Regularly appearing in the Federal and Supreme Courts, Laura is a bold advocate whose breadth of commercial experience, combined with her expert knowledge of corporate law, places Laura in a unique position to maximise outcomes for clients. Laura is often called upon to represent companies, directors and government in cases involving corporate law and finance issues, regulatory dealings, and interactions between companies and their competitors, suppliers and/or customers. Briefed to act both for and against government authorities such as ASIC and the ATO, Laura is equally adept at general commercial litigation and has conducted a number of complex commercial trials.
As solo Counsel, Laura has appeared in the Victorian Court of Appeal and brought an application for special leave in the High Court of Australia.
An experienced general counsel, company director and trustee, 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).
Laura has negotiated many high value and cross-border acquisitions, takeovers and schemes of arrangement. For example, at Slaughter and May, she was the lead senior associate on a global sale of Hilton Hotels, for £3.3 billion. She has advised Boards and C-Suites of listed companies on many aspects of corporations law and finance, including directors’ duties; insider trading; insolvent trading and Listing Rules compliance. In many such transactions, Laura negotiated directly with ASX and/or ASIC, for example, she was the senior associate responsible for liaising with ASIC in relation to its approval of the scheme of arrangement by which Alinta shares were purchased by Babcock & Brown (2007) for $8 billion.
Laura has acted extensively for banks including a four month secondment to ANZ Group Legal in 2006-2007. Laura advised the bank on various M&A matters (including the listed takeover of e*Trade and Asian joint ventures and acquisitions); corporate advisory strategic matters; commercial contracting and procurement.
Laura’s technical expertise in corporations and competition law has been recognised in appointments to the Law Council of Australia’s Corporations and Competition and Consumer Committees.
She also writes the annotations for Robsons’ Annotated Corporations Legislation, Chapters 6, 6A and 6B on Takeovers and Compulsory Acquisition, published by Thomson Reuters.
Laura holds three first class degrees: Masters of Commercial Law, Bachelor of Laws (Hons), and Bachelor of Science (in Chemistry and Physics). Laura is currently completing her second Masters degree at The University of Melbourne in taxation.
Laura’s scientific background gives her an edge when assisting clients in mining, property, manufacturing, logistics and other technical or engineering based industries where a grasp of technical expert evidence is required. Laura has considerable experience advising property, mining and resources clients, including such clients as BHP Billiton as well as junior mining and exploration companies. Laura has advised resources companies in relation to issues such as ASX report compliance, sales of assets to foreign governments, FIRB issues, and litigation involving machinery and rigs.
Since joining the Bar, Laura has continued her specialisation in corporate law and finance including insolvency. Laura recently advised a financial services adviser who is the subject of a case study in the Financial Services Royal Commission. She has been called upon regularly to give opinions to large corporate and government clients in relation to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), the ASIC Act and other related legislation, including the law of banking and finance.
Laura advises boards on their directors’ duties in insolvency contexts, and also acts for insolvency practitioners and creditors. She has acted in the sale of distressed assets and the unwinding of managed investment schemes. Laura has also undertaken creditors’ schemes of arrangement.
Recent corporations law and finance cases include:
Laura is currently undertaking a Masters of Tax at the University of Melbourne. She regularly appears in the Supreme Court and the AAT on behalf of the ATO.
Laura has had extensive experience in negotiating with regulators on behalf of clients, including ASIC, ASX, ACCC and Consumer Affairs Victoria, and government departments in Australia and abroad. She has 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).
Since joining the Bar, she has been called upon regularly to give opinions to large corporate and government clients in relation to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Victorian legislation including the Australian Consumer Law. She has advised on and conducted litigation in relation to the cartel provisions, exclusive dealing, unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive conduct, and various other provisions of the legislation.