Catherine is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin's Disputes + Investigations team. She has broad experience in commercial litigation with a focus on financial services regulation.

    Catherine is experienced in navigating financial services entities through regulatory investigations and enforcement activity. She also advises in relation to risk, governance and accountability issues. She has acted for banks, insurers and superannuation managers in financial services class actions.

    Prior to joining Gilbert + Tobin, Catherine was a litigator at the Australian Government Solicitor and acted as a Solicitor Assisting the Financial Services Royal Commission. As such, Catherine brings a deep understanding of the Government’s regulatory agenda and the approaches of regulators of financial services entities in the post-Royal Commission environment and more recently, as they transition to supporting pandemic recovery.

    Catherine is skilled at navigating the complex demands of responding to and participating in Royal Commissions, public inquiries and compulsory investigative processes. She has a deep understanding of the superannuation system from a regulatory and conduct perspective as a result of her role during the Financial Services Royal Commission. She has recently acted for superannuation participants defending class action proceedings concerning member fees and investment options.

    Catherine's experience includes:

    • Acting for two life companies, who were the administrators of retail superannuation funds, in class action proceedings in the Federal Court regarding administration and investment fees
    • Acting for the distributor and issuer of consumer credit insurance products in class action proceedings in the Federal Court
    • Acting as a Solicitor Assisting the Financial Services Royal Commission (instructing Counsel Assisting during hearings on financial advice, business lending, superannuation and policy issues)
    • Seconded to a major Australian Bank to assist with responses to an ASIC enforcement investigation into monthly account fees
    • Conducting internal investigations, including in relation to compliance with the Banking Executive Accountability Regime
    • Advising a large financial institution on complex customer disputes and coordinating large-scale external review process for legacy complaints
    • Acting for the Commonwealth of Australia in its successful defence of a multi-billion dollar investor-state arbitration claim challenging Australia’s world first tobacco plain packaging legislation (Philip Morris Asia Limited (Hong Kong) v. The Commonwealth of Australia, Permanent Court of Arbitration, conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules)

    During her career in the public sector, Catherine’s contributions to significant legal matters for the Commonwealth of Australia have been recognised through multiple Australian Government Australia Day Achievement Awards (in 2009, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019).

    Australia Day Achievement Awards

    Catherine Kelso co-authored the Chambers White-Collar Crime 2022 Australian Practice Guide.

    Chambers Australian Practice Guide 2022

    Catherine is recognised for International Arbitration, Litigation and Regulatory Practice.

    Best Lawyers Australia