Karen O'Flynn is recognised domestically and internationally as a leading restructuring and insolvency practitioner and commercial litigator.
Karen was appointed Chair of the Clayton Utz Board in February 2020.
Praised by clients for being "wonderful to work with", has "an easy but authoritative manner" and "a knack for getting what she and her clients want" (Legal 500 AsiaPacific 2018), Karen is held in high regard for her superior legal skills and putting "complicated matters in a clear and straightforward way" (Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019).
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- Chambers Asia-Pacific: ranks Karen as one of Australia's leading Restructuring and Insolvency lawyers
- "She's lovely to work with and I feel like I'm in very capable hands with her." (2018)
- "She is very good at getting to the nub of a point. She will take a position and very rarely deviate from it. She is very friendly, very amiable and has a great personality which comes through in how she interacts with peers and clients." (2019)
- The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific: ranks Karen as one of Australia's leading Restructuring and Insolvency lawyers (2019-2020) with clients describing her as "level-headed, insightful and a pleasure to work alongside".
- IFLR1000: Recognised as a leading lawyer in Restructuring and Insolvency (2011-2020)
- Best Lawyers Australia: ranks Karen as one of Australia's leading lawyers in
- Insolvency and Reorganization (2015-2020)
- Litigation (2015-2020)
- Asialaw: listed as a leading lawyer in Dispute Resolution & Litigation, Restructuring & Insolvency (2018)
- Doyles Guide: names Karen as one of Australia's recommended Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers (2017)
- Euromoney LMG Australasian Women in Business Law Awards: finalist for Insolvency and Restructuring (2014 and 2013)
- Euromoney LMG Australasian Women in Business Law Awards: awarded Best Lawyer in Insolvency and Restructuring (2012)
- Euromoney LMG Asia Women in Business Law Awards: awarded Best Lawyer in Insolvency and Restructuring (2011)
- PLC Which Lawyer: ranks Karen as one of Australia's leading Restructuring and Insolvency lawyers
Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney (1981)
Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Sydney (1983)
admitted to practice
New South Wales (1984)
High Court of Australia (1984)
England and Wales (1991)
- Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
- International Insolvency Institute
- International Bar Association (Insolvency Section)
- INSOL International
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Restructuring and Insolvency
- BBY Ltd collapse: Advising Securities Exchanges Guarantee Corporation Limited (SEGC), the trustee of the National Guarantee Fund, which is available to pay the losses suffered by certain former clients of the collapsed BBY Ltd stockbroking business.
- Network Ten Group: Karen was part of the core team assisting the Security Trustee in respect of a debt restructuring of the Network Ten Group which involved a voluntary administration of the group entities, a competitive sale process, and a debt refinancing.
- APRA appointed acting trustee: Karen advised the acting trustee of 5 superannuation funds, with $300 million under management, appointed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
- Lehman Brothers: Karen is advising the liquidators of the Australian Lehman Brothers companies which, prior to their collapse, formed part of the fourth largest financial institution in the world.
- HIH Insurance Group: Over seven years, Karen advised the liquidators of the HIH Insurance group in relation to complex and high-profile recovery actions against auditors, actuaries, directors and others. The HIH Insurance group collapsed in 2001 with a deficiency estimated between $5 billion and $7 billion.
See Restructuring and Insolvency
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry: Karen was one of the core group of Clayton Utz partners acting for Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
- Bell Group Litigation: Advising a significant creditor in relation to the highly contested distribution of $1.7 billion held by the liquidator of the Bell Group companies following his settlement with the Banks after more than 20 years of litigation.
See Litigation and Dispute Resolution
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