Kate Maynard


Kate Maynard has a "conscientious, tenacious, intelligent, respectful, caring and down-to-earth" manner according to the 2017 edition of Chambers. She is also admired for an "ability to crunch the papers that is unlike most other solicitors – her attention to detail is great."

Kate specialises in civil litigation on behalf of those who have been failed by the criminal justice system. She is an expert on inquests and has represented a wide range of individuals in inquest proceedings. Her particular areas of expertise are deaths following police contact and in prison custody.

Apart from bereaved families, Kate represents victims of crime who have been failed by the criminal justice system, victims of miscarriages of justice and those who have been on the receiving end of the abuse of police power. She also undertakes public law work, particularly where the challenges relate to her main practice areas.

In terms of ongoing inquest cases, Kate currently acts for the family of Dalian Atkinson who died after being tasered by West Mercia Police in August 2016, the family of Darren Cumberbatch who died after being tasered by Warwickshire police in July 2017, the family of Prince Kwabena Fosu who died in October 2011 while segregated in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, and the family of a custody officer who was killed by a prisoner while working in the court cells.

Since 2005, Kate has been instructed on behalf of victims of torture and war crimes from more than ten conflict zones to obtain justice under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction. She has prepared and conducted cases that have been presented to the courts in the UK, New Zealand, Netherlands and Spain.

Kate’s notable judicial review cases include the following:

  • In R (Miah) v IPCC [2016] EWHC 3310 (Admin) the Court of Appeal found that the IPCC were wrong not to uphold the claimant’s police complaint appeal (concerning the exercise of police powers under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000) as the police investigation report was defective.
  • In 2017, R (Daniels) v Secretary of State for Justice and The Lord Chancellor (CO/1774/2014) successfully challenged the security categorisation of a disabled prisoner and a linked challenge to the Criminal Legal Aid (General) Regulations 2013.
  • In R (Scott) The Ministry of Justice (Sued as the Home Office) [2009] EWCA Civ 1215 the Court of Appeal held that a lay complainant is a prosecutor for the purposes of the tort of malicious prosecution if “in substance they procured the prosecution”.

Civil claims brought by prisoners against the Ministry of Justice rarely go to full trial. However, in Radislav Krstic v Ministry of Justice, Kate won a trial against the MOJ for damages for negligently failing to prevent the Claimant from being seriously attacked and left for dead by other prisoners in a high security prison. In Paul Smith v Ministry of Justice, Kate won a trial on behalf of a prisoner who had been assaulted by prison officers in the segregation unit of HMP Parkhurst. The successful judgment handed down on 2 September 2009 criticised the prison officers, prison management (for their failure to investigate) and their lawyers (for serving composite witness statements).