Katya Novakovic Profile Photo

Katya Novakovic

Assistant Solicitor

020 8299 6000

Katya is a solicitor specialising in actions against the police and other state authorities, public law challenges and inquests arising from deaths in state custody or following contact with the state. She acts for clients in complaints and claims for assault, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, negligence, malicious prosecution, discrimination and breaches of the Human Rights Act.

Prior to joining GT Stewart Katya worked for a year at the London headquarters of human rights charity Amnesty International. She also undertook an internship in the United States in a Federal Defender Office, where she worked on habeas appeals for death-sentenced prisoners. Katya is a member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, the Police Action Lawyers Group and the Inquest Lawyers Group.

Education and Qualifications

2018-2020 – Legal Practice Course, BPP University – Distinction

2016-2017 – Graduate Diploma in Law, Oxford Brookes University – Distinction

2011-2015 – BA (Hons) English Literature and French, University of Warwick

Other interests

Katya enjoys kickboxing and travelling. She joined the GT Stewart civil liberties team as a Paralegal in April 2018.

Notable Cases

CS v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis – acted for a woman who was violently and restrained and arrested in public whilst filming her husband’s arrest. She was charged with obstructing and assaulting police officers in the execution of their duty, despite only resisting once she had been unlawfully assaulted by officers. The first charge was withdrawn at trial, and the Court found she had no case to answer in respect of the second charge. We brought proceedings against the Metropolitan Police for false imprisonment, assault, and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and obtained damages of £8,000 for our client.

Inquest touching the death of CL – acted for the family of a young woman with mental health issues who tragically died after tying a ligature in her home, following consistent attempts to seek help from mental service. Shortly before her death she attended A&E after self-harming for the first time, including tying a ligature, and was discharged on the understanding that she would be provided with enhanced support in the community. However she was subsequently categorised as low risk and this support was not provided. The Coroner identified areas of improvement and made recommendations including a change in the protocol for people presenting after committing an act of self-harm for the first time, which have been implemented by the Trust.

LF v Croydon Council – acted for a client in a claim for breach of her rights under Article 8 ECHR, after the Council’s actions resulted in her being wrongfully prohibited from staying in her home or seeing her vulnerable husband for several months. We sent a Letter of Claim to the Council and reached a settlement of £12,000 in damages for our client. 

LBP v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police – acted for a vulnerable young woman with significant mental health issues, who was arrested on several occasions for offences such as wasting police time. The arrests took place during episodes where our client was in crisis, for self-harming or threatening to harm herself in public places. The police settled for £8,000.

MT v An NHS Trust – acted for the family and on behalf of the estate of a young woman who sadly died after tying a ligature whilst detained in a psychiatric hospital. We issued proceedings for breaches of Articles 2 and 3 ECHR and negligence. The case settled for £15,000.

HH v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis – acted for a 15 year old client who was on his way home from school when officers unlawfully restrained one of his friends. Our client and others attempted to reason with officers and began filming the incident before our client was violently pushed backwards, handcuffed and restrained with pressure applied to his neck despite being severely asthmatic. He was arrested for a public order offence and detained for hours in cells before the police took no further action. We brought proceedings against the Metropolitan Police for assault, false imprisonment and misfeasance in public office. The police settled the case and paid our client the sum of £11,500 in damages.

Inquest touching the death of TT (2020) – GT Stewart’s inquest team acted for the family of Ms Teyneen Taylor, who died in October 2018 at a psychiatric hospital following a second incident of self-harm in the course of one night.  Ms Taylor was a mental health campaigner who had raised awareness by blogging about her own experience with borderline personality disorder. The jury at the inquest concluded that her death was accidental and that there were failings in the care provided by the hospital. The jury found that, in light of the high risk of self-harm, the level of monitoring and removal of items from Ms Taylor’s room were insufficient. The outcome of the inquest was reported on the BBC here

MH v Ministry of Justice – GT Stewart were instructed to bring a claim on behalf of a vulnerable client who was unlawfully detained in HMP High Down despite receiving a community order rather than a custodial one. He had very limited experience of custody and was shocked and distressed by the experience. The team successfully argued that the case related to fundamental civil liberties and obtained £1,000 in compensation for our client.

Civil Liberties, Action against the Police

Meet the team