"Really good in cross-examination"

Legal 500 2020

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

"Really good in cross-examination"

Legal 500 2020

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

"Really good in cross-examination"

Legal 500 2020

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

Kate Balmer

"Really good in cross-examination"

Legal 500 2020

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

Kate has a substantial employment practice and is regularly instructed in the Employment Tribunal, High Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal.   Kate handles all manner of employment cases, including discrimination, whistleblowing, injunctions and employment related tax matters.  Kate's strong expertise in this area is recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, in which she is ranked as a leading junior, published comments include:

  • "Extremely diligent and all over the detail as well as really good and patient in cross-examination" - Legal 500 2020
  •  "A very clear-sighted barrister who is able to see through to the crux of really complex matters" - Chambers UK 2020
  • "Responsive, conscientious and well prepared. She is good with clients, approachable and good on her feet" - Chambers UK Bar 2019
  • "She is an effective barrister" and "always well prepared" - Legal 500 2019
  • "She is endlessly knowledgeable, always on top of the documents and a barrister who engages well with solicitors and clients" Chambers UK 2018
  • "Her advocacy compares favourably even to more senior practitioners" - Legal 500 2017

Kate's clients include large banking institutions, high street retailers, FTSE 100 companies, government bodies and high profile individuals.  

  • Recommendations

    "Responsive, conscientious and well prepared. She is good with clients, approachable and good on her feet" - Chambers UK Bar 2019

    "She is an effective barrister" and "always well prepared" - Legal 500 2019

    "She is endlessly knowledgeable, always on top of the documents and a barrister who engages well with solicitors and clients" Chambers UK 2018

    "Her advocacy compares favourably even to more senior practitioners" - Legal 500 2017

    "She is an excellent junior counsel who keeps on growing in her practice" "she is exceptionally good with clients - she puts them at ease and is responsive" Chambers UK 2017

    "Her forensic analysis and eye for detail are excellent" -  Legal 500 2016

    "Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister" - Chambers UK 2016

    "Absolutely fantastic and very tenacious in cross-examination", "has a very nice style with witnesses and judges, and always delivers." - Employment, Chambers UK 2015

  • Employment

    Add to Portfolio

    Kate is ranked as a leading Employment practitioner in both the Legal 500 2020 and Chambers & Partners 2020 

    Kate regularly represents clients in high value and multi-day tribunal claims, as well as appeal hearings before the EAT.  Kate's clients include FTSE 100 companies, banks, international airlines, high street chains, supermarkets and a wide range of public and private sector clients and private individuals. 

    Kate's recent cases in the Employment Tribunal include:

    • H v House of Commons (2019) - representing the House of Commons in a five day race discrimination claim;
    • K x Network Rail (2019) - representing Network Rail in a multi-day unfair dismissal and discrimination claim;
    • X v Y (2019) - representing the respondent production company in a high profile case involving allegations of sexual assault and #MeToo;
    • D v M Investment Bank (2019) - representing the respondent investment bank in a multi-day disability discrimination claim;
    • F v PwC (2019) - representing the respondent in a disability discrimination claim;
    • Y v NMC (2019) - representing the NMC in a multi-day race discrimination claim;
    • B v Insolvency Service (2019) - representing the respondent in a multi-day constructive unfair dismissal claim.
    • H v Estee Lauder (2019) - representing the respondent in an ongoing disability discrimination claim;
    • X v M&S (2019) - representing M&S in an ongoing disability discrimination claim.

    Recent cases in the EAT or other courts include:

    • S v Cadent Gas (2019) - representing the respondent, both as sole counsel and also (on certain issues) led by a QC, in a Trade Union dismissal claim recently heard before the EAT.
    • X v HMRC (2019) - representing the respondent, as junior to a QC, on a high profile employment status case involving a celebrity sportsperson.
    • X v HMRC (2019) - representing the respondent, as junior to a QC, on a high profile employment status case involving a sports presenter.

    Kate's recent advisory work has included:

    • R Ltd (2019) - advising the respondent company on a substantial national minimum wage enquiry;
    • O (2019) - advising a government department on flexible working and travel allowances;
    • X Ltd (2019) - advising the respondent on the merits of defending a race and religious belief discrimination claim and quantum;
    • X v E Ltd (2018-2019) - advising the respondent company on a multi-million pound National Minimum Wage enquiry.
  • Tax

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    Kate is ranked as a leading Corporate Tax practitioner in the Legal 500 2020.

    Kate has substantial experience in the FTT, appearing without a leader in complex and multi-day cases.  Kate has also appeared in the UT a number of times without a leader and, as a junior, in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

    Kate’s recent FTT cases without a leader have included:

    • Atherton v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0041 (TCC) – representing HMRC at a full multi-day Upper Tribunal hearing on a tax avoidance scheme.
    • C v HMRC (2019) - representing HMRC in an ongoing income tax matter in the FTT;
    • X v Isle of Man Customs (2019) - representing the respondent in an ongoing VAT matter involving employment issues.

    Kate has also done numerous recent cases as a junior including:

    • CBS v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 474 - sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in the Court of Appeal in the first case to consider the new Managed Service Company legislation in s 61B ITEPA 2003.
    • Morrison Trust v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 93  - sole junior to HMRC in a widely reported case involving a capital gains avoidance scheme.
    • DS Jersey v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0169 (TCC) - sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in a significant and widely reported company residence case.  The case is ongoing, with an appeal due to be heard in the Court of Appeal in 2020.
    • Credit Suisse v HMRC (2019) - sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in the first case to consider the Bank Payroll Tax legislation.
    • X & Y v HMRC (2019) - sole junior to Adam Tolley QC in a series of related cases involving employee benefit trusts.
  • Commercial Litigation and Disputes

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    Kate has extensive experience of commercial matters in the County Courts and High Court.  Kate has provided advice and assistance in respect of claims involving breach of contract, restrictive covenants, breach of settlement agreements, breaches of confidentiality, stress at work and other issues.

    Kate has also advised and represented clients in claims involving the non-employment provisions of the Equality Act 2010.  This includes housing; education; the provision of goods and services; and transport. 

  • Off-payroll working (IR35)

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    Kate has extensive experience in employment status and IR35, both in the public and private sectors.   Her work in this area has included litigating high profile IR35 cases for HMRC, as well as providing written advice to private clients on IR35 issues.  Kate’s recent employment status and IR35 cases have included:

    • X v HMRC (2019) – representing HMRC, led by a QC on a high profile IR35 case involving a sportsperson;
    • Y v HMRC (2019) – representing HMRC, led by a QC, on a high profile IR35 case involving a TV presenter;
    • Ofsted (2019) – advising a government body on IR35;
    • E Ltd (2019) – advising a FTSE 100 company on upcoming changes to IR35;

     

    Kate is ranked as a leading junior for both Employment and Corporate Tax in the Legal 500 2020 and Chambers & Partners 2020, with the directories noting her strong expertise on the cross-over between employment and tax.

Appointments

Appointed to the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel (C Panel) in 2013

Awards and Scholarships

2009 - Highest Mark in Advanced Civil Litigation

2008 - Clyde & Co Prize for the Highest Mark in Tort

2008 - Harmsworth Scholarship, Middle Temple (£10,000)

2007 - Outstanding achievement in undergraduate studies (£5,000)

Education

BA in Politics and History (First Class)

Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)

Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)

Personal Interests

Kate is a keen amateur actress and sports enthusiast.  She holds a a black belt in Karate and, in 2015, ran the London Marathon on behalf of Barnados.  Kate also enjoys skiing and sailing.