Ms Catherine Knowles > Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC
Exchange Chambers
M3 3NW

Work Department

Employment; Personal Injury


Catherine practises in all areas of employment and personal injury law. She was appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Counsel in 2010 (and re-appointed in 2015). In 2011 she was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Approved Counsel.

Her employment practice covers the full spectrum of employment issues including discrimination, harassment and victimisation; whistleblowing; TUPE; unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal; redundancy; and breach of restrictive covenants and breach of confidence.

Catherine is regularly instructed to represent parties in the Employment Tribunal and she has particular experience of cases involving the public sector, having been instructed on behalf of government departments, local authorities, NHS Trusts and trade unions. Catherine also has experience of employment related commercial cases in the High Court involving allegations of breach of confidence, breach of fiduciary duty and restrictive covenants. 

Her personal injury practice encompasses multi-track and fast track litigation. She is also instructed on inquests involving fatal accidents and industrial disease cases. She also has considerable experience of claims involving credit hire and of cost budget hearings.


Called 2004; Junior Counsel to the Crown: Regional Panel (2015); Equality and Human Rights Commission Preferred Panel (2011-13)


  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association


  • BA Jurisprudence, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford (Class II.i, 2002)
  • Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding, 2004)
  • Benefactors’ Scholarship, Middle Temple (2003)
  • Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple (2004)

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Employment

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 1

Catherine KnowlesExchange ChambersCatherine is a particularly thorough and efficient advocate, who we know we can rely on to perform and achieve good results.

Active on the Northern Circuit, Exchange Chambers‘ ‘thorough and efficient advocate‘ Catherine Knowles is primarily instructed by respondents in the public sector, including government departments, local authorities, and NHS Trusts, across the full spectrum of employment issues, with a particular focus on claims involving allegations of discrimination and whistleblowing. She successfully appeared for the revenue in Wareing v The Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs, an action by the claimant alleging their employer had failed to comply with a duty to make reasonable adjustments; all claims were dismissed following a four-day hearing.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Personal injury

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Catherine KnowlesExchange ChambersShe has particular expertise in military claims.

The ‘highly intelligent’ Bill Braithwaite QC is an experienced member of the large personal injury team at Exchange Chambers, and is regularly instructed in high-value claims compensation for catastrophically injured claimants. The team, which has strength in depth at all levels, handles high-value, complex cases involving injuries of the utmost severity, fatal accidents, industrial disease, and severe brain and catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Also among the set’s silks, the ‘pragmatic and considered’ Gerard Martin QC specialises in brain injury and spinal injury cases for adults and children, and Louis Browne QC is noted by one client for his ‘excellent interpersonal skills’ and has particular experience of pain syndrome and related claims. At the junior end, Laura Gooding ‘provides an approachable and prompt service with clear, understandable advice’; Christopher Barnes is considered to be ‘a QC in waiting‘ and has a specialism in military claims for claimants, while Catherine Knowles is regularly instructed to act on behalf of government departments for injuries to service personnel, often with the claims involving substantial claims for future loss of earnings and pension.