Katie specialises in criminal regulatory law, inquests and inquiries.
She is regularly instructed as junior counsel in complex and high-profile public inquiries and inquests. Katie represents the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. She is also instructed in the COVID-19 Inquiry and in the inquest arising from the Forbury Gardens Terror Attack. Alongside these cases, she is often instructed as sole counsel in shorter inquests covering a wide range of industries including care homes, manufacturing, waste, retail, construction, maintenance and social housing.
In terms of criminal regulatory work, she has recently represented Serco Ltd in a 17-day Newton Hearing following its plea to s. 2 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (led by James-Maxwell Scott KC) and was counsel for the company in the corporate manslaughter prosecution of Greenfeeds Ltd (led by Mark Balysz KC). She regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court, defending criminal regulatory prosecutions on behalf of both companies and individuals and in the Crown Court for companies. She has also prosecuted for Thames Water.
She also maintains a practice in professional negligence, product liability and property damage.
Prior to joining Chambers, Katie was employed on the Civil Service Fast Stream where she gained valuable public and commercial sector experience through her roles in communication, legislative reform and international trade.
Outside of work, Katie played for Great Britain in the 2015 Tag Rugby World Cup and is back training with Great Britain as part of the 2023 World Cup campaign.
Katie has a successful health and safety practice and is ranked as an up and coming junior in this area in Chambers & Partners.
Katie has particular expertise in advising on fire safety including the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. She also edits the chapter on building control and approved inspectors’ liability under the Building Act 1980 and the new Building Safety Act 2022 in Emden on Construction Law.
Notable cases include:
- Advised a mobile network operator in respect of the fire risk assessment requirements for 14,000 sites across England.
- Represented Serco Ltd (led by James Maxwell-Scott KC) in a prosecution under s. 2 HSWA 1974. Serco Ltd pleaded guilty on a basis that was not agreed. The resulting Newton Hearing lasted for 17 days. This was an unusual case which examined the circumstances of the first death of a custody officer at the hands of a prisoner during a control and restrain procedure in this jurisdiction. You can read more about the case here.
- Represented Greenfeeds Ltd (led by Mark Balysz KC) in the corporate manslaughter prosecution arising from two deaths at work in a confined space.
- Represented Stoneforce Ltd at two pre-trial hearings in the TopShop/Arcadia prosecution relating to the tragic death of a 10-year old boy at a TopShop store in Reading in February 2017.
- Represented NR, director of a roofing company, in a prosecution arising from two employees suffering a fall from height during roof works. NR pleaded guilty and the HSE sought a custodial sentence which was avoided. NR was sentenced to community service.
- Represented FC Ltd in a sentencing hearing following the death of a resident of their care home who was crushed under a fallen fire door where the CQC was prosecuting.
- Represented OE Ltd, a manufacturing business, in a sentencing hearing after they pleaded guilty in a case arising out of a failure to properly guard moving parts of a machine.
- Represented SO Ltd, a manufacturing business, in a sentencing hearing after they pleaded guilty in a case arising out of a failure to properly guard moving parts of a machine.
- Represented an individual in respect of a sentencing hearing arising out of a road traffic offence.
Katie has been involved in a number of criminal regulatory proceedings in a variety of regulatory jurisdictions including water, planning, housing, licensing, COVID-19 regulations and noise abatement.
Notable cases include:
- Is instructed for a company and director in an advertising license prosecution under s. 224 of Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- Is instructed for MF Ltd in respect of a noise abatement notice appeal against London Borough of Wandsworth.
- Advising O Ltd on the application of the COVID-19 regulations in respect of a fixed penalty notice where an employee had returned from a red-list country through an incorrect port.
- Representing Thames Water who were prosecuting a company for the use of an illegal standpipe.
- Represented C Ltd, a property management company, at the pre-trial stages of what is understood to be the first prosecution arising from a failure to comply with an improvement notice served under the Housing Act 2004 in respect of the removal of a cladding system.
- Represented RK Ltd, a London based restaurant, for the plea and sentencing hearing in a Local Planning Authority enforcement case.
Katie is ranked as a leading junior by Legal 500 and as an upper coming junior in Chambers & Partners in this area. She has significant experience of public inquiries having represented the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea throughout the ongoing Grenfell Tower Inquiry as lead junior (led by James Maxwell-Scott KC).
