Mills Oakley > Melbourne, Australia > Firm Profile

Mills Oakley

Australia > Transport: shipping Tier 2

Frazer Hunt heads up Mills Oakley‘s team, which is particularly strong in the insurance sector and represents several marine insurers in Australia, emblematic of the expertise of the group more widely, which is primarily spread across Melbourne and Sydney. Hunt is well supported by Maurice Lynch, whose ‘experience is valued and his prompt responses highly appreciated’ by clients. At associate level, Henry Holland stands out for his work for major domestic and international insurers and works on high-value insurance claims in the shipping industry, both in Australia and globally.

Practice head(s):

Frazer Hunt

Other key lawyers:


‘Maurice Lynch has assisted us a number of times in matters. His experience is valued and his prompt responses highly appreciated. We intend to continue working with Maurice Lynch in future matters when appropriate.’

‘Good team overall.’

‘The people are great to deal with and always provide sound legal advice.’

‘Frazer Hunt and Maurice Lynch are outstanding. They are commercially minded and seek to resolve disputes before they go to Court.’

‘Mills Oakley’s Marine & Insurance team is unique in that they have a structure with a practical mix of senior experienced lawyers in Frazer Hunt and Maurice Lynch overseeing a motivated team of associates, solicitors and graduates.’

‘Frazer Hunt is at the top of his game as a marine insurance lawyer, with the ability to provide advice on all matters – again from the very large and complex to the small but necessary.’

‘Maurice Lynch provides prompt superior practical marine legal advice re the complete range of matters on the basis nothing is too much trouble – he is a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

AAI Limited t/as Vero Marine

AIG Insurance Limited

Allianz Singapore


Bank of New Zealand

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty

Chubb Insurance Australia Limited

Collyers, UK

Department of infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Export Finance Norway

HDI Global SE

Liberty Special Markets

Logwin Air + Ocean Australia Pty Ltd

National Transport Insurance Limited

North Standard/Sunderland Marine

OSM Australia Pty Ltd

QBE Insurance

Zurich Australia Insurance Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing the property insurers of Pusan Newport Co. Ltd in respect of damage to five quay cranes and a berth at the Port of Busan, Korea during an allision with the vessel MV “Milano Bridge” on 6 April 2020.
  • Representing Hull and Machinery underwriters in relation to the sinking of the MY “Fiji Siren” in Fiji on 15 November 2016.
  • Representing 1 Up Cargo in a claim for container detention made by COSCO Shipping Lines Co., Ltd in respect of containers shipped from Ports in Asia to Australian during Covid-19 when there were extensive delays to shipping schedules.

Australia > Insurance Tier 3

Mills Oakley opened an Adelaide office in early 2023 and acquired specialist Sydney-based insurance boutique Vardanega Roberts, adding Stephen Vardanega and Mike Roberts to the team; Jason Symons also joined later in the year from HWL Ebsworth. Daren Curry has expertise in indemnity disputes, liability claims and subrogated recoveries; he also advises insurers on policy drafting, legislative amendments, claims procedures and regulatory issues. Stephen Aroney is an expert in insurance within the construction and property sectors, and represents builders and insurers in claims related to cladding in high rise apartment towers.

Practice head(s):

Daren Curry


‘Good access to the Partners. Broad spectrum of capabilities with specific strength in certain areas. They also proactively respond when we look to them to assist us with difficult, protracted matters.’

‘Stand out partners are Daren Curry and Stephen Aroney. The are both exceptional when it comes to service and always make themselves available. They are happy to provide ad hoc advice on short notice.’

‘Mills Oakley excel in client communication and bring a professionalism and calm to difficult situations which give a client a level of confidence in the quality of the advice and strategy.’

‘The Mills Oakley insurance practice in Sydney and Brisbane always partner with us well, is responsive, and understands our business imperatives including a focus on customer and fair outcomes.’

