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Katherine Apps



Katherine’s practice spans public law, employment, EU, disciplinary/ regulatory and commercial law, especially where there is overlap. She has particular expertise in appellate advocacy.

Katherine is "outstanding, confident, direct and eminently approachable" (Legal 500 2015). Chambers and Partners 2015 describes Katherine as "incredibly bright” who is "very good with clients”; a "pleasure to deal with” who "gives solid advice.” Chambers 2014 said "Multiple sources have been 'very impressed with her,' citing her 'great crossover knowledge' ". 

Katherine works for a wide range of clients: from Government Departments and local authorities to Trade Unions; individuals to multinational companies and Receivers. A graduate of Harvard Law School’s LL.M programme and former stagiere at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Katherine is as unfazed by a case with cross border and international elements as she is with one from "round the corner.”

Katherine regularly speaks at conferences and seminars, writes articles for the legal press and has contributed to a number of the leading text books (see below). Katherine is often happy to provide tailor made training for firms or clients.

Katherine is on the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel and the Equality and Human Rights Commission Approved Panel.


    Public Law & Human Rights

Katherine is ranked by the directories in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Legal 500) and Administrative and Public law (Chambers and Partners and Legal 500), Katherine has a growing public law and human rights practice. Legal 500 2015 describes Katherine as "one of the best juniors in her field”. Legal 500 2014 describes Katherine as "an excellent public lawyer with a real feel for civil liberties and human rights issues”. Chambers and Partners 2015 lists Katherine as "an incredibly bright public lawyer who is very good with clients”.

Katherine has experience both bringing and defending judicial review challenges, as well as advising on strategy. Katherine has a particular interest in cases where public law and other areas (particularly employment, equality, EU and commercial law) intersect.

Katherine’s recent cases involve issues including:
  • Government cuts;
  • Public sector equalities duties;
  • International, EU and domestic law duties of consultation;
  • Legitimate expectations;
  • EU free movement and state aid;
  • ECHR and Human Rights Act;
  • Procedural fairness;
  • Public sector pensions;
  • Immigration;
  • Trade union human rights;
  • Procurement, outsourcing and government contracting;
  • Television and equality;
  • Unlawful detention.
Her recent cases include:
  • R(RC Venezuela) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2015): judicial review concerning treatment of gay men in Venezuela.
  • R(Aspinall, Pepper and Bracking) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWHC 4134 (Admin): judicial review on public sector equality duty grounds to a decision to close the Independent Living Fund.
  • R(MM) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2013-2015 CA and UT): reasonable adjustments challenge to the system for Employment and Support Allowance brought by claimants with mental health problems.
  • R(Brophy) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2014): judicial review of Child Support Agency.
  • K v A University (2014) (anonymised): judicial review of a university.
  • R(GY) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2013) Court of Appeal: CA has no power to hold an oral hearing on a renewed permission application where the High Court has declared an application for judicial review to be totally without merit on the papers.
  • R(H) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2014) High Court: judicial review brought by mother of child alleged to be EU citizen. Disputed paternity.
  • W (brought by her litigation friend B) v M [2011] EWHC 2443 (COP): Instructed by the Official Solicitor in the first application to withhold and withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from a person in the minimally conscious state (MCS).
  • R(on the application of G) v X School and Y City Council [2011] UKSC 30; [2012] 1 AC 167 In which the Supreme Court considered the threshold test for a "determination of civil rights and obligations” under Article 6(1) ECHR (fair hearing), and how Article 6 ECHR is to be applied in the employment context.
  • R(Peel) v Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency (2013) Successfully defended an expedited judicial review challenge where the Claimants claimed they were entitled to consultation under the Seveso II Directive, Aarhus Convention and common law.
  • Hammond v Ministry of Justice (2011) Successfully represented Ministry of Justice in Data Protection claim against the Court Service, where a litigant had claimed judge’s notes and a transcript of previous hearings.
Katherine is on the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel B Panel and on the Equalities and Human Rights Commission Panel of Approved Counsel.


Katherine regularly appears in a wide range of employment cases in Tribunals, the EAT and has appeared (both led and unled) in the Court of Appeal. She frequently advises employers, employees, trade unions and interest groups on both statutory and common law employment law issues.

