07 Apr 2011
Learn more about Karen Ingram
Karen Ingram specialises in complex commercial litigation and disputes, with particular emphasis on Corporations Act disputes, private equity disputes and alternative dispute resolution.
Karen talks about her career and what drives her.
Karen Ingram, Partner
What is your name and practice area?
My name is Karen Ingram and I'm a partner in Sydney's commercial litigation and dispute resolution team. I don't specialise in any particular area of litigation. Rather, I enjoy doing a variety of matters in complex commercial litigations from Trade Practices Act matters to Corporations Act matters and I've also done a lot of work with our firm's private equity team on contentious disputes.
What are some of the current trends you are seeing in your area?
The most exciting trend in my area at the moment is the importance that the legislature as well as the courts are placing on pre litigation dispute resolution protocols.
It is a matter close to my heart because I have a Master's in dispute resolution and one of the big things influencing the way in which I practise has been trying to think of the optimal time for clients to engage in alternative forms of dispute resolution, rather than simply rushing off to court.
And excitingly both at a Federal and State level, the Parliaments are now legislating to require genuine steps to be taken for dispute resolution processes to be used, prior to proceedings being commenced.
What have you enjoyed most about your career at Clayton Utz so far?
Definitely the variety of the work. I've been in commercial litigation for my whole time at Clayton Utz but I've been fortunate enough to work with some fantastic other practitioners, from the partners and lawyers in our corporate group through to private equity specialists, and even some of our tax people, which has taught me a lot about the practice of law.
I've also really enjoyed having close mentoring relationships with senior practitioners as well as making good friends and peers along the way.
As a new partner at Clayton Utz, what are you looking forward to most?
There are probably two things I'm looking forward to the most.
The first one is having a stake in the business of Clayton Utz. Having spent my whole legal career in the firm, I've seen the way the firm has changed over time and have also been part of some of the fantastic initiatives that the firm has offered the lawyers as well as the marketplace in general, so I'm excited to be part of the group that is behind the strategy bringing that to the market.
The second aspect would be I'm really looking forward to mentoring and developing the skills of junior lawyers. I was very lucky to have a close mentoring relationship with my supervising partner and I know the impact he had on my career development and I look forward to being able to give that back to some of our junior lawyers.
If you weren't a Partner at Clayton Utz, what would you be?
A journalist and I don't have to hesitate to say that ... that was my goal through high school and that was what I put down as my first choice when it was time to go to uni.
Then my TER came back a fantastic surprise and I thought well why not combine the other subject that I loved all the way through school, which was law, so I did a law degree and an arts degree majoring in communication studies.
I like to do a bit of writing in my spare time but I'm very happy to be here as a partner of Clayton Utz.