Key clients

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

AAI Limited (Suncorp Group)

Insurance Australia Group Limited (AIG)

QBE Insurance (Australia)

Berkley Insurance Australia and Berkley Re

Chubb Insurance Australia Limited

Auto & General Insurance Limited

Strata Community Insurance

Assetinsure Limited

Statewide Mutual NSW

Australian Retirement Trust

HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung trading as HDI Global SE

Scentre Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Gordian RunOff in a test case in the NSW Supreme Court involving the interpretation of a statutory limitation.
  • Acting for Medibank Health Solutions Telehealth, under instructions from Suncorp, in two cases that are novel and will set the standard to be expected by telehealth services and the scope of duty owed to those receiving the services.

Australia > Labour and employment: workplace health and safety (WHS) Tier 3

A mix of high-profile corporates, private companies and government agencies make up the stellar client base of Mills Oakley, all turning to the group for advice on WHS matters, from initial due diligence work and incident response through to investigations and court appellate trials. Leadership of the practice is shared between six lawyers: in Brisbane, Harold Downes brings 30 years of experience helping clients with safety compliance and incident response, and in Melbourne, Ross Levin’s practice blends health and safety defence with health and safety fraud matters. In the Sydney office, Laura Sowden routinely represents respondents in cases of discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal before various courts, and Malcolm Davis brings over 20 years of experience advising clients in the construction and agricultural sectors on health and safety. Canberra-based partner William Ward proficiently juggles a range of general protection claims, and Rob Humphreys in Perth advises on workplace incidents and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Harold Downes; Ross Levin; Laura Sowden; William Ward; Malcolm Davis; Rob Humphreys

Key clients



Rio Tinto



Teys Group

Lipman Construction

The Riverside Coal Company

Hitachi Rail


Mulpha Group

Cox Automotive Australia

Ramelius Resources


Janssen-Cilag and Johnson & Johnson

Shamrock Civil Construction Company

Destination Gold Coast Consortium


The Salvation Army


Shadforth Construction

Hastings Deering Australia Ltd


Work highlights

  • Advising Lipman on a strategy to challenge an Improvement Notice issued by SafeWork NSW to reduce the range of matters for which Lipman could be prosecuted.
  • Advising a global company on a change of the approach taken to the selection, engagement and management of contractors since it commenced operations.
  • Advising a private client on a potential industrial manslaughter offence, which carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence and no option for a fine.

Australia > Labour and employment Tier 3

The national team at Mills Oakley offers clients a blend of industrial relations, employment and litigation services, attracting leading international and ASX-listed companies from various industries. Ross Levin co-chairs the group from Melbourne, managing work from government bodies, as well as private and listed companies, while Laura Sowden does so from Sydney, drawing on her in-depth knowledge of both employment and health and safety law. Harold Downes leads from Brisbane, where he advises on industrial relations matters, while Canberra-based partner William Ward handles bullying, harassment and discrimination cases. Daniel White, in the Perth office, is noted for his ‘quality of advice’ and is active in employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ross Levin; Dr Laura Sowden; Harold Downs; Daniel White; William Ward


‘The team are always ready to respond. Trusted advisors that give clear and reliable advice in even the most stressful situations.’

‘The personal approach is one where they are genuinely one of your team, with a keen eye for strategy and opportunity. They are our absolute go to team above others in the labour and HR field. ’

‘Always contactable, deliver on timeframes, personable and easy to get along with, not just seen as a lawyer/employer relationship.’

‘The team is extremely accessible and provides an exceptionally personalised service.’

‘Quality of advice – Daniel White.’

‘Mills Oakley as a law firm is very approachable and easy to collaborate with, from reception staff to support staff taking calls to accounts, they are always attentive and make you feel that you / your organisation is of upmost importance.’

Key clients

Bank of Queensland Limited

Maritime Offshore Vessel Operator and Crewing Agent Group

Curtin University

Industry Superannuation Fund

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

David Warner

Stanmore Resources Limited

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Contract Resources Pty Ltd

Most major Metropolitan and regional public hospitals in Victoria

Work highlights

  • Advised BOQ on employment transition issues during its acquisition of ME Bank.
  • Acting for MMA Offshore, Maersk, Solstad, DOF, Siem and Tidewater in respect of the current maritime and offshore enterprise bargaining with all three maritime unions.
  • Assisted Australia’s largest children’s research hospitals on a full range of employment law issues, including advice on modern award coverage.

