Prior to joining the Bar, Catherine provided specialist litigation support to Ruth Shann (now SC) and Neil Clelland KC in the successful defence of two significant regulatory prosecutions – CDPP v O’Mara (an ACCC criminal cartel case) and VWA v Agarwal (a medical fraud case involving 123 charges). These cases spanned over two and a half years and involved intricate legal and evidentiary issues.
She has previously worked as a solicitor-advocate for Chester Metcalfe lawyers appearing daily in the Magistrates Court and as a County Court Judge’s Associate. Catherine also has 10 years experience as a Chartered Accountant in the insolvency and consulting divisions of KPMG. She has also consulted to the health sector on regulatory matters.
Catherine has an established criminal law practice and a growing practice in public, common law and appellant cases.
In criminal matters, she represents clients as defence counsel in both summary and indictable matters. She also prosecutes indictable crime. Catherine is experienced in conducting committal proceedings, County Court pleas and appeals. She appears regularly in the County Court for both prosecution and defence.
She has also been briefed as a junior in a range of Supreme Court matters in both crime and common law.
Catherine is building an appellate practice in criminal and public law, with a focus on assisting vulnerable prisoners and people with disability.
Catherine is adept at managing complex litigation and advice across a range of practice areas and preparing written submissions.
She brings a wealth of experience to her practice, including the experience of working closely with senior members of the bar, including Senior and Kings Counsel.
Catherine is one of the few barristers at the Bar who is also a Chartered Accountant. With strong commercial experience, Catherine brings business and financial acumen to complex regulatory briefs and white-collar crime.
Catherine has a keen interest in medical law and excels in briefs that involve medical evidence. She is experienced with medical files having worked in medical compliance in the health sector and she does ongoing voluntary work for a children’s brain cancer charity.
Advocacy and Commitment:
Catherine is deeply committed to advocating for human rights and regularly takes on pro-bono cases on behalf of vulnerable or disadvantaged clients in all areas of law but with a focus on appellant cases.
In earlier years whilst studying law, Catherine regularly provided pro-bono support to defence solicitors and counsel. This included assisting Ms Burnside (now Magistrate) at a contested committal on a murder charge including the preparation of submissions which resulted in the discharge of the client (and two co-accused).
Since joining the Bar in May 2022, Catherine has been involved in several notable cases. These include:
- DPP v Pallant (Supreme Court of Victoria) – led by Dermot Dann KC in representing defence in a plea to a charge of murder and providing advice on conviction appeal prospects. Instructed by SLKQ Lawyers (Ongoing).
- Bangoura v DPP (Supreme Court of Victoria) – provided initial pro-bono (second opinion) advice unled on appeal prospects for an appeal against conviction to obtain VLA funding. Now led by Dermot Dann KC in the Supreme Court of Appeal proceedings. Instructed by SLKQ Lawyers. (Ongoing)
- Pianto v Trustees of the Christian Brothers (Supreme Court of Victoria) – led by John Noonan QC in defending a significant damages claim for historical sexual abuse. Instructed by Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers. (Settled).
- DPP v Williams (Supreme Court of Victoria) – led by Diana Price, representing the defence in a plea for murder. Instructed by Sally Wilson from Sally Wilson Legal (as it then was).
- DPP v Schiavone (Committal proceedings) – led by Andrew Imrie. Complex brief involving charges which include pervert course of justice and perjury. Instructed by SLKQ Lawyers. (Ongoing).
- DPP v Wandin-Acott (County Court) – unled. Conducted committal and County Court Plea. Resolution post committal from aggravated carjacking to carjacking. Sentence obtained on the plea was in the bottom percentile for this offence. Instructed by VALS.
- Urquhart v NDIA (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) – unled – judicial review, complex medical conditions, major settlement in favour of plaintiff following written submissions in an ADR process. Instructed by community legal centre. (Pro-bono).
- Tyrrell v DPP (County Court) – unled. Provided advice on appeal prospects for appeal against sentence for charges of Aggravated Burglary and Recklessly Cause Serious Injury against background of client serving an existing sentence for Intentionally Cause Serious Injury in circumstances of gross violence. Instructed by Tye Legal.
- Advice on a professional negligence claim ($1m) led by John Noonan QC. Instructed by Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers.
- Police v Adjei; Police v Barenot (Magistrate’s Court) – Brief to advise, appear and resolve complex fraud matters (over 200 charges), instructed by Tye Legal. Matters resolved and clients received non-custodial sentences.
- Iaokimidis v DPP (County Court) – Instructed by the OPP in a three day appeal against conviction hearing for complex fraud charges.
- Kalsi v DPP (County Court) – Instructed by the OPP in a two day appeal against conviction hearing for charges of stalking and persistent breach of family violence intervention order. (Ongoing).
- Rhandawa v DPP (County Court) – Instructed by the OPP in a four day appeal against conviction hearing for dangerous driving and other offences. (Ongoing).
- R v Harrouk (Magistrates Court) – Instructed by the OPP to appear and advise on complex ‘deal proceeds of crime’ case linked to fraud crimes.
- Police v Gaiton (Magistrates Court) – contested hearing; client acquitted of breach of intervention order charges. Instructed by VWLAC.
- Karajas v Bolitho (VCAT) – defence of complex residential tenancy claim, instructed by Robert Wood Solicitors. (Resolved).
- Provision of advice and research paper reviewing authorities to support Bugmy submissions for a complex Supreme Court plea involving Senior counsel.
Catherine read with Diana Price and her senior mentors are Ruth Shann SC and Timothy Walker KC.