"Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister"

Chambers UK

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

"Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister"

Chambers UK

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

"Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister"

Chambers UK

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

Kate Balmer

"Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister"

Chambers UK

Kate Balmer

Year of Call: 2009

Kate's principal areas of practice are employment law and commercial litigation, including employment-related tax.  She frequently represents clients in the Employment Tribunal, High Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal.  In 2016, Kate appeared in the Court of Appeal without a leader and the Supreme Court as a junior.

Kate is listed as a leading barrister in Chambers UK, 2017 and Legal 500, 2017.   Chambers UK describes Kate as "an experienced High Court and tribunal advocate" who is "diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister".”  The Legal 500 states that "her advocacy compares favourably even to more senior practitioners." 

In 2013, Kate was appointed Junior Counsel on the Attorney General's C Panel.

Kate is a contributing author to Tottel’s Discrimination Law (Bloomsbury Professional) and has had various articles published.

  • Recommendations

    Represents high-profile employers and large banking institutions in all manner of employment matters, with specific focus on issues involving tax complications. She is highly regarded for her impressive client-handling skills. "She is endlessly knowledgeable, always on top of the documents and a barrister who engages well with solicitors and clients." Instructed on behalf of HSBC bank to defend a religious belief discrimination claim brought by a Muslim ex-employee. - Employment, Chambers UK 2018

    "Her advocacy compares favourably even to more senior practitioners." - Tax (corporate), Legal 500 2017

    Represents high-profile employers and large banking institutions in all manner of employment matters, with specific focus on issues involving tax complications. She is highly regarded for her impressive client-handling skills.  "She is an excellent junior counsel who keeps on growing in her practice." "She is exceptionally good with clients - she puts them at ease and is responsive." Successfully defended Network Rail in an equal pay and unlawful deductions claim brought by employees following contested job-banding after a TUPE transfer from Amey. - Employment, Chambers UK 2017

    "Her forensic analysis and eye for detail are excellent" - Tax: Corporate, Legal 500 2016

    "Practises in employment, commercial and tax law, and is an experienced High Court and tribunal advocate. She is noted as being a hard worker who gets results for her clients. "Diligent, clever, good with clients and great at cross-examination, she's everything you want in a junior barrister." "She's an absolute joy and is very approachable, and very easy to work with." Acted for Barclays Bank in a claim brought by a former employee alleging disability discrimination, part-time worker discrimination and unfair dismissal." - Employment, Chambers UK 2016

    "A baby junior who is widely considered to be able well beyond her years of call. She has standout expertise on the crossover between employment and tax. Expertise: "Absolutely fantastic and very tenacious in cross-examination." "She produces Rolls-Royce witness statements, has a very nice style with witnesses and judges, and always delivers."" - Employment, Chambers UK 2015

    "Kate achieved an excellent result and did a fantastic job presenting the case. The client was over the moon with the result and went out of her way to tell me how impressed she had been with Kate" - Partner, Clyde & Co.

    "Kate’s work was excellent. The standard of her preparation, advocacy and client care has undoubtedly helped us re-enforce our relationship with an important client" - Baites Wells and Braithwaite

    "Kate did a stunning job. I was really impressed with her cross examination and submissions.  Very good client and witness handling skills too." - Instructing Solicitor, City firm

  • Employment

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    Kate is listed in Chambers UK 2017 as an 'Up and Coming Leader in their Field' for Employment.  She regularly represents clients in high value and multi-day tribunal claims, as well as appeal hearings before the EAT.  Kate's clients include international airlines, high street chains, supermarkets, banks, beauty brands, health care providers, charities and a wide range of public and private sector clients and private individuals.  Recent cases of interest include:

    • S v HSBC (2017) – representing the respondent bank in an ongoing unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and victimisation claim.
    • X v HMRC (2017) – representing the respondent in a high profile employment case dispute involving a well-known sports figure.
    • X v Galaxy Hospitality (2017) – representing the respondent in an ongoing unfair dismissal and victimisation claim.
    • W v M&S (2017) – representing the respondent in an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim.
    • C & Ors v Estee Lauder Cosmetics Ltd (2017) – representing the respondent in relation to claims for race and sexual orientation discrimination.
    • H v M&S  (2017) – providing the respondent with ongoing advice in relation to a disability discrimination claim.
    • L v Close Brothers Ltd (2016) – representing the respondent private bank at a full multi-day hearing in an unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim.
    • R v M&S Plc (2016) – representing M&S at a full multi-day hearing on a disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claim.
    • L v ASOS (2016) – representing ASOS at a full multi-day hearing on an unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim.
    • P v Delfont Mackintosh Theatres (2016) – representing the respondent theatre company at a multi-day disability discrimination and unfair dismissal hearing.
    • M v X Police Force (2016) – representing a Police Force in a multi-day sexual orientation discrimination claim involving issues of national security.
    • P v A (2016) – representing the respondent international charity at a full multi-day hearing involving issues of employment status, TUPE and whistleblowing.
    • M v BMI Healthcare Ltd (2016) – representing the respondent a full multi-day constructive dismissal claim.
    • N v John Lewis Plc (2016) – representing John Lewis at the full hearing in an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim.
    • R v Lloyds Register Group (2016) – representing the respondent at a Preliminary Hearing on strike outs/deposit orders.
    • S v Estee Lauder Cosmetics Ltd (2016) – representing the respondent at a one day Preliminary Hearing on time limits and prospects.
    • S v HSBC (2016) – representing the respondent in a full multi-day unfair dismissal and religious belief discrimination claim.


