Katherine Duncan

Year of Call: 2014

Katherine practises in all aspects of family law. She has a busy practice of children law, international family law and financial proceedings.

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Katherine is a barrister specialising in family law.

Katherine has a busy practice in private and public children matters, international family law and financial proceedings.

When representing clients in child arrangement hearings, she is adept at finding creative solutions to child arrangements in the context of complex emotional relationships. Sometimes it may be more appropriate to issue a specific issue order in relation to medical treatment, passports and education. Katherine will advise her clients on such applications.

Katherine has a particular interest in cases where there have been allegations of domestic violence after spending time practising in the criminal courts. It is important that the courts deal with the issue of domestic violence early in proceedings and is familiar with the practice direction on such issues. She is adept at the cross-examination of the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim in such cases. She regularly acts in applications for non-molestation orders and occupation orders.

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. Katherine is confident at handling contested interim care orders (ICOs) and contested threshold cases. She understands how stressful and daunting it can be when the Local Authority are involved in family life and works hard to make sure the parents are given every opportunity available.

Katherine advises clients on divorce and represents clients in contested financial proceedings with a wide variety of assets. She also has experience of advising clients in relations to Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLTA) matters and schedule 1 claims.

In international proceedings, Katherine represents clients in cases concerning child abduction and child relocation.  She has acted on behalf of the police when they have sought to obtain forced marriage protection orders and domestic violence protection orders. Katherine takes a keen interest in forced marriage and FGM cases and provides seminars on such subjects.

Katherine accepts instructions in relation to extradition proceedings, prison adjudications and parole hearings.

Additional information

Direct Public Access

  • Katherine is able to accept instructions from a member of the public on a direct access basis.


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


  • 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.

Katherine mooted internationally on behalf of Kaplan Law School.

Professional Memberships

  • Family Law Bar Association.
  • International Bar Association.
  • Resolution.
  • South Eastern Circuit.

Chancery & Commercial

Katherine represents clients in a wide variety of civil claims.

She regularly acts in small claims and fast-track cases relating to road traffic accidents, personal injury, and contractual disputes.

She is also able to advise on disputes in relation to family property and trusts.


Katherine has experience of prosecuting and defending in a wide variety of offences.

Extradition & International

Katherine appears in extradition proceedings in Westminster Magistrates Court.  She has successfully argued the discharge of warrants on the basis of article 8.

Family, Children & International Family

Katherine accepts instructions in relation to family, children and international family matters.

Judicial Review & Public Law

Katherine accepts instructions in public law - particularly in matters which relate to the criminal process.

Katherine regularly represents clients at prison law adjudications and parole hearings.

Cases of Note

K v R

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 British citizen, back from India to the UK.

Re E (forced marriage protection order)

Successfully represented the Metropolitan Police to achieve a forced marriage protection order and passport order against a father seeking to take his teenage daughter abroad to have her raped and married.

R v A

A was subject to a restraint order in pre-confiscation hearings. Represented A in Contempt of Court proceedings in the Crown Court. After mitigation, the judge imposed a fine instead of immediate custody.


Represented mother in contested child arrangements hearing. Instructed a nationally renowned child psychologist.

H v H

Provided advice on obtaining a divorce. The parties were married under Islamic Law and the wife wanted to ensure the return of her dowry. The wife was in the UK and wished to divorce her husband, who was living in their house in the EU, before he fled.

R v S

Secured an acquittal after trial in the Crown Court. Negotiated with the Prosecutor to condense the Prosecution case into a set of admissions.