Katharine Elliot

Call: 2016 

"I’m very grateful to Katharine for her help in analysing the documents, her eye for detail and generally keeping me on the rails"

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"Thank you so much for this and for all your work...we really couldn't have done it without your help"

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"Thank you for everything - you have been absolutely amazing!"

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"Fantastic" and "Excellent"

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"We were represented by the most amazing, hard-working and highly professional barrister, Katharine Elliot, who did everything possible to ensure our community's views were well presented in this process."

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Practice Summary

Katharine has a diverse public law practice, encompassing planning and environmental, election, regulatory, mental health and tax law. 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 civil and criminal law.

Katharine is a strong and accomplished advocate, who appears in the County Court, High Court, Court of Protection, First-Tier Tribunals and professional disciplinary panels, both as junior counsel and in her own right.

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.

Her practice highlights include:

  • Vachha v Hamilton [2020] EWHC 3728 (Ch): Led by Tim Straker QC, successfully resisting 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 under its constitution.
  • The Dame Linda Dobbs Review: Three years’ experience as a member of the core counsel team working with leading practitioners in financial crime and financial services regulation to review the handling of the HBOS Reading fraud by Lloyds Banking Group, advising on issues of fact, law and evidence gathering. Katharine excels in the set up and management of electronic disclosure systems.
  • Successfully representing the campaign group, Stop Bengeo Quarry, in opposing a major sand and gravel quarry development in Hertfordshire on the basis that it threatened to pollute a vital source of local drinking water (APP/M1900/W/17/3178839).
  • As a pupil, actively assisting with written submissions and case preparation in Ilott v Mitson [2017] UKSC 17, the only occasion on which the Inheritance Act 1975 has been considered by the Supreme Court.

Katharine is a regular contributor to the Association of Electoral Administrators ‘Arena’ magazine and to chambers’ planning law article series. She spoke on election law and litigating elections at the recent ALBA Summer Conference 2021.

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, performing at international venues in the UK and Europe, including as a soloist for the LSC’s Symphonic Odysseys touring concert in June 2017. She is also a keen rugby union fan and played for Haringey RFC until she retired from the sport in 2019. 

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Commercial & Chancery

Katharine accepts instructions in all areas of commercial and chancery law.

Katharine has experience across a range of chancery matters, including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance Act 1975, including assisting with written submissions and case preparation in Ilott v Mitson [2017] UKSC 17, the only occasion on which the legislation has been considered by the Supreme Court;
  • Tax litigation under the Transfer of Assets Abroad and Settlements legislation, arising out of complex offshore trust and corporate structures. Katharine also has experience of residence and domicile issues, as well as issues under the Inheritance Tax Act 1984;
  • Applications for the replacement of personal representatives under s.50 Administration of Justice Act 1985 and s.1 Judicial Trustees Act 1896.
  • Claims for breach of trust and challenges to the validity of a trust under the ‘sham’ doctrine;
  • Challenges to the validity of a will due to lack of testamentary capacity and/or undue influence; and,
  • High value chattels disputes and proprietary estoppel claims.

During pupillage, Katharine worked extensively in the field of civil fraud and asset tracing, assisting in litigating multi-million-pound international claims at both first instance and appellate levels in England and Wales and in Jersey.

Katharine has also assisted in advising on and litigating contractual disputes across a range of business sectors, including breach of contract, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit claims.

Planning & 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:

  • 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 agreements.

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

Katharine successfully represented the campaign group, Stop Bengeo Quarry, in opposing a major sand and gravel quarry development in Hertfordshire on the basis that it threatened to pollute a vital source of local drinking water (APP/M1900/W/17/3178839).

Regulatory, Professional Discipline & Business Crime

Katharine accepts instructions in all areas of regulatory, disciplinary and business crime law.

She was a member of the core counsel team to the Dame Linda Dobbs Review, working for three years with leading practitioners in financial crime and financial services regulation to review the handling of the HBOS Reading fraud by Lloyds Banking Group.

Katharine has acted on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council at interim order, review and final hearing stages before the Fitness to Practice Committee.

Public & Administrative

Katharine accepts instructions in all areas of public and administrative 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 Government Legal Department 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 has an extensive Court of Protection practice, with expertise in advising local authorities, family members and the Public Guardian in both health and welfare and property and financial 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;
  • 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 investigations.

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.

Katharine has experience of cases under the Mental Health Act 1983.

She 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.


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