Kate Spence

Email: sheffield.clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0114 273 8951

Year of call: 2013

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Kate graduated from the University of Manchester in 2012 with an LLB Law (Hons) degree. In 2013, she completed the BPTC at Manchester Metropolitan University with a “very competent”. Kate was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in October 2013.

Kate returned to the University of Manchester in 2013 to complete an LLM in Healthcare Ethics and Law, where she achieved a Distinction.

Kate completed a common law pupillage in Sheffield under the supervision of Pennie StanistreetGordon Stables and Joseph O’Brien.


  • Crime

    As a pupil, Kate was supervised by Gordon Stables and was exposed to several Crown Court trials involving death by dangerous driving, sexual offences and GBH.

    Kate frequently appears for the Prosecution and Defence in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court and Youth Court. Kate has experience involving young witnesses, young defendants and vulnerable witnesses.

    Crown Court

    R v AR (2017) – appeared for the prosecution in an appeal from the Youth Court to the Crown Court where the Defendant had been convicted of GBH.

    R v CB (2017) – appeared for the defence in an appeal against sentence and secured a reduction in the Defendant’s term of imprisonment.

    R v Shepherd (2018) – appeared for the prosecution in a committal for sentence. The Defendant had been convicted of dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. The case received local media coverage in The Star.

    Magistrates’ Court

    R v QM (2017) – prosecuted a Defendant charged with several charges of racially aggravated assaults upon police officers, racially aggravated harassment and criminal damage. Secured a conviction on all charges.

    R v GS (2017) – represented a Defendant who had been convicted of several speeding offences which would have resulted in a driving ban. Successfully submitted an exceptional hardship argument and secured an outcome that did not result in a ban for the Defendant.

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  • Family - Children

    As a pupil, Kate was supervised by Pennie Stanistreet and was exposed to several public law cases involving allegations of non-accidental serious harm, sexual abuse and chronic neglect.

    Kate has acted for parents in disputes over holiday arrangements and contact. Kate is particularly passionate about resolving disputes and attempting to agree practical arrangements that are workable for the parties going forwards.

    Kate has experience of acting for local authorities and parents at all stages of public law proceedings, including final hearings.

    Kate is often instructed on behalf of Applicants in respect of applications for non-molestation orders.

    A Local Authority v W (2018) – Kate appeared for the Local Authority in a case concerning a non-accidental injury to a child. Kate pursued findings despite significant opposition from all of the other parties. All of the findings Kate pursued were made.

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  • Personal Injury

    Kate has experience of representing claimants and defendants at civil applications, Infant Settlement Hearings, MOJ Stage 3 hearings and Small Claims where liability and/or quantum is in dispute. Kate is also frequently instructed to advise on quantum in personal injury cases involving children and protected parties.

    Under the supervision of Joseph O’Brien, Kate has advised on quantum, liability and contributory negligence in cases involving serious crush injuries and brain injuries.

    Prior to pupillage, Kate was employed by a multi-national law firm where she handled fast track occupiers liability claims. Kate also assisted with multi-track occupiers liability, public liability and road traffic accident claims.

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