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Catherine is a former journalist who switched to law and is now an established civil practitioner, specialising in employment law.

She regularly appears at hearings in Employment Tribunals across England and Wales, and has a growing appellate practice in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. 

In particular, she has wide experience of unfair and wrongful dismissal claims, all types of discrimination, whistleblowing, hearings on employment status, applications for interim relief, costs arguments, and applications to strike out claims. 

Catherine is qualified to accept instructions from members of the public on a Direct Access basis. She regularly takes on pro bono work through the charity Advocate and participates in ELIPS (Employment Tribunal Litigants in Person Support Scheme).

She is ranked in Chambers and Partners, and in Legal 500, rising to Tier 3 in the 2024 edition for Employment at the London Bar.

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. 

Comments from clients

“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.

Areas of Expertise

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Qualifications & Appointments

  • 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

Memberships

  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers’ Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Fellow, Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, manufactures and commerce (FRSA)

Related News

Does a corrected judgment ‘reset’ the appeal clock?

Does a corrected judgment ‘reset’ the appeal clock?

In Reverend J G Hargreaves v Evolve Housing + Support [2022 EAT 122], the Employment Appeal Tribunal has clarified when time for instituting an appeal starts to run if the Employment Tribunal has sent out a corrected judgment By Catherine Urquhart


Published: 15th Aug 2022

Can mediation solve the housing possessions backlog?

Can mediation solve the housing possessions backlog?

The freeze on possession hearings is finally starting to thaw – but how will the courts cope with the huge backlog of cases? Will mediation, online hearings, or a dedicated housing tribunal make a difference? In the first of a series of articles from 42BR Housing, looking at the potential solutions, Catherine Urquhart analyses the mediation pilot scheme.


Published: 16th Jun 2021

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