Penny has over 30 years’ experience in insolvency law and commercial dispute resolution, including as partner of leading law firms, and as General Counsel of a Victorian Government Department. Penny acts for a diverse range of clients, from large multi-nationals to family-owned businesses. She is highly regarded for her complex legal problem-solving skills and her depth and breadth of experience, which is underscored by her involvement in some of Australia’s most high profile and complex matters. Her approach is to work collaboratively with clients and other members of the legal profession, wherever possible, to achieve creative and cost-effective solutions to legal disputes.
Penny’s practice focusses on:
- commercial dispute resolution, and
- insolvency and restructuring, for both local and national firms.
Penny also provides services to other law firms, who come to her for bespoke insolvency and commercial dispute resolution advice. Penny assists in developing case theory, formulating litigation strategy, conducting investigations and special projects, and by providing second opinions and support in difficult matters, making her an ideal choice for clients who want the assurance of an informed, recognised, and seasoned professional.
Penny is based in Melbourne, Australia.
- Insolvency and restructuring
- Directors’ duties
- Contract disputes including sales of businesses, supply and distribution contracts, plant and equipment puchases and professional services agreements
- Corporations Act disputes including shareholder disputes
- Banking and finance and securities litigation
- Competition law
- Trust claims
- Professional negligence claims
- Public & product liability
- Sale of goods and trade
- Property and commercial leasing disputes
- Copyright, trademark and confidential information
- Consumer protection
- Workplace health and safety and inquests
Penny’s experience across a broad range of industries, and with a multitude of parties over the years from a variety of backgrounds and business cultures, enables her to bring a level of insight, strategic nous and practical knowledge about commercial dispute resolution that delivers real value to clients.
Penny has acted in some of Australia’s most high profile and complex matters. Some of her major cases include acting:
- for a defendant in a hard fought case between former business partners that concerned allegations of breaches of exclusive distribution arrangements and parallel importing;
- for the purchaser of heavy equipment where the delivered product did not answer the description and the purchase was subject to finance with a third party;
- for a party to remove a receiver where the appointment arose in highly artificial circumstances and another financier was standing ready to re-finance;
- for the Responsible Entity of a managed investment scheme in relation to a large number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service about the content of PDSs issued for managed investment schemes in the property sector prior to the GFC;
- in a test case against ANZ bank arising out of the collapse of Opus Prime;
- in a major competition case decided by the High Court, relating to the laws on misuse of market power;
- for Occidental Life to recover $50m in life policy holder funds loaned to the Linter Group;
- in a copyright case involving computer generated material and whether it was subject to copyright, also involving issues of implied license, and over 40 interlocutory applications;
- assisting the administrators of Ansett by handling a diverse range of matters and managing a portfolio of recovery actions;
- for a bank at a Royal Commission; and
- in workplace investigations and inquests.
Penny is recognised in the Australian Financial Review’s ‘Best Lawyers in Australia’ 2021 for her expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- a member of the Law Institute of Victoria; and
- an associate member of ARITA (Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association).
Penny was also a former board member of the Victorian Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (000 service) from 2005 to 2013 and is on the board of Equine Pathways Australia Ltd, a charity focused on providing access to equestrian activities to people with a disability.
She has an LLB with Honours and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Melbourne, an LLM from the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Ontario Canada, and was a Rotary Foundation Post Graduate Scholar.
|2016||Keypoint Law | Consulting Principal|
|2015 – 2016||Penelope Alice Pengilley, Lawyer| Principal|
|2011 – 2015||Brian Ward & Partners | Director – Commercial Litigation & Insolvency|
|2002 – 2011||Holding Redlich | Partner – Commercial Dispute Resolution|
|2000 – 2002||Andersen Legal | Partner – Commercial Dispute Resolution|
|1997 – 2000||Department of State and Regional Development (Vic)| General Counsel|
|1990 – 1997||Freehill Hollingdale & Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills) | Partner – Commercial Dispute Resolution|
|1986 – 1990||Freehill Hollingdale & Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills) | Solicitor – Commercial Dispute Resolution|