Kate Cornell

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“She’s bright and extremely helpful.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2018


“She is good on paperwork, has good attention to detail and is approachable.” (Police Law) Chambers UK 2017

“She presents pleasantly.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2016

“She’s very bright and has made her way in chambers extremely well.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2016

“She has a very strong grasp of the details of police regulations and is authoritative as a legal adviser.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2015

“She has a good blend of practicality, pragmatism, academic ability and commercial awareness.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2015

“She has a very broad practice and is meticulous and well prepared. She’s also extremely approachable and helpful.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2014

“Gets to grips with the case quickly and can handle a massive amount of information within a short period of time.” – (Police Law) Chambers UK 2014


Kate read history at St John’s College, Cambridge. She converted to law at City University and then completed the BVC at ICSL. She was called by Lincoln’s Inn in October 2003.

After interning in Washington, DC for a non-profit organisation, Kate completed a criminal law pupillage and practised in criminal law until 2008 when she went in-house to work for Berrymans Lace Mawer solicitors. At BLM Kate worked on all aspects of professional negligence law, specialising in police law.

In July 2010 Kate accepted tenancy at chambers.

Police Law

Kate has an extensive practice in police work and a broad experience of civil claims including claims for wrongful arrest, assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, discrimination and misfeasance in public office.

Kate regularly handles human rights claims, especially involving Articles 2 and 8 and those arising out of protest. She has particular expertise in the complex issues surrounding the use and protection of informants and has recently argued several cases addressing the developing area of law relating to the “core immunity” of witnesses from suit.

Kate has a high success rate in striking out unmeritorious claims at the earliest possible stage, and of obtaining civil restraint orders against vexatious serial litigants.

With both criminal and civil experience, Kate has a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and issues facing police forces today, and she has the benefit of having appeared in jury trials, the Court of Appeal and the High Court in both civil and criminal contexts.

Kate regularly advises and lectures on police policy, topical policing issues and key areas of new and established law, including police powers relating to protest and trespassory assemblies; disclosure and data protection; and the taking, retention and use of photographs without arrest or charge.

Kate frequently contributes to chambers police law publications.

Recent Cases Include: 

CLG, ALD, JAD v Merseyside Police (2013)

Trial defending a claim for wrongful disclosure of witnesses’ identities to criminal defendants in a criminal trial. Claimants are currently appealing.

A & B v Chief Constable of Hampshire Police [2012] EWHC 1517

Successful strike out of a claim that the police had caused unauthorized disclosures of an informer’s identity to be made during court hearings where the disclosures were protected by the core immunity applying to court procedures.

Brogan and Baker v South Yorkshire Police

Ongoing series of claims concerning execution of a search warrant. Successfully argued that there could be no claim based on an allegedly invalid warrant where parallel powers of entry meant the entry and search were lawful.


Kate has a comprehensive police disciplinary practice and regularly appears as presenting officer and as legal adviser to the panel. She handles cases from initial advice and drafting the Regulation 21 notice through to misconduct hearings, the Police Appeals Tribunal and Judicial Review. She regularly handles complex, lengthy and sensitive cases including cases of sexual misconduct and those attracting significant media interest.

Kate has been commended on her witness handling in misconduct proceedings and was praised by the panel for her presentation of a high-profile case involving five Merseyside Matrix officers dismissed for gross misconduct following improper and unprofessional behaviour during a search.



Other notable cases include:

R (on the application of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis) v Police Appeals Tribunal [2013] EHC 4309 (Admin) – Judicial review of a PAT decision to reinstate a special constable dismissed for gross misconduct.

A Metropolitan Police officer dismissed without notice for seriously mishandling 999 calls:



An officer sacked after initiating a sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman he met through his policing duties. The case involved extensive legal argument about disclosure; the credibility of the claimant; and allegations of procedural irregularity. The findings and decision to dismiss were upheld by the PAT. (Presented at first instance and on appeal)

The Head of Finance of Surrey Police found to have concealed a relationship with a colleague and to have passed on confidential information to her. (Legal Advisor to the Chair)

A high profile case involving a supervising Sergeant accused of misallocating allegations of rape in order to improve performance targets within his unit. (Presented)

An officer sacked for failing to report sexually suggestive and inappropriate comments to him by a vulnerable 15-year-old runaway, and instead contacting the girl on and off duty, and conducting searches of police databases about her. (Presented and successfully resisted the appeal on the papers)

Kate frequently delivers training sessions and lectures on all aspects of police discipline including misconduct and unsatisfactory performance.

Kate also has experience of cases at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal, and is a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.


Kate acts in inquests and has dealt with cases involving the particular vulnerabilities of the mentally ill and the impact of this on police powers and duties.


ICSL 2002-2003

City University 2001-2002

St John’s College, Cambridge 1997-2000

Parrs Wood High School, Manchester 1995-1997

Tring School, Hertfordshire 1990-1995


South Eastern Circuit, Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers, Professional Negligence Bar Association, Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association.


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