As head of Uber’s Asia Pacific legal team, Katrina Johnson is helping the high-profile company create the future.
It’s obvious the second I get off the lift at Uber’s Sydney office: Push bikes with baskets parked here and there, a young woman tapping away at her laptop while lounging on a cushioned window seat, a barista making coffee drinks – I’m definitely not in Kansas any more, but in the heart of a flourishing IT company with a curent valuation of US$68 billion. Welcome to the world of Uber.
Katrina Johnson, Uber’s Associate General Counsel and Head of Legal for Asia Pacific, runs the legal team in a constantly evolving, high-profile world of flying cars and self-driving trucks. As head of Uber’s Asia Pacific legal team, her kingdom covers Australia and New Zealand, India, South East and North Asia. The numerous awards and accolades she’s received, including being named “General Counsel of the Year” in the 2017 Australian Law Awards, are not surprising.
Johnson’s roots and interest in IT go way back, she says, including a summer clerkship she did at AMP.
“One of the teams I worked with was the technology legal team, which really helped foster some of the interest I had in IT as a potential area to pursue in legal practice,” she recalls.
After completing a BA and LLB (Hons) in law and neuropsychology at Macquarie University in 1998, Johnson worked as a litigator and commercial lawyer, first for McNally & Co and then at Watson Mangioni. This was in 2000, during the original tech boom.