Kate qualified in 2003 and joined ScoMo in 2012.
Practice area: Public Law
Kate specialises in community care, mental health, mental capacity, disability discrimination, education and human rights law. She has acted for individuals and organisations in relation to a variety of cases, including helping patients and vulnerable individuals obtain health and community care support and appropriate education provision from the NHS, local authorities and social services.
Kate has brought and worked on Judicial Review cases on a broad range of public law and human rights matters, including a House of Lords case on the application of housing benefit legislation, and cases in the European Court of Justice, which include challenges both to European legislation and to the UK's implementation of European Legislation.
She has been involved in recent challenges to local authority and government consultations and plans to cut budgets and support for disabled people for breaching public sector equality duties, including a challenge of the proposal to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in 2015.
In addition Kate has acted for clients in Court of Protection proceedings in relation to welfare, deprivation of liberty and other issues, including cases on instruction from the Official Solicitor or court-appointed deputies. She has brought claims for breach of human rights including for severely disabled clients who have been unlawfully removed and detained away from their homes and families.
She has acted in appeals to the Social Security Commissioners and Upper Tribunal, including cases about tenancies for people who lack capacity, and about housing benefit for disabled people.
Kate has represented detained patients in Mental Health Review Tribunals and dealt with issues about the overlap of the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and other law.
Kate's work for disabled and other vulnerable children has included acting in special educational needs appeals, disability discrimination claims in the SEN (Special Educational Needs and Disciplinary) Tribunal and other courts, and acting for children and young people in or leaving custody and in specialist mental health services.
Kate also provides specialist advice to Deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, and other clients, on a wide range of care funding issues, including advice for clients with a personal injury award or an on-going personal injury claim. She works closely with independent case managers to address issues about statutory provision faced by their clients.
- R (Bracking & Others) v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions: challenge to lawfulness of consultation and proposed closure of Independent Living Fund
- (Heffernan) v Rent Service  UKHL 58: approach to setting local housing benefit levels
- (Heffernan) v Sheffield City Council: challenge to lawfulness of council's adult care eligibility criteria
(Age Concern) v DTI challenge to the UK's implementation of European anti-age discrimination legislation. Articles include: Personalisation in a time of cuts (2011)
Using the law to fight cuts to disabled people's services: A practical guide for campaigners - disabled people, families, carers and local groups (2012) (jointly with Steve Broach). Click here to access the Guide.
Download the Legal Guide and FAQs for ILF Users.