Katherine Payne


Qualifications: LLB, BCom (Hons)


Katherine’s primary expertise is in corporate insolvency, the PPSA, contractual disputes, misleading and deceptive conduct, and building and construction litigation in an insolvency context.

Katherine partners closely with her clients to achieve their best strategic outcome efficiently and effectively. She proactively seeks an early favourable outcome. Where this is not available, emphasis on commerciality and strategic decision-making drive her management of formal disputes.

Katherine’s clients include many well-known insolvency practitioners, advisory accountants, financiers, national and international corporates, suppliers and manufacturers of a variety of goods, and logistics providers.

Katherine regularly publishes articles and presents to clients and associations from a range of sectors, particularly on insolvency issues and regarding the impact of PPSA on their business. She has published PPSA:  A Practical Guide for Financiers, and written and developed the PPSA Online Checklist, the first online PPSA claim assessment tool for insolvency practitioners.

Katherine sits on the Vic/Tas Committee of the Australian Reconstruction, Insolvency and Turnaround Association and is a Board Member of The Song Room, a national not-for-profit organisation which partners with schools to deliver music and arts programs for children in areas of disadvantage.


  • Acting on behalf of companies and directors to implement the ‘safe harbour’ regime.
  • Acting for the liquidator of the C&D Recycling (in liq) in respect of several potential Corporations Act claims. C&D Recycling operated a recycling business in Lara. On liquidation, there were outstanding VCAT enforcement orders requiring security and waste disposal. It is estimated that clean-up of the site will cost up between $40 million and $100 million.
  • Acting for the liquidators of the Pacific Services Group (in liq) in respect of several potential Corporations Act claims. The Pacific Services Group was one of Australia’s largest electrical contractors. Issues included potential Corporations Act claims in complex and untested areas of law.
  • Acting for the liquidators of the Hastie Group (in liq) regarding several large recovery claims in the construction industry. The Hastie Group included 44 entities and approximately 2,700 employees. The associated claims involved 28 major builders, and addressed issues in relation to set-off, debt claims and the entitlement of builders to claim under bank guarantees.
  • Significant experience in the PPSA, acting on behalf of creditors, directors, and insolvency practitioners. Experience includes the external administrations of Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone, Brightwater Engineering Solutions and National Engineering.
  • Acting for creditors in various corporate insolvencies, including Wow Audio Visual Superstores, Ojay, three creditors of the Australian Music Group (also known as Billy Hyde) and four creditors of Arrium Australia.
  • Advising Yamaha Music Australia in relation to music dealers, including unfair preference claims and claims against suppliers for misleading and deceptive conduct.
  • Conducting a successful large scale arbitration regarding telecommunications construction through the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • 9 month secondment at the BlueScope Corporate office, with an additional 3 months remote secondment from Hall & Wilcox.

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2024-2025
Recognised – Insolvency & Reorganisation Law and Litigation
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024
Recommended – Dispute resolution: litigation
Best Lawyers in Australia 2018-2023
Recognised – Alternative Dispute Resolution, Insolvency & Reorganisation Law, Litigation
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022
Key lawyer – Dispute resolution: litigation
Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2019
Finalist – Special Counsel of the Year
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016
Recognised – Dispute Resolution

Professional Membership

  • Vic/Tas Committee Member, Australian Reconstruction, Insolvency and Turnaround Association
  • Board Member, The Song Room

Latest thinking

Insolvency & Restructuring | 12 Apr 2024

A guide to judicial directions for insolvency practitioners

This guide offers clarity on when and why insolvency practitioners should turn to the court for guidance.