What advice would you offer to women
just starting out in the industry?
Take ownership of your professional development and actively influence the direction of your career. While top performance
is a baseline requirement for success,
just putting your head down and throwing yourself into your work is often not
enough to achieve professional success.
Your goals and milestones may change
along your path forward. It is critical to
periodically take time to reflect on your
performance, your trajectory, and your
goals and to redirect or adjust course in
response. This exercise will better position
you to proactively influence the direction
of your career, instead of simply reacting
as things come your way.
Remember that you have the reins – it
is your responsibility to take your career
in the direction you want to go. Gather
information, explore opportunities, and
make it known what you are trying to
Playing an active role in your profes-
my success today.
In my experience, no one achieves success alone. I think the most important role
that mentors and sponsors have played for
me has been to push me to perform outside of my comfort zone in order to bring
new challenges and opportunities within
my reach. My mentors have also acted as
sounding boards as I’ve considered how
to approach challenges and opportunities. Having access to their experience and
perspective has been invaluable.
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and the
I think that one of the biggest challenges
that this industry faces is that it is viewed
as very conservative and traditional. Many
newer professionals today are looking
for a role that excites them – something
dynamic and cutting-edge where they
are making a difference. The commercial
finance industry offers countless exciting
opportunities around the globe and has
enormous impact on the communities
around us, but we have to better market all
of that in a targeted way to get the attention of young professionals and to address
their priorities today.
sional development will positively impact
the satisfaction you find in your work and
will position you for success.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
It is okay to say no. This is an important
lesson and one that I still struggle at
times to implement. While I think it
is important to consider many of the
opportunities that you will encounter
along your professional path, sometimes
the best course of action is to decline
an opportunity. Be thoughtful, consider what is at stake, and explain your
rational when appropriate. Sometimes
declining an opportunity is necessary in
order to address other priorities. Also,
sometime you have to walk away from
one opportunity in order to make room
for new ones.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or
sponsorship played in your career?
Mentoring and sponsorship have been
absolutely critical to my professional
development. I’ve been blessed with a
number of incredible relationships in that
vein over the course of my career, and
many continue to play important roles in
Paul Hastings LLP
Her practice focuses on complex commercial and corporate finance transactions.
Katherine regularly represents banks, alternative lenders (including insurance com-
panies, funds, and specialty finance companies), and other lenders in credit facilities
(both cash flow and asset-based), acquisition financings, structured financings, and
other leveraged finance transactions that span the capital structure. Her financing
matters frequently occur in conjunction with leveraged buyouts, restructurings, or
recapitalizations, and involve both domestic and global businesses across a broad
range of industries. The structured nature of the positions her clients take in the capi-
tal structure necessitate sophisticated intercreditor advice. Katherine is well versed in
negotiating intricate intercreditor relationships on behalf of her clients in both senior
and junior positions, including 1st lien/2nd lien transactions, split collateral arrange-
ments, and unitranche transactions.
Katherine recently co-authored Asset-Based Lending: A Practical Guide to Secured
Financing (Practising Law Institute, 8th ed. 2015), which is generally considered to be
the definitive treatise on asset-based lending.