Australia > Transport: aviation Tier 3

Mills Oakley‘s lawyers are particularly engaged in leasing work, especially practice co-heads Gavin Douglas, who is a member of the corporate advisory team, and Rechelle Brost, who sits within the projects and construction teams. Douglas is experienced when it comes to operational contracts, investment issues and M&A, while Brost is a key practitioner in relation to the construction of buildings and infrastructure in the aviation industry. The group also offers clients access to specialist knowledge of the legislative requirements under the Airports Act.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Douglas; Rechelle Brost

Key clients

Qantas Airways Limited

Cobham Aviation Services Australia Pty Ltd / National Jet Systems Pty Ltd

Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia Pty Ltd

Dovetail Electric Aviation Holdings Pty Ltd

Sydney Seaplanes Pty Ltd

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Oil Search Limited

South Star Aviation Pty Ltd

Brisbane Airport Corporation

Archerfield Airport Corporation

Sunshine Coast Airport

Regional Express Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Dovetail Electric Aviation Holdings Pty Ltd on its partnering arrangements with Regional Express Holdings Limited.
  • Advised National Jet Systems Pty Ltd on contractual and tax matters relating to its cross-border aircraft leasing arrangements with GE Capital Aviation Services under a master lease agreement following the restructure of GE Capital Aviation Services with AerCap Holdings N.V.
  • Advised Sunshine Coast Airport on its terminal expansion which will see the airport double in size and affect both landside and airside operations.

Australia > Banking and finance Tier 4

Mills Oakley strengthened its corporate finance practice with the recruitment of special counsel Robert Murphy from Norton Rose Fulbright. Murphy’s experience in construction finance and asset-backed lending complements lead partner Graeme Gurney’s specialism in real estate, asset and structured finance. Peter Kennedy is the practitioner to note in Brisbane, while in Melbourne, trade finance specialist Monique Stella is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Gurney


‘Good knowledge of trade-related legal matters which helps with appropriate advice. Flexibility in terms of discussions even with our clients where required to iron out contentious legal matters. Good response times.’

‘Peter Kennedy has shown attentive due diligence throughout the entire process, his work was meticulous, meeting the deadlines in a timely manner and with utmost care.’

‘Working with Peter Kennedy was a real pleasure. I did appreciate his prompt response to any concern I had, his due diligence and professionalism. Most lawyers do have these characteristics indeed, but Peter Kennedy was exceptional.’

Key clients

AEP Developments

Austar Group

AusFinance Group (Tier One Capital)

Australian Mortgage Marketplace Limited

Australian Natural Therapies Group

Bank of Queensland Limited / BOQ Equipment Finance Limited

Capital Bureau AG

Capstone Holdings Inc.

China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd

CIP Pte Ltd

Crown Resorts Limited


DNB Bank



GPS Development Finance

JY Mulpha BB Level 2 Pty Ltd being a consortium of Australian and foreign entities.

Lincon Group

Macquarie Bank

Mulpha Australia Limited

Multipart Property Group

Perfection Fresh Australia Pty Ltd

Nissan Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd

Regatta Capital Funding Pty Ltd

Rich Data Corporation

RSL Lifecare

Scottish Pacific Business Finance

UIL Commodities DMCC/ UD Holdings

Hyecorp Group

Bank of Communications

Gulf Craft Yachts

Work highlights

  • Acted for Crown Resorts on the finance aspects of the acquisition by funds managed and advised by Blackstone of the shares in Crown Resorts by way of a scheme of arrangement.
  • Acted for borrower Dangar St Wickham with respect to a mezzanine facility agreement being provided by the Dorado finance group to fund a property development in Newcastle.
  • Advised Macquarie Bank on a Residual Stock Loan for an SPV of Aoyuan International for a mixed-use development at Parramatta NSW.

Australia > Capital markets Tier 4

Iain Laughland heads the Mills Oakley team from Sydney, although it also reaches across Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, acting for clients across the spectrum of large, mid-market and small-cap issuers. With an emphasis on the technology and health sciences sectors, the team has notable experience in advising New Zealand-based companies on ASX listings. Lynda Reid has expertise in the financial services and healthcare sectors, acting for a number of listed investment companies.

