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Farrer & Co | Katie Lancaster, Partner

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Practice areas

  • Employment

Katie is a specialist in employment law with extensive experience advising organisations on a wide range of employment and safeguarding matters, as well as acting for individuals and families. She is widely recognised for her expertise working with high-profile sports bodies and with schools, particularly those educating pupils with complex needs.

With over two decades experience advising on the full spectrum of employment matters, both contentious and non-contentious, Katie is now particularly sought after for her expertise in a number of key sectors, primarily education, sports and private domestic employment.

Within the education sector, Katie has extensive experience advising schools including independent schools, state boarding schools, multi-academy trusts (MATs), single academies, and alternative-provision schools on issues, linked to supporting children with special educational or behavioural needs and the specific needs of looked-after children. Her expertise in the education sector spans the range of employment issues, including discrimination, as well as responding to parent/pupil complaints including those linked to support for children with mental health issues, disability and exclusions. She advises schools on the full range of safeguarding matters, both in terms of responding to historic or non-recent abuse claims, and in setting effective policies and procedures to maintain a safe environment in the future. Alongside her long track record supporting clients in this area, her perspective is informed by her experience as a school governor; an alternative provision MAT Local Advisory Board member for vulnerable learners/those excluded from mainstream education; a board member of influential industry groups (AGBIS and the BSA); a member of IRCT (Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma) and in her personal capacity as a private foster parent.

Katie advises high-profile national sports organisations on the range of employment issues, with a particular focus on discrimination and issues of equality and diversity in the workplace. She also supports them on employment law matters around senior level appointments and dismissals, restructuring, organisation-wide contract reviews, collective redundancies and TUPE transfers.

In the sensitive context of domestic employment in private households, Katie advises employers, including wealthy and high-profile families on best practice around engaging staff and the range of options open to them should the employer/employee relationship break down. Katie works closely with the firm’s highly regarded family and private client specialist lawyers to support clients in this field.

An additional strand of Katie’s practice is her advice to female senior executives, particularly in relation to challenging redundancy or termination decisions by their employer. She also regularly advises employers on the other side of fence, on the departure of senior executives.

Expertise

  • Member of the board of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools

    Member of the board for the Boarding Schools Association

    Trustee for the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, a grant-giving charity focused on engaging children and non-traditional audiences with the theatre

    Supporter of the Boarding School Partnerships

    Katie regularly contributes insight and articles to ePrivateClient

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