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Cathy Harris


Home office: Southampton
Cathy Harris - Associate - Litigation - Clarke Willmottt Southampton

Cathy helps businesses and individuals to resolve complex commercial disputes.

Cathy leads the Southampton Commercial and Private Client Litigation team. The team is ranked in tier 2 in the 2023 Legal 500 directory for Dispute Resolution in Hampshire, and praised by one client for ‘Exceptional due diligence. Very efficient. Great depth and knowledge. And exceptional value.

Cathy has 12 years experience of resolving a broad range of commercial and private client disputes. She is robust, resilient and commercially minded.

Cathy’s attention to detail and highly commended analytical skills ensure that her client’s cases are given a very thorough and meticulous review at the outset. This enables her to present each case in the best possible way and pursue the best legal and commercial strategy from the outset.

Cathy is part of a dedicated team dealing with COVID-related business interruption claims. She acts for a local sports and hospitality company and chain of nationwide restaurants, and has advised a number of other companies on their entitlement to indemnity cover, as well as their rights against brokers for inadequate coverage.

How Cathy can help you

Cathy handles a broad range of commercial disputes, however has particular experience in:

  1. Contract disputes
  2. Pursuing claims of professional negligence against professionals who have failed to advise or act appropriately
  3. Franchise disputes
  4. Disputes relating to insurance coverage including COVID related business interruption claims
  5. Pursuing and defending claims of defamation and malicious falsehood
  6. Enforcing restrictive covenants against shareholders, employees and consultants


  • Pursuing a claim for c. £1.5m against insurers RSA and QBE for business interruption losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Pursuing a recovery of c. £2.78 million owed to a class of 10 investors following their investment in the development of purpose built student accommodation.
  • Pursuing 10 separate claims of negligence against solicitors and surveyors in the High Court arising out of residential property purchases in which the lender suffered losses of five and six figures in each case.
  • Recovering overpaid SDLT of c. £14,000 from a private property purchaser’s solicitor who wrongly advised on the application of SDLT regulations relating to multiple home ownership.
  • Settling a client’s High Court claim against his former accountants for its failure to protect his pension fund which resulted in a loss of c. £90,000 plus costs.
  • Settling a contract dispute between a Christmas tree supplier and its IT supplier who failed to deliver on time, and to the agreed specification, a bespoke software platform critical to the entire sales function of the business.
  • Acting, in conjunction with Kings Counsel, in a high value trust dispute involving English and international assets and allegations of breach of trust against the deceased trustee.


Cathy Harris is exceptionally efficient, very exact and highly personable – and quite brilliant.

The Legal 500

The ‘quite brilliant’ Cathy Harris is well-versed in complex contractual disputes and is also responsible for the firm’s growing business interruption practice.

The Legal 500

Articles by Cathy and the team

Commercial litigation and disputes

Navigating contract termination

Terminating a contract can have significant implications for your business, ranging from financial penalties to damaging relationships with counterparties. If you are unsure about the potential consequences of terminating a particular contract, it is crucial to seek legal advice before taking any action.
Read more on Navigating contract termination

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