Katherine Kelsey was Junior Counsel to Christopher Pocock KC in the Court of Appeal for the appellant father in UD v DN (Schedule 1, Children Act 1989; Capital Provision) [2021] EWCA Civ 1947.

Her other cases of note include: ND (by her litigation friend KW) v GD [2021] EWFC 53; Rubin v Rubin [2014] EWHC 611 (Fam); MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam) and XM v XF [2021] EWHC 1279 (Fam).

She has an equally excellent reputation for her expertise in both financial matrimonial and private children law cases and is one of only a few barristers to be ranked in both areas in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

She advises and acts in all areas of matrimonial finance and has experience in dealing with complex cases involving high net worth and high-profile individuals. She advises and acts in relation to claims brought under Sch 1 of the Children Act 1989. She also practices in all areas of private law children work where she has experience in dealing with complex cases involving internal and external relocation and intractable contact disputes.

She also acts as a private FDR Judge and is a qualified Mediator.

Described as “an absolute class act” in the legal directories, Katherine is credited with having “fantastic judgement” and for being “robust in court but sensitive to the client’s needs.”

Katherine is regarded as a leading barrister specialising in all areas of matrimonial finance. Her thorough preparation and excellent standards in both oral and written advocacy mean that she is well regarded by clients and Judges alike. She often deals with complex cases involving high net worth and high profile individuals and she also acts in claims brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Katherine has appeared as a junior in a number of complex, high value cases and on her own against leading counsel. She regularly prepares and delivers lectures on topics relating to matrimonial finance

Finance Cases

  • MB v CD [2024] EWHC 751 (Fam)
  • KFK v DQD [2024] EWFC 78 (B)
  • UD v DN (Schedule 1, Children Act 1989; Capital Provision) [2021] EWCA Civ 1947
  • ND (by her litigation friend KW) v GD [2021] EWFC 53
  • DN v UD (Sch 1 Children Act: Capital Provision) [2020] EWHC 627 (Fam)
  • MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam)
  • Rubin v Rubin [2014] EWHC 611 (Fam)

Katherine has a strong reputation as a leading barrister specialising in private children work. Her excellent interpersonal skills allow her to instil confidence in clients who are often understandably anxious about the proceedings they are involved in. She has particular experience in dealing with complex cases involving internal and external relocation, allegations of abuse, parental alienation and expert evidence. She is particularly well regarded for her tactical instincts and robust cross-examination. Katherine has represented a number of high profile clients and appears with and against leading counsel. She regularly prepares and delivers lectures on topics relating to private law children.

Private Law Children Cases

  • XM v XF [2021] EWHC 1279 (Fam)

Katherine is an experienced mediator who assists in resolving both financial and child related disputes

Katherine is available to conduct private FDRs

Katherine is a qualified arbitrator for financial work.

Reputation & Awards

“A fabulous evaluator, who puts vast amounts of work into every case. You know immediately from the way the FDR starts that she understands every aspect of the case. Katherine puts a huge amount of thought and effort into everything she does and it shows.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024 - Family/Matrimonial: ADR

‘Katherine is a complete breath of fresh air. Her analysis and ability to distil complex issues into straightforward and practical advice is second to none. She has the ear of the court and clients really respect and trust her, even when she’s delivering advice they do not like.’ – Chambers & Partners, 2024

‘She’s very assured and brings real colour and empathy to her presentation.”…“Katherine is always immaculately prepared and gives sage, measured and clear advice.’ – Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Very accommodating, she helped us to resolve everything.”…“Sensible and effective.”…“She was thorough, calm and very clear, and she sat late. Very accommodating, she helped us to resolve everything.”
‘Katherine is exceptional at both children and money work. She is very user-friendly and loved by solicitors. She provides early, clear and strategic advice.’ – Legal 500, 2024 – Leading Junior

