Katherine Forrest

Katherine Forrest

Katherine Forrest practices primarily in financial services regulation and corporate finance. She has 25 years' experience in advising financial services clients, both traditional and non-traditional, and other service providers impacted by financial regulation.

Katherine’s experience includes advising domestic and foreign institutions on acquiring licences and exemptions under banking and financial services regimes, structuring, developing and documenting financial products and distribution channels, anti-money laundering and privacy, assisting clients in dealing with regulator investigations and disputes, and acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and outsourcing in the financial services sector.

Katherine is ranked Band 1 for Financial Services Regulation by Chambers Asia-Pacific (2017). Katherine is also currently recognised as Best Lawyers ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in the speciality area of Financial Institutions.

    "It is difficult to think of anyone else in this space who would have the same level of expertise.”
    She has "extensive knowledge and experience especially in consumer credit and consumer banking requirements, litigation and regulator issues." – Chambers & Partners

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Recent Matters

  • Advising banks and other credit providers on the new National Consumer Credit Protection regime and on the proposed National Unfair Contract Terms regime
  • Assisting financial institutions in dealing with AUSTRAC regarding enforceable undertakings
  • Acting for an Australian ADI in a dispute with ASIC relating to credit card issuance
  • Advising major financial institutions and corporates on the introduction of the Financial Services Reform Act
  • Advising numerous financial institutions and corporates on implementing the Private Sector Privacy regime, including documentation, systems issues, business process design, compliance and training
  • Advising GE Capital on the creation of the Coles Myer Card program
  • Advising numerous financial institutions on the implementation of the Consumer Credit Code, Code of Banking Practice and Financial Services Reform Bill
  • Establishment of National Australia Bank’s HomeSide mortgage banking/mortgage servicing business and GE Mortgage Solutions mortgage business
  • Acquisitions, divestments, and funding of financial services businesses and assets: GE Capital Corporation acquisition of ARFN; National Australia Bank reconstruction of Custom Credit
  • E-commerce projects: third party billing services, smart cards, domain name disputes, web site establishment, electronic applications, disclosures and contracting for banks and other institutions
  • Co-branded card products and card based loyalty schemes: Fly Buys, GM Card, National Gold Rewards, Stockbroker/fund manager branded cards
  • Financial services outsourcing: statement production and archiving, global credit card processing, mortgage outsourcing, payment processing - cheque payment and collection, direct entry, Bpay
  • Corporate and property finance: budget $80 million facility from ANZ; NAB finance of Tweed Heads Shopping Centre Redevelopment.

Katherine has presented a number of conference papers on consumer credit, insurance and privacy law.


  • Member of Law Council of Australia Financial Services Sub-Committee, 1998- present
  • 1996: Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment, Securities Institute of Australia
  • 1990: Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Science, University of Melbourne.


Legal insights

The Government has released draft legislation that proposes significant amendments to improve consumer protection in relation to financial and credit products.

22 December 2017

KWM's response to the Review into Open Banking in Australia’s Issues Paper under which consumers could request financial institutions to provide or share their data.

22 September 2017

The Productivity Commission's final report on Data Availability and Use recommends the introduction of a “Comprehensive Right”, providing a a joint right to view, transfer and correct data.

22 May 2017

Analysis of the 2017-18 Australian Federal Budget's reforms including the major bank levy, the open banking regime, increasing financial system competition and more.

09 May 2017