Catherine Callaghan KC
Gonville and Caius College

“Cambridge was a life-changing experience for me. Coming from New Zealand, doing the LLM enabled me to meet people from all around the world, and to broaden my thinking and my horizons. As well as throwing myself into my studies, I took up rowing for my college, sang in a college chapel choir, and went to as many dinners and balls as I could. I burned the proverbial candle at both ends. It was a blast. And it set me up for life, not only providing me with a group of life-long friends but opening doors into the crème de la crème of the UK legal world.

After leaving Cambridge, I worked as a solicitor in the litigation department of the London office of Clifford Chance. Two years later, I took the plunge and converted to the bar, undertaking a pupillage at Blackstone Chambers. At the end of my year of pupillage, I was taken on as a tenant at Blackstone and have been there ever since, taking silk in 2018. Blackstone is like my second family, my home away from home. My colleagues are brilliant (many of them are Cambridge grads, of course) but also witty, warm, multi-talented and – at times - loveably eccentric.

As a barrister, I am a specialist in court advocacy. I practice in the field of public and regulatory law. I generally act for respondents in legal challenges – the UK Government and regulators of all kinds, including the regulator of doctors, solicitors, accountants, fertility clinics and advertising. But I love acting for claimants too, and crafting a legal challenge from scratch, rather than responding to and defending legal challenges. I am also currently the Chair of the Administrative Law Bar Association, which represents the interests of the public law bar, and I’m a governing bencher at Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court. It’s a challenging, demanding and at time stressful career, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.  My time at Cambridge is a major part of my success, and I will always be grateful for the experience.”