Hunter-based law firm, Catherine Henry Lawyers, has made several new appointments as it continues to diversify its services to meet growing demand from clients across the Hunter and regional NSW.
Tom Lyons joins to lead the firm’s booming health law practice, while former lawyer and experienced legal recruiter and practice manager, Jacqueline Keddie, takes on a new Chief Operating Officer role.
New lawyers, Lucie Dei Rocini and Ana Grguric, will work across the firm’s health law, elder law and estate planning teams.
Principal, Catherine Henry, said Tom has almost 20 years’ experience as a lawyer, many of them specialising in personal injury. He has a Master of Law and Legal Practice and is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury.
Ana has more than 20 years’ experience in personal injury litigation and estate law. She has worked for several firms in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and the Hunter. She also undertakes business improvement, training and education projects.
Before becoming a lawyer, Lucie worked as a registered nurse in NSW hospitals and residential aged care facilities as well as for an insurer doing work injury damages cases and for a large medical defence insurer.
Catherine said one of her firm’s points of difference is employing staff with clinical experience.
“We also have an in-house nurse and senior lawyer midwife who help to triage cases quickly but carefully, and to ask the right questions to help establish liability,” Catherine said.
She said the appointments further support plans to deliver an increasingly diversified and specialised range of health, aged care, and elder law services to regional NSW – areas of practice usually only available in capital cities.
In addition to gaining justice for victims of poor care, the firm has developed a health disciplinary practice representing health professionals whose conduct has been questioned – and, in some cases, prosecuted – by health regulatory bodies.
It is also doing work in areas such as challenging health decisions, preparing contracts for assisted reproduction, as well as health transactional work which give rise to both health and consumer law remedies.
Expanded aged care and elder law services being offered by the firm include aged care advocacy (accommodation disputes and challenging and negotiating aged care contracts) and financial elder abuse.
“Not many firms take on the confronting task of representing the frail aged, particularly in regional areas,” she said.
With the support of new CEO, Stephen Phillips, Catherine has restructured the firm and appoint an advisory board as part of a focus on growth, succession planning, continuous improvement of service provision and client satisfaction. The work is paying off with the firm seeing a doubling of incoming work.
The firm has had continued success in representing and helping women who are victims of disgraced doctors. It is representing more than 80 women who received poor medical care from doctors Blackstock and Gayed – without resorting to class action.
“While the approach is more challenging for the firm, we believe individual representation will provide our clients with better financial outcomes,” she said.
“We have maintained our 100 per cent success rate in medical litigation cases this year.”
On another positive note, Catherine said she was proud of the fact that Catherine Henry Lawyers has continued to serve clients in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unlike many other firms, we have neither cut jobs nor staff hours.”
“The law is a powerful tool to help people to obtain justice, redress, and to ensure accountability that brings change and improvements to standards of health and aged care practice,” she concluded.
IMAGE | Stephen Phillips, Catherine Henry, Jacqueline Keddie, and Tom Lyons. (left-right)