Practice head(s):

Iain Laughland

Other key lawyers:


‘The individuals have an extremely good understanding of the law, but are commercial in the way they communicate legal concepts.’

‘This team is very agile and flexible – capable of acting as project manager and managing different service providers (including lawyers) across different countries to ensure everything is done properly and on time.’

‘The team has the ability to understand our business from a unit economics perspective and also an operational one.’

‘One particular partner I worked with is worth mentioning: Iain Laughland. I worked extensively with him and he was always keen to adapt to the issue at hand (whether in terms of billing, workflow or otherwise) and always had a strong business sense – it was very helpful to get his insights and opinions about other similar transactions and hear potential solutions he could come up with given his extensive background and knowledge.’

‘Our key interaction is with Iain Laughland, who is very capable and knowledgeable in the areas Mills Oakley advise us on. This is largely in the corporate listed company space. Mills Oakley appear to be cost effective and capable which stands them apart from larger, and more well-known, legal firms.’

‘Very proactive, responsive, collaborative, knowledgeable and reasonable when it comes to time and effort.’

‘Availability is exceptional and the team is a good sounding board/advisor.’

Key clients

Pacific Edge Limited

Australian Pacific Coal Limited

Li-S Energy Limited

My Food Bag Limited

Tissue Repair Limited

BCAL Diagnostics Limited

Pathify Holdings Inc.

Aroa Biosurgery Limited

Forbidden Foods Limited

WAM Active Limited

WAM Global Limited

ELMO Software Limited

Volpara Health Technologies Limited

TASK Group Holdings Limited

Payright Limited

Metallica Minerals Limited

Magnetite Mines Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for ASX-listed Australian Pacific Coal Limited on its A$100 million rights issue to support the re-commissioning of the Dartbrook coal mine in New South Wales.
  • Acted for US-based ed-tech company Pathify Holdings Inc. on its IPO and proposed ASX listing of CHESS Depository Interests (CDIs).
  • Acted as Australian legal counsel to TASK Group Holdings Limited on the migration of its primary listing from the NZX to the ASX.

Australia > Competition and trade Tier 4

Though adept in a broad variety of matters, Mills Oakley is 'a robust pragmatic practice that you can rely on'. It demonstrates a particularly formidable track record in cartel-related litigation. Kathryn Edghill counts Microsoft, eBay, and American Express as her key clients, and leads the practice from Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Edghill


‘A robust pragmatic practice that you can rely on. They can speak to all levels of an organisation – you don’t need a law degree to decipher their advice.’

‘Kathryn Edghill is brilliant to work with – she is very responsive and gives insightful and pragmatic answers. Her off-the-cuff answers are appreciated too – I am not left with a very legalese unclear answer.’

‘Kathryn Edghill stands out. She is highly experienced, has excellent instincts, and is extremely diligent. Clients also love Kathryn because she is personable and practical.’

‘Mid-size and so able to tailor services to client’s needs and resources.’

‘Sensible, pragmatic, and very experienced. ’

Key clients

Mazda Australia Pty Ltd


American Express

LG Electronics

Frucor Suntory

Microsoft Corporation & Microsoft Australia


Avery Dennison


Mylan (Alphapharm) now Viatris

Cameron Harrison

Winning Group

NSW Ports

Evergreen Garden Care Company

The Nielsen Company

The TJX Companies Inc

Simplot Australia

Stake Holdings

Sharetea Australia

Superior Food Group

Flower Power

Capral Limited

iSelect Ltd

Perfection Fresh Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising Electrolux ,Viatris, Simplot, Mazda, LG and American Express in respect of their respective day to day competition and consumer law requirements in Australia.
  • Representing Mazda in its defence and prosecution of proceedings brought by the competition regulator, the ACCC, in the Federal Court.
  • Obtaining merger clearances for clients including Perfection Fresh and Superior Food Group for acquisitions of competitors across Australia.

Australia > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Mills Oakley further strengthened its corporate offering with the recent hire of Gaurav de Fontgalland to its headquarters. The practice fields four skilled practice heads, one in each of its national offices: Tony Symons (Melbourne) is known for his ability to guide founders through full or partial exits to financial or corporate buyers; Gavin Douglas (Sydney) deals primarily with cross-border transactions; Tim Cox (Brisbane) specialises in private equity and joint ventures; and Simon Panegyres (Perth) has expert knowledge of the natural resources sector.

