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Specialising in regulatory and internal investigations and commercial litigation, Katie Wood helps clients manage threatened or actual litigation (either regulatory or private action) and risk and compliance issues.

In what can be a fraught, complex, fast-moving (and usually highly regulated) environment, Katie draws on her experience here (from acting for CBA in the APRA Inquiry and the Financial Services Royal Commission) and in the UK of international trends in dispute resolution and regulatory engagement, and the various tensions clients face in Australia’s current regulatory landscape, to work with clients to develop pragmatic and commercial strategies and solutions.

As a litigator, Katie’s experience in commercial litigation spans single proceedings to large-scale, complex class actions and multi-proceeding claims across a spectrum of subject matters, including banking and financial services and product liability claims.

Katie's experience in investigations and dispute resolution is complemented by a deep understanding of compliance and risk issues (for example, experience in helping financial services entities meet the challenges of implementing the Banking Executive and Accountability Regime).

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Expertise

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Investigations and Crisis Management

Financial services

CBA: The APRA Inquiry and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry have been two seminal events in Australia's regulatory landscape that have occurred in the last three years. Katie assisted CBA in its response to both of those matters. Following the Royal Commission, Katie has been assisting CBA in its response to regulatory enforcement and investigation.

HSBC: While in the UK, Katie provided advice to a number of International financial services firms in relation to regulatory investigations. In particular, Katie assisted HSBC through a large-scale internal investigation into price-fixing that was ultimately disclosed to the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.


Product safety

Product safety: Katie regularly provides assistance to retail companies undertaking product safety recalls and more generally, provides advice in relation to product safety issues.

Whirlpool Inc: While working in the UK, Katie assisted Whirlpool Inc in relation to a global corrective action and consumer remediation program that involved a novel regulatory investigation.

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Financial services

Visa Europe Services LLC and Visa UK Ltd: Katie assisted in the defence of multiple proceedings commenced in the English High Court relating to multilateral interchange fees.

Lloyds Banking Group plc: Katie assisted Lloyds in its defence of multiple proceedings commenced in relation to LIBOR allegations.

Goldman Sachs: Katie assisted Goldman Sachs in its defence of proceedings commenced by investors in relation to management of funds during the GFC.

RBS plc t/a ABN Amro: Katie was part of the team that achieved a successful resolution to proceedings commenced in the UK and Netherlands against RBS in relation to CDOs.

CBA: Katie assisted in the defence of multiple proceedings arising from the provision of financial advice by Storm Financial. The proceedings included regulatory proceedings, representative proceedings and single applicant proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland. The matter ultimately settled before judgment was handed down.


Product Liability

VW Emissions: Katie assisted the team defending the Volkswagen Group in five class actions and two regulatory actions in the Federal Court of Australia, brought by two plaintiff law firms on behalf of vehicle owners and the ACCC in respect of diesel emissions issues and regulatory issues.

Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited (MSDA): Katie assisted the team in what is considered to be largest product liability class action in Australia, in the successful defence of a class action involving claimants who alleged cardiovascular injuries due to their consumption of VIOXX, a COX-2 inhibitor. Having succeeded on all but one cause of action at trial, we were able to overturn the adverse verdict on appeal and secure an historic win.

Product liability claims: Katie currently advises on a number of single proceeding product liability claims. Those claims are often commenced in the District Court where commercial considerations are important.

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Class Actions

Financial services

CBA: Katie assisted in the defence of multiple proceedings arising from the provision of financial advice by Storm Financial. The proceedings included regulatory proceedings, representative proceedings and single applicant proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Queensland.


Product Liability

VW Emissions: Katie assisted the team defending the Volkswagen Group in five class actions and two regulatory actions in the Federal Court of Australia, brought by two plaintiff law firms on behalf of vehicle owners and the ACCC in respect of diesel emissions issues and regulatory issues.

Eli Lilly Australia Pty Ltd: Representative proceedings involving claimants alleging to have suffered detrimental compulsive behaviours due to their consumption of dopamine agonist tablets. The matter was successfully settled before trial.

Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited (MSDA): Katie assisted Merck & Co Inc and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Australia Limited in the defence of representative class action proceedings involving claimants alleging to have suffered cardiovascular injuries due to their consumption of VIOXX, a COX-2 inhibitor.

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Knowledge

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