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Kate Urell

Kate is recognised as a leader in her field by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. She acts in a wide range of credit and non-credit related regulatory matters including contentious and non-contentious advisory work.

In particular, Kate is experienced in financial services litigation and advisory work. She has successfully represented most major banks and financial institutions in Court in numerous financial services disputes, in particular defending enforceability and payment protection insurance mis-selling trials on their behalf. Kate is also experienced in unfair terms, harassment of debtors, credit referencing errors, limitation and matters pertaining to the FCA Handbook rules (including CONC, MCOB, DISP and COMP etc). She is equally experienced in s.75 and s.140A CCA disputes and peer-to-peer lending. Kate successfully acted for the lender in two of the recent important cases on the meaning of credit (see notable cases below).

Kate has also assisted various Energy Companies with consumer contract disputes and debt sales.

Her practice regularly covers matters including:

· Drafting and reviewing loan agreements (regulated and non-regulated, secured and unsecured lending), including specialist areas such as litigation finance, premium finance, student and bridging loans, as well as regular loan and supply finance agreements.

· Advising on securitisations and sale of debt portfolios, including due diligence on consumer contracts and loan agreements.

· Advising on self-reporting to the FCA, including risk assessments.

· Drafting representations on consumer credit licensing/authorisation issues, including requests to sign requirements.

· Advising on technical questions pertaining to regulated lending (and how to avoid regulated lending), such as the total cost of credit/ items entering into the APR calculation and whether credit is provided in novel situations.

· Other consumer contract regulatory challenges and advice, including to Government Departments, Energy Companies and Trading Standards etc.

Kate was involved in the implementation of the Consumer Credit Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive and the Green Deal.

Her non-credit practice includes advising on trading laws, product compliance, advertising issues and enforcement action under the Enterprise Act.

Kate is an editor of The Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law (dealing specifically with FSMA authorisation) and is co-author of Atkins Court Forms Consumer Protection Volume.

  • Gertner v CFL Finance Limited [2020] EWHC 1241 (Ch): Kate was successful (against Jonathan Kirk QC and Fred Philpott) for CFL Finance in defending the arguments that a Tomlin Order under which the appellant owed in excess of £50m provided credit and that the compound interest provisions therein amounted to a penalty. Kate also drafted the successful submissions for the hearing below CFL Finance Limited v Bass [2019] 1839 (Ch);
  • Burrell & ors v Helical (Bramshott Place) Ltd [2015] EWHC 3727 (Ch): Kate, led by Ian Mill QC, successfully acted for the defendant in a case where the High Court considered the test to be applied in determining whether an agreement provides for credit;
  • Grace & George v Black Horse Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 1413: Kate represented Black Horse in the Court of Appeal on the questions of limitation and causation of a claim for compensation for inaccurate credit referencing under s.13 of the Data Protection Act and the nature of a court order for repossession of protected goods under s.90 of the Consumer Credit Act;
  • Brandon v American Express Services Europe Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 1187: Kate, led by Fred Philpott, acted for American Express on the question of the termination of consumer credit agreements and the validity of default notices in a consumer credit context where there is an error in the notice;
  • Lloyds Bank v Mitchell 13 September 2009 (Leeds County Court) HHJ Langan QC: Kate represented Lloyds against David Berkley QC on the question of reconstituting credit agreements and the statement of the interest rate in a regulated credit agreement;
  • Kilhey Court Hotels Limited v Wigan M.B.C. (2005) 169 JP 1: Kate, led by Jonathan Goulding, acted for the hotel group before the Administrative Court on the issue of when a due diligence notice is required to be served under section 21(5) Food Safety Act 1990 and the Court’s power to substitute its own findings for one of the Court below without needing to remit.

“Kate’s superb.” “She’s really tech-savvy, great with clients and easy to work with; Kate manages to be both detail-oriented and commercially minded.” Chambers & Partners 2020 (Band 1)

“Extremely commercial and practical and really proactive and collaborative.” Legal 500 2020

“She is always on point and responsive. You go to her for precision.” “She is able to get to grips with complex issues at great speed, has an impressive attention to detail, and a court manner that is always well received by the judges.”  Chambers & Partners 2017

“She has a forensic attention to detail and an excellent court manner.” Legal 500 2016 (consumer) ‘Excellent and really growing into her practice.’ Legal 500 2016 (Banking)

“She has real expertise in consumer law and extraordinary attention to detail.” “She has absolutely excellent technical knowledge of the Consumer Credit Act and associated legislation allied to true commercial acumen.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“Fantastic attention to detail and tremendous expertise in finance and consumer legislation.” Legal 500 2015 (banking) “Very diligent, good with clients and thoroughly well prepared for trial” Legal 500 2015 (consumer)

“She’s very cool and very clever … All the judges like her and respond to her. She gets fantastic results.” Chambers and Partners 2015

“She has full awareness of the commercial realities … Superb in consumer credit and regulatory matters” Legal 500 2014

“Sources highlight the quality of her written work, as well as her approachable manner.  ‘Very smart and very thorough, she is knowledgeable and gets to the heart of issues.’ ‘Her paperwork is fantastic.” Chambers and Partners 2014

“Someone you would always want on your side” Legal 500 2013

“Hands on and very practical, she is excellent at keeping her clients well informed” Chambers and Partners 2013

  • Languages: French
  • Socrates scholar: Université de Montpellier I, France 1999-2000, Diploma in French Law.

Kate is authorised to accept Direct Access instructions and will act on this basis for businesses and professionals.

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VAT number: 848662875