Catherine O'Donnell

Year of Call: 2000

"Catherine has a calm and measured approach to instructions which are very often complex and multi layered. Her advice is always clear and succinct with wide ranging knowledge in this ever-expanding area of law."

Legal 500, 2022 (Social Housing)

‘Very organised, very thorough in assessing the evidence, can relate well with clients and provides strong advocacy.’

Legal 500, 2021 (Social Housing)

"An expert in tenants' rights in relation to disrepair and other adverse housing conditions."

Legal 500, 2020

"A meticulous advocate with a broad housing practice."

Legal 500, 2019

"Highly recommended in sensitive cases involving vulnerable clients."

Legal 500, 2017


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Legal 500 2022: Leading Junior

Catherine is a member of the Housing, Civil and Court of Protection Teams. Since coming to the bar, she has built up extensive experience in a range of courts and tribunals, including the Court of Appeal, and has dedicated her practice to defending individuals' economic, social and human rights.

Housing Law


Catherine's housing practice spans the whole range of tenancy and housing matters, includes possession (anti-social behaviour, rent, breach of tenancy, tenancy status, sub-letting, succession, beneficial interests, public law), anti-social behaviour injunctions, unlawful eviction, and disrepair.

Catherine is regularly instructed in complex possession trials, especially those involving mental health issues, where she brings to bear her extensive knowledge of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. She also acts and advises in the whole range of homelessness work, including county court appeals and claims for judicial review. She regularly advises and acts in cases where capacity is an issue including where the Official Solicitor has been appointed.

Notable Cases

Lawal & Anor v Circle 33 Housing Trust [2014] EWCA Civ 1514
Save in exceptional circumstances an Article 8 defence ought to be raised during the possession proceedings and in particular at the trial. To raise an Article 8 argument at the enforcement stage, when it could and should have been raised earlier, will almost always be an abuse of process.

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Court of Protection

Catherine practices in property and affairs and health and welfare cases, including those involving deprivation of liberty.

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Catherine's practice spans constructive trusts, proprietary estoppel and TOLATA cases.

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Catherine has a varied general civil practice. She has experience in a range of cases involving Protection from Harassment Act injunctions, nuisance, trespass and negligence.

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Notable Cases & News

All related news


Catherine came to the Bar from the voluntary sector where she was a senior researcher at the Low Pay Unit and carried out extensive campaigning work for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and for improved employment rights. She worked with a variety of organisations, including trade unions, the Low Pay Commission and the European Commission, on issues surrounding pay, working conditions, equality and child workers.

She also previously lectured in European Social Policy at Southbank University and University of Westminster.


Help for council tax payers - Part 1: appeals about reductions, Legal Action Gazette, July/August 2013

Training and Seminars

Catherine has extensive experience as a trainer. Since joining chambers she has been involved in designing and delivering training, in a variety of formats, for solicitors and advisers. She regularly speaks at seminars and training events organised by Garden Court Chambers in the fields of housing law.


  • BA
  • MA
  • Diploma In Law

Professional Membership

  • Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA)
  • Discrimination Law Association (DLA)
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
  • Property Bar Association (PBA)


  • Spanish (fluent)

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