Kate Dodds


Kate has extensive experience in both Family and Criminal Law but in the last few years has moved towards a predominantly public law family practice, acting regularly for local authorities, parents, and children. Her knowledge of both areas of law enables her to provide an excellent service to clients, whether they be individuals against whom allegations have been made or local authorities bringing proceedings. She understands how a fact finding hearing in care proceedings and the cross examination of medical experts may impact on any criminal proceedings in the future. Equally, she can advise clients facing criminal offences how decisions at court may affect current or future care proceedings.  For many years she has built a practice based on her ability to represent clients accused of causing injuries to children, or being involved in sexual abuse, in concurrent sets of criminal and family proceedings.

Although no longer accepting instructions in criminal proceedings, Kate’s wealth of previous experience in both disciplines continues to offer those from whom she accepts instructions an invaluable ability to consider the cross-jurisdictional issues and advise accordingly. She has completed the vulnerable witness training and serious sexual offences training which recently became compulsory for all criminal practitioners but is only beginning to cross over in to the family courts, and has considerable experience in calling and cross-examining children and vulnerable witnesses in a sensitive and effective way to allow them to present their evidence to the court.

With her multi-disciplinary experience and reputation for attention to detail, Kate is a popular choice for local police forces and Children’s Services departments of Local Authorities whom she advises in relation to disclosure and Public Interest Immunity, preparing skeleton arguments and attending court hearings on their behalf.  Again, her working knowledge of both the criminal and family law jurisdictions is invaluable in those situations. She also accepts instructions from a range of professional bodies and individuals to provide representation at Inquests.

Closely linked with her expertise in care proceedings concerning clients who lack capacity or are experiencing other mental health issues, Kate has wide-ranging experience of Court of Protection work, accepting instructions on behalf of local authorities, CCGs and individuals. She also regularly conducts cases in which the official solicitor is involved.

Outside of work, Kate can usually be found with a pair of trainers on trying to keep up with her husband and son at road and trail races all around the North of England, and further afield. In recent years her interest in long distance running has developed and in the last year she has completed two marathons and is training for a third. Without fail, on Saturday mornings she can be found at a local parkrun 5km , either running or volunteering, and has finally persuaded at least 2 other members of chambers to take up the same challenge.


Notable Cases

Re: A – 2018 Care proceedings on behalf of a parent involving an allegation of non-accidental head injury to a young baby, resulting in serious brain injury.  The case involved the analysis and challenge of complex medical evidence from experts in neurology, opthalmology, radiology and genetics.

Re W – 2019. Care proceedings involving 5 children, ranging in age from 3 months to 6 years. a 20 year history of infrequent but serious episodes of domestic abuse. Complex care planning involving a combination of placement for adoption, long term foster care, and family placement, and the cross examination of both a psychologist and psychiatrist in relation to the sibling attachments and the consequences of separate placements.

Re S&B  2019 – Care proceedings involving inter-generational sexual abuse over 3 generations of one family, over a 29 year period, leading to a fact finding hearing involving allegations made by 7, 14, and 15 year old girls against several male family members. All children wished to give evidence and a day was set aside to determine applications for this to happen. Two of the children were subsequently called to give live evidence.






Family Law Bar Association

North Eastern Circuit

Practice Areas