‘Katherine is an incredibly safe pair of hands. She delivers realistic, focused and pertinent advice and exudes confidence putting the most anxious client at ease.’ – Legal 500, 2024 – Leading Junior

“Absolutely excellent to work with. she’s very user-friendly, very diligent and a great advocate. She has great client handling skills and fights her points well.” “Katherine Kelsey has incredibly good judgement. She’s really technically skillful and easy to deal with.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023

Katherine gave robust and sound tactical advice on a leave to remove case. She is well organised, her reasoning is sound, and she is very persuasive on her feet.’ – Legal 500, 2023: Leading Junior

‘Katherine is meticulous in her preparation and she has excellent judgement. Her advice is strategic and pragmatic. She is exceptional with clients, capable of dealing with sensitive issues with empathy whilst also skillfully providing realistic advice where appropriate. Her advocacy is superb. She persuasively advances arguments in a concise yet firm manner – clients absolutely know she is fighting their corner.’ – Legal 500, 2023: Leading Junior

‘Katherine is a calm and reassuring presence to clients, and never less than completely prepared, combined with persuasive and authoritative advocacy in court. She will fight her clients corner but also give them realistic advice where necessary. Katherine is absolute class act.’  – Legal 500, 2022: Leading Junior in Children Law

‘Katherine is a fierce, razor-sharp advocate, who provides pragmatic advice that resonates with clients.’ – Legal 500, 2022: Leading Junior in Financial Remedy

“Katherine is direct and decisive while remaining approachable to clients and solicitors. Her advice and strategy is always absolutely clear and on point.” “Intelligent and charming with a confident presence in court, she gives clients sensible and pragmatic advice.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021

‘She has fantastic judgement, is excellent on children as well as financial remedy cases. Clients feel that they are in fantastic hands, and she really fights their cause, while at the same time is pragmatic, good at judging her tribunal and aims to settle cases if she can.’ – Legal 500, 2021: Leading Junior in Financial Remedy

Very thorough, committed, organised. A joy to instruct.’ – Legal 500 2021: Leading Junior in Children Law

“She’s excellent with tricky finance cases and her advocacy is very engaging. At all times she’s completely unflappable.” Chambers & Partners 2020: Leading Junior in Matrimonial Finance & Children

“Well prepared, tenacious and practical – she has it all.” Chambers & Partners 2020: Leading Junior in Matrimonial Finance & Children

“Katherine has a razor-sharp intellect and is tactically brilliant. She is truly empathetic and instantly gains the trust of her clients. Her manner is firm, calm and reassuring; everything someone in the midst of a difficult family dispute needs.” Chambers & Partners, 2019

‘Has a great ability to build rapport with clients in conference; is a forceful and compassionate advocate ’ – Legal 500 2019: Leading Junior in Children Law

‘Excellent with tricky finances cases; her advocacy is very engaging and she is completely unflappable’ Legal 500 2019: Leading Junior in Financial Remedy

“She is brilliant with clients…A class act” The Legal 500, 2018

‘…We always end up getting what we want. She just has the knack of convincing the other party and the court that our approach is correct.’- Chambers & Partners, 2018

‘She is immensely user-friendly and a very sound family lawyer whose all-round skills belie her relatively low level of call. She produces first-class paperwork and will go far.’ – Chambers & Partners, 2017

‘Her preparation is excellent, which gives the client great confidence… She is experienced and has a calm, authoritative manner greatly appreciated by clients.’ – Legal 500, 2017

‘She is extremely thorough in her preparation and able to manage client expectations well…Great at putting clients at ease.’ – Legal 500, 2016

Awards

Chambers & Partners – Leading Barrister
Legal 500 – Leading Individual

Awards and Scholarships

Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn)
Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Eastham Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

Education

Ilford Ursuline High School
Greyfriars Hall,Oxford University – BA (Hons) Jurisprudence
Inns of Court School of Law – Bar Vocational Course

Professional Memberships

Member of the Family Law Bar Association
Member of Resolution
Member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

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