During the Inquiry, she has been closely involved in advising on strategy and approach, including advising on the impact of the Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy (also known as the Hillsborough Charter) and how that affects a Core Participant in such proceedings. Katie has advised on matters relating to Building Control and to the fire safety management of high-rise residential buildings, including the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in circumstances where a building is managed for the freeholder by a management organisation. She was closely involved in drafting written and oral opening and closing submissions, submissions relating to post-incident changes at RBKC and questions for witnesses. She also devised and managed significant parts of the disclosure and review strategy, including in respect of LPP documents.
She is now instructed in the COVID-19 Inquiry by a corporate client and for a public body in the high-profile inquest arising out of the Forbury Gardens Terror Attack in June 2020.
Katie has also represented companies in inquests across a variety of sectors and her recent experience includes:
- Instructed for the CDM Client, AM Ltd, in a 5-day jury inquest relating to the death of a scaffolder who fell from height through a fragile roof.
- Instructed for KCH Ltd in an inquest involving the death of a resident of their care home after an unobserved fall.
- Represented S Ltd in a 3-day jury inquest where their employee had died when he fell from a tail lift during a loading operation and suffered crush injuries.
- Represented EM Ltd in relation to a jury inquest arising out of the death of one of their workers as a result of a fall from height.
- Represented HG Ltd, a Registered Social Provider in a 5-day inquest arising out of the death of one of their residents where the conclusion of “unlawful killing” was considered in respect of one of HG Ltd’s former employee.
- Represented V Ltd during the preparatory stages of an inquest relating to the death of their employee who had been crushed at a recycling plant.
- Representing SU Ltd during the preparatory stages of an inquest relating to the death of an individual who had been crushed during construction of a steel structure.
- Representing V Ltd during the preparatory stages of an inquest relating to the death of their employee who had been crushed by a skip.
During the course of these inquests, Katie has gained experience advising on and making submissions in relation to whether an inquest should be an Article 2 inquest; disclosure obligations; expert evidence and witnesses; and using the inquest as a mechanism to bring out the policies and procedures in place in workplace cases.
Katie welcomes instructions in relation to product liability, including claims under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, in contract and in tort. During pupillage, she assisted David Myhill in the five-day High Court Trial in the case of Wilkes v DePuy International Limited  EWHC 3096 (QB).
She is very well placed to advise in product liability disputes that arise in relation to cladding system products or fire safety products, including cladding panels, insulation, cavity barriers and fire doors.
Katie is developing her professional negligence and professional discipline practice.
She is particularly well placed to consider professional negligence claims relating to organisations involved in construction projects which feature external cladding systems including architects, cladding contractors, main contractors, fire engineers and those involved in building regulations approval.
Katie has previously been instructed in cases involving:
- Advising the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the approach of its Building Control department to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment.
- Solicitors’ negligence arising out of an allegedly mishandled personal injury claim.
- Alleged negligence by an architect in the design of a property.
Katie has experience of property damage matters involving fire, escape of water, defective premise claims and tree-related damage.
She has been instructed:
- To advise in a flooding claim involving potential breaches of duty by the Environment Agency.
- To draft pleadings in a flooding claim relating to negligent installation of a water accumulator tank.
- In a number of claims in respect of Cavity Wall Insulation where failure to install the insulation correctly is alleged to have caused property damage.
- In a construction vibration damage case which raised Party Wall etc. Act 1996 issues.
- In a case relating to alleged damage to a hard standing caused by tree roots.
- James Maxwell-Scott KC and Katie Sage recently represented Serco Ltd in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive
- Arcadia/Topshop Trial
- The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 – The Road To Life Imprisonment? By Katie Sage and Jack Murphy
- Innocent until probably guilty
- BPTC, Outstanding
- BA (Hons) Oxon, First Class
- Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
- Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
- Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn
- Sir Roger Bannister Scholarship, Pembroke College
- Pembroke College Exhibition
“Katie is exceptional. She is really quick and intelligent, and has incredible analytical skills.”
Inquests & Inquiries, Up and Coming Junior: Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Katie is very attentive and good with clients.” “She is very thorough.”
Health & Safety, Up and Coming Junior: Chambers & Partners, 2023
“A real star in the making. Ferociously bright and hardworking, and with incredible powers of recall combined with an intuition for wider case strategy. Clients love her for taking the time to understand the finer detail of a case, and quickly making herself indispensable to the team. There is no doubt she will be a highly sought after barrister in the years to come.”
Inquests & Inquires, Leading Juniors: Legal 500, 2023
Consumer Law, Rising Star
Legal 500, 2023
“A rising star who has really strengthened the junior end of her set.”
Rising Star: Legal 500 2021 & 2022