Practice head(s):

Tony Symons; Gavin Douglas; Tim Cox; Simon Panegyres

Other key lawyers:


‘Mills Oakley has a strong team across the board, with partners out of top tier firms who know what they are doing.’

‘Very strong and knowledgeable team. Always went the extra mile to ensure there were no loose ends. Was billing according to the initial engagement letter and stuck to the price.’

‘The two defining aspects of dealing with the team are (1) the focus on client service and (2) the level of partner contact. When combined, they make it a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Tim Cox’s commitment to client service is above and beyond.’

‘What sets Mills Oakley’s M&A division apart is their unique ability to seamlessly combine legal expertise with a deep understanding of business dynamics, resulting in strategic solutions that drive value and empower clients in rapidly evolving markets.’

‘Tony’s professionalism and integrity are exemplary. He operates with the utmost ethical standards, demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility and accountability in all his interactions.’

‘Unbelievably practical service – clear, concise, commercially relevant advice. The team listened to our objectives and risk profile and had these in mind at all times.’

‘Great transparency and forecasting around costs and cost changes (due to our requests), there were no costing surprises. The resulting outcome for the business was beyond our expectations.’

Key clients

Zero Carbon Investek AG

Auctus Investment Group Limited (ASX:AVC)

Australian Pacific Coal Limited (ASX:AQC)

WAM Leaders Limited (ASX:WLE)

WAM Capital Limited (ASX:WAM)

WAM Global Limited (ASX:WGB)

iSelect Limited (ASX:ISU)

Perfection Fresh Australia Pty Limited

Naked Brand Group Inc

ELMO Software Limited (ASX:ELO)

Eurofins Scientific SE (EPA:ERF)

PPK Group Limited (ASX:PPK)

Lux Group Ltd (owner of Luxury Escapes)

Linfox Armaguard Pty Limited

Horizon Minerals Limited (ASX:HRZ)

Capral Limited (ASX:CAA)

Work highlights

  • Advised Zero Carbon Investek on its acquisition of QNI Resources.
  • Advised Auctus Investment Group with respect to the sale of the Pet Fund’s interest in PETstock to Woolworths.
  • Advised Australian Pacific Coal on a fully underwritten rights issue.

Australia > Data protection Tier 4

Australia > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 4

Mills Oakley’s commercial disputes and insolvency team represents a broad spectrum of clients, from governmental entities to individuals. Andrew Brown leads the team from Melbourne, with particular expertise in risk management issues and disputes in the financial services sector. Dale Cliff is a key contact in Brisbane, and tax specialist Bernice Ellis is based in Canberra. The team was bolstered in 2022 by the acquisition of litigation boutique Ben Patrick & Associates.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Brown

Other key lawyers:

Darren James; Stuart Walter; Dale Cliff; Mark Wenn; Bernice Ellis; Ariel Borland; Stuart Lewin


‘The litigation practice at Mills Oakley has very strong capabilities in insolvency in particular. The team has good depth, with some very strong special counsel and more junior lawyers. The firm tends to run matters with smaller teams in a very effective and efficient manner.’

‘Ariel Borland is an exceptional litigator and has very strong analytical and interpersonal skills which set her apart from other partners practicing in the area.’

‘Stuart Walter is a very good operator in the more general commercial litigation space.’

‘High quality legal services from a focused team of specialists.’

‘Stuart Lewin and Ariel Borland are both highly experienced and outcome orientated partners.’

Key clients

Australian Cricketers’ Association

Australian Strategy Policy Institute

Bank of Queensland

RP Data

Real Estate Toolbox

Timbercorp Finance (in Liquidation)

Suncorp Group

Quest Serviced Apartments


Work highlights

  • Acted for RP Data in a breach of copyright case that went to the High Court of Australia which set aside the orders of the Full Court of the Federal Court and in its place ordered the appeal and cross-appeal be dismissed with costs.
  • Acted for CoreLogic in a copyright infringement case and had the entire statement of claim prepared on BCI Media’s behalf set aside.
  • Acting for Real Estate Toolbox as respondents in proceedings commenced by Campaigntrack Pty Ltd and won at first instance.

