AALA ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF NSW PATRON – MS KATRINA RATHIE
The AALA is pleased to announce Ms Katrina Rathie as our new NSW Patron.
Ms Rathie is an Australian with a Chinese cultural background, her family originating from Guangzhou Province in Southern China. Katrina brings to this role distinguished service to the Australian legal profession, extensive cross-border leadership and cultural skills honed through an esteemed 36-year career spanning Australia, Asia and the USA. She was admitted to practice in NSW in 1985, the High Court in 1986 and appointed as an Attorney & Counsellor of the New York Bar in 1988.
Katrina is a pre-eminent lawyer, well-known business leader and non-executive director who is proud to be a role model and champion for Asian Australians. She was named the overall winner in the prestigious Board & Management category in the 2019 AFR 100 Women of Influence list, recognised for her outstanding contributions to leadership in the law, advancement of gender and cultural diversity across Australia and Asia.
Katrina was Partner in Charge, Sydney at top tier global elite law firm King & Wood Mallesons from 2014 – March 2021, where she was the first Asian Australian to lead the Sydney office. She was involved in the implementation of the historic combination between China’s King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 2012 and for almost a decade worked closely with her colleagues across 12 cities in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo to help build an international Asian powerhouse law firm with more than 2,700 lawyers in 29 locations across the world.
Katrina was the first Australian with a Chinese cultural background to be employed by Stephen Jaques in 1985 and the first Asian Australian equity partner appointed at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 1994, a role she held for 26 years. She recently retired as the most senior female partner at the firm after a distinguished career where she practised as a solicitor in the fields of advertising, marketing, media, intellectual property and Australian Consumer Law litigation winning many high-profile cases for her blue chip ASX listed and Fortune 500 clients. In June 2021, Katrina’s significant contribution to the legal profession was recognised in the Commonwealth House of Representatives, Parliament House and recorded in Hansard.
Katrina was named NSW Woman Private Practice Lawyer of the Year by the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (2017), Intellectual Property Partner of the Year by Lawyers Weekly (2019) and is ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia Pacific 2021 in seven categories. She has been named in the IP Hall of Fame and IP Stars 2021 recognising her renowned expertise in brands, trademarks and copyright law.
Katrina is passionate about diversity, inclusion and belonging: she has been a trailblazer who has led the way by shattering the glass and bamboo ceilings. As a former member of the Law Society of NSW’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Managing Partner’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, she worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Race Discrimination Commissioners and was involved in arranging for several of Australia’s leading law firms to sign a Cultural Diversity Pledge
in 2017 to measure the level of cultural diversity in law firms and embed policies to track and advance cultural diversity in the profession. Katrina has been an active member of AALA since it was founded and is pleased to continue as a member of the Data and Policy Sub-Committee.
Katrina has spoken extensively about the desirability of greater gender and cultural diversity in the professions, business and ASX boards; and the need to curb racism in our communities. Katrina is one of the judges of the 40 under 40 Most Influential Asian Australia Awards, the winners of which will be announced at the Asian Australian Leadership Summit in September 2021.
She has a long history in philanthropy helping found the multi-award winning KWM in the Community Program, which comprises pro-bono, workplace giving and volunteering. She is a Non-Executive Director of Starlight Children's Foundation Australia and NSW Rugby Union/Waratah’s Rugby. She is Chair of the Cranbrook Foundation and Vice President of Cranbrook School where she has championed the importance of a well-rounded education. She is an Alumni Leader of UNSW Business School, serves on UNSW’s Law Advisory Council, the Culture Strategy Committee of Sydney University and the Advisory Board of Media Diversity Australia, which has a mission to champion cultural diversity in Australian journalism and news media.
Katrina is a Member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Commerce (Accounting & Financial Management)/Law degree from UNSW Sydney. She is the mother of three boys – her eldest, Jack Rathie has followed in her footsteps, studied law at UNSW Sydney and is a Solicitor/Innovation Manager at King & Wood Mallesons.
Katrina is excited to be named as NSW Patron of AALA and looks forward to continuing to advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in business, boards and throughout the legal profession. Her wisdom and lived experience will be valued by AALA members.
AALA is delighted to have her join us as NSW Patron.
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