Although Principal, Catherine Henry has built a name locally in the legal industry for much longer than a decade, Catherine Henry Lawyers has celebrated a significant milestone of 10 years serving people in Newcastle and regional NSW.
Catherine bought King Street Lawyers in February 2009 from her then business partner John Ryan on his retirement. She and John were partners at King Street Lawyers from 2004. The pair also bought the Newcastle practice of Craddock Murray Neumann (CMN). Catherine had built up CMN’s local office after her return to Newcastle from Sydney in 2002. In mid-2009 King Street Lawyers became Catherine Henry Partners. In 2016 the name was changed to Catherine Henry Lawyers.
The firm has grown to now employ more than 30 people, specialising in family and relationship law, health and medical law and elder law and estate planning.
Catherine said much had changed in that 10 years, with a broader range of expert legal services available from local practitioners. Catherine has used her experience working as a Lawyer in Sydney for 13 years as well as for the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission to establish services so people didn’t have to travel to capital cities for services.
“When I came back from Sydney there wasn’t anyone specialising in medical litigation despite there being a lot of opportunities for such work,” Catherine said.
“Now it’s an established practice area in the Hunter, although our firm is the only firm that specialises in it as a distinct area of personal injury work.
“Litigation is a powerful tool in making professionals accountable and a means of maintaining acceptable standards of care.
“We have been able to help many women and families impacted by birth trauma or issues such as the pelvic mesh scandal.
“We get great satisfaction from helping women in particular to navigate relationship breakdowns and to help them plan for them or their parents growing older.”
Her firm’s expertise was recognised late last year with two lawyers making the latest list of NSW’s top 16 medical negligence plaintiff lawyers. Catherine and Senior Associate Lucy Wilk, are recommended in Doyle’s list of Leading Medical Negligence Compensation Plaintiff Lawyers (NSW). Catherine Henry Lawyers is the only firm headquartered in the Hunter and Northern NSW and one of only two firms based outside of Sydney to make the list.
As a medical lawyer and long-term advocate for the injured, Catherine has been well placed to advocate for reform of the aged care sector.
“I welcome the Royal Commission into aged care but hope that it will move quickly to address fundamental issues such as setting staff to resident ratios,” Catherine said.
She is proud of her efforts in helping women to advance in the field of law and is Convenor of the Newcastle Chapter of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. Her practice is predominantly made up of women and she provides opportunities for female law students and graduates.
“There is a long way to go but we are seeing more female solicitors at senior levels and a greater number of women practicing as barristers than ever before.”
IMAGE | Catherine Henry Lawyers is celebrating 10 years in business.