Australia > Infrastructure projects and construction Tier 4

At Mills Oakley, Brisbane-based Rechelle Brost has significant experience in EPC contract documentation and project delivery for mixed-use and residential developments. Andrew Wallis (in Sydney) and Michael Loterzo (in Melbourne) likewise advise on the full spectrum of contractual, commercial and contentious issues which arise in construction projects.

Practice head(s):

Rechelle Brost; Michael Loterzo; Andrew Wallis


‘Always available and responsive as a whole team. Access to senior resources and professional quality.’

‘Total understanding of our requirements and processes.’

‘Rechelle Brost is contactable and good at tight timeframes for turnaround.’

‘Direct access to partners. Quick and sound responses to matters.’

Key clients

Mulpha Australia Limited

Mulpha Norwest Pty Limited

The Owners Corporation for Mascot Towers

Investa Property Group


KTQ Group

J.Hutchinson (Hutchinson Builders)

Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd (BAC)

Aventus Property


151 Property

AW Edwards/Bouygues

Grosvenor Place Management


Ouson Group

Mark Moran Group

Format Developments, part of the Woolworths Group


Galileo Group

Crown Resorts

Woolworths Group

Frasers Property Group


UGL Unipart

HPG Australia

Work highlights

  • Advising HPG Australia on a landmark development at One Sydney Park comprising a mixed-use residential development involving the construction of 356 apartments across eight six-storey buildings.
  • Achieved a settlement for The Mascot Owners Corporation in a high-profile dispute relating to unprecedented engineering issues.
  • Advising ESR Australia on the design and construction of a range of industrial and business park developments all over Australia, including Westlink Logistics Park, Horsley Business Park and Leppington Industry Park, for leading global and local businesses.

Australia > Intellectual property Tier 4

Australia > Real estate Tier 4

Overseen by national head of property James Price, Mills Oakley's practice is a key port of call for significant occupiers on industrial and retail leasing transactions. Tim L’Orange leads the Sydney team and is noted for his expertise in property acquisitions and sales, while Perth-based practice head Patrick Thaung handles property due diligence, sales contracts and structuring transactions. Adam Peppinck in Canberra acts for an assortment of government departments and statutory authorities on acquisitions and disposals. Also highlighted is Tony Butler, who oversees the Brisbane department.

Practice head(s):

James Price; Tim L’Orange; Tony Butler; Patrick Thaung; Adam Peppinck

Other key lawyers:

Bhavini Sundarjee; Edwina Reynolds; Emma De Leon


‘They provide us with a wide range of legal knowledge.’

‘They have a great understanding of the commercial real estate industry and are up to date with the latest market trends.’

‘You always feel you come first as a client.’

‘The Melbourne commercial law team has good diversity, are commercially astute, and provide recommendations/solutions, not just a legal response.’

‘The diversity of the team provides us with the support we require to fulfil all the requirements we have.’

‘Emma De Leon has a very collaborative team, and they deliver timely and very commercial advice.’

‘Emma De Leon is extremely knowledgeable, and her advice is always precise and heavily relied on.’

‘James Price is an experienced commercial lawyer who provides excellent advice, strategy, and solutions. He leads a diverse team.’

Key clients

Charter Hall

Blackstone Real Estate

GPT Group

Goodman Group




Investa Property Group

Mulpha Group

China Investment Corporation (Leader AutaInvest)





Work highlights

  • Advising GPT (as co-owner with Austrak) of Somerton Business Park on a ground lease with Aware Super to develop an intermodal terminal.
  • Advising Investa on the A$275m acquisition of 220 London Circuit, Canberra City, a two-building mixed use complex.
  • Advising AFIAA Swiss Foundation for Real Estate Investments (AFIAA) on the acquisition of 100% of the units in the landowner trust.

