Awards & Recognition

  • Leading Individual, Labour & Employment: WHS, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide 2024
  • Ranked for Employment: Health & Safety by Chambers Asia Pacific 2023
  • Recommended as Labour & Employment Lawyers, and Labour & Employment: WHS by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023
  • Winner, Australia's Most Influential Lawyer, Australasian Lawyer 2023
  • Finalist, Partner of the Year - Employment, Lawyers Weekly 2022
  • Ranked as Leading Work Health & Safety Lawyer by Doyles Guide
  • Ranked as Leading Work Health & Safety Lawyer by Best Lawyers

About Catherine

Catherine is one of Australia's leading lawyers working with clients on work health and safety (WHS), behavioural investigations and inquests, inquiries and Royal Commissions. She advises on all aspects of safety regulation and in responding to workplace incidents and criminal prosecutions.

Catherine leads the Maddocks safety practice and works with clients in the public sector, emergency services, police, defence, health, retail, construction, not-for-profit and transport sectors. She proactively works with her clients to address safety risks and develop safety systems and management reporting. She has particular experience in developing bespoke contractor management systems. Catherine has extensive experience in helping clients with employee mental health, safety and well-being issues and in addressing psychosocial hazards. She has assisted large clients in dealing with systemic bullying and sexual harassment issues and has assisted them in investigations into high-profile investigations.

Catherine has helped many clients deal with the aftermath of serious incidents and fatalities, including acting in Australia’s largest natural disaster Royal Commission and in many multiple-fatality and major public safety coronial inquests and inquiries. She works with clients on dealing with regulators and developing a strategic response to prosecutions, inquiries and inquests, considering the interests of stakeholders, liability issues and very real human issues. She provides a 24-7 service to clients who know her for her calm, efficient and measured approach in a crisis.

Catherine is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, teaching workplace health and safety in the Masters programme. She is an in-demand speaker for industry events and frequently presents to Boards and Senior Executives on their due diligence obligations, assurance in their organisations and safety systems and developments in safety law.


  • Work Health & Safety

    Providing training on the harmonised Work Health and Safety legislation to Commonwealth Government Departments, statutory authorities and industry groups

  • Dispute resolution & litigation

    Acting for clients prosecuted over health and safety breaches including successfully obtaining enforceable undertakings

  • Employment

    Regularly advising employers on handling bullying and discrimination complaints and providing training on workplace behaviour

  • Royal Commissions

    Acted for the Country Fire Authority in the 2009-10 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission from the day after Black Saturday, leading a large team of lawyers and para-legals working for over 18 months as part of the Victorian Government Response to the Commission

  • Government & administrative law

    Advising the Victorian Attorney-General on sensitive public interest immunity issues

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