Detailed information about Laura is available on her website: www.laurakeily.com.au.
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's 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 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 Law, Bachelor of Laws (Hons), and Bachelor of Science (in Chemistry and Physics). Laura has also completed the AICD Company Directors Course, a Diploma Certificate in International Arbitration at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution at The University of Melbourne.
A selection of recent cases is set out below.
Iddles v Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2020-current): Currently advising on the class action by dairy farmers against Fonterra regarding the “farm gate milk price” (with Lachlan Armstrong QC).
ASIC v RI Advice Group Pty Ltd and Doyle (Federal Court, 2020) : acting for the financial advisor in this matter (with Chris Archibald QC) and also acted for the financial advisor in the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Daly v ASIC (Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 2019-current) (unled): Conducting an appeal from a decision of ASIC regarding a banning order from financial services advice and other related matters.
Advised 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).
Corporations and commercial law
Flexible Drive Pty Ltd v Hocking and others (Supreme Court of Victoria, Commercial List, 2015-2016): successfully settled a defence a group of former directors against a claim for breach of directors’ duties (un-led).
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).
Morris Finance Limited v CBA and others  VSC 260: appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria on behalf of a creditor in a contentious bankruptcy priorities dispute in which our client was successful (un-led).
In the Matter of Midland Highway Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)  FCA 1360): defended 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): appeared 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).
Schemes of arrangement
In the Matter of Planet Platinum Ltd (Provisional Liquidator Appointed) (December 2015): proposed 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.
Led a pro bono appeal against the State of Victoria: Mary Pateras v State of Victoria  VSCA 31. Currently on appeal to the High Court.
Advised the State of Victoria (including the Department of Treasury and Finance, Minister for Housing and the Housing Registrar) on various matters of statutory interpretation and regulatory power (2015).
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation
- Class Actions
- Commercial Arbitration
- Contractual Disputes
- Corporations & Securities
State and Territory Courts and Tribunals
Federal Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
Victorian Bar - Commercial Bar Association
The Tax Institute
Law Council of Australia - Corporations Committee
Law Council of Australia - Competition and Consumer Committee
Women's Bar Association
Victorian Women Lawyers
Professional Member – Resolution Institute; Arbitral Women