    Advisory Work

    Kate regularly provides advice on employment issues, both orally and in writing.  Her recent advisory work has included, for example:

    • (2016) Advising a law firm on the employment aspects of a professional negligence claim being brought against it by a former client. 
    • (2016) Providing regular advice and assistance to the in-house legal team of a high street retailer on employment tribunal matters.
    • (2016) Advising a multi-national communications provider on a legally complex race and religious belief discrimination claim. 


    Grievance and Disciplinary Investigations

    Kate has experience of acting as an independent investigator in grievance and disciplinary cases.  Recent grievance investigations carried out by Kate have included allegations of bullying, harassment, race discrimination, sex discrimination, equal pay, breaches of flexible working legislation and victimisation.

    Seminars and Publications

    Kate is a contributing author to Tottel’s Discrimination Law (Bloomsbury Professional) and has been published in the Employment Lawyers Association briefing and Glamour Magazine.  Kate has also given seminars on various topics including discrimination, whistleblowing, damages and vicarious liability.
     

  • Tax

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    Kate regularly advises and represents HMRC and taxpayers in a broad range of tax litigation.  Kate appears, without a leader, in multi-day cases before the First-tier tax Tribunal ("FTT").  She has also been instructed as a junior in tax cases before the FTT, Upper Tribunal ("UT"), Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. 

    Kate is ranked as a Leading Tax Junior in Legal 500. ‘Her advocacy compares favourably even to more senior practitioners" - Legal 500 2017.  "Her forensic analysis and eye for detail are excellent" - Legal 500 2016.
    Chambers UK 2016 describes Kate as a barrister who "practises in employment, commercial and tax law, and is an experienced High Court and tribunal advocate". Chambers UK 2015 also described Kate as having "standout expertise on the crossover between employment and tax".

    Kate is a member of the Attorney General's Panel's C Panel and a member of the Revenue Bar Association.

    Kate’s recent cases without a leader have included:

    • Atherton v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 831 – representing HMRC at a full multi-day FTT hearing on a tax avoidance scheme.
    • Townend v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 276 (TC) – representing HMRC at a full multi-day FTT hearing in a penalties case involving allegations of dishonesty.
    • Ridgeway v HMRC [2016] FTT TC/2013/04426 – representing HMRC at a full multi-day FTT hearing on a pension scheme case.
    • Thorne v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0349 (TCC) – representing HMRC at a full Upper Tribunal hearing concerning a claim to sideways loss relief.
    • Hardy v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0332 (TCC) – representing HMRC at a full Upper Tribunal hearing relating to CGT.


    Kate has also done numerous recent cases as a junior including:

    • DS Jersey v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 0565 (TC) – sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in a significant and widely reported company residence case.
    • X v HMRC (FTT, 2017) – instructed as sole junior to leading tax counsel from another set of chambers (Adam Tolley QC) in a high profile employment status case.
    • Michon Ltd & Ors v HMRC (FTT, 2016-2107) – sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in a series of related appeals known as the “Tenon loan waiver” cases.
    • M & Ors v HMRC (FTT, 2017) – instructed as sole junior to leading tax counsel from another set of chambers (Adam Tolley QC) in a series of appeals relating to employee benefit trusts.
    • Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP v HMRC [2016] UKSC 24 – sole junior to Jolyon Maugham QC on a Supreme Court appeal concerning the FTT’s jurisdiction to make an order for costs and the proper interpretation of the FTT Rules of Procedure.
    • Christianuyi Ltd & Ors v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 272 (TC) – sole junior to Akash Nawbatt QC in the first case to consider the new Managed Service Company legislation in s 61B ITEPA 2003.
    • H v HMRC (FTT, 2016-2017) – junior to Jolyon Maugham QC in a high value and factually complex tax appeal concerning CGT, VAT and employment status.
    • Reed Employment v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 805 – sole junior to leading tax counsel from other chambers (Malcolm Gammie QC and Adam Tolley QC) for five years on the complex and high value (circa £158 million) Reed employment litigation.


    Kate has had a number of tax articles published in the New Law Journal and the Tax Journal.  She has also given seminars on a range of topics including tax tribunal tactics and procedures and HMRC’s Litigation Strategy and ADR.

  • Additional Information

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    Kate is able to provide advice and representation in general civil litigation, including personal injury; particularly where such matters overlap with employment issues.  Kate has experience of dealing with stress at work and personal injury claims arising out of discrimination.  She has also advised and represented clients in claims involving the non-employment provisions of the Equality Act 2010.  This includes housing; education; the provision of goods and services; and transport.

    Recent examples of Kate’s general civil and commercial work include:

    • Newcastle Spice Festival (2016) – representing a group of claimants in relation to a public health outbreak at a spice festival.  A successful settlement was achieved for the claimants, as reported in the Daily Mail on 28 January 2017.
    • S v BT (2016) – representing a firm of solicitors in a multi-day County Court hearing on a commercial dispute against British Telecommunications Plc.
    • R v R (2016) – representing a musical theatre agent in relation to a potential claim for breach of contract arising out of an ITV television talent contest

Appointments

Appointed to the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel (C Panel) in 2013

Awards and Scholarships

2009 - Highest Mark in Advanced Civil Litigation

2008 - Clyde & Co Prize for the Highest Mark in Tort

2008 - Harmsworth Scholarship, Middle Temple (£10,000)

2007 - Outstanding achievement in undergraduate studies (£5,000)

Education

BA in Politics and History (First Class)

Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)

Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)

Personal Interests

Kate is a keen amateur actress and sports enthusiast.  She holds a a black belt in Karate and, in 2015, ran the London Marathon on behalf of Barnados.  Kate is also involved with a number of charities and volunteers as a Girl Guide Leader in her local area.