Katherine Gieve obituary


My good friend Katherine Gieve, who has died aged 74 of lymphoma, was a solicitor who specialised in household justice and youngsters’s legislation. Her calm, compassionate empathy together with her purchasers, mixed with nice authorized ability and professionalism, propelled her to develop into one of many UK’s high household legal professionals.

Voted the trade’s household legislation associate of the 12 months in 2012, she was one of many nation’s main authorized advocates for kids in significantly tough circumstances, together with within the landmark conjoined twin case in 2000. Failure to separate the twins, Jodie and Mary, would have meant the demise of each – however separation would kill the weaker one, a plan of action that their dad and mom felt unable to authorise. After a three-month authorized battle the operation befell, saving the lifetime of the stronger twin, Jodie, whom Katherine had been chosen to signify.

Energetic within the girls’s liberation motion within the Seventies, Katherine had determined to develop into a lawyer to enhance the best way weak girls and moms have been handled within the household courts – her activism was all the time sensible.

In her 20s within the mid-70s, she was certainly one of a bunch of feminist authorized staff, Rights of Girls, who campaigned for girls’s monetary and authorized independence. It appears unimaginable now, however a girl making use of to develop into a solicitor then was nonetheless requested at interview whether or not her husband accredited.

Later in life she continued to put in writing on feminist subjects, together with in her guide Balancing Acts: Being a Mom (1989) and The Cohabitation Handbook (1981), which she co-authored with Anne Bottomley, Homosexual Moon and Angela Weir.

Born in Oxford, Katherine was the daughter of Charles Vereker, a politics professor, and Patricia (nee Kastelian), a instructor. The household moved first to Liverpool, the place Katherine attended Service provider Taylors’ women’ faculty, and, in her remaining 12 months of faculty, to Durham, for her dad and mom’ work. From there, Katherine went to St Anne’s Faculty, Oxford, to check philosophy, politics and economics. She met John Gieve, whom she married in 1972, a 12 months after commencement.

She did her legislation exams on the Faculty of Legislation (now College of Legislation) in central London, and articles with Wegg-Prosser and Farmer in Paddington, qualifying in 1978. She then started her profession at West Hampstead Neighborhood Legislation Centre, advising on housing and household legislation, leaving after 5 years for Wilford McBain, solicitors specialising in youngsters’s circumstances. In 1985 she joined the Household Rights Group, advising courts, social staff, households and legal professionals on all points of kids’s welfare.

In 1988 she joined the London-based legislation agency Bindmans, remaining there till her retirement in 2014 as chair of the partnership. After retirement she divided her time between Highbury, north London, and a cottage in Iken, Suffolk.

Along with her courtroom work, Katherine additionally served on many committees and advisory boards, together with for the Legislation Society, the Nuffield Basis, the Solicitors Household Legislation Affiliation (now Decision) and the Household Justice Council, and was a trustee of Pause, which helps girls whose youngsters are taken into care.

She is survived by John, their sons, Daniel and Matthew, and 5 grandchildren, and her sister, Deirdre.


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