Kate Brunner KC has a busy practice in crime, fraud, regulatory work and inquests. She is recognised for her detailed case preparation and effective advocacy and is recommended as being a leader in her fields by leading legal directories: ‘she is the exemplary criminal barrister’ (Chambers and Partners 2016). Kate acts in gross negligence cases in criminal courts, and accepts instructions in civil clinical negligence cases.

Kate set up the Western Circuit Women’s Forum in 2015 with others to address lack of diversity at the Bar.

Kate is Leader of the Western Circuit, having been elected in October 2019.

Key cases & testimonials

Recent Defence Cases Include:

R v Joginder Chall: [2019] EWCA Crim 865

Court of Appeal Guideline authority relating to the use of Victim Personal Statements: Kate represented a defendant in this important case addressing the proper test for severe psychological harm

R –v- Waszkiewicz – Derby CC

Prosecution of a man for manslaughter of 100 year old Holocaust Survivor.  The case involved complex CCTV  evidence and issues relating to causative link between injuries sustained in the attack and the pneumonia which directly caused her death. He was sentenced to 15 years. Click Here

R v DB

Defence of man charged with murdering neighbour by blocking gas flue, plea to manslaughter accepted, Court of Appeal upheld sentence after Attorney-General’s reference

R v HN

Senior NHS manager accused of fraud

R v CN

Nurse accused of gross negligence manslaughter

R v RR

man accused of sadistic murder of landlord

R v DW

Man accused of historical rape of fourteen women and girls

R v NB

Chief executive of large council charged with misconduct in public office relating to salary increases, successful application to exclude expert auditor evidence and to dismiss charges
Recent Prosecution Cases Include

R v Yanpolsky

Leading the prosecution team in large cybercrime prosecution. Complex sabotage cyberattack on processing system for card payments, involving unauthorised theft of data to enable unauthorised access and amendment of data.  Repeated hacking over a four week period and malicious coding leading to a lengthy outage, and multi-million pound loss. Issues and expert evidence relating to ip addresses, malware, hacking, identify theft, and no-trace remote access.

R v SP HMRC

Prosecution of multi-million pound tax fraud, involving detailed analysis of computer evidence to demonstrate creation and manipulation of documentary evidence. Digital forensic expert evidence including examination of hacking. In significant child cybergrooming/indecent images cases Kate has regularly dealt with expert evidence including examination of hacking, dating the transmission of files etc.

R v LMcC

Complex circumstantial murder prosecution, involving piecing together CCTV, telephone data and expert drug evidence to prove defendant’s guilt

R v AK

Prosecution of murder, psychiatric evidence relating to fitness to plead and loss of control manslaughter

R v CH

High-profile case of the murder and sexual assault of 17-year-old Melanie Road in Bath in 1984. The prosecution case was that she had been stabbed to death and sexually assaulted as she returned home from a night out. A DNA sample provided by the defendant’s older daughter in 2014 following her arrest for a minor matter provided a familial match to DNA from the crime scene. The defendant voluntarily provided an elimination sample which led to his eventual arrest and charge. The defendant pleaded guilty to Melanie Road’s murder at Bristol Crown Court on 9th May 2016 and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years

R v AS

Prosecution of man for knife-point murder of stranger

R v SP

Prosecution for HMRC of ‘Cornwall’s largest tax fraud’; an accountant cheating the Revenue of over £2 million

A notable silk regularly instructed in serious violent crime, fraud and regulatory offences. She has a noted expertise in homicides, and acts for both the prosecution and the defence. She has a real eye for seeing the gaps in cases and where research is needed. Very detail-oriented." Recent work: Prosecuted a couple who were alleged to have systematically abused their baby. Chambers UK 2021
Kate is a tour de force. She exudes confidence and is able to live up to her reputation because she is phenomenally hard working and smart.Legal 500 2021
A notable silk regularly instructed in serious violent crime, fraud and regulatory offences. Kate comes across as effortless in court. She is always thoroughly prepared and very quick-thinking.Chambers UK 2020
A notable silk regularly instructed in serious violent crime, fraud and regulatory offences. She is very incisive, she deals with complex issues very well and she is very determined.Chambers UK 2019
She has a keen eye for the essential details of a case. Legal 500 2018

