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, environmental law, energy and construction disputes, public law and civil liability.

She appears regularly as sole counsel and has appeared recently as junior counsel in the Supreme Court in R (on the application of Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) and others) (Respondents) v North Yorkshire County Council (Appellant) led by Peter Village QC, James Strachan QC and Ned Helme. 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. She has gained experience in this area during pupilage and in practice which includes:

  • Acted as 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 settlement.
  • Drafting proceedings concerning a claim for economic duress.
  • Advised on the enforceability of electronic signatures.
  • Advised on misuse of personal information and breach of the Data Protection Act.
  • Appears frequently at PPI hearings – both trials and interim applications.

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).

Energy and Construction

Ruth has worked on a variety of different disputes, both litigation and arbitration. She has gained experience in this area during pupillage and in practice which includes:

  • Instructed as junior counsel by a Core Participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • 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 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.
  • Rejoinder for an arbitration concerning a nuclear power plant.
  • Litigation involving issues of alleged defective works and remedial works.
  • Reviewing witness statements for an arbitration concerning alleged defective works.
  • Adjudication and adjudication enforcement hearings.

Ruth is a contributing editor to the forthcoming edition of Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts.

Environmental and Planning

Ruth has a keen interest in environmental law and is an editor of the Sweet & Maxwell Environmental Law Bulletins. She has co-authored, with Nigel Pleming QC, the chapter on ‘Climate Change Litigation in the United Kingdom’ in the forthcoming book ‘Climate Change Litigation: Global Perspectives’.

Ruth has gained experience in this area during pupilage and in practice, examples of which include:

  • A judicial review challenge to the development of a third runway at Heathrow airport.
  • Advised on the draft provisions relating to Environmental Principles in the Environment Bill.
  • R (on the application of Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) and others) (Respondents) v North Yorkshire County Council (Appellant) which concerned the meaning of preserving “the openness of the Green Belt” in the context of mineral extraction.
  • A matter concerning the protection of a European Protected Species and the Habitats Directive.
  • A dispute regarding the Localism Act 2011 and assets of community value.
  • Lawful use of a HMO, involving a listed building.
  • A matter concerning compensation for compulsory purchase and alleged trespass.
  • A contractual dispute regarding agreements pursuant to the Electricity and Gas (Energy Companies Obligations) Order 2012.
  • Assisted in the preparation of Local Plan examinations.
  • Represented parties in proceedings concerning environmental offences.

Ruth is also a member of the Environmental Law Foundation, through which she provides pro bono assistance on environmental matters.

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.

Public and Regulatory

During pupillage and in her own practice Ruth has worked on several public and regulatory matters. In addition, while a Judicial Assistant she worked on the Supreme Court’s publication outlining the contribution the UKSC has made to Public International Law in the past ten years.

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 outstrips supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising a local authority on the COVID-19 funding package.
  • A Supreme Court appeal regarding ouster clauses and the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
  • Advised on the scope of procedural protection afforded by Article 8.
  • An application to re-open an appeal concerning an alleged breach of Article 8 and the requirements of an effective appeal.
  • Summary grounds of defence in a judicial review regarding refusal of residence cards.
  • Representing a university alleged to have provided an inadequate course.
  • 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.

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.

Civil Liability

Ruth regularly appears in court and has experience of applications and trials.

Ruth has gained experience in a number of matters, examples of which include:

  • Misuse of personal information and breach of the Data Protection Act.
  • The circumstances in which pre-action admissions can be withdrawn.
  • Alleged delayed diagnosis.
  • A matter regarding the scope of the ‘course of employment’ test for vicarious liability.
  • An insurance matter considering the circumstances in which cover can be withheld.
  • Preparation for inquests.

As a Judicial Assistant Ruth was involved in cases in this area which included R & S Pilling t/a Phoenix Engineering v UK Insurance Ltd [2019] UKSC 16, Takhar v Gracefield Developments Limited and others [2019] UKSC 13 and Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (for and on behalf of Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK) [2019] UKSC 38.

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