Catherine Purkiss, Barrister, is a Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL. Having qualified as a barrister in 1991 in the chambers of Baroness Lady Helena Kennedy QC, she specialised in Employment and Discrimination law. She has taught at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels since 1994, including her work at UCL, which she joined in 1995.
Catherine has also been an adviser on Employment Law at Tottenham Law Centre, Camden Law Centre and Mary Ward Legal Centre. Law centres provide free advice and representation for people on low incomes. Catherine provides her professional expertise on a pro bono basis, because she believes passionately in equality of access to justice for all sectors of society.
She is a special advisor for the charity Magic Breakfast, and an ambassador for the charity Stonewall. Stonewall campaigns for LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual and transgender) equality, undertakes extensive research and provides good practice resources for employers and schools. As part of this equality work, she recently did a TEDx talk on homophobia, and sat on a Parliamentary expert panel, which shaped Labour policy re homophobic bullying in schools.
Whilst practising at the bar, Catherine appeared in a high profile discrimination case in 1993, involving UK and European law. She successfully took the case to appeal, resulting in a change in the law. Her work received broad media coverage. Law reports and press articles of her cases have appeared in publications as diverse as The Times Law Reports, The Common Market Law Review, The Guardian and Take a Break magazine.
In addition Catherine has been running her own London property investment company since 1997.