Further information

Leader of Western Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Inquest Lawyers’ Group

South-Eastern Circuit

Kate has a particular expertise in cases which are technically and factually complex, especially allegations of serious fraud, corruption and misconduct.  She has defended substantial fraud cases for twenty years.These cases engage Kate’s close analysis of detailed evidence, her ability to gain a thorough understanding of banking and accountancy data, and comprehensive cross-examination of expert witnesses. Kate has expertise in high-value proceeds of crime proceedings which may follow fraud cases (such as Harvey [2013] EWCA Crim 1104, a case which reached the Supreme Court relating to whether VAT should be discounted from benefit figure to be confiscated).

Cases include:

R v HN: Prosecutors dropped all charged against Kate’s client, a senior NHS manager accused of fraud, part-way through the trial. Kate successfully submitted that the case should be discontinued after she cross-examined prosecution witnesses to demonstrate that the dishonest financial transactions and illegal commissioning had not been carried out by her client, but by the Trust’s Chief executive, who subsequently admitted her guilt. click here to read.

 

R v RG: Representation of woman charged with laundering the proceeds of her husband’s arms-dealing business.

 

R v NB: Kate represented chief executive of large council charged with misconduct in public office relating to the process of salary increases for senior employees including himself.  Kate cross-examined experts in accountancy and auditing to demonstrate that the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to follow required procedures in relation to expert evidence and unused material. Kate successfully argued that the expert evidence should be excluded, and as a result the judge dismissed all charges against the defendants.    – click here to read. The episode concluded with compensation being paid to the defendants along with a full pension and a public acknowledgement by the council that there had been no wrongdoing. Read the coverage here.

R v SP: Billed by HMRC as ‘Cornwall’s largest tax fraud’; an accountant alleged to have cheated the Revenue of over £2 million. The 12 week trial involved expert accountancy evidence, expert taxation evidence (including corporation tax, income tax, CGT) and 60 lay witnesses, and required detailed analysis of dozens of bank accounts to show patterns of money movement  – click here to read.

R (OFT) v N: Defending in multi-handed pyramid selling consumer protection case, involving a £21million scheme. This 5 month trial was the first prosecution under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 relating to pyramid promotional schemes. Read the coverage here.

Most of Kate’s work involves detailed analysis of highly technical evidence, and careful handling of expert witnesses, and that approach is put to good use in cybercrime cases. Kate was recently praised by a senior officer at the Met Cybercrime unit :  ‘your closing speech was the best that I have had the pleasure to witness throughout my career in that it really galvanised all the pieces of the jigsaw to demonstrate the full picture to the jury superbly’. Kate had dealt with numerous cases involving analysis of computer evidence and expert evidence, and is entirely familiar with presentation of complex computer information to juries, including information about coding, malware, and cybersecurity.

R v Yanpolsky: leading the prosecution team in large cybercrime prosecution. Complex sabotage cyberattack on processing system for card payments, involving unauthorised theft of data to enable unauthorised access and amendment of data.  Repeated hacking over a four week period and malicious coding leading to a lengthy outage, and multi-million pound loss. Issues and expert evidence relating to ip addresses, malware, hacking, identify theft, and no-trace remote access.

R v SP: HMRC prosecution of multi-million pound tax fraud, involving detailed analysis of computer evidence to demonstrate creation and manipulation of documentary evidence. Digital forensic expert evidence including examination of hacking.

In significant child cybergrooming/indecent images cases Kate has regularly dealt with expert evidence including examination of hacking, dating the transmission of files etc.