Ms Premala Thiagarajan

Contact Details




Premala practices primarily in commercial and public law. She has particular experience in corporations, equity and trusts, tax, competition, banking and finance and insolvency. She also has public and regulatory law experience and has acted for and against regulators.

Before coming to the Bar, Premala was a Senior Associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group at Clifford Chance LLP, London, and a solicitor at Freehills, Melbourne. She has over 12 years experience as a litigator, specialising in high-value, complex commercial disputes, especially in the banking and finance sector. She has a broad range of experience in both commercial and public law, acting in cases before the House of Lords, the Privy Council, the European Court of Human Rights and in international arbitrations.

Premala holds a Bachelor of Civil Laws from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Menzies Scholar.

Premala won the Supreme Court Prize and was editor of the Law Review at Monash University. She also received prizes in Corporations Law, Insolvency, Equity & Trusts, Torts and Legal Process and won the Australian Institute of Administrative Law’s National Essay competition.

Key Recent Matters

  • Complex international arbitration (UNCITRAL, Singapore) involving a mining operation in Western Australia, with Jeff Gleeson QC and Marcus Solomon SC (ongoing).
  • Roy Hill Holdings & Ors v Samsung C&T Corporation (WASC, 2016, settled before judgment) (anti-suit injunction and stay application involving foreign proceedings and complex conflicts of laws principles), with Chris Zelestis QC and Marcus Solomon SC.
  • Roy Hill Holdings & Ors v Samsung C&T Corporation [2015] WASC 458 (stay application involving international arbitrations), with Jeff Gleeson QC.
  • E Koroneos & Ors v National Australia Bank [2016, VSC], case involving misappropriated funds, with Ted Woodward SC (ongoing).
  • Commissioner of Taxation v Elecnet (Aust) Pty Ltd (Trustee) [2015] FCAFC 178 (14 December 2015) (appeal); Elecnet (Aust) Pty Ltd (Trustee) v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 456 (13 May 2015), with Terry Murphy QC, (case involving complex statutory construction issues).
  • ResourceCo Material Solutions Pty Ltd & Ors v State of Victoria & Ors [HCA, 2016] (s 92 case), with Richard Niall QC (Victorian Solicitor-General) and Perry Herzfeld.
  • McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd v Santam Ltd & Ors [2016, VSC], (insurance case), with Tim Margetts QC (ongoing).
  • Associated Forest Holdings Pty Ltd v Gordian Runoff Limited [2015] TASFC 6 (9 June 2015) (Court of Appeal, Tasmania, with Jeremy Ruskin QC and Ken Read SC, (case involving complex questions of construction in relation to an insurance policy, and consideration of mitigation issues).
  • Gregory Hanley & Ors v National Australia Bank & Ors (settled, 2015) (with Rowena Orr QC, a complex financial planning case involving negligence and fiduciary duty issues. Acted unled in relation to interlocutory applications).

  • Thompson v National Australia Bank & Ors (part-heard, settled mid-trial, 2015) (with Ted Woodward QC, case involving the application of Masters v Cameron principles).

  • Detailed advice work on a large-scale construction project involving defective work, involving complex negligence, insurance and proportionate liability issues (with Jeff Gleeson QC, ongoing).
  • ICM Investments Pty Ltd v San Miguel Corporation and Berri Ltd [2014] VSCA 246 (appeal) and ICM Investments Pty Ltd v San Miguel Corporation and Anor (No.2) [2013] VSC 528 (trial) (with Nick Hopkins QC, case involving contractual and accounting questions in relation to whether a dividend should be paid). Also acted unled in ICM Investments Pty Ltd v San Miguel Corporation and Anor (costs and judgment orders, unled).
  • Hazelwood Power Partnership & Anor v Latrobe City Council & Anor (VCAT & VSC Proceedings, involving questions concerning the Water Act, proportionate liability and insurance issues, with Jim Delany QC).
  • TVM v Susan Mary Taylor & Ors (VSC Proceedings, complex, high-value case involving directors' duties, negligence and insurance issues, with Dr Andrew Hanak).
  • Unled appearances in Supreme Court, Federal Court and AAT (see eg SBWN; Secretary, Department of Social Services (Social Services Second Review) [2015] AATA 946 (9 December 2015)). Also do regular advice work for regulatory bodies such as ACCC.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Premala’s major cases in London and Melbourne include:

  • Defending a major international financial institution in threatened LCIA arbitral proceedings alleging breaches of a management services agreement in a Middle Eastern emerging market and conducting an internal investigation to examine allegations of misconduct against individual employees.
  • Acting on a complex private client trusts case involving issues in Greece, Switzerland, the United States and England.
  • Acting for a major international financial institution against one of its international clients on claims arising in relation to two commodity option transactions under a 2002 ISDA Master Agreement, in LCIA arbitral proceedings. This matter also involved foreign banking law and regulatory issues.
  • Acting for Mr Olivier Bancoult, on behalf of the Chagos Islanders, against an order made by the UK government denying the Chagossians a right to return to the Chagos Archipelago (R (on the application of Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2008] UKHL 61, House of Lords and in the application that was before the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Acting for the Society of Lloyd’s in its defence of proceedings brought by an Australian based Name.
  • Acting for one of Australia’s largest corporations in a complex computer software copyright dispute.


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

Formal Details 0

  • Admitted to Practice
    31 March 2003
  • First Signing Bar Roll
    03 May 2012
  • Qualifications
    BA/LLB (Hons), Bachelor of Civil Laws (Oxon)

Areas of Speciality

  • Banking & Finance
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Equity
  • Insolvency Law
  • Public Law