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Katherine Duncan

Year of Call: 2014

Katherine is a barrister specialising in family law. She has a busy practice in private and public children matters, international family law and financial remedies.


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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Family Law

Katherine specialises in family law. She represents clients in private law children applications including Child Arrangements Orders, international relocation, specific issue order applications and surrogacy.

Katherine practises in public law representing parents, Guardians and Local Authorities. She regularly represents parents with learning difficulties.

She also represents clients in applications for financial remedies.

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Katherine appears in complex child arrangement proceedings, particularly where there have been allegations of domestic violence and often where a Guardian has been appointed for the children.

Katherine acts in care proceedings. She has represented clients in cases where there have been allegations of non-accidental injury, domestic violence, neglect, sexual abuse, and alcohol and drug abuse. She regularly works with clients with learning difficulties and works hard to make sure they are able to fully engage in the proceedings.

In international proceedings, Katherine represents clients in cases concerning child abduction, child relocation, temporary removal and access rights under the Hague Convention 1996.

Notable Cases

M v F & SM (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) [2017] EWHC 2176 (Fam) (23 August 2017)
Katherine Duncan, instructed by Mills and Reeve, acted for the second respondent in the application for a parental order in relation to a child born as a result of a gestational surrogacy arrangement between the applicant and her former partner, where the child was born to a surrogate mother. Wardship continues until the law changes to permit applications for parental orders by a single applicant.

Re N
Represented mother in private law matter with Guardian appointed for the children. The mother made allegations of domestic abuse and physical abuse of the children which were proven at a fact-finding hearing, before consideration of welfare and Child Arrangements. Specific Issue Order application considered for temporary removal.

Re A
Represented father at fact-finding hearing in private law dispute where allegations made against the father of serious domestic abuse including abandonment and threats to kill. Welfare issues include exposure to domestic abuse, parental alienation and sibling collusion.

Re D
Represented a mother in care proceedings. After successful cross-examination of the social worker, the social worker conceded that the children should not have been removed and should be returned to the parents as the allegations of non-accidental injury had very likely been fabricated by one of the children. Children returned the next day with a Family Assistance Order.

Re H
Represented a mother with severe cognitive difficulties in care proceedings with application for a placement order. Ensured she was able to engage with the proceedings as much as possible.

Re K
Represented mother in the High Court after a location order was issued and the child was made a ward of the court and passport orders were imposed. Agreed a solution with father to bring the younger child, who was not a UK citizen, back from India to the UK. Child arrangements orders were subsequently made.

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Katherine advises clients on divorce and represents clients in contested financial remedy proceedings with a wide variety of assets in the UK and abroad.

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Training and Seminars

Katherine takes a keen interest in forced marriage and FGM cases and provides seminars on these subjects.

Katherine recently spoke at the Family Law team's seminar on relocation, temporary leave to remove from the jurisdiction and Brexit.

She has also recently provided advocacy training to trainee solicitors.


International Legal and Professional Development Grant

Ede and Ravenscroft Prize 2014

Major Scholarship from Inner Temple for BPTC 2013

Major Scholarship from Inner Temple for GDL 2012

Merit Scholarship from University of Aberdeen 2008-2012

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  • Kaplan Law School, BPTC (Very Competent)
  • University of Law, GDL (Commendation)
  • University of Aberdeen (First Class Honours)

Professional Membership

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Resolution
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Young Barrister Committee Chair (2019)
  • Member of the Bar Council

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