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Recent (and current) cases we have conducted on a pro bono basis for the community include:

  • We represented patients from a local medical centre seeking access to their treatment records following a change in ownership
  • We represented Parks & Playgrounds Movement in the NSW Land & Environment Court seeking to prevent the removal of 14 Hills fig trees from Laman Street
  • We represented the daughter of an elderly woman in a coronial inquest who died as a result of alleged nursing negligence
  • We represented community organisations wanting to clarify their policies and procedures for releasing confidential client records upon receipt of a court issued subpoena
  • We represented GPs from a local medical centre threatened by their former employers with breach of restraint of trade

Catherine Henry Lawyers worked with local community groups to help save an iconic avenue of trees in inner city Newcastle (Laman Street).

Catherine Henry Lawyers represented community group, Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc in the Land and  Environment Court proceedings and continued working with community groups to  successfully save the site known as the Fig Tree Cathedral.    

The wishes of the community were finally respected when at the meeting of Newcastle City Council (14 December 2010), Council voted eight to four (one councillor absent) to save the Laman Street Fig Trees.

After almost two years of discussion, a NCC resolution to remove the trees to make way for the redevelopment of the Civic Precinct, and proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, the Council agreed to listen to their constituents and re-voted in favour of retaining the trees.

The Save our Figs Coalition, Parks and Playgrounds Movement and local Novocastrians advocated strongly in favour of retaining the historically significant Hills Figs and presented the NCC with a petition containing almost 10,000 signatures.

Although safety concerns were high on the agenda, the Council also agreed to implement risk mitigation and management strategies, including having the base of the trees being mulched and using arterial root growth as stabilising features.  Four new fig trees will be planted in place of the missing trees. Laman Street will also become a permanent one way street. Read the report in the Newcastle Herald.

Catherine Henry Lawyers is a firm member of the Public Interest Law Clearing House (‘PILCH’)

Our community involvement is extensive

Catherine Henry was the President of the Newcastle Law Society for 6 years from 2004 until 2009. One of her key objectives in that role was to secure government support for a rejuvenated justice precinct for the region. She has been an active member of a number of community boards and was appointed by the NSW Government as a Member of Council of the University of Newcastle for a 3 year term. Whilst practising in Sydney, she was the President of the NSW Branch of the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Alliance (now the ALA) for a lengthy term, actively involved in the NSW Women Lawyers Association including as an Executive member and held a 2 year appointment on the Board of the NSW Legal Aid Commission as the representative of the NSW Attorney-General.

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