Sedgman’s Senior Legal Counsel, Kate Hawley, speaks about her journey through the ranks at Sedgman, how the varied responsibilities have kept her enthused, and how she has been supported as her life circumstances have changed.
Kate Hawley began working at Sedgman in August 2011 and was first recruited to the role of Legal Counsel. At the time, Kate was the most junior lawyer in a team of four.
Kate described, how even in a junior position, her work was always varied, involving an interesting mix of front-end legal work across Australian and international jurisdictions. In late 2017, moved into the role of Senior Legal Counsel.
“I was pleased to step up into the role; it has allowed me some great autonomy to work on a variety of challenging, complex projects which have all added to the continued growth and success of the business.”
“I have seen a lot of organisational change in the business during my time at Sedgman and have also gone through my own personal changes too including having my two children, my five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.
As a working mother with two small children, Kate notes that Sedgman has strongly supported her in the constant juggle of work and home life.
“One major aspect that has never changed in my time at Sedgman is the great mix of talented, intelligent people I have worked with, support and learn from.”
Kate credits this as one of the major reasons for her continued enthusiasm in her role. Another aspect of Kate’s role that she enjoys is the variety of work that she does.
“Working in-house, I get immense satisfaction from the opportunity to be more commercial and provide advice that is strengthened by the ability to get an in-depth understanding of the way we work and what matters to the business. In terms of my day-to-day role, no two days are the same.”
Kate describes her deep sense of pride in the legal team for the rapport they have built with other business units and the stereotype she feels confident they have broken - rather than an in-house legal function serving as a roadblock, that people value the support the legal team provide.
“This will always be a key focus of mine and not something I will ever grow complacent about.”
“Overall, the business has always supported my career development, provided me with unique opportunities to travel and has allowed me to contribute to all facets of the business which is something I am deeply proud of.”