Katie Ayres

Call: 2014
Junior (0-10 yrs call)

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Expertise
Katie’s practice is predominantly focused on three areas: Public Law (Judicial Review and Human Rights); Professional Negligence (including Clinical Negligence); and the tortious liability of public bodies in various types of claims with a focus on abuse.

Katie was appointed to the Attorney General’s C-Panel in 2019 and accepts instructions from a wide variety of government departments.

In addition, Katie is regularly instructed in Inquests on behalf of the family, government departments and the NHSR.

Professional Negligence

Katie acts for both claimants and defendants in cases involving solicitors’ and surveyors’ negligence. She is developing a particular expertise in solicitors’ negligence and is regularly instructed by a large, national firm of solicitors to advise substantively on liability and quantum in claims against fee earners, indemnity limits and issues regarding insurance coverage and aggregation of claims.

Katie is regularly instructed by defendants in Clinical Negligence matters and a significant proportion of her practice is representing the NHSR via instructions from several panel appointed firms and directly by the certain Trusts. She has a particular interest and experience in cases involving the delayed diagnosis of cancer. Katie has represented the NHSR at County Court and High Court level in Applications, CCMCs and trials as well as numerous JSMs and Mediations.

As part of Katie’s practice involving issue of the tortious liability of public bodies (and following her instruction in CN v Poole BC as junior to Edward Faulks QC and Paul Stagg) she is regularly instructed in cases involving the negligence of social workers and other medial and non-medical professional involved in the detection and prevention of child abuse.

Public Law

A significant proportion of Katie’s practice involves claims brought under Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 14 ECHR in the Civil Courts and Tribunals (FTT (SEND, ET, IA, SSCS) and UT (IA, AAC)).

Katie has been instructed (by both applicants and respondents) in several Judicial Review matters. She is currently awaiting judgment in an appeal to the UT (Immigration and Asylum) heard by Her Honour Judge Thornton and an appeal from a CICA decision involving the dismissal of the claim on ‘character’ grounds.

Katie has also been instructed by the FCO in several claims involving a lack of consular assistance abroad.

In addition, Katie has been developing an Education practice. She is currently advising on several disputes involving claims in the higher education sector and has appeared in the SEND Tribunal for schools in relation to discrimination and exclusion claims.

Katie was elected to the Administrative Law Bar Association Committee in 2019

Tortious Liability

Katie has particular expertise in cases involving novel applications of tortious liability principals (particularly of public bodies; most commonly social services and the police). She has a keen interest in the fundamentals and development of tort law and the impact of this on the appropriateness of imposing civil liability on the state. She also has a particular interest in the ‘cross-over’ claims involving both tortious and human rights elements. Katie’s involvement in CN v Poole Borough Council (as junior to Edward Faulks QC and Paul Stagg) makes her uniquely placed to advise on this complex and evolving area of law.

Katie is also instructed in the case of Barclays Bank v Various Claimants (as junior to Edward Faulks QC and Nicholas Fewtrell) to be heard by the Supreme Court in November 2019. The case is set to be a leading case on the issue of vicarious liability.

Katie accepts instructions from a variety of police forces and has been instructed in a trial listed for 5 days before HHJ Saggerson sitting with a jury at the RCJ in which she successfully represented the Metropolitan Police Commissioner in a claim against her officers for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution of a protestor.

Inquests

Katie is often instructed by the NHSR and government departments (predominantly the MoJ and MoD) in multi-day inquests.
Education

  • Worcester College, Oxford University to study Philosophy, Psychology and Physiology

  • GDL: Distinction (highest in year)

  • BPTC: Outstanding (highest in year)

Recent cases
CN v Poole Borough Council [2019] UKSC 25

Supreme Court: Katie acted successfully for Poole BC as junior to Edward Faulks QC and Paul Stagg in this leading case on the tortious liability of social workers.

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2018-0012-judgment.pdf

Barclays Bank v Various Claimants [2018] EWCA Civ 1670 (on appeal to the Supreme Court)

Supreme Court: Katie acts for Barclays Bank as junior to Edward Faulks QC and Nicholas Fewtrell in this leading case on the application of vicarious liability principles.

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2018/1670.html

B v SSHD

Upper Tribunal: Katie drafted the Grounds of Response and represented the SSHD in the UT before HHJ Thornton in this judicial review concerning the correct interpretation of the Immigration Rules as they apply to invalid amendments to existing applications for Leave to Remain (in particular the issue was whether the Rules specify what becomes of the original application once an amendment is made, but is later found to have been invalidly made). Judgment is awaited.

Caretech v Oakden and Berry [2017] EWHC 1944 (QB)

High Court: £500,000 breach of contract claim involving Data Protection elements brought against previous employees of a care home. Katie successfully represented the Third Defendant in a preliminary matter on service involving two substantive hearings before Master McCloud (one lasting two days and involving witness evidence).

Following an initial finding of dishonesty on behalf of the process server tasked with serving the Third Defendant and followed by the successful resistance of a further application by the Claimant to authorise service by an alternative means or at an alternative place, Katie was able to extricate the Third Defendant from the proceedings altogether. She is now instructed on behalf of the First Defendant for the trial listed for 6 days in the High Court in 2020.

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2017/1944.html

Jed Miller v Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Katie acted successfully for the Metropolitan Police in this claim from drafting the Letter of Response to the trial listed for 5 days before HHJ Saggerson sitting with a jury at the RCJ.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/judge-blasts-scandalous-200k-bill-over-anarchists-failed-bid-to-sue-police-claiming-they-called-him-a4016376.html

Various Claimants v A Solicitors Firm

Katie was instructed to represent 16 claimants in a group action against their former solicitors’ firm in respect of professional negligence claims for the mishandling of their NIHL claims.

As part of Katie’s instruction she was tasked with evaluating the prospects of the claims and quantifying the likely loss of chance value. An added complication was that the defendant’s insurer had purported to aggregate the claims under the policy. Katie advised on the merits, both legal and practical, of challenging the aggregation and had to negotiate a potential conflict of interest between the claimants and their new solicitors due to the ‘global’ nature of the offer.

T v NHS Trust

High Court: Ongoing claim involving the delayed diagnosis of bowel cancer against an NHS Trust and a GP. Liability is disputed and establishing causation involves complex expert evidence on the issue of the relative merits of retrospectively staging cancers through pathological and radiological staging methods.

Katie has been involved since pre-action stages, has been retained to advise generally, has conducted multi-expert conference and has attended the CCMC. The matter is listed for trial in 2020.

Inquest touching the death of X

Katie represented the NHSR at the three day inquest into a death at Hospital as a result of septic shock from a bladder infection. A potentially complicating factor involved the use of an MRI with a video capsule in situ (a never-event). It was found, however, that the MRI on the balance of probabilities had no causative effect on the death and as such it was not relevant to the Inquest conclusion.
Awards

  • Oxford University: Exhibition Scholar

  • GDL Major Award, Gray’s Inn

  • BTPC Denise Pannick Award, Gray’s Inn, 3 Raymond Buildings

  • DuCann Memorial Scholarship for winning the Gray’s Inn Moot Competition 2014

Memberships

  • The Administrative Bar Association

  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

  • Personal Injuries Bar Association

  • JUSTICE

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