Katy Colton, Managing Associate, Mishcon Private

Katy Colton

Managing Associate, Head of the Politics and Law Group

Personal Profile

Katy is a Managing Associate in Mishcon's Private department and Head of the Politics and Law Group. Katy specialises in political disputes and commercial litigation predominantly for individuals and their businesses and families. Katy regularly advises clients on complex, high-stakes international litigation, deploying creative legal strategies to achieve her clients' specific objectives.

In particular, Katy advises clients in relation to judicial review claims, fraud, commercial litigation and arbitration, reputation management (including defamation and harassment) and human rights. 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 and business lives.

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". 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. Katy 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.

Key Experience

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 a Brazilian religious group in a judicial review claim against the Home Office's decision to deny a licence to import and consume a drink used in their religious ceremonies, engaging arguments relating to drug safety and freedom to practice religion.

International arbitration and commercial litigation

  • Acting for BSGR in a multi-billion dollar ICSID arbitration against the Government of Guinea, based on the expropriation of mining rights by the government.  The complex claim involves 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.
  • Advising a client in relation to a shareholder dispute, engaging company law and immigration issues.
  • 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 Margaret Hodge MP in relation to disciplinary proceedings brought against her by The Labour Party, which were later discontinued.
  • 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

Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
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

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