Katherine has a broad practice encompassing a wide variety of chancery and commercial litigation, including advisory work. She has particular interest in insolvency and property law.
As regards insolvency, Katherine’s practice includes:
- petitions for bankruptcy and winding up
- applications to set aside statutory demands
- validation orders
- annulment and rescission applications
- applications for possession and sale
- actions against officers for misfeasance
- transactions at an undervalue, preferences, unlawful dividends etc
- challenges to office-holders’ remuneration and expenses
Katherine’s property-related work includes:
- landlord and tenant disputes (residential and commercial, including ASBO-related matters)
- real property (boundary disputes, adverse possession claims, easements and rights of way)
- trusts of land matters (including orders for sale)
- proprietary estoppel
- mortgage repossessions (including mortgage fraud)
She is also particularly interested in disputes relating to beneficial interests in property.
Katherine’s commercial practice covers:
- company law
- breach of contract
- sale of goods
- supply of services
- contracts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974
- personal guarantees and indemnities
Katherine’s probate-related practice covers:
- the validity, interpretation and rectification of wills
- administration of estates
- claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975
- challenges to wills on the grounds on lack of testamentary capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence
Katherine appears before a variety of tribunals, predominantly the High Court, the County Court and First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)/Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
Katherine also contributes regularly to Lexis PSL Restructuring and Insolvency. She has written several Case Notes (see below) and Practice Notes (on after-acquired property in bankruptcy and partnership disqualification).
Katherine undertakes Public Access work. Please see the Bar Standard Board’s Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients here.
Upon accepting instructions, Katherine or her Clerks will agree the basis upon which the Public Access client is to be charged for the work to be done. In direct access cases, fees (plus VAT) will be charged on a stage by stage fixed fee basis, which will be set by reference to the nature and complexity of the case, the amount of reading and research involved, the likely length of any hearing, and Katherine’s experience in that area of law. The agreed fee (together with the VAT) must be paid as soon as Katherine accepts instructions on the case.
Katherine is not authorised to conduct litigation. This means that Public Access clients will need to do certain things themselves. That includes issuing proceedings, filing documents at Court, and serving documents on other parties.
Katherine is registered for VAT. Her number is 979115288.
Areas of expertise
Katherine has for many years been recommended in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for insolvency:
“Katherine is a very assured, calm and confident advocate.” (Chambers UK Bar 2024)
“Very thorough and meticulous. Gives proper realistic, commercial advice. Easy to work with and very client friendly.” (Legal 500 2024)
“Katherine Hallett is a well-regarded junior who is noted for her expert handling of a wide range of insolvency matters. She is regularly called upon to act in misfeasance actions brought against insolvency officers, challenges to office holders’ remuneration and expenses, and winding-up petitions.” (Chambers UK Bar 2023)
“Katherine is very good at explaining complex concepts clearly for clients and has an excellent in-depth knowledge of insolvency law.” (Chambers UK Bar 2023)
“She is very technical and to the point with her advice to clients.” (Chambers UK Bar 2023)
“Kate is an excellent advocate and exceptionally good at explaining complex concepts clearly for clients.” (Legal 500 2023)
“She is very responsive, hard-working and commercial. Clients really like her. She is very approachable, thorough and systematic in her approach to a matter. She is prepared to go the extra mile to ensure the right result overall is achieved.” (Chambers UK Bar 2022)
“She is extremely pleasant to worth with. She is able to analyse complicated fact patters and establish the key legal issues that need to be resolved. She is also excellent at handling clients and their expectations, which is very helpful from a solicitor’s perspective. She’s extremely intelligent and extremely commercial.” (Chambers UK Bar 2021)
“She has very sound judgment and is able to balance the legal position with the commercial realities.” (Legal 500 2021)
“She’s bright, approachable and works very hard for her clients.” (Chambers UK Bar 2020)
“Vastly experienced, practical and understands how the client thinks.” (Legal 500 2020)
“She is quick witted, firm and always gauges the right tone.” (Legal 500 2019)
“She is very thorough, approachable and direct in her advice.” (Legal 500)
Cases of interest
- Munn v. ETL Holdings (UK) Ltd  EWHC 2998 (Ch): Katherine successfully appealed against a Deputy Master’s decision to reject the argument that the Claimant would be over-compensated (in breach of the compensatory principle in damages) in the context of breach of warranty in a share purchase agreement. The matter will now be remitted to a full-time Master for redetermination.
- Bodystretch (UK) Limited  EWHC 2735 (Ch): Katherine successfully acted for the Official Receiver as Liquidator in this misfeasance, breach of director’s duties, preference, and transaction at an undervalue claim.
