Kate Beattie

k.beattie@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2007
Kate Beattie
Profile

Kate’s expertise spans public and private law with a particular focus on all aspects of health law, including health-related judicial review and human rights claims, equality and discrimination law, clinical negligence, inquests and public inquiries.  She is described as "an excellent junior who is creative and really gets stuck into a case" (Chambers & Partners 2016), "a feisty advocate who is one to watch" (Legal 500 2015), “very thorough, very approachable, and very good with clients", “very impressive and very good on the crossover between public and healthcare law", as having “an infectious enthusiasm for what she does, and…completely committed” (Chambers & Partners 2015) and “a rising star” (Legal 500, 2014).

 

She has particular expertise in human rights and is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission panel of specialist counsel.  Her practice involves acting for individuals in a range of contexts securing health rights and access to justice.  She acts for and advises charities and NGOs before domestic and European courts.

 

Kate has published widely on human rights including for Halsbury’s Laws, Volume 88A: Rights and Freedoms, Lester, Pannick & Herberg, Human Rights Law and Practice, Powers & Barton, Clinical Negligence, The Inquest Book and in the journals Public Law, European Human Rights Law Review, New Law Journal and Legal Action.  Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Lawyers Association.

Administrative and Public Law

Kate is recognised as a leading junior for her public and administrative law work:

“She is very impressive and very good on the crossover between public and healthcare law” (Chambers & Partners 2015)

“Bright and hardworking” (Legal 500 2015)

“A rising star” (Legal 500 2014)

“Very bright, capable and hard-working” (Chambers & Partners 2014)

Significant cases include:

  • R (Keep Wythenshawe Special) v NHS Central Manchester CCG and 11 others [2016] EWHC 17 (Admin) – Consultation challenge to the Greater Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups’ “Healthier Together” programme.
  • R (Tracey) v (1) Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2) Secretary of State for Health [2015] QB 543 – Judicial review challenge to the local and national practice and policy of “Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation” orders.
  • R (Whitston) v Lord Chancellor [2015] – Challenge to the introduction of enhanced court fees of up to £10,000 for mesothelioma sufferers for commencing court proceedings against employers.
  • Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) v Secretary of State for Health [2015] – Challenge to the duty of candour regulations, in particular to inconsistencies in standards applying to NHS primary care and private healthcare compared with other NHS bodies such as trusts.
  • R (Whitston) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 3044 (Admin) – Challenge to the consultation process leading to the introduction of the costs provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 for mesothelioma claims.
  • R (Patel) v General Medical Council [2013] 1 WLR 2801 – Legitimate expectation challenge to General Medical Council’s decision on acceptability of doctor’s overseas degree.

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

Kate has extensive experience of claims against health authorities, including traditional clinical negligence claims, claims of systems negligence, claims under the Human Rights Act and discrimination claims.  Her work in this area is informed by her significant experience of inquiries and inquests in the health field, including representing patients and relatives before the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and inquests concerning clinical care in inpatient and community settings, mental health and prison healthcare.  Kate has a particular interest in the widening scope of Article 2 and systemic obligations on health authorities, dignity issues and discrimination in healthcare.

Kate acted in Winspear v City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust [2015] EWHC 3250 (QB), a claim under the Human Rights Act alleging breach of Article 8 in respect of a “Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation” order for an adult lacking capacity.  Kate was instructed in a group of claims brought against Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust for systems negligence at Queen’s Hospital, raising issues of lack of dignity and patient care for elderly and vulnerable patients between 2007 and 2013.  Previous and ongoing clinical negligence work includes cases of wrongful birth, missed cancer diagnosis and gynaecology claims, among others. 

She recently co-authored the chapter on human rights in Powers & Barton, Clinical Negligence (5th edition).

Community Care and Health

Kate’s health law experience spans public and private law, public inquiries and inquests.  She is described in Chambers & Partners as “very impressive and very good on the crossover between public and healthcare law”.

Her public law and human rights cases in the health field include challenges to the policy and practice of Do Not Resuscitate Orders, to restrictions on access to justice for mesothelioma victims, challenges relating to the organisation and delivery of health and social care including consultation rights, access to treatment and regulation of the NHS, equality matters, Human Rights Act claims and strategic litigation around systemic negligence.  Kate has experience of claims concerning the obligations on health authorities to fund treatment abroad and to meet continuing health needs.

Equality and Discrimination

Kate is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission panel of specialist counsel.  She recently advised the Equality and Human Rights Commission on its five yearly review of the state of equality and human rights in the UK.  Kate has experience of discrimination claims in access to medical services and treatment, including rights to treatment abroad, disability discrimination and cases raising the public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.  Prior to coming to the Bar Kate worked as a Parliamentary legal adviser in the House of Lords, including on equality and discrimination law reform measures covering such areas as racial and religious hatred, sex discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination. 

Inquiries and Inquests

Kate is ranked as a leading junior for her public inquiries and inquests work in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500:

She is an excellent junior who is creative and really gets stuck into a case.(Chambers & Partners, 2016)

A feisty advocate who is one to watch(Legal 500 2015)

She is very thorough, very approachable, and very good with clients(Chambers & Partners 2015)

She has an infectious enthusiasm for what she does, and is completely committed(Chambers & Partners 2015)

Kate has extensive experience of acting in inquests in community care, mental health, hospital and prison settings, including Article 2 inquests and lengthy and complex inquests raising child protection, deprivation of liberty and systemic issues.  She has written on the right to life for Halsbury’s Laws, Volume 88A: Rights and Freedoms and is a contributor to The Inquest Book (Hart Publishing, 2016).

Kate also has significant experience of public inquiries.  She was junior counsel for patients and relatives before the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, the year-long public inquiry into the role of the commissioning, supervisory and regulatory bodies in NHS, which led to wide-ranging recommendations for reform of the health system.  She acted as junior counsel to the Dame Janet Smith Review into Jimmy Savile, the independent Review established by the BBC and chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith to review the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there.

Education

BA (First Class and University Medal), University of Sydney
LLB (First Class), University of Sydney
 

Memberships

Administrative Law Bar Association
Human Rights Lawyers Association (Executive Committee member)
Personal Injury Bar Association
Professional Negligence Bar Association

Publications

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