Kay is a solicitor in the Blue Mountains. She has experience in criminal law, apprehended violence orders (defending and applying), estates, victims’ compensation and personal injury litigation, including motor accidents.
Prior to being admitted as a solicitor in May 2014, Kay worked as a legal research assistant to Valerie Heath, Barrister-at-Law at Maurice Byers Chambers.
Post-admission, Kay worked for a local solicitor in private practice in Katoomba and built her own client base doing mostly criminal defence work.
Kay has a background in psychology and a firm understanding of mental health problems. She has been successful in using mental health as a defence in criminal matters. Kay understands that many people facing criminal charges are also dealing with addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety or disability. She knows the right questions to ask and how to access all of the available resources to help her clients navigate the criminal jurisdiction.
Kay takes a holistic approach to criminal law and is looking forward to seeing if the recent changes to sentencing laws – which aim to break the cycle of offending by providing help with problems like depression and addiction – are successful in reducing the incidence of crime.
Kay is empathetic and asks her clients about their background to establish what may have led them to being involved in criminal activity. She asks for honesty and candour from her clients and presents their defence thoroughly and clearly at each step of the way.
Kay also has extensive experience working in disability care as a support worker. Her work in disability care has helped her to understand the many challenges faced by people with a disability, including being underpaid, facing institutional neglect or abuse, and the many challenges of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Kay has a detailed knowledge of the victims’ compensation process and has successfully made submissions to have injuries attributed to a category which is more beneficial financially for her clients.
Kay is interested in animal law and has made submissions on behalf of the Young Lawyers Animal Law Committee into the treatment of pigs in factory farms. After attending a seminar by Steven Wise, head of the Nonhuman Rights Project, in which he is using the law to establish that certain non-human animals – like chimps, dolphins and elephants – are legal persons, Kay spoke on air at her local radio station to explain what he is doing in a ten minute segment.
Outside of work, Kay is an artist and writer. She paints large faces and “magical beings” in oils. She is also in the process of writing her first novel, which is a spiritual fairy tale about the Blue Mountains and the Akashic records, where the hero is a little girl who has escaped abusive foster parents.
Kay has volunteered at the local Community Legal Centre (the Elizabeth Evatt CLC) where she became acutely aware of the plight of socially disadvantaged people within the community. She also volunteered for over 12 months at Radio Blue Mountains as a producer and presenter of Retro Rehash, a Friday drive-time music show which supports local musicians and artists.
Kay grew up in the Blue Mountains and loves the area. In particular, she appreciates the healing qualities of the land.