- Safe Depot Limited  EWHC 2011 (Ch);  All ER (D) 19 (Aug)
Katherine successfully acted for Liquidators in this misfeasance, breach of director’s duties, and wrongful trading claim.
See Lexis+ article: “Rare success in wrongful trading (Safe Depot Ltd (In Liquidation))”.
- Re a Company (Injunction to restrain presentation of a petition)  EWHC 1779 (Ch),  All ER (D) 115 (Jul)
Katherine successfully obtained a final injunction restraining presentation of a winding up petition.
See Lexis+ article: “Final injunction restraining presentation of a winding-up petition granted”
- Trisant Foods Limited (in liquidation)  EWHC 1029 (Ch)
Katherine represented one of the Respondents to this substantial unfair prejudice petition
- Morley v. Morley  9 WLUK 494,  W.T.L.R. 299
Katherine appeared for the widow in this constructive trust/proprietary estoppel claim, which raised an interesting legal point regarding the effect of a written declaration of trust between the legal owners on a third party’s claim to a constructive trust in her favour
- Shaw v. Shaw & Shaw  EWHC 3196 (Ch)
Katherine successfully defended this proprietary estoppel case in which the son sought an inter vivos transfer of his parents’ farm. Her Instructing Solicitor said that “I just wanted to let you know how very pleased we have been with Katherine. She genuinely put her all into our defence of this claim. The result, which is just to our clients, is very largely down to her meticulous preparation, single mindedness, thorough cross examination and persuasive and passionate advocacy. This was a great result, especially as she was opposed by leading counsel.”
Link to BBC article (See also The Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, and the Lincolnshire Reporter)
- Ennis Property Finance Ltd v Thompson  EWHC 1929 (Ch);  7 WLUK 60
- Singha v. Heer, 16th February 2016, Unrep., (CA)
Katherine appeared successfully in the Court of Appeal in this case concerning the correct construction of letters, which were said to constitute declarations of trust. Arden LJ described Katherine’s skeleton argument as “concise and well-directed”.
See: “When is a ‘trust’ not a trust ?” (T.E.L. & T.J. 2016, 182 (Dec), 10-13)
- Finch (UK) Plc (in liquidation)  EWHC 2430 (Ch)
Katherine appeared for Liquidators seeking declarations against former Directors regarding transactions at an undervalue and unlawful dividends.
LexisNexis case note – “The creative approach to insolvency offences—Henry v Finch”
The case features in Sealy & Milman: Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation 2022 (and earlier) regarding s.212 and s.239 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
- Erlam v. Rahman  EWHC 1215 (QB) Katherine was Junior Counsel for the successful Petitioners in the Tower Hamlets election petition which removed Lutfur Rahman as Mayor. BBC News – Tower Hamlets election fraud mayor Lutfur Rahman removed from office
- Tucker v. Atkins  EWHC 4469 (Ch);  BPIR 1359
Katherine appeared for the Trustee in this appeal (and several related cases) concerning the Bankrupt’s application to suspend her discharge.
This case is mentioned in Muir Hunter on Personal Insolvency at [3-56] and in Sealy & Milman: Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation 2020 (and earlier) concerning ss.252, 255 and 279, and s.303 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
- Fabb v. Peters  EWHC 296 (Ch),  B.P.I.R. 264 The case features in Sealy & Milman: Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation 2023 (and earlier) regarding s.212 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
- Paratus AMC v. Jameer  EWCA Civ 1924;  All ER (D) 300 (Oct) (CA);  HLR 18 Katherine appeared successfully for the lender in this second appeal (Court of Appeal) concerning mortgage repossession.
- Ella v. Ella  EWHC 3258 (Ch),  BPIR 441 Katherine appeared for the Trustee. The case concerned the question of payment of the Trustee’s costs and expenses on annulment. The case features in Sealy & Milman: Annotated Guide to Insolvency Legislation 2023 (and earlier) regarding s.282 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
Is mediation suited to the resolution of insolvency litigation?
Challenging the validity of an IVA – Narandas-Girdhar and another v Bradstock
Director disqualification – deciphering unfit conduct (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Pawson)
Trustees in bankruptcy and obtaining vacant possession – Garwood v. Bolter
Bankruptcy orders and the mutual assistance regime—Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Smart
Seeking costs for examinees at a private examination (Re Saad Investments)
The saga continues—post-administration interest and how to handle it (Re Lehman Brother International (Europe) v Burlington Loan Management)
- Property Bar Association
- Chancery Bar Association
- Paris Bar Inns of Court Exchange (2011)
- Lincoln’s Inn
- MA (Oxon)
French (working knowledge)
- Lord Denning Scholarship
- Hardwicke Entrance Award