Katherine has particular experience in cases involving:

  • Difficult issues of contractual interpretation;
  • Equality Law;
  • Overlapping professional disciplinary and regulatory issues;
  • High Court employment disputes;
  • Cross border and international issues;
  • Collective employment issues including strikes;
  • Employment/ worker status;
  • Procedural issues;
  • Calculating damages;
  • The Police;
  • EU law;
  • Immigration and Employment.
Katherine frequently lectures and conducts seminars on employment and immigration law, most recently on cross border employment issues, using EU law in employment cases, equal pay, TUPE and whistleblowing and drafting restrictive covenants.

Katherine has several published articles and has contributed to a number of leading text books in this field including a chapter on employer insolvency in Gore Brown on EU Company law (2015 and ongoing), The Equality Act 2010(2010), Trade Union Recognition and Industrial Act (2011).

Katherine’s cases include:
  • Strickland v Kier UKEAT /0062/15/DM: territorial jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal.
  • Petter v EMC [2015] EWHC 1498: application for anti suit injunction restraining claim related to restricted stock units brought against a former employee of US entity in Boston.
  • Saad v Southhampton University Trust UKEAT 0184/14/DM: Compliance of Code of Practice on definition of Disability with EU law.
  • Panayiotou v Chief Constable of Hampshire Police [2014] UKEAT 0436/13/1604: when detriment could be "separable” from whistleblowing and victimisation.
  • Rouf v Home Office (2014): appeal from penalty notice for employing individual with no right to work in the UK.
  • Halstead v Paymentshield Group Holdings Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 524; [2012] IRLR 586: Principles which apply when an employee has an Employment Tribunal claim and a threatened but unissued High Court claim.
  • R(G) v X School and Y City Council: [2011] UKSC 30 [2011] IRLR 756: Legal challenge by teaching assistant claiming right to legal representation at internal School disciplinary hearing under Article 6 ECHR. Katherine (with John Bowers QC of Littleton and Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street) represented the school and Local Education Authority.
  • K[an individual] v B [ a company] (2011) QBD: Claim against former employee for alleged breach of restrictive covenants and confidential information. Settled by undertakings.
  • Greenfield v the Royal Institution of Great Britain (2010): with Andrew Clarke QC. Instructed by the Royal Institution in relation to a claim brought by Baroness Susan Greenfield.
  • British Airline Pilots Association v British Airways - High Court expedited trial (May 2008).The first trial concerning the scope of trade unions’ right to strike and the free movement provisions of the EC Treaty since the ECJ judgments in Viking and Laval. The union’s claim and the employer’s counterclaim were discontinued during the trial.
  • Small & others v Boots Plc [2009] IRLR 328: TUPE case concerning a profit share bonus scheme and TUPE transfer of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.
  • Laing v Chief Constable of Kent Police October (2009): Acted for successful Respondent in Ashford Employment Tribunal against a former special constable claiming constructive unfair dismissal, after having been cautioned for a criminal offence. Also successful in achieving a substantial costs award.
  • Creasey v Leicesterhire NHS Partnership Trust: September (2009): Newcastle Employment Tribunal. Successful application in long running equal pay litigation to discharge an independent expert in conjoined equal value claims.
  • White v City of London (2007): Successful application for a stay of the Claimant’s case for age discrimination and unfair dismissal pending final determination of the Heyday case, (Age Concern’s challenge to the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006).

    Disciplinary/Regulatory & Sports

Katherine is a member of Chambers’ Disciplinary and Regulatory Group (DRG) which litigates and advises across all areas of disciplinary and regulatory law. Katherine is also a member of Chambers’ Sports law group. Katherine’s relevant recent experience in the disciplinary and regulatory field and in sports law includes:

  • Injunctive experience
  • Acting for the Claims Management Regulator
  • Advising a doctor on EU rights and GMC Registration;
  • R (on the application of G) v X School and Y Council [2011] UKSC 30: Judicial review considering Article 6 of the ECHR in the context of a school internal disciplinary hearing;
  • Dwain Chambers v British Olympic Association [2008] EWHC 2028 (QB): Sprinter Dwain Chambers’ first challenge to rules preventing him from running in the 2008 Beijing Olympics;
  • Advice to the Professional Interpreters Alliance;
  • Representing an Associate Head Teacher at a 4 day school disciplinary hearing concerning child safeguarding and whistleblowing (2010-2011);
  • Advising a large accountancy firm in respect of procedural fairness requirements relating to the regulatory powers of the FSA, ACCA and ACA;
  • Advising a barristers’ chambers on the effect of the new professional rules for multi disciplinary practices at the Bar, competition law and restraint of trade.

Katherine writes and lectures regularly in these areas, most recently on EU law in Sport and on Child Safeguarding in Sport. Katherine contributed a 6 monthly update on sports law for the Solicitors Journal, from 2008 – 2009.


