Meet our new Partner

Katherine Payne

Katherine Payne


Commercial Dispute Resolution

‘I love problem solving, and particularly working with other people to achieve a strong strategic outcome. I also love the combination of commercial practicality and intellectual challenge which is inherent in insolvency and commercial disputes.’


  • I work with:
    I predominantly work with insolvency practitioners, advisory accountants and medium to large corporates. From an insolvency perspective, I act for external administrators, creditors (secured and unsecured), directors, and other stakeholders. I have particular expertise in the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA), which has a broad application to any businesses dealing in stock, leasing assets or involved in secured lending.
  • Major highlights:
    I’ve acted on several large insolvencies and PPSA matters, which have often involved complex and untested areas of law. I also undertook a 12-month secondment in the corporate legal team of BlueScope. Working within a client and understanding their day-to-day pressures has had a substantial influence on the way that I practice.
  • I predict the next big thing will be:

    the fallout from COVID-19 is expected to be significant in the insolvency industry and regarding commercial disputes. There are many businesses who are facing difficulties, both related to the pandemic and pre-existing issues which they will soon need to confront. A broad range of industries will be impacted, from aviation, retail and hospitality, to manufacturing and construction.

    In addition to the obvious immediate impact on the entities concerned, there are broader consequences for all businesses. Strong strategy is essential, particularly when dealing with financial distress (yours or a counterparty’s) and commercial disputes.

  • My proudest achievement:

    three stand out for me.

    • Running an International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration for Ericsson Australia regarding construction of the 3G telecommunications network. It was a long and hard-fought matter, and we were able to deliver an exceptional result.
    • In recent years, we have developed a number of new arguments either in respect of untested areas of law, or as a novel approach to a pre-existing legal issue. I am at my proudest when these new arguments are tested and successful.
    • We are in the final stages of developing a PPSA product that I will be particularly proud to launch in the next few months.
  • Outside work, you'll find me:
    I’m an avid reader and love the beach: I’m happiest after going for a run (slowly!) along the beach. I also love exploring, whether it be travelling within Australia or overseas, or new restaurants. I have two young boys (aged five and three) who are fantastic partners-in-crime and we have a lot of fun together.
  • If I wasn't a lawyer, I would be:
    Before COVID-19 I would have said a teacher. However, my recent experience home schooling our prep boy has definitely made me reconsider that one!