Cate Maguire

Senior Associate

Family and Divorce

“Cate Maguire displays a level of confidence and competence beyond her years.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

"Absolutely excellent"

Legal 500 UK 2018, the Client's Guide to Law Firms

Cate is a Senior Associate in the Family Team, advising clients on matters including divorce and civil partnership dissolution, associated financial issues and issues surrounding children. She has particular expertise in jurisdictional issues and complex financial matters.

Having completed her training contract at a specialist Family Law firm, Cate qualified into a team specialising in high net worth divorces and associated matters, where she worked for several years post-qualification before moving to Kingsley Napley in 2019. Her high profile cases include representing Pauline Chai in the long-running Chai v Peng jurisdiction dispute, and Michelle Young in the Young v Young divorce.

Cate has particular experience of dealing with complex jurisdiction disputes, having worked on cases involving jurisdictions as varied as eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Malaysia and Italy. She also has a strong network of overseas contacts, including in Australia and Canada, and spent time living and working in South Korea before beginning her training contact. As a result, she has a clear understanding of the particular issues facing international families, as well as the strategic issues at play in jurisdictional disputes. She also has a wealth of experience in dealing with complex trust and corporate structures and issues of company values, both in relation to domestic and cross-jurisdictional entities.

Cate also regularly works with families facing issues of alleged or actual parental alienation, as well as wider considerations in relation to arrangements for children.

In 2018, the Legal 500 described Cate as “absolutely excellent”. Her Higher Rights of Audience qualification entitles Cate to act as an advocate for clients within the High Court. 

Cate completed her law degree at Downing College, University of Cambridge.

Reported cases

Cate’s reported cases include:

  • X v Y (Child Arrangements Order) [2019] EWHC 2872 (Fam) - Appeal to the High Court in respect of first instance judge’s decision unilaterally to make an order that the child live with his mother. Permission to appeal granted and substantive appeal resolved at hearing.
  • Chai v Peng & Ors [2017] EWHC 792 (Fam)
  • Chai v Peng [2015] EWCA Civ 790
  • Chai v Peng [2015] EWCA Civ 1312
  • Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 750 (Fam)
  • Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 1519 (Fam)
  • Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 3518 (Fam)
  • Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 3519 (Fam)
  • Young v Young [2013] EWHC 3637 (Fam)


Publications and press

  • Chai v Khoo - Family Law, 2017
  • “PRIVATE CHILDREN: Extreme Measures” regarding the increasing judicial willingness to change a child’s residence in cases of entrenched parental alienation - Family Law Journal, September 2017
  • A rare outing for the Barder principle - Family Law Journal, June 2015: Critchell v Critchell [2015] EWCA Civ 436)
  • Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 1519 (Fam): a tale of two petitions - Family Law, 2014


Cate Maguire displays a level of confidence and competence beyond her years.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

Cate has been an immense, patient and professional support to me during my acrimonious divorce. When I first met Cate, unpleasant things were happening and I was a bit of a wreck, but she led me carefully through the process, and a year and a bit later I'm happy to say that a positive outcome has been achieved on all fronts."

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