Masters of the Bench
Ms Catherine Newman QC
Full Title: Ms Catherine Newman QCCategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 18.6.2002
Call Date: 26.7.1979
Catherine Newman is a commercial chancery Silk and practises from Maitland Chambers. She is a Deputy High Court Judge and a Recorder of the Crown Court.
Cross-examination of recalcitrant witnesses is one of her favourite parts of the job. Catherine’s cases have included: acting for the Shell Pension Fund in BVI litigation brought by the liquidators of a Madoff feeder fund (subsequently heard in the Privy Council); litigation on behalf of an investor in Russian assets purchased from a Dutch bank; acting for an Italian commune claiming to have been mis-sold complex derivatives; and acting for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham at all stages of the ‘swaps’ litigation. She was Leading Counsel advising the inspectors inquiring into the flotation of Mirror Group Newspapers, and she led the team acting for the English Creditors Committee of BCCI SA.
Catherine graduated top of her year and took the only First Class degree in Laws awarded by University College London in 1978. She won the Andrews Medal and Prize, and then became a Harmsworth Scholar and a Blackstone Major Entrance Exhibitioner.
She has served on a number of Middle Temple committees including Hall Committee, of which she was the first woman Chair. For some years she ran the Scholarship Fund Appeal Committee, and was a member of the Finance Committee and the Inn’s Executive Committee. Catherine also sat on the Bar Council for four years.
Her Hungarian father, an economist, came to the UK before WWII to escape the threat of Fascism. Her paternal grandparents lived in hiding for two years during the War; she never met them. Her mother came from Belfast, the youngest daughter of a Detective in the Royal Irish Constabulary. Catherine had, among her many aunts and uncles, an Orthodox Rabbi on one side and a Catholic Missionary Priest on the other; it is a pity that they never met.