Ruth Keating

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Ruth Keating has a broad practice across all areas of Chambers’ specialisms, with a particular interest in commercial, energy and construction disputes, environmental and public law.

She has acted as junior counsel in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and appears regularly as sole counsel in the County Court and High Court. In addition, she undertakes pleading and advisory work.

Ruth was a Judicial Assistant to Lady Arden and Lord Kitchin at the Supreme Court from 2018-2019. During this time, she assisted on cases of the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Before coming to the Bar, Ruth was a research assistant at the Law Commission of England & Wales. She worked on the event fees in leasehold property project and on proposals for the 13th Programme of Law Reform. Prior to her time at the Law Commission she was an associate at Ci, a company which organises global technology conferences.

Ruth has been called to the Bar of England and Wales (2017) and the Bar of Ireland (2019).


Ruth has worked on a variety of different disputes, both litigation and arbitration. Her experience includes:

  • Sole counsel in a successful High Court application for a Norwich Pharmacal order relating to an alleged Ponzi Scheme.
  • A cross-border dispute which raised issues of jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
  • Pleadings and research for a large civil fraud matter, focusing on anti-money laundering.
  • Advised on mechanisms of enforcing a judgment debt against private and public sector pensions in a conspiracy to defraud claim.
  • Drafting Part 8 proceedings for breach of a settlement agreement.
  • Drafting proceedings concerning a claim for economic duress.
  • Advised on the enforceability of electronic signatures.
  • Advised on misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act.
  • Representing a university alleged to have provided an inadequate course.

Ruth is currently instructed as a member of the legal team from 39 Essex Chambers offering legal advice and support to the Foskett Panel. Further information is available online here:

While at the Supreme Court as a Judicial Assistant Ruth assisted with several cases relating to commercial law. Those cases included Sveriges Angfartygs Assurans Forening (The Swedish Club) and others v Connect Shipping Inc and another [2019] UKSC 29, Wells v Devani [2019] UKSC 4, S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2018] UKSC 62, X v Kuoni Travel Ltd [2019] UKSC 37, Volcafe Ltd and others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores SA [2018] UKSC 61, Travelers Insurance Company Ltd v XYZ [2019] UKSC 48, Computer Associates (UK) Ltd v The Software Incubator Ltd (UKSC 2018/0090) and Frederick and others v Positive Solutions (Financial Services) Ltd (UKSC 2018/0067).


Ruth has a keen interest in environmental law and is an editor of the Environmental Law Bulletin (published by Sweet & Maxwell) and has co-authored, with Nigel Pleming QC, the chapter on Climate Change Litigation in the UK in ‘Climate Change Litigation: Global Perspectives’ (edited by Ivano Alogna, Christine Bakker and Jean-Pierre Gauci).

Her experience includes:

  • Advised on the draft provisions relating to Environmental Principles in the Environment Bill.
  • Junior counsel in a juridical review regarding the Oil & Gas Authority’s strategy, concerning new net zero obligations.
  • Junior counsel in R (on the application of Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) and others) (Respondents) v North Yorkshire County Council (Appellant) [2020] UKSC 3 – appeal concerning the meaning of preserving “the openness of the Green Belt” in the context of mineral extraction. (Led by Peter Village QC, James Strachan QC and Ned Helme.)
  • Junior counsel in a judicial review challenging the grant of planning permission to two intensive meat poultry buildings – grounds included a failure to: assess the likely significant effects of ammonia emissions; the impacts of manure spreading and the impacts of the proposed development in terms of its contribution to climate change.
  • A judicial review challenge to the development of a third runway at Heathrow airport.
  • A matter concerning the protection of a European Protected Species and the Habitats Directive.
  • A trial concerning the destruction of property under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
  • A dispute regarding the Localism Act 2011 and assets of community value.
  • A contractual dispute regarding agreements pursuant to the Electricity and Gas (Energy Companies Obligations) Order 2012.
  • Represented parties in proceedings concerning environmental offences.