Katherine has particular expertise where commercial law overlaps with international law, EU law, public law or employment law. Katherine understands the importance of fitting quickly into a team and can turn around drafting and advisory work at short notice.

Katherine carries out a variety of commercial work including advocacy, pleading and advice. She regularly conducts her own cases and applications, both in and out of London, in the County Court and the High Court as well as acting as a junior on more substantial matters. Katherine has contributed a chapter to Gore Brown on EU Company Law.

Her recent commercial work involves:

  • Petter v EMC [2015] EWHC 1498: one of the first applications involving the Brussels Recast Regulation and availability of anti suit relief since it came into force
  • Pleading a complex claim relating to a non disclosure agreement entered into between two businesses as part of take over discussions
  • Mediation in complex commercial agents regulation dispute
  • An individual v HMRC: Costs application in the Companies Court
  • R(Peel) v Health and Safety Executive (2013): A commercial judicial review challenge concerning the safety report for a major Terminal;
  • Advising on potential causes of action from a complex Share Option Scheme;
  • A case concerning issues of interpretation and misrepresentation in the context of an agreement for the sale of a valuable three day eventing horse;
  • A defence and counterclaim arising out of the collapse of a joint venture;
  • Advising and pleading a contractual and debt claim involving complex contractual issues and interplay with Icelandic insolvency law;
  • Advising and pleading for a multi track trial in the Queen’s Bench Division concerning breach of contract, debt and declarations;
  • Instructed by HMRC with Julian Ghosh QC on a multi million pound capital gains tax avoidance scheme;
  • While a judicial assistant at the Court of Appeal, most of the cases Katherine assisted with were commercial cases. The case included Abbey National v OFT [2009] 2 W.L.R. 1286, the bank charges case.

    Crossover Cases

It can be difficult to find barristers with suitable expertise where legal areas overlap in the same case. Katherine is regularly instructed in cases where there are issues which cross over between the areas above. 

Katherine has a particular interest in European and international law issues, having completed a stage at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and completed her LL.M at Harvard Law School.  Katherine is an active member of a comparative anti-discrimination law study group at University of California, Berkeley and the Bar European Group.

Katherine’s relevant recent experience includes:

  • Free movement, state aid and EU consultation duties in judicial review;
  • Concurrent High Court and Employment Tribunal proceedings;
  • Contractual interpretation, employee bonuses and share option schemes;
  • Human rights and employment law;
  • Areas regulated by international convention, EU law and domestic law;
  • Cases involving transnational employment problems including posted workers;
  • Commercial judicial review;
  • Human rights EU law and trade union rights;
  • Child safeguarding;
  • Television and Equality;
  • Trade Unions and Election funding.

    Articles & Publications

Katherine frequently lectures and conducts seminars: most recently on Child Safeguarding in Sports; using European law in Employment cases; Human Rights and procedural fairness; transnational employment cases and TUPE.

Katherine has contributed to several leading text books including Gore Brown on EU Company Law and the Equality Act 2010 (published by the Law Society), two chapters in the Law of Industrial Action and Trade Union Recognition 2011 (OUP) and assisting with the recent editions of Brearley and Bloch on Employment Covenants and Confidential Information (2009) and Blackstone’s Employment Law and Practice. Katherine’s journal publications include:

  • Compass Group v Guardian News and Media Tolleys Employment News 2015 (2014) 20(4)(32).
  • A high stakes defence: immigration-related Illegality after Hounga ELA Bulletin November 2014
  • Is there scope for "reasonable adjustment" in religious discrimination law? (with John Bowers QC)(2013) Solicitors Journal 157(29), 12-13
  • Politics, rights and unfair dismissal: the BNP bus driver (2012) ELA Bulletin (Dec) 3. 
  • Making a Move (2009) Solicitors Journal Vol 153 /42.
  • Damages claims against trade unions after Viking and Laval [2009] European Law Review 141.
  • Major Impact: the practical effect Impact v MAFF could have on employment cases [2008] New Law Journal 875. 
  • Nationality Discrimination in football: FIFA’s 6 + 5 Rule (2008) Solicitors Journal Vol 152 page 52.
  • Commission v Council: "Pillars Askew: Criminal Law EC-Style,(2006) 12 Columbia Journal of European Law 625.
  • Good Faith Performance in Employment Contracts: A "Comparative Conversation” between the US and England, (2006) 8 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 883.
  • Six monthly sports law update for Solicitors Journal 2008-2009.