Catherine is a former journalist who switched to law and is now an established civil practitioner, with a particular focus on employment law.
She has wide experience of hearings in Employment Tribunals and County Courts across England and Wales, and she has also represented clients in the High Court and before panels such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the National Midwifery Council.
Catherine is qualified to accept instructions from members of the public on a Direct Access basis.
In her former life, Catherine spent nearly 20 years as a journalist, the last ten as travel editor of The Times. She finds the skills she learned on newspapers – such as interviewing and listening to people, arguing with the editor, and getting to grips with large amounts of information in a short time – translate well to her work as a barrister. Clients tell her that they value her wide experience of life and the workplace. She has a calm manner with nervous witnesses and understands that litigating to the bitter end is not always the answer – but if the fight is unavoidable, she is a strong advocate on her clients’ behalf.
Outside work, Catherine is a keen swimmer, in open water where possible, and most summers can be found swimming slowly around some of the smaller Greek islands. She is an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and has started learning German.
Catherine has wide experience of a range of commercial disputes in the County Court, the High Court and the Commercial Court. Typical work includes general commercial disputes, sale of goods and services claims, consumer credit issues and insolvency matters.
She has represented both claimants and defendants in numerous disputes over such matters as poor-quality building work or a failure to pay professional fees. For many years she has represented a nationwide conservatory company in contractual disputes in the County Court.
She has experience of committal proceedings for contempt of court arising out of findings of fundamental dishonesty, and failure to attend court.
She has extensive experience of civil litigation in general, and is happy to advise in writing and represent clients at court in matters such as summary judgment, default judgment, strike out, allocation to track, disclosure issues, Part 18 questions and answers, and witness evidence. She is familiar with costs issues and regularly attends Costs and Case Management Hearings.
Her only foray into criminal work is that she has for several years defended a major utility company in magistrates’ courts around the country regarding offences under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
“I want to write to you specifically to let you know what a marvellous job the barrister, Cath Urquhart, did. She was simply amazing. She is details-oriented, she knew my case inside out, she was highly analytical and she did not miss any point. She was courteous during cross questioning and remained utterly professional at all times… I cannot recommend her more highly.” – Claimant represented by Catherine in a lengthy constructive unfair dismissal hearing.
“Please allow me to express my sincere appreciation of the excellent way in which you conducted my recent case. Your initial advice was constructive and throughout you were willing to discuss and explore points with me. Your cross-examination and advocacy in Court were clear and effective. I am most grateful for the preparation and effort you put in on my behalf and that you were able to achieve such a satisfactory outcome.” – Claimant represented by Catherine in a trial of a breach of contract matter.
“You rock, baby!” – feedback from nightclub-owner client after Catherine successfully defended his business in a lengthy unfair dismissal claim.
Oxford University: Modern History BA Hons (2:1)
Nottingham Trent University: LLB (First)
Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law, London: Distinction
Bar Vocational Course, Nottingham Law School: Outstanding
Middle Temple: Queen Mother Scholarship; Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize