Katherine Deal specialises in all aspects of personal injury litigation, especially higher value claims often involving fatal accidents and catastrophic brain injuries of maximum severity. She has a particular expertise dealing with claims arising from overseas accidents, in particular concerning issues of jurisdiction and choice of law. She is widely considered a leading expert on the interpretation and application of Rome II, and (with James Dingemans QC, as he then was) acted for the claimant in the first ever decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union to consider the scope of Rome II, Homawoo v GMF Assurances (CJEU Case C412/10). She has particular interest in the application by the English court of foreign principles of assessment and is very used to working with foreign law experts to achieve best results. She is currently instructed in what is believed to be the largest foreign fatal accident claim ever brought in an English court, in which the preliminary schedule exceeds £90 million.
She has considerable experience in jurisdictional disputes and has acted in four landmark judgments concerning the direct right to sue foreign domiciled defendants in England, Jones v AGF  IL Pr 4, Thwaites v Aviva Assurances  Lloyd’s Rep IR 661, Panagaki v Minetta SA General Insurance  EWHC 2700 (QB), and Keefe v Mapfre & Hoteles Pinero Canarias SL  EWCA Civ 598, currently awaiting judgment from the Supreme Court.
She also has extensive experience in package travel claims, acting for and against all of the major tour operators in claims ranging from mass outbreaks of gastric illness in hotels or on cruise ships to deaths overseas. She is currently acting for numerous victims of the Tunisia terrorist attack. She is also instructed on behalf of the claimant in the appeal to the Court of Appeal in the case of X v Kuoni Travel Limited  EWHC 3090 (QB), which will clarify the law as it relates to liability of tour operators for deliberate assaults overseas, an area in which she has extensive experience.
In addition Katherine acts in a large number of aviation claims. These range from fatal air crashes to claims arising from faulty ejector seats and seat belt airbags, as well as employers’ liability claims for cabin crew. She was involved in various claims arising out of the Vauxhall helicopter crash. She is currently acting in litigation arising out of the Germanwings crash, the Jet Airways crash and the Indonesia Air Asia crash, amongst numerous others. She has extensive experience of Convention claims, and has a particular interest in claims arising out of medical treatment on board aircraft.
Katherine is an adept litigator but also has immense experience in alternative dispute resolution, and has acted for claimants and defendants in mediations and joint settlement meetings on numerous occasions. She has settled claims running into many millions of pounds. She has represented clients in numerous inquests including those with juries, and was instructed throughout the lengthy and high profile inquest arising out of the Sousse terrorist attack in Tunisia in summer 2015.
Katherine was appointed conciliator for the Passenger Shipping Association, as it was then known, in April 2010 and advised cruise lines and disgruntled passengers within the scope of the conciliation scheme until its conclusion in 2014. She was a volunteer barrister for Disciplinary Hearings held by the Council of the Inns of Court from 2009 to 2013. Katherine is a Recorder (Crime) for the London and South Eastern Circuit. Katherine has recently been accredited and appointed as a PIcArbs panel arbitrator.
Katherine is head of pupillage for Chambers and oversees all aspects of pupillage after recruitment.
Legal 500 2017
'She gives clear advice that is easy to understand, and grasps the issues with both hands.'
Aviation: Leading Juniors
'The doyenne of travel law and aviation claims.'
Travel Law: Leading Junior
‘She has exemplary technical skills and unsurpassed knowledge of cross-border litigation.’
Personal Injury: Leading Junior
Chambers & Partners 2017
'She's very accessible and a phenomenal advocate.' 'She demonstrated excellent skills in a complicated international air accident litigation.'
'She's clearly trusted to take on difficult cases and does a very good job at taking these through to trial.' 'Katherine is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense litigator who is very well respected and very adept at managing the client's expectations.' 'What she doesn't know about travel law isn't worth knowing.'
Travel (International Personal Injury) : Star Individual
Chambers & Partners 2016
‘She will always look at a case from a fresh and refreshing angle. She is not afraid to confront challenging legal issues and look at them from a different perspective in order to find a potential solution… She gets down to the issues quickly, speaks authoritatively and is very approachable.’
Travel (International Personal Injury) - Star Individual
‘She is a class act and has a genuine interest in aviation matters. She's frighteningly clever, a very clever advocate and a delight to work with.’
Aviation Band 2
The Legal 500, 2016
'Her expertise in the field of jurisdiction and choice of law issues in international personal injury cases is second to none'.
Personal Injury: Leading junior
'She provides impeccable client care.'
Aviation: Leading Junior
Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2015
Katherine is ranked as one of the 5 most highly regarded juniors for her work in Aviation and Travel, and is described as ‘tenacious’ yet ‘a pleasure to work with.’
Katherine contributes Chapter XVIII on Litigating Travel Claims to the Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service. She contributed to Oliver & Dingemans on Employers’ Liability Cases and to the APIL Guide to Accidents Abroad. She edits and contributes to the Chambers’ Travel and Personal Injury bulletins. She also gives frequent talks on various areas of interest in the fields of travel or personal injury law, and has regularly lectured at PEOPIL and APIL conferences.
PIBA; LCLCBA; Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL)
MA (Modern Languages) (First Class), St Hugh’s, Oxford
French (fluent); German (fluent); Spanish (basic)