Laura Keily Portrait 2019

Laura Keily

Bar roll 2013 Admitted 2000
  • Commercial Law Tort Law
  • Public Law
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Laura Keily is a specialist in corporations and financial services law as well as complex commercial litigation

Laura is also a qualified international arbitrator.

Laura has over a decade of experience as a blue chip corporate advisor in Melbourne (Blake Dawson Waldron, Corrs Chambers Westgarth) and London (Slaughter and May).  She has negotiated many high value and cross-border acquisitions, takeovers and schemes of arrangement.  Laura is also an experienced general counsel, company director and trustee. 

Laura is a bold advocate whose breadth of experience, combined with her expert knowledge of corporate law, places her in a unique position to maximise outcomes for clients.  She is often called upon to represent companies, directors and government in cases involving corporate law and finance issues, regulatory dealings with ASIC, insolvency and bankruptcy scenarios, and disputes arising from commercial transactions.

Laura regularly appears both led and unled in the Federal and Supreme Courts and has conducted a number of complex commercial trials as solo counsel.  Laura led a team in the Victorian Court of Appeal and applied to the High Court for Special Leave (unled).  Laura has acted both for and against ASIC and the ATO, acting for ASIC in the Federal Court and for the ATO in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Supreme Court.  Laura has acted for a number of financial service providers in actions by ASIC and in the Royal Commission into Financial Services.

Laura's technical expertise has been recognised in her appointments to the Law Council of Australia’s Corporations and Competition and Consumer Committees. Laura has recently authored Chapters 6, 6A and 6B of the Thomson Reuters Robson's Annotated Corporations Act regarding takeovers and compulsory acquisitions.  

Laura holds three first class degrees: Masters of Commercial LawBachelor of Laws (Hons), and Bachelor of Science (in Chemistry and Physics). Laura has also completed the AICD Company Directors Course, and recently completed a Diploma Certificate in International Arbitration at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution at The University of Melbourne. 

Further information is available at

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation


Chambers & Clerk

Ninian Stephen Chambers
Level 38 Room 3

140 William Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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Jane King

03 9225 8558


Commercial Law
  • Admiralty & Maritime
  • Appellate
  • Aviation
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Building & Construction
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Competition
  • Consumer Law
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Corporate Insolvency
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Energy & Resources
  • Equity & Trusts
  • Insurance
  • Private International Law
  • Real Property
  • Residential & Retail Tenancies
  • Taxation
Tort Law
  • Appellate
  • Class Actions
  • Commissions & Inquiries
  • Negligence
  • Professional Negligence
Public Law
  • Judicial Review
  • Taxation
  • White Collar Crime



Masters of Commercial Law (Melb)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons)

Bachelor of Science

AICD Company Directors Course

FCIArb (Diploma Certificate in International Arbitration)

Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution





Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Recent Cases

Appellate Matters

Led a pro bono appeal against the State of Victoria: Mary Pateras v State of Victoria [2017] VSCA 31. 

Class Action

Currently advising Adley Burstyner on the proposed class action by dairy farmers regarding the “farm gate milk price”. 

Corporations law

Flexible Drive Pty Ltd v Hocking and others (Supreme Court of Victoria, Commercial List, 2015-2016): Successfully settled a claim for breach of directors’ duties against a group of former directors (un-led).

Representing at the Financial Services Commission an AFSL holder the subject of a case study regarding alleged breaches of the Corporations Act. 


Morris Finance Limited v CBA and others [2017] VSC 260: Appearing in the Supreme Court of Victoria on behalf of a creditor in a contentious bankruptcy priorities dispute (un-led).  

In the Matter of Midland Highway Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) [2015] FCA 1360): Defending an urgent application bought by ASIC in the Federal Court to set aside a proposed deed of company arrangement (with Leslie Glick QC).  

In the Matter of Planet Platinum Ltd (Provisional Liquidator Appointed) (December 2015): Appearing in the Federal Court to obtain an unprecedented injunction on behalf of a creditor to restrain a liquidator from selling property of a suspended ASX entity (with Lachlan Armstrong QC).

Successfully defended the State of Victoria from a claim by a liquidator for reversal of an alleged preference payment (2014).   

