Meet our People

Karen’s areas of legal practice are diverse.  With 30 years of experience as a practising lawyer, Karen’s expertise includes all types of difficult and complex commercial disputes in all Australian jurisdictions.  For the last 20 years Karen’s practice has focussed on disputes arising from major infrastructure and capital works projects.

She is highly regarded as a practical, resourceful and tenacious lawyer, adept at cutting through to the strategic issues that define difficult disputes.  Karen’s reputation for achieving excellent results for her clients is built on her keen legal and tactical judgement, backed by strong management skills and commerciality.

Karen is particularly adept at managing the team of multidisciplinary professionals necessary to conduct complex and large scale litigation involving a complex matrix of legal and factual issues.  Her strong communication and organisational skills complement her creative operating style.  Clients have described Karen as a “very efficient and talented” litigator.


  • Since 2014, acting for the design joint venture for a NSW PPP to redevelop existing rail infrastructure.  This role has involved advising on the risk transfer involved in project specific PI insurance and advising on and litigating payment claims and variations.
  • Since 2013, acting on instructions from the Crown Solicitor of South Australia for the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Commissioner of Railways and the Commissioner of Highways in relation to various South Australian infrastructure projects.
  • Between 2000 and 2016, Karen acted for one of Australia’s largest vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution businesses, providing risk management advice as well as conducting a variety of business disputes arising from the diverse operations of this top 100 company.
  • Acted for a civil contractor in arbitration proceedings for its claims against its Government principal for $32 million for delay and disruption costs, which claims were settled favourably at mediation.
  • Acted for the D&C contractor in an integrated waste water & desalination project in arbitration proceedings brought by its drilling subcontractor for delay costs.
  • Acted for the owner of a pipe-lay barge in a series of related third party and marine insurance disputes in respect of multi-million dollar claims arising from the damage to and detention of a barge in Batam, Indonesia
  • Acted for the owner of a pipe-laying barge in a series of related contractual, insurance and trade practices disputes for claims in excess of $47M, the subject of multiple Federal Court proceedings (including its Admiralty Jurisdiction), the High Court of Singapore and various domestic and international arbitrations in connection with the charter of the barge for an offshore gas project in Australia.
  • Acting for the London underwriter of the 2004 and 2005 PI Scheme for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in relation to a number of disputed claims in South Australia arising from the frauds of an insured’s employee.
  • Acted in a product liability and professional indemnity claim in relation to a crane which derailed in situ and led to a fatality.
  • Since February 2006, acting as the Manager of Magarey Farlam Lawyers by appointment under the Legal Practitioners Act 1981 (SA) in the management and winding up of the client affairs of the former legal practice.
  • Defended the criminal prosecution brought by the ACCC under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) of a national jewellery retailer for misleading advertising over was/now pricing.
  • Acted for a major gaming machine manufacturer and the national industry association in relation to various public inquiries regarding a range of proposed Commonwealth and State regulatory reforms to the gaming industry.
  • Acted for the operator of 10 Water Treatment Plants in rural South Australia in Supreme Court proceedings against the contractor’s professional indemnity insurer in a multimillion dollar claim for defective design and construction work.
  • Represented the previous detention services provider to the Commonwealth Government in civil claims and public inquiries about immigration detention including the much publicised HREOC Inquiry into the Detention of Children.
  • Acted for an international food and beverage distributor in their South Australian litigation including a number of major Federal Court matters that have involved contract, trade practices and competition issues as well as product liability and intellectual property claims.
  • Conducted a successful test case about the proper application of the harm minimisation legislation introduced in South Australia to protect problem gamblers.
  • Conducted a series of litigated matters for a manufacturer concerning the interpretation of key provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1993 (SA) in relation to long term emissions from its manufacturing facility.
  • Represented the Auditor General of South Australia in his inquiry and report to the Parliament of South Australia on the redevelopment of the Hindmarsh Soccer Stadium.  This Inquiry involved close scrutiny of the regulatory and political framework for which a major public infrastructure project was undertaken with a particular focus on principles of good governance and public administration in the procurement of public works.
  • For 5 years defended a US manufacturer of electronic colour reproduction equipment in a major Federal Court dispute that finally resolved on appeal to the High Court.
  • For 5 years conducted a $20M dispute between major banks over cheque kiting involving investigation and evidence of the entire cheque clearing system of Australian banks between 1986 and 1991.
  • For several years, acted for investors/borrowers against the Pegasus group in a series of cases concerning thoroughbred investment products.  Karen’s expertise in this area was later recognised by her appointment as a consultant to the South Australian Government’s Taskforce to review the State Bank group’s exposure to the Pegasus’ group’s financing activities.
  • Acted for a South Australian university in the conduct of a $20M Federal Court case that involved trade practices and probity issues in the context of a Commonwealth Government CRC grant.