Katherine, a litigator with more than 20 years' experience, brings a depth of legal experience where commercial interests, public sector decision-making and public policy converge.
She has managed large and complex multi-party disputes (commercial and public law), judicial review cases, inquiries, health and disability complaints and coronial inquests.
Katherine regularly represents parties bringing or defending judicial review claims (both in the central and local government contexts).
Katherine has a diverse legal background. She has worked in the public sector (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, New Zealand Police and Auckland Council) and as a litigation partner in private practice. Katherine’s specialty is public law advice and litigation concerning the impact of central or local government decisions on entities or individuals.
Katherine is a part time member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal. In this role, Katherine exercises an adjudicative function in cases relating to breaches of the Human Rights Act, the Privacy Act and the Health and Disability Commissioner Act.
2018 - Recommended in Legal 500 Asia Pacific where Katherine is noted for her 'significant weight in public law matters'.
2017 - Winner NZ Law Awards In-House Lawyer of the Year
2016 - NZ Lawyer In-House 20 Who’s Who of In-House Counsel and finalist NZ Law Awards In-House Lawyer of the Year
2016 - Graduation and Alumnae member of CSCLeaders programme (chosen as one of 100 senior Commonwealth leaders to attend the programme, focused on how public, private and not-for-profits may work together more effectively).
2013 – Police Commissioner’s Commendation for Katherine’s services to NZ Police in relation to her assistance with Police’s participation in the Pike River Royal Commission.
Vector Ltd v Utilities Disputes Commissioner
Precedent setting judicial review decision for the utilites’ sector in which the High Court set aside the Commissioner’s decisions awarding compensation to commercial entities on the basis of Vector’s alleged negligence and breach of duty in causing the Penrose substation fire in 2014.
Heinz Wattie's Ltd v Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Acting in relation to a successful challenge by Heinz Wattie’s to the Minister’s decision to lift anti-dumping duties on imported peaches from Spain (breach of natural justice claim).
Save Chamberlain Park Inc v Auckland Council
Acting for Council in the successful defence of judicial review proceedings challenging a change in recreational use of Chamberlain Park. This was the first case testing of the governance arrangements between the Governing Body and Local Boards under the Local Authority (Auckland Council) Act.
Axiomatic and Ors v Auckland Council
Acting for Auckland Council in relation to judicial review proceedings relating to issues of free speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement. The upcoming hearing (September 2019) will be a test case in relation to whether commercial decisions of Council Controlled Organisations are subject to obligations under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
Albany North Landowners v Auckland Council
Acting for Auckland Council in High Court test cases concerning appeals on errors of law and judicial review of Council’s decisions in relation to the Auckland Unitary Plan. Relevant provisions of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan relating to residential housing successfully defended.
Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry
Acting for New Zealand Police and appearing on its behalf in the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry.
Inquiry into allegations concerning Chief Executive
Advising a tertiary education institute in relation to the establishment of an inquiry, reopening an investigation into allegations concerning its chief executive. Advised in relation to the Terms of Reference, conduct of the Independent Inquiry and response to the Inquiry's Report.
Evans v Disputes Tribunal at New Plymouth
Appointed as amicus cureae (friend of the court) in proceedings concerning the proper scope of judicial review in relation to the review of Disputes Tribunal decisions. This case is the leading authority on this issue.
Diagnostic Medlab Ltd v Auckland District Health Board
Acting as junior counsel in the High Court case challenging the DHB's award of a laboratory services contract to Labtests. Precedent setting case in relation to the management of conflicts of interest in procurement processes.
Golden Bay Marine Farmers v Tasman Council
Appeared in Environment Court Proceedings concerning the use of the coastal marine area for competing aquaculture interests, assisting the Court in relation to the interrelationship of Fisheries Act and Resource Management Act provisions.