Schemes of arrangement

In the Matter of Planet Platinum Ltd (Provisional Liquidator Appointed) (December 2015): Proposing an alternative sale by scheme of arrangement, including drafting the relevant scheme documentation (with Lachlan Armstrong QC).   

In the matter of Crowe Horwath Australasia Pty Ltd (Supreme Court of Victoria, 18 December 2014): Acting for a target in an acquisition by scheme or arrangement (with Norman O'Bryan SC).  Appeared without her leader in the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

Banking and Corporate Finance

Advising ASIC (August 2015) in relation to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services Inquiry into the Impairment of Customer Loans (with Ian Waller QC).


Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Arbelo County Court (CI-16-00632) (2017): Successfully brought a summary judgment applicaiton on behalf of the Commissioner in the County Court; currently conducting AAT proceedings (un-led). 

Advising a company regarding a review by AusIndustry of the activities registered by the company for the R&D Tax Incentive under Division 355 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and assisting Pricewaterhouse Coopers with a response to AusIndustry (November 2015).  

Regulatory and Government

Advising the State of Victoria (including the Department of Treasury and FinanceMinister for Housing and the Housing Registrar) on various matters of statutory interpretation and regulatory power (2015).

Insurance, reinsurance, and negligence

John Koutsovalsis v TY Holdings Pty Ltd, White Way Nominees Pty Ltd, QBE Insurance (Aust) Pty Ltd; TAG Insurance Brokers; James Taylor County Court, Common Law Division (CI-13-06371) (2017):  currently acting for the insurerance brokers in a protracted multi-party personal injuries claim. 

Orica Australia Pty Ltd v Semal Pty Ltd & Another CI-14-04220 (2016):  succesfully settled an insurance claim for a chemical spill against a transportation company.

Advised a life insurance company on a reinsurance dispute (2015). 

Construction and Property

Rocca v Timetrex Pty Ltd (VCAT) 2017: Successfully brought application for Tribunal to be reconstituted [2016] VCAT 1858; currently conducting a complex property dispute (un-led).

Landmark Building Services Pty Ltd v Tsekouras & Others [2016] VCC 501: Defended a claim for payment under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002

Zhang v Lim (County Court of Victoria, 2015-2016): Brought a claim against a vendor and vendor’s agent in relation to breaches of the Sale of Land Act and other property law issues. 

Appeal from Price v Goodrem (Building and Property) [2014] VCAT 1409: conducted a leave to appeal application in the Supreme Court of Victoria in relation to an error of law arising in a building case heard at VCAT (un-led).

Competition and consumer law

Consumer Affairs Victoria v Accrue Property Pty Ltd (2015): Successfully settled (by enforceable undertaking) a case of misleading and deceptive conduct alleged by Consumer Affairs Victoria under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 against a company and its director, including negotiating directly with the General Counsel of Consumer Affairs Victoria to achieve that outcome (un-led).

General commercial law

Earglow Pty Limited v Newcrest Mining Limited (2016): Appearing in the Federal Court on behalf of an expert witness in the class action (un-led). 

McGlashen v Bendigo Freighters (2014-2015): Conducted a full commercial trial defending a freighting company from allegations of breach of a shareholders agreement, inducing breach of contract, and breach of a restraint of trade clause. Successfully obtained an award of indemnity costs against the plaintiff (un-led). 

ABL Nominees Pty Ltd v Clancy (August 2015): Appearing in the Supreme Court of Victoria to oppose an application to amend a costs order made in the Supreme Court (un-led).

Emmanuel v Kalcic (County Court of Victoria, 25 and 26 May 2015): Appearing un-led in relation to an urgent adjournment of trial application on ‘interests of justice’ grounds; matter settled before trial. 

In the matter of Mitrakas v Norton Rose (Supreme Court of Victoria, Costs Court, 4 February 2015): Appearing un-led in relation to a preliminary hearing regarding the Applicant’s standing. 


Victorian Bar - Commercial Bar Association

Victorian Bar - Tax Bar Association

The Tax Institute

Law Council of Australia - Corporations Committee

Law Council of Australia - Competition and Consumer Committee

Women's Bar Association - Committee Member

Association of Corporate Counsel  

Women in Insolvency and Restructuring Victoria

Women in Insurance

Victorian Women Lawyers

National Association of Women in Construction

Bottled Snail Productions

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