Katie Longstaff is a commercial and insolvency barrister, who is recognised as go-to counsel (Insolvency, Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar 2024).
Her practice covers a broad spectrum of commercial and insolvency work for international and domestic clients, across a wide range of sectors (including financial services and real estate). She has notable experience in dealing with cross-border issues in insolvency litigation.
She contributed to Insolvency Litigation: A Practical Guide, 3rd Ed and was also a contributing author to the Personal Insolvency volumes of Atkins Court Forms.
Katie’s practice covers all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency work. She often acts for both directors and office-holders in high-value cases. Many of her cases involve cross-border issues, particularly in the context of New Zealand bankruptcies. She is a contributing editor to the insolvency volumes of Atkins Court Forms.
Her recent cases include:
- Chen Yung Ngai Kenneth v Li Shu Chung  EWHC 3346 (Ch) – led by James Morgan KC in successfully acting for Hong Kong trustees in bankruptcy in resisting an application for security for costs and then obtaining a recognition order under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006
- Lakatamia Shipping Co Ltd v Su  EWHC 1866 (Ch)
- Yu v Cowley  EWHC 2429 (Ch) – led by Chris Boardman KC in successfully acting for Hong Kong trustees in bankruptcy in responding to an appeal of a decision validating service retrospectively of an application seeking recognition under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006
- Ardawa v Uppal  EWHC 456 (Ch) – acting for the trustee in bankruptcy in this dispute where Roth J held that the Court did not have power to grant substituted service of a bankruptcy petition retrospectively
- TPS Investments (UK) Limited (In Administration)  EWHC 360 (Ch) – representing the interested parties in insolvency proceedings, who claimed to be creditors of property investment company TPS in a sum exceeding £40 million and to have a proprietary interest in the proceeds of the sale of its properties by virtue of a quistclose trust
- BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Ltd v Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd  EWHC 1200 (TCC) – acting for a company in administration regarding the lifting of the statutory moratorium
- Advising office-holders on issues concerning the constitution of liquidation committees, subrogation and the FCA, and the Court’s powers in relation to remuneration applications
- Advising on and drafting an application to determine and realise a trustee’s interest in a substantial property, in a case concerning legal and equitable lifelong leases, section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, proprietary estoppel and competing proprietary interests
- In the matter of Highbeam Homes (Donnington) Limited (In administration) (2018) – successfully representing administrators seeking to realise the company’s only asset, a newly built property, in the context of a creditor claiming retention of title and arguing that Joint Contracts Tribunal terms did not apply
- Successfully defending a company at a multi-million pound contested winding up petition hearing, which gave rise to issues of limitation and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the context of bankruptcy
- Representing the Official Assignee of New Zealand in several cross-border bankruptcy cases.
Katie is regularly instructed to advise, draft pleadings and represent clients in commercial cases, many of which are banking, property and technology matters.
Her recent work includes:
- Acting as junior counsel on a multi-million pound share dispute
- Jones v Hamilton (2018) – acting as junior counsel in preparation for a five-day account and enquiry hearing requiring the claimant to account for profits made in respect of a multi-million pound property development project, requiring analysis of a complex group structure spanning the UK, BVIs, Luxembourg and France
- Successfully defending a company at a multi-million pound contested winding up petition hearing, which gave rise to issues of limitation and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the context of bankruptcy.
Katie assists banks and investors in relation to a wide range of disputes and advisory matters, often involving cross-jurisdictional issues.
Her recent work includes:
- Sparkasse Koln Bonn v Cutts  EWHC 1879 (Ch) – acting as sole counsel for the claimant who successfully defended a common-intention constructive trust claim
- Representing a well-known German bank in a matter giving rise to various issues concerning the registration of an authentic instrument under the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 and the variation of consequential orders
- Advising foreign lenders on service outside of the jurisdiction matters, including the scope and applicability of the Judgments Regulation and the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.
Katie practices in all areas of company law, including directors’ duties, shareholders’ rights, shareholder agreements, and the tracing and recovery of corporate assets. She is particularly well-placed to advise on company law issues arising from corporate insolvencies.
Her recent work includes:
- Acting as junior counsel on a multi-million pound shareholder dispute
- Acting as sole counsel for the petitioner in the High Court on an unfair prejudice petition
- Advising directors in respect to misfeasance claims against them, including the application of the Re Duomatic principle
- Advising and drafting claims for the restoration of companies in complex cases (including those involving matters of insolvency law, trust issues and pensions).
Katie has a broad real estate practice, with significant experience in property law issues affecting banks and/or arising from insolvency. She is particularly sought after to appear in complex mortgage possession cases.
Her recent work includes:
- Regency Villas Title Ltd and others v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd and others  UKSC 57 – Appearing as second junior for the successful respondents in the Supreme Court, in the leading case concerning recreational easements
- Advising and representing a mortgage lenders on a range of issues, including applications for permission to enforce a orders pursuant to CPR 83.2.3, Gomba Holding applications and civil restraint order issues.
Katie is ranked as a leading junior for restructuring and insolvency by Chambers UK Bar 2020 and a rising star by Legal 500 UK Bar. Her editorial includes:
- “She is quick to pick up on complex matters and has excellent attention to detail.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2024)
- “She can handle complex matters and provides useful, practical advice which our clients appreciate.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2024)
- “She is my go-to insolvency barrister. Her technical ability is just second to none.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2024)
- “Katie has great attention to detail, she is a tenacious advocate and very user-friendly.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2023)
- “Extremely bright, superb attention to detail, excellent on her feet and a 100% team player.” (Insolvency, Legal 500 UK Bar 2023)
- “She is approachable, easy to deal with and handles matters in a timely fashion.” and “Katie is very good at getting stuck in and she talks through all the strategies and possibilities – she is always putting her clients’ issues as a priority.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2022)
- “Katie is pragmatic, responsive, technical and commercial – she is a first choice.” (Insolvency, Legal 500 UK Bar 2022)
- “Katie is an extremely knowledgeable insolvency barrister who isn’t afraid to go not just the extra mile, but an extra 100 miles. She is extremely sharp on the law, and that knowledge – combined with her personable nature and clear and succinct advocacy – attracts and wins the confidence of the judiciary.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2021)
- “She holds intellectual clout and commerciality in equal measure.” (Insolvency, Legal 500 UK Bar 2021)
- “She is very approachable, good to work with and takes a commercial and thorough attitude towards her cases.” “She is super bright, clear and hard working.” (Restructuring/Insolvency, Chambers UK Bar 2020)
Katie regularly writes and speaks on her areas of expertise and is happy to deliver training to clients. Her publications include:
- Contributing editor to Insolvency Litigation: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition.
- Contributing editor to the Personal Insolvency volumes of Atkins Court Forms.
Katie graduated from Durham University in 2010 (1st Class, LLB ELS), winning the Commercial Law Prize (having achieved the highest mark in the commercial law module that year). She interned at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and worked for an international technology consultancy firm in the City, before pursuing a career at the Bar. She completed the BPTC at College of Law, London in 2013.
- Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
- Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
- London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association