Ms Laura Keily

Contact Details




Laura Keily is a specialist in corporations and competition law as well as complex commercial litigation

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. In addition, she is proficient in insurance, property, construction, competition and taxation matters.  She is equally adept at general commercial litigation and has conducted a number of complex commercial trials.  Laura regularly appears in the Federal and Supreme Courts.

Laura's technical expertise has been recognised in recent appointments to the Law Council of Australia’s Corporations and Competition and Consumer Committees.  She holds three first class degrees: Masters of Commercial LawBachelor of Laws (Hons), and Bachelor of Science (in Chemistry and Physics).

Laura is now completing her second master degree at the University of Melbourne, being a Masters of Taxation.

A selection of recent cases is set out below.

Court of Appeal

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):  Currently defending a group of former directors against a claim for breach of directors’ duties (un-led). 


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

Morris Finance Limited v CBA and others (2016): 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).

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/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).


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).  


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

Peter Gibson v Swan Hardware Pty Ltd (Federal Court, 2014-2016):  defending Swan Hardware Pty Ltd against a multi-million dollar property damage claim, with Peter Wallis, including preparing interlocutory applications. 

Robert Keys v Precision Aerospace Pty Ltd (County Court and Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria 2014-2016): Bringing a claim on behalf of the Plaintiff in a suit for negligence in aviation maintenance.

Advising a life insurance company on a reinsurance dispute (2015). 
Advising an insurance company on the doctrine of betterment in damages (2014).

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: Defending a claim for payment under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002

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

Celsius Fire Services Pty Ltd v CBC Facilities Maintenance Pty Ltd (County Court of Victoria, 2014-2016): Acting for the defendant in a construction case involving security for payment issues, led by Michael Dawson, including making interlocutory applications without her leader.

Appeal from Price v Goodrem (Building and Property) [2014] VCAT 1409: conducting 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. 


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

Formal Details 0

  • Admitted to Practice
    03 April 2000
  • First Signing Bar Roll
    24 October 2013
  • Qualifications
    Masters of Commercial Law (Melb), Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of Science

Areas of Speciality

  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Asia Practice
  • Banking & Finance
  • Building & Construction
  • Class Actions
  • Competition & Consumer Law
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Energy
  • Insolvency Law