Katharina has worked at Leigh Day since 2012. She trained in the medical negligence department assisting Claire Fazan and the international department assisting Richard Meeran and Martyn Day. She also completed a six month secondment at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat.
Since joining Leigh Day, Katharina has assisted partners on various cases, including the Iraqi Civilian Litigation, the Mau Mau claims, a case brought by over 5,000 Kenyans who alleged that they were subjected to torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of the British colonial administration in the 1950’s during the Kenyan struggle for independence, and a group litigation against Shell on behalf of Nigerian fishermen and women living in the Niger Delta arising from the loss and damage caused by two major oil spills.
Katharina has also assisted Nichola Marshall on several claims on behalf of child survivors of sexual abuse overseas, both against British individuals directly and in vicarious liability against their employers, including a claim on behalf of a group of children who were sexually abused by a British Airways pilot. British Airways settled the claim whilst denying liability.
As a trainee, Katharina was involved in the case of Antuzis and others v DJ Houghton and others, a claim on behalf of Lithuanian men arising from allegations of modern slavery. In April 2019, the High Court handed down judgment in favour of the claimants on the issue of personal liability of the director and company secretary and in respect of the claimants’ summary judgment application.
At Amnesty International, Katharina assisted the In-house Legal and Strategic Litigation teams on a variety of work and cases, including on litigation pending before the European Court of Human Rights and the ECOWAS Court.
Katharina has a special interest in corporate accountability for human rights violations and claims arising from labour exploitation.
Katharina also holds an LLM from SOAS, University of London, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations. She speaks German, and French.
Prior to joining Leigh Day, Katharina was a Carlo Schmid fellow interning with the International Labour Organisation’s International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour. As Roland Algrant Intern at Human Rights Watch, she helped preparing a report on Child Labour in Artisanal Gold Mining in Mali.
- Human Rights in Asia Conference, Essex University 2018
Do companies’ stated human rights commitments play any role in holding them to account?
Following this year’s International Human Rights Day, Katharina Theil, Ella Kennedy and Danny Holroyde, from the international department, look at the interplay between companies’ stated human rights commitments and accountability for corporate human rights abuse overseas.
COP27 and beyond: Financing Loss and Damage from Climate Change
Katharina Theil, solicitor and trainee Sarah Gibbons, in the international team, discuss the calls to provide financial assistance to address loss and damage, a key agenda item in the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, as well as other legal routes in the fight for climate justice.