Katherine is an experienced litigator and advocate with extensive expertise in both administrative and criminal law. She is trusted by government agencies to solve complex legal problems and navigate clients through the most sensitive and high-profile of matters.
Having spent time on secondment with government agencies, Katherine brings unique perspectives and draws upon her experience to deliver efficient processes and positive outcomes for her clients.
Katherine is listed as a “Leading Administrative & Public Lawyer” in Doyle’s Guide 2021 and 2022 and is the winner of the 2022 Government Partner of the Year at the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards.
What she does
Katherine regularly appears in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA), Federal Court and High Court of Australia (HCA) for some of the largest Commonwealth agencies in merits and judicial review matters.
Katherine’s practice also covers statutory interpretation, privacy and all aspects of FOI. From a criminal law perspective, Katherine provides advice and representation in criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings, including criminal prosecutions, civil penalty prosecutions and intervention order matters.
As a leader, Katherine is astute and highly aware of the strengths and potential of the individuals she works with. She is passionate about the development of junior lawyers and generously shares her knowledge to expand the capabilities of others.
Katherine is also a member of Sparke Helmore’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Who she works with
Katherine works with various Commonwealth and State government entities. Katherine and her team are also proud to undertake regular pro bono work for the Mental Health Legal Centre.
Katherine has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Canberra.
Life before Sparkes
Katherine began her career as a solicitor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW, where she prepared hundreds of serious indictable matters for trial and appeared for the Crown in matters ranging from sentences to mentions.
Katherine worked in Sparke Helmore's Government Group between 2008 and 2013. Before re-joining Sparke Helmore in November 2016, Katherine was a Senior Associate at Mills Oakley where she worked in the Government & Administrative Law team and the Commercial Disputes & Insolvency team. During this time, she represented the liquidator of Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) on the recovery of its $500 million loan book following the collapse of the Timbercorp Managed Investment Schemes.
Life outside of Sparkes
When Katherine is not running after her two young sons, she enjoys eating, laughing and drinking fine wine with her friends. She is also very proud of her garden at home in the Macedon Ranges, especially her lawn and white hydrangeas, which she probably spends too much time talking about.