Kate Blackwell KC

Kate Blackwell KC

“One of the best silks in the country with an acquittal rate second to none.”

Legal 500 2022 Tier 1 Leading Silk Crime
Year of call: 1992 KC: 2012
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Kate is one of the UK’s leading silks specialising in criminal law and public inquiries. She is sought after for high-profile cases and is instructed by leading firms of solicitors nationwide often on behalf of public figures. Kate has a formidable reputation as a first-class silk due to her skill, judgement and outstanding performance in serious and complex cases. The professional guides rank Kate as a “Tier 1” advocate.

Kate is tactically masterful. She accepts a high proportion of privately-funded instructions on behalf of high net-worth individuals and organisations facing criminal investigation. She has a daunting success rate for getting cases dismissed with pre-charge representations and is brought in to advise before a suspect is even interviewed.

Kate has been appointed Counsel to the Inquiry for the United Kingdom Covid Inquiry. She led Module 1 into the state of preparedness of the United Kingdom for a pandemic together with Hugo Keith KC. During the public hearings, Kate examined former prime minister David Cameron and former Chancellor George Osborne. Kate is currently leading the report writing for this Module and will return to the Inquiry next year to lead Module 11 into the effect of the pandemic on all public services. Media Lnk : The Guardian – Austerity not responsible for NHS weakness during Covid pandemic, says Cameron – video.

Kate provided legal advice to the Review Team conducting the Baroness Casey Review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service. The review discussed whether the Met’s leadership, recruitment, vetting, training, culture and communications supported the standards that the public should expect. It found that the organisation was institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. Media Links: The Guardian – Metropolitan police found to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic | The Times – Baroness Casey review: Met Police has lost public faith, says report.

She represented NHS England in the Manchester Arena Inquiry into the 2017 Manchester Arena Terror Attack. Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Kate represented Serco in the Brook House Inquiry into the mistreatment of individuals who were detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. Brook House Inquiry.

She was appointed by the Home Secretary as Leading Counsel to the Jermaine Baker Inquiry – an independent public inquiry into the shooting of Jermaine Baker during a Metropolitan Police Service operation. Jermaine Baker Inquiry.

Kate was Counsel to the Inquiry on the Gosport Memorial Hospital Inquiry into the treatment and care of elderly patients at the hospital which found there to have been a disregard for human life and a culture of shortening the lives of a large number of patients. Gosport Independent Panel Report.

Kate was Counsel to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, set up to address questions relating to police involvement in the murder of Daniel Morgan, the role played by police corruption and the incidence of corrupt connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World. Daniel Morgan Independent Panel Report.

She has an outstanding track record in having cases dismissed and winning jury trials. Following success in a recent case the client said, “Kate was absolutely fantastic. I was extremely impressed by how quickly she grasped the case and focused on the most relevant points to have the case dismissed.”

What others say:

“She is very well prepared on cross-examination and has an impressive knowledge of the papers.” – Chambers UK 2024

“Kate is a serene silk with an incisive approach to cases, and she deals with the evidence in a measured and appropriate way.” – Legal 500 UK 2024

“Kate is an extremely knowledgeable barrister.” and “Hugely respected on the Northern Circuit.” – Chambers UK 2023

Kate is fantastic with clients and is brilliant at cutting through complex challenging concepts and providing easy-to-understand practical advice. She is also a great team player. ” – Legal 500 UK 2023

“A stylish advocate.” “She is the best silk I’ve worked with – her trial preparation is meticulous, she is brilliant on strategy and she is great with clients. Her jury speeches are a work of art.” – Chambers UK 2022

“She is very good at zoning in on the important things in time- and paper-intensive matters. She is also excellent with clients and instils confidence.” – Chambers UK 2022

“One of the best silks in the country with an acquittal rate second to none.” – Legal 500 UK 2022 (Crime)

Fantastic with clients, and great at explaining complexities in a way that is understandable and clear. Reassuring and calm in the face of a challenge.” – Legal 500 2022

“A go-to silk – she is a perfect combination of meticulous preparation and courtroom flair.” and “She deals with really difficult and complex decisions with great sensitivity. She is strong, clear, firm and a good strategic thinker.” – Chamber UK 2021

“She is a fantastic advocate who is great with clients, very approachable and always available. She is great on her feet.”  and “Clients love her: she’s professional and hard-working, and manages a team very well.” – Chambers UK 2021

“A silk truly at the top of her game” – Legal 500 2020

“A brilliant tactician.” – Chambers & Partners 2020

“She’s just fantastic; she’s very robust, very tenacious, and superbly charming. Has a very attractive advocacy style.” – Chambers & Partners 2020

“Barrister of the Year” – Manchester Legal Awards, 2019

“At the top of her game. One of the best cross-examiners on the circuit.” “Her trial strategy is second to none.” – Chambers & Partners, 2019

“Her speeches are pure genius.” – Legal 500, 2018

“She is a joy to instruct and is the silk you want in your corner when things get tough. One of the best cross-examiners on circuit and pure class all round.” “She is magnificent in court from start to finish; it is a pleasure to watch such skilled advocacy.”  Chambers & Partners, 2018

“A Master Tactician.”  Legal 500, 2017

“Barrister of the Year”  Manchester Legal Awards, 2017

“Regularly appears in complex white-collar and serious fraud cases, with noted experience in corruption and money laundering. She is also well known for her work on high-profile sexual offences, acting for both the prosecution and defence.
Strengths: “She does high-profile work. She’s very hard-working and committed to her clients.”  Chambers & Partners, 2017

“Possibly the best crime silk on circuit; she has exceptional judgement and is an outstanding trial advocate”  Legal 500, 2016

“This criminal law specialist receives high praise from solicitors for her strong practice and advocacy skills. She is instructed by firms in cases of corruption, money laundering and fraud and also handles cases for private clients.” – Chambers & Partners, 2016

“An excellent barrister.” – Chambers & Partners, 2016

“She is an absolutely fantastic advocate.”  Chambers & Partners, 2015

“A robust advocate who has a strong track record in serious crime cases.”  Legal 500, 2015

“An excellent serious and business crime specialist”  Legal 500, 2014

“Has a specialism in serious and white-collar crime. She regularly appears for both the prosecution and the defence in high-profile cases. She is extraordinarily good with her preparation and advocacy”  Chambers & Partners, 2014

“An excellent performer.”  Chambers & Partners, 2013

“Kate Blackwell handles the most serious criminal offences and impresses observers with her very hands-on approach. She is hugely responsive and I can call her any time of the day.”  Chambers & Partners, 2011

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