Ruth is a member of the Environmental Law Foundation, through which she provides pro bono assistance on environmental matters. Ruth has been invited to speak on environmental law issues including by Bristol University, the UK Association of Environmental law and the Joint Planning Law Conference. She is also a committee member of ESG and Sustainability Group for the Society for Computers and Law.

Relevant cases she assisted in at the Supreme Court include R (on the application of Lancashire County Council); R (on the application of NHS Property Services Ltd) [2019] UKSC 58, The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v Vauxhall Motors Ltd (Formerly General Motors UK Ltd) [2019] UKSC 46, Nominees Ltd (formerly Rotrust Nominees Ltd) v Hautford Ltd (a company registered in the British Virgin Islands) [2019] UKSC 47, R (on the application of Newby Foods Ltd) v Food Standards Agency [2019] UKSC 18 and London Borough of Lambeth v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and others [2019] UKSC 33.

Energy and Construction

Ruth has worked on a variety of different disputes, both litigation and arbitration. Her experience includes:

  • Instructed as junior counsel by a Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Acting as junior counsel in respect of an ongoing dispute concerning a sports stadium.
  • Junior counsel in an ongoing £40 million defects dispute.
  • Advised on a claim against a contractor and geotechnical engineer for breach of contract and negligence.
  • Advised on liability and quantum regarding a ground collapse.
  • Advised on and drafted pleadings for a claim involving the scope of a public liability insurance policy, involving issues of double insurance.
  • Advised on a potential claim in negligence and breach of contract against a Project Manager.
  • Advised on consequential loss and exclusion clauses in a large scale development.
  • Litigation regarding collateral warranties and limitation issues in a large development.
  • Assisted in drafting a rejoinder in an arbitration concerning a nuclear power plant.
  • Acting as junior counsel on a dispute, both adjudication and litigation, concerning fire stopping defects.
  • Adjudication and adjudication enforcement hearings.

Ruth is a contributing editor to Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th edition, May 2021).

Public and Regulatory

Examples of the cases which Ruth has been involved in include:

  • As junior counsel, led by Victoria Butler-Cole QC and Steve Broach, in a proposed challenge to the lack of a national framework for treatment prioritisation, if demand for life-sustaining treatment outstripped available resources.
  • As junior counsel, led by Catherine Dobson, in SM v Lord Chancellor [2021] EWHC 418 (Admin) concerning access to legal advice under the Detained Duty Advice Scheme for immigration detainees held in prison.
  • As junior counsel in judicial review challenges concerning the COVID-19 vaccination programme, including: the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination for under-18s (led by Catherine Dobson and Ewan West).
  • A judicial review regarding restrictions in the prison estate during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Advising a local authority on the COVID-19 funding package.
  • Junior counsel in a judicial review claim concerning the remedies available for children who make a discrimination claim in the First-tier Tribunal.
  • Junior counsel, led by Andrew Tabachnik QC, representing the Solicitors Regulation Authority (intervening) in the Supreme Court appeal in Competition and Markets Authority (Respondent) v Flynn Pharma Ltd and another (Appellants).
  • Advice in respect of whether disclosure of commercially confidential information by a regulator (which it said was in pursuance of its regulatory obligations) gave rise to a claim for damages.
  • An application to re-open an appeal concerning an alleged breach of Article 8 and the requirements of an effective appeal.
  • Litigation in respect of a Data Subject Access Request concerning children’s safeguarding files.
  • Instructed as junior counsel by a Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Ruth appears regularly in the High Court on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council and in renewal hearings.

Ruth is a member of the Government Legal Department’s ‘Junior Junior’ scheme.

Cases which Ruth was involved in as a Judicial Assistant include In the matter of D (A Child) [2019] UKSC 42, KV (Sri Lanka) Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 10, Konecny v District Court in Brno-Venkov, Czech Republic [2019] UKSC 8, AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (UKSC 2018/0048), R (on the application of Hemmati and others) (AP) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 56, RR (AP) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] UKSC 52 and Patel v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 59.

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