Katherine O'Byrne > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers
Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


Katie has a broad practice specialising in international law, human rights, public law and extradition.


She has been instructed as junior counsel in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and in public inquiries. She has represented individual and state clients before UN bodies and the International Court of Justice, and has given evidence in the European Parliament on human rights issues.  

Katie represented claimants in the ‘bedroom tax’ litigation and in the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation, recognised in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2016. She regularly acts unled in urgent claims on behalf of children in need and in challenges to extradition requests. Katie has expertise in public law cases with international law elements, including torture and arbitrary detention cases.

Katie currently serves as junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.  She was also appointed by Northern Ireland DPP Barra McGrory QC as junior counsel to Sir Keir Starmer QC to conduct an independent review of failed prosecutions of sexual abuse and terrorism cases.

Prior to joining chambers, Katie practised as a solicitor at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) in commercial litigation and charity law. She was an associate to Justice Kenneth Hayne AC of the High Court of Australia and an advisor at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre in Melbourne. Before qualifying as a lawyer, Katie was an assistant legal officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the case of Prosecutor v Radovan Karadzic. 

Alongside legal practice, Katie has lectured in the Juris Doctor program at Melbourne Law School and has published in the areas of public law, gender, children’s rights and international law. She is a trustee of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.


Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association
Human Rights Lawyers Association


LLM (Class I), University of Cambridge, UK (2012)
Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Dist.), College of Law, Australia (2009)
BA/LLB (1st Class Honours), Monash University, Australia (2009)