Biography of Katrina Byrne
I qualified as a Solicitor in 2001. Prior to qualification I worked as a paralegal for a large criminal practice in Nottingham. I started out in Criminal Law in 1988 and have carved out for myself a very successful career. I was previously a Partner in a Specialist Criminal Law firm.
During my 13 years in Nottingham I represented what were regarded locally as “heavy weight” criminals.
Since relocating to Devon I have continued to represent people accused of a wide range of offences from Murder to other more general criminal matters. I have extensive experience of dealing with drug related offences including conspiracy to supply drugs and “county line” cases. I also have vast experience in matters involving sexual offences including rape and sexual assault.
I have represented clients at the Police Station and at Court in relation to very high profile cases, a number of which have made the national press. I have recently been involved in a case that was heard by the Supreme Court and led to a change in the Law.
I am well respected by the Court and my fellow Professionals. I am hardworking, committed and focused.
I have an eye for detail and always strive to provide the best possible advice and representation to all of my clients. I have very strong client care skills in that I am clear, calm, patient and have a great ability to give direct advice plainly yet sympathetically.
I am also committed to the Legal Aid system and have played a leading role in the Save UK Justice campaign which was set up (by myself and a colleague) to challenge Government policy on reducing the Legal Aid budget and client choice. This campaign went a long way in convincing the Government that individuals should have the right to choose their own Solicitor should they need one at Court or in the Police Station and to ensure that Legal Aid was protected.
I sit on my local Council’s School Independent Appeals Panel. This is a voluntary post but one which is very important to the local community.
In recognition of my extensive experience I was awarded the Higher Rights (Criminal) qualification in 2007. I am a Duty Solicitor on both the Court and Police Station Schemes and have been an accredited police station representative since 1994.
In September 2018 I was appointed an an Independent Qualified Legal Chair for Police Misconduct Hearings by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall and Dorset Police. These panels are there to ensure that the highly skilled and trained police force maintains public credibility and scrutiny in the event that a complaint of misconduct is made.