Australia > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 4

A ‘specialist insolvency team with a depth of talent', the restructuring and insolvency practice at Mills Oakley is experienced in advising on disputes arising out of competing security interests, employee entitlement arrangements and the administration of managed investment scheme interests. The team has been busy handling the increased number of construction company collapses in Australia. Based in Melbourne, ‘highly respected and highly trusted‘ practice head Stuart Lewin represents lenders, creditors and government departments in a range of formal insolvency matters. Ariel Borland handles both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work and is ‘very switched on and dedicated’.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Lewin

Other key lawyers:

Ariel Borland; Darren James


‘A large diverse and quality team that services a broad client base. The team is led by Stuart Lewin who is a highly regarded legal / commercial advocate. Highly respected and highly trusted.’

‘Stuart Lewin, Ariel Borland and Darren James are the key partners in the Melbourne-based Mills Oakley team that we work with. Our professional relationship is based on high-quality advice and outcomes over an extended period. They understand the importance of high-quality and timely advice and advocacy that is required in the restructuring and insolvency sector.’

‘Specialist insolvency team with a depth of talent.’

‘Ariel Borland is a specialist insolvency partner who is very switched on and dedicated.’

Key clients


FTI Consulting

Olvera Advisors


Cor Cordis

O’Brien Palmer

Korda Mentha

Grant Thornton

Timbercorp Finance (in liquidation)

Vince & Associates

Hall Chadwick

Work highlights

  • Advising liquidators appointed by the complex debt team at the ATO over eight companies in a corporate group.
  • Advising administrators and now deed administrators of Ellume, a manufacturer and supplier of medical testing products, including COVID-19 testing products in Australia and the US.
  • Assisted BRI Ferrier following the collapse of the largest independent plumbing sub-contractor in Victoria.

Australia > Tax Tier 4

Based in Melbourne, the ‘super responsive, reliable, helpful and pragmatic‘ practice at Mills Oakley is active in indirect tax, advising its clients on GST, stamp duty and connected issues. The firm’s broad roster of clients features property developers, property funds, private landholders, high-net-worth individuals and W&I insurers. Practice head Andrew Spalding is an ‘exceptional tax lawyer‘ and stands out for having strong expertise in M&A, warranty and indemnity insurance, and employee share and option schemes. Marina Raulings specialises in state taxes, including stamp duty, land tax and payroll tax. Craig Gibson is well versed in indirect tax and the taxation of charities and not-for-profits.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Spalding

Other key lawyers:


‘Advice tailored for the client’s operating environment. Concise but comprehensive, unambiguous advice. Advice was easy to understand from a layperson’s perspective.’

‘Andrew Spalding and Craig Gibson were extremely professional. They understood and responded precisely to our query, coordinating responses with other partners in the business to ensure our comprehensive needs were met.’

‘Super responsive, reliable, helpful, pragmatic.’

‘We are lucky to have had Mills Oakley’s counsel over the years and are particularly pleased with their recent performance during an acquisition.’

‘Andrew Spalding is an exceptional tax lawyer. He is able to distill complex tax questions clearly, providing advice where decisions need to be made, and focussing on areas that are material.’

Key clients

Fusion Specialty Insurance

Cooley (UK)

Golden Age Group

Vocus Group

Two Bulls Holdings



Harvey Norman

Viburnum Funds

Work highlights

  • Advised Fusion in relation to the development of “” and on a number of warranty and indemnity insurance policies.
  • Advised Vocus Group on the identification and classification (for income tax purposes) of intangible assets acquired as part of its $3.75bn merger with the M2 Group.
  • Advised Harvey Norman on the GST and stamp duty implications of a number of major property acquisitions.

Mills Oakley is a leading independent Australian law firm. With over 140 partners and 800 staff nationally, we are a Top 10 Australian firm by size. Our clients include ASX200 listed companies, mid-sized corporates, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations. We have been recognised by respected industry bodies and commentators, including ALPMA and Australasian Lawyer, as one of the nation’s most innovative law firms, leading ground-breaking projects such as Australia’s first legal services Accelerator. Our energetic vision is complemented by our investment in quality people and a proven commitment to forging strong, durable client relationships.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief Executive Officer John Nerurker


Brisbane, Australia
+3 other locations
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Perth, Australia



Brisbane, Australia
+5 other locations
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Perth, Australia
  • Canberra, Australia
  • Adelaide, Australia


Partners : 144
Lawyers (excluding partners) : 343