Patti acts for a range of ecclesiastical clients including religious charities, bishops and individual members of clergy, parochial church councils, diocesan boards of finance, cathedral chapters and Catholic and Church of England schools.
Previously a city employment lawyer with a focus on discrimination cases, Patti developed a keen interest in ecclesiastical law whilst working for a regional firm specialising in this field. She spent over 5 years as the Deputy Registrar for the Dioceses of Winchester and Salisbury. Patti advises on ecclesiastical issues ranging from governance and constitutional matters, marriage and burial law, patronage, use of church buildings and the faculty process.
Patti has particular expertise in dealing with high profile and complex safeguarding matters and disciplinary and grievance investigations relating to office holders. She advises Diocesan Bishops and individual members of the clergy in relation to clergy disciplinary processes and suspension issues. She has also advised Church of England Safeguarding Core Groups in respect of the management of safeguarding allegations, and Church of England archdeacons as complainants in clergy discipline proceedings.
Patti also advises clients about data protection, breach of confidence and information sharing, often in the context of safeguarding, social media and following allegations of defamation.
- Advising cathedrals in respect of the constitutional requirements of the Cathedrals Measure 2021.
- Advising a large religious charity in respect of an historic safeguarding claim and the investigation process.
- Acting for individual members of clergy, including Bishops, in clergy discipline proceedings, safeguarding investigations and risk assessments.
- Acting as an independent Reviewer for a “lessons learned” review relating to a complex safeguarding and clergy HR matter.
- Advising a cathedral in respect of multiple data subject access requests, information sharing concerns and complaints to the Information Commissioner.
- Negotiating a substantial settlement for a senior office holder.
- Assisting a Church of England diocese with a complex grievance and whistleblowing disclosures submitted by an ecclesiastical office holder.
- Advising a Church of England diocese in respect of a charity commission investigation relating to a serious safeguarding incident.
- Ecclesiastical Law Association
- Ecclesiastical Law Society
2021 to present: Senior Associate, Winckworth Sherwood
2020 - 2021: Independent Consultant, The Representative Body of the Church in Wales
2017 - 2019: Partner, Batt Broadbent LLP
2013 - 2017: Senior Associate, Batt Broadbent LLP
2006 - 2009: Associate, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP
2004 - 2006: Trainee solicitor, Linklaters LLP