Recognised as the inimitable expert in Australia on the interplay between construction and insurance law, Laina was a finalist for Lawyers Weekly Australian Barrister of the Year for both 2019 and 2020. She is the “goto” counsel in property law, conveyancing and lease disputes. For example, the recent case of West v Goyal  NSWSC 526 has created “new law” that will benefit all residents and former occupants of retirement villages going forward. Rest assured that Laina will design the best strategy to achieve favourable client outcomes.
She has represented many building and construction professionals including engineers, architects, surveyors, town planners, builders and sub-contractors.
Long association with professional indemnity matters with a wide range of insurers including CGU professional risks, QBE, Allianz, Liberty Underwriting and Suncorp
Worked on several significant insurance coverage disputes where the fundamental issues have been the ability of the insurer to rely upon the dishonesty & fraud.
Laina has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes that have involved significant sums of money. Although not always the case, commercial disputes generally
Provide successful resolution of these property disputes, which can become bitter and entrenched particularly if they involve neighbours
I think a large part of the reason we were able to settle the matter was because we went to mediation showed them our poker face. Which made them realise we were serious. I think a large part of our success in mediation came from Laina’s ability to explain complex matters so succinctly
Laina is an articulate experienced counsel I have briefed for approximately 10 years in property and construction matters. Laina exceeds her opponents with her exceptional research skills and her ability to source and apply common law to unique legal arguments. Laina’s cross examination is comprehensive, well thought-out and calculated. When briefed, she will use all tools at her disposal to pursue the best outcome for her client. To date, Laina has obtained favourable outcomes in all the matters that I have briefed her in.
Laina was recommended to me by a mid-tier law firm as having construction law expertise. This was an excellent recommendation. She is very knowledgeable in this area and sensible in providing her legal advice. I find her easy to deal with and personable. She was also able to effectively relate to non-lawyers within the business and to provide advice in the commercial context.
Laina assisted in achieving a very good outcome for the client on a complex matter. She is very skilled and able to get across the relevant issues quickly. I also recommend her as a barrister.
I briefed Laina to obtain specific performance on a retail lease. The relationship between the parties was troubled and the matter was hard fought. Laina provided excellent representation which instilled confidence in my client. She researched the legal issues thoroughly and this was coupled with pragmatic advice on strategy resulting in a successful outcome to the litigation.
Laina is one of the most commercial lawyers I have come across. She understands what drives a corporation and the importance of getting a commercial outcome. Unlike any other lawyer I have seen she is motivated to resolve issues rather than let the dispute continue. She has an instinctive drive in relation to mediation and resolution of issues and an ability to be able to break down and unlock an issue. She is pragmatic, strategic, technically brilliant and a strong advisor – she is someone you want on your team.
Laina is one of BIA’s preferred service providers. Laina is highly qualified, extremely pragmatic and can see solutions that work for everyone early making her a cost efficient choice for our clients. The ability to turn advice work around accurately and quickly is very important to our clients and to BIA as it focuses the momentum of the claim on the right objectives.
Advocating for Business Events Sydney as a professional services leader to shine the light on Sydney as a destination for Professional Services Conferences.
My name is Sally Saroukos and I have had the pleasure of Laina representing me in a very long and stressful battle over my late husband’s life insurance. Laina has always been very determined and very confident in her work. This is something I am very thankful for because her determination and tenacity has paid off for me! Even when I thought of giving up in my battle against my late husband’s super fund and life insurer, she never stopped fighting for me. Laina is very kind, well spoken and a selfless person who will always do whats right for the underdog! Words cannot explain how thankful I am to her for all that she has done for me.
My first brief to Laina involved an emotionally charged dispute between neighbours which had previously been the subject of a Deed between the parties to resolve their differences by way of boundary realignments and payment of consideration by one neighbour to the other.
The neighbour (later “the defendant”) defaulted in his obilgations and the only course of action left available to my client was to approach the Court for assistance by way of orders for specific performance. My client had an intense emotional investment in the matter and the first conference with Laina gave him much cause for comfort. Her grasp of the brief was obvious and this gave my client much confidence and made the decision for him to proceed with litigation much easier.
Laina has been invaluable throughout my career. Her legal skill as a barrister combined with her enthusiasm and willingness to work alongside less senior solicitors has been a great asset. Laina’s particular knowledge in the areas of insurance law and building and construction is excellent, demonstrated by her ability to answer any curly questions that crop up in such matters. Her skilfulness and attention to detail when it comes to drafting pleadings is greatly appreciated. I feel very confident in recommending her as Counsel to my colleagues.
Laina is regarded by our firm as an outstanding court room advocate and client adviser. We have engaged Laina in contract disputes and statutory matters before Federal and State jurisdictions. Chris McArdle of our firm has known Laina since she commenced in the profession, and has no hesitation in recommending her as a barrister.
I have briefed Laina over the past 7 years and found her knowledge particularly on building and construction matters to be exceptional. She is approachable, has a keen eye for detail and will not be bothered with all manner of legal questioning (no matter how basic or advanced).
Laina is very thorough and has great attention to detail. She also is very helpful and courteous to more junior members of the profession.
I have no hesitation in recommending Laina as Counsel for any potential client. Ms Chan has assisted me in several matters with the provision of insightful, practical and clear advice. She has also been an excellent advocate for the cause of my clients. Ms Chan is able to quickly grasp complex issues not only in the law but other areas of expertise and apply them to the question at hand. As an added bonus, Ms Chan is personable and easy to work with both as an instructing Solicitor and when dealing with clients.
Laina has significant experience in building disputes and I have found her to be persuasive in Court. She also has good interpersonal skills that makes it easier for clients to deal with the stresses of litigation.
Our firm has recently briefed Laina in two complicated commercial matters, one a damages claim against our client and the other a claim by our client for breach of contract. Both matters involved large sums of money and were difficult factually and procedurally. Each of the cases was resolved successfully in favour of our clients who were well pleased with the result. Throughout the course of the proceedings, Laina was always prompt with her advice as well as highly competent and professional in the protection and prosecution of our clients’ interests. She is unfailingly pleasant, good-humoured and easy to work with.
I have known Laina since 1998 when we worked together at Minter Ellison. As a solicitor, Laina always produced first rate, focused and on point, work. Since Laina went to the Bar in 2004 I have briefed her in a wide range of litigious matters. Laina has a very sound, well thought through approach to litigation: her tactical judgments are good and she is a skilled cross examiner. She has been instrumental in achieving many good outcomes for parties I have been acting for. I have also recommended Laina to others who have invariably reported that they have been very pleased with the work she has done for them. I have great confidence in Laina’s abilities and I am sure she will continue to do well.
Dear Ms Chan,
Thank you for presenting your session entitled Draft pleadings: Practical Tips & Tricks the 2012 Annual One Day Civil Litigation CLE seminar held on Saturday, 24 March 2012 at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney.
Over 74 practitioners attended the one day seminar and feedback has been very positive. Most found the seminar to be extremely practical, informative and insightful. They also commented on the high calibre of speakers on the program.