining Matrix, Kate worked for six years as a lawyer in the former Department of the Environment (International & EC Division), where she gained extensive experience of European litigation and international negotiations.

She lectures and publishes widely on environmental law, the international law of development and human rights law. She is the sole author of Wildlife Law: Conservation and Biodiversity (Cameron May, 2004). Kate is a contributor to Human Rights Practice, ed. Simor (Sweet & Maxwell).

In 2009 Kate was involved in setting up the Legal Response Initiative (LRI) with a number of law firms and NGOs. The LRI provides pro bono support to Least Developed Countries at the UN Climate Change negotiations. Kate was appointed as Chair of the LRI in March 2015.

Professional Training and other experience:

Legal Advisor, Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, International & EC Legal Division (1993 – 2000)

1999/2000 LLM, New York University Law School (International Legal Studies)

Stage (Middle Temple: Bristow Award) with the Legal Service of the EC Commission and at the European Court of Justice (1991 – 1992)

Research officer with Industrial Relations Law Bulletin (IRS) (1993)

Kate accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.


Legal 500 2015 recommend Kate in Environment stating that she is “strong on environment matters involving
international and EU law.”

Chambers & Partners 2016 recommend Kate in Environment noting that “she really gets into the detail of
a case and is very easy and smooth to deal with.”

Legal 500 2014 recommend Kate as a leading junior in Environment saying that she has “A real depth of
experience in environmental law.”

Chambers & Partners 2014 recommend Kate as a leading junior in Environment Law stating that “Because she has a government background she understands what will fly with the government and what they wouldn’t consider.”

Legal 500 2013 recommend Kate as a leading junior in Environment, International Arbitration and Public International Law.