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Principal Lawyer - Head of Dispute Resolution and Insolvency
Catherine Pulverman

Catherine is a highly experienced litigation lawyer. Acting on behalf of a broad range of private and corporate entities throughout Melbourne, she specialises in commercial disputes and insolvency matters.

Dispute resolution

With decades of experience handling contentious matters, Catherine has helped countless clients to successfully resolve their contractual disputes. Handling a wide spectrum of property, director and shareholder, general conduct and family trust disputes, she draws on her extensive procedural and technical knowledge to achieve workable and cost-effective outcomes – no matter how complex or challenging the case at hand.

A formidable advocate both inside and outside the courtroom, Catherine runs every case with a strong emphasis on achieving pre-action resolution wherever possible – but with regular appearances before the Supreme, County, Magistrates and Federal Circuit Courts, she is well equipped to fight her clients’ corner when the need arises.


Frequently consulted for her expertise in insolvency matters, Catherine acts for business owners, company directors, creditors, liquidators and trustees, as well as individuals facing bankruptcy in their own capacity. Advising on the complex rights and responsibilities that can arise during personal insolvency, voluntary administration and liquidation processes, she negotiates practical and commercially sound solutions which protect her clients’ interests, even in the tightest of financial spots.

Striking the right balance

A seasoned advisor who has seen her fair share of highly-charged disputes, Catherine understands that litigation is difficult for any client. With a keen instinct for commercial risk and the long term implications of legal action, she also knows that money is rarely the only factor at stake. Taking the time to understand her clients’ unique priorities and concerns, her honest and pragmatic advice strikes the right balance between financial, practical, and emotional considerations.

Proud to work across a broad-sector client base, Catherine enjoys the diversity and challenge of dispute resolution work. With her practice regularly touching on the finer points of commercial, property, tax, litigation, and family law, she often finds that valuable lessons learned from one case can be applied to another – to the distinct advantage of her clients.

Special Achievements

  • Selected as the only Australian representative as a finalist in the Young Lawyers’ Writing Competition for her paper “ADR: How does/should it compliment mainstream litigation relating to negligence/damages in my jurisdiction? How could/should its use be improved/expanded/curtailed?” As a finalist, she presented her paper at the International Bar Association Conference held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2005;
  • Recipient of the Law Institute President’s Award in the “New Lawyer” category in 2006; and
  • Two matters successfully run to trial with judgment in favour of the Trustee in bankruptcy for 120/121 claims under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth): see Holden v Santosa [2011] FMCA 251 and Sellers v Ceraso [2012] FMCA 48.
  • Conducting litigation for Liquidators including claims for unfair preferences, uncommercial transactions, insolvent trading, breaches of directors’ duties and other voidable transactions under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); conducting public examinations; advice on adjudication of proofs of debt; dealing with issues under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) including the validity of security interests over personal property;
  • Acting for Trustees in bankruptcy in relation to transmission of title of a bankrupt’s interest in real property; pursuing claims under section 120 and 121 and Division 4A of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) regarding property and entities controlled by bankrupts; applications for vacant possession of real property including Warrants of Possession; dealing with co-ownership disputes and sale of real property; advice in relation to family law proceedings;
  • Provision of advice in relation to voluntary administrations including Deeds of Company Arrangements and receiverships;
  • Preparation of Personal Insolvency Agreements under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth);
  • Advice to creditors or debtors in respect of Creditor’s Statutory Demands and Bankruptcy Notices and acting for creditors and debtors in winding up proceedings and bankruptcy proceedings; and
  • Advice to clients including insolvency practitioners regarding caveatable interests over real property and dealing with applications to the Supreme Court for removal of caveats.
  • Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Legal Studies, La Trobe University (1996)
  • Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA)
  • Insolvency Law Institute
  • LaTrobe Law School Course Advisory Board
  • Women in Insolvency and Restructuring Victoria (WIRV)

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