Katherine specialises in finances arising out of divorce and private children law matters. She has a wide financial practice, which covers cases under the Matrimonial Causes Act, Schedule 1 of the Children Act, TOLATA and those under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act. Her private children practice encompasses all areas with a particular expertise in cases involving leave to remove either internally or internationally and child abduction.
She was Junior Counsel in the Supreme Court case of Mills v Mills  UKSC 38. She has appeared in all levels of court in the UK and has been ranked in the legal directories since 2017.
Family Finance & Property
Katherine regularly represents high-net-worth clients on cases involving complex business structures, offshore trusts and shares. She has a particular expertise in cases involving complex maintenance issues and was junior counsel in the Supreme Court case of Mills v Mills  UKSC 38.
She specialises in a broad range of financial matters under the Matrimonial Causes Act, Schedule 1 of the Children Act, TOLATA and under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act. She also regularly represents clients on Child Maintenance appeals in the First Tier Tribunal.
Children (Private Law)
Katherine specialises in private children law matters with particular expertise in cases involving jurisdictional issues such as leave to remove from the jurisdiction and child abduction at both first instance and on appeal. Other complex cases of note in the High Court include representing a mother applying for a declaration that the child undergo an operation in order to correct a deformed face and representing a party opposing a medical procedure being proposed on religious grounds.
She has appeared in all levels of court in the UK.
Highly publicised case before Sir James Munby led by Janet Bazley QC opposing an application by the Queen's Proctor to strike out (on the basis of it being void) the decree of divorce in circumstances where the petitioner initially by mistake relied upon the wrong facts in his petition, the court having missed the error then granted decrees nisi and absolute. The parties remarried before the error was identified by the court.
Appeal before the Supreme Court which was highly publicised. This appeal was from the Court of Appeal's decision in circumstances where the ex-wife had received a lump sum in the financial proceedings to allow her to rehouse and had depleted all of this capital. Led by Frank Feehan QC.
The Court of Appeal had allowed the ex-wife's appeal and increased her maintenance order to include all of her rent. The Supreme Court found that the judge at first instance had justified the maintenance award made and why there be no further increase to include her full rental costs on the basis of her financial mismanagement.
Appeal by the ex-wife from decision of the judge at first instance on application to vary the maintenance order under s. 31 of the MCA in respect of a joint lives maintenance order. Led by Frank Feehan QC. The ex-husband applied to discharge the maintenance order and the ex-wife applied to increase the quantum to include her full rental costs. Neither application was granted at first instance. The Court of Appeal increased the maintenance level to include all of the ex-wife's rental costs.
Application for retrospective leave to remove the children from the jurisdiction in circumstances where the mother had abducted them and return orders had been made which she breached. The circumstances had now changed as the children had now been living abroad for a number of years and were settled.
Abduction case before MacDonald J under the inherent jurisdiction led by Richard Harrison QC. The father had abducted the child, obtained a prohibited steps order and opposed the child's return. Application for return to Azerbaijan granted.
Leading James Chegwidden before Mrs Justice Roberts, this was the father's application for the children to be circumcised (on non-medical grounds) and for permission to take them on holiday to France and to Algeria. These applications were refused.
One of two cases before Baker J (as was) where the parents were not English but were working in this jurisdiction and had requested that their baby be adopted in England. Led by Frank Feehan QC. The issues included whether their greater family in their country of origin be informed of the situation (contrary to their wishes), whether the baby be sent to their country of origin where further decisions be made and whether care orders be made. Baker J gave leading guidance.
This was an appeal in the Court of Appeal in respect of a transfer of tenancy case under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1996. The appeal was in respect of the judge's decision to set aside a previous order transferring the tenancy to him and then transferring the tenancy instead to his ex-girlfriend given his back problems and her assertions that the local authority were likely to rehouse him and not her given his disabilities.
What the Directories Say
"Robust in terms of her cross-examination, she prepares thoroughly for cases and goes the extra mile." "Gets to grips with the issues and is very approachable." Chambers and Partners, 2021
"She is a tough negotiator." Chambers and Partners, 2020
"She sticks up for her clients well and is a very sound practitioner." Chambers and Partners, 2020
"Very knowledgeable." Chambers and Partners, 2019
"Diligent and personable." Chambers and Partners, 2019
"She prepares thoroughly for cases and goes the extra mile." Chambers and Partners, 2019
"Her strength is her no-nonsense approach and impressive cross-examination skills. She is a fighter and is always totally committed to her client." Legal 500, 2019
"She has a forceful cross-examination style." Legal 500, 2019
"An expert in cases with an international element, who fiercely protects her clients interests with professionalism and congeniality." Legal 500, 2017
June 2019: with J. Bazley QC: Considering the impact of the wrong box on a divorce petition, June  Fam Law
September 2018: with J. Westcott: Periodical Payments, no second bite  FLJ 179
July/August 2017: with C. Lloyd-Smith: Parental Abduction within the UK (Issue 189 Resolution)
March 2017: with F. Feehan QC: Varying maintenance: Mills, March  Fam Law
November 2016: with R. Harrison QC and S. Craddock: 'Should I stay or should I go? Where the clandestine removal of a child from the jurisdiction is not unlawful: LM v DR’ November  Fam Law
August 2016: with J. Chegwidden: 'A clear conclusion: religious circumcision for boys' August 
July 2016: 'Babies relinquished by foreign nationals: leading guidance': July  Fam Law
With Frank Feehan QC Maintenance payments as a gateway to independence (Mills v Mills) (28.02.2017) interview with LexisNexis
With K. Taft: English court exercises jurisdiction in retrospective leave to remove case (Re: X, Y and Z) (25.10.2016) interview with LexisNexis
With R. Harrison QC: Summary return and competing jurisdictions (11.08.16) interview with LexisNexis
Court considers transfer of tenancy on separation (23.07.15) interview with LexisNexis Evidence and interim care orders (21.02.14) interview with LexisNexis
Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2021 – Top Ranked Set in Family: Matrimonial Finance
It is very pleasing to see Chambers as a Top Ranked set in Divorce and Financial Remedy in the 2021 edition of Chambers & Partners.
Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards 2019
Janet Bazley QC, one of our joint Heads of Chambers, and Katherine Dunseath have been nominated for Pro Bono QC of the Year and for Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, respectively.
Chambers UK 2020
1GC Family Law is proud to announce that we are again ranked as a leading set in the 2020 edition of Chambers UK across three practice areas. Our skills in Family: Children, Family: Matrimonial Finance and Court of Protection: Health and Welfare are recognised, with many individual silks and juniors listed.
Chambers and Partners
Band 4 - 2021
Chambers and Partners
Band 4 - 2020