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Katy Colton, Managing Associate, Mishcon Private

Katy Colton

Partner, Head of the Politics and Law Group

Personal Profile

Katy is a Partner in Mishcon Private and Head of the Politics and Law Group. Katy specialises in political disputes, public law, and commercial litigation predominantly for individuals and their businesses and families. Katy's breadth of experience ensures that she is well-placed to devise creative solutions to meet the needs of private clients in their wider personal, political and business lives.

Katy is regularly called upon to advise on public law issues and has broad experience advising politicians, activists, NGOs and charities in relation to complex, often high profile, contentious matters engaging issues of equality, administrative law, human rights and international justice. Katy also has great experience advising clients on complex, high-stakes international litigation, deploying creative legal strategies to achieve her clients' specific objectives.

Katy has been at the forefront of high-profile legal cases. In particular, Katy acted for Gina Miller in her successful judicial review claim against the Government, arguing that Article 50 could not be triggered without the express authorisation of Parliament. Katy also made legal precedent by securing the first "fake news" injunction, acted for Margaret Hodge MP in her dispute with the Labour Party in the summer of 2018 and acted for the Jewish Labour Movement in relation to the investigation by the EHRC into Antisemitism within the Labour Party.

Katy has built a reputation for excellent technical work and client service, leading to her being named in The Lawyer's Hot 100 2021, which recognises the most daring, creative and innovative lawyers. The publication noted that "Colton has already dealt crunching body blows to Britain’s political elite" and that as Head of Politics and Law, "the responsibility is now hers to build on the firm’s brand as the legal police officer when it comes to constitutional controversy, and if her past results are anything to go by, UK politicians should be wary of not playing by the rules". Legal 500 notes that "Katy Colton is a rising star" and that she is "exceptional in human rights cases which mix corporate and ethical issues". 

In 2018, Katy was named in Management Today's 35 women under 35, the country's longest-running and prestigious list of young, female business talent and Katy was awarded Lawyer of the Year – Associate in the Citywealth Future Leaders Awards 2017. She was previously seconded to civil liberties organisation, Liberty, and has worked for David Lammy MP, the US Congressman Robert Wexler and for the Obama For America campaign.

Katy has also written widely and recorded podcasts on issues related to the rule of law.

Key Experience

Public law and judicial review

  • Acting for Gina Miller in the High Court claim and Supreme Court appeal against the Government, successfully arguing that it was unconstitutional for the Government to trigger Article 50 without an authorising Act of Parliament. The case was of legal and political significance and is widely considered to be the most important constitutional law case in over 150 years.
  • Advising in relation to a proposed judicial review of the Government's position on Covid-loan fraud.
  • Advising the Criminal Bar Association in relation to a proposed claim for judicial review against the Ministry of Justice, relating to criminal defence advocacy fees under legal aid.
  • Advising a client in relation to multiple inquests following an NHS Improvement investigation.
  • Advising clients in relation to appearances before inquiries, including the Leveson Inquiry.

Political litigation and consultancy

  • Acting for the Jewish Labour Movement in relation to the investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into antisemitism in the Labour Party.
  • Acting for Margaret Hodge MP in relation to disciplinary proceedings brought against her by The Labour Party, which were later discontinued.
  • Acting on numerous inter-party disputes, including challenging candidate selection processes.
  • Advising on an investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
  • Advising a campaign seeking to introduce a public interest defence to the Official Secrets Acts, working with Matrix Chambers and Powerscourt.

International arbitration and commercial litigation

  • Advising a client in a multi-billion dollar ICSID arbitration against a government, based on the expropriation of mining rights.  The complex claim involved allegations of corruption and bribery and an understanding of the legal framework relating to disputes against state entities.
  • Acting for a company to remove the Chairman of an arbitral tribunal based on an appearance of bias.
  • Successfully negotiating a settlement for several defendants in a £80million conspiracy to defraud claim, involving allegations of fraud and negligence.

Reputation management, harassment and confidentiality

  • Setting legal precedent by securing the first "fake news" injunction against Persons Unknown, curbing an online fake news campaign against a British businessman.
  • Acting for the owners of a family antiques business to successfully obtain an injunction preventing the disclosure of confidential information.

Articles and Publications

  • "35 Women Under 35: The 'multi-hyphen' millennials to watch", 30 July 2018, The Telegraph
  • "Lawyer in the news", 24 July 2017, Law Gazette
  • "Injunction halts ‘fake news’ campaign against UK businessman", Ben Quinn, 10 July 2017, Guardian
  • "Businessman’s fake news troll halted by injunction in legal first", Francis Gibb, 10 July 2017, The Times
  • "Article 50 litigation—putting a spotlight on the UK’s constitution", James Libson and Katy Colton, 8 November 2016, LexisNexis Public Law Analysis
  • "Gina Miller’s Brexit victory is a triumph of democracy over politics", Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton, 4 November 2016, Guardian
  • "Mishcon trainee wins top law awards", 24 January 2012

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Trainee Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
Secondee to Barack Obama's campaign team, North Carolina - Obama for America
Researcher for David Lammy MP, House of Commons
Legislative intern for Robert Wexler, United States House of Representatives
College of Law, GDL, LPC & LLB
University of Leeds, BA (Hons) Politics and Parliamentary Studies

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