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Team Members

Andrew Vella

Special Counsel
Andrew is an experienced commercial dispute resolution lawyer with specialist expertise in insolvency and regulatory investigations. Andrew works with business, boards, and executives to manage regulatory and reputational risks including those presented by ASIC. Andrew is known for his high quality and practical legal advice and ability to provide options and recommendations for complex legal and commercial problems.

Before joining Cooper Grace Ward, Andrew worked for over 17 years in large national firms representing a wide selection of public sector, institutional, corporate and private sector clients, including boards and executives in large scale and complex commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and in some of Australia’s largest corporate insolvencies.

Andrew acts across a spectrum of sensitive and ‘bet the company’ matters, including ASIC investigations and civil penalty proceedings.

Andrew has extensive experience acting for banks, financial institutions, funds and private lenders in all aspects of their commercial recovery activities including providing strategic (pre-appointment) advice, preparing security reviews, issuing of notices, preparing appointment documents, acting in court and AFCA disputes and in mediations, negotiating settlements, and obtaining urgent relief.

Andrew acts in the full array of contentious and non‑contentious insolvency matters for creditors, insolvency practitioners and executives, including matters relating to contracts and property rights, statutory and general law duties, reporting, remuneration, personal property securities law, mortgages, the conduct of meetings, adjudication of claims, creditor entitlements and trusts.

  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours) – Queensland University of Technology
  • Master of Laws – Queensland University of Technology
  • Advanced Certificate in Insolvency – University of Technology Sydney
  • Solicitor – Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Solicitor – High Court of Australia
  • Professional Member – Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
  • Listed in Doyle’s Guide Rising Stars – Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Insolvency 2018.

Regulatory and executive defence

  • Leading a large team of lawyers in a 12-month ASIC investigation for ASIC.
  • Representing several public officials in the Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry.
  • Acting for a well-known property developer and executives in a liquidator’s public examination.
  • Acting for private clients in a multi-million dollar claim for Corporation Act and general law remedies for alleged misappropriation of company property, oppressive conduct and other breaches of director’s duties.
  • Acting for ASIC’s court-appointed receivers and managers in the external administration of the Linchpin Capital Group.
  • Successfully acting for ASIC to defend a claim brought by Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy relating to ASIC’s obligations to maintain the corporate register.
  • Acting for the former CFO of the MFS / Octaviar Group of companies including in a 16-week civil penalty trial and related insolvency claims in both the Queensland and New South Wales Supreme Courts.
  • Advising the Official Trustee in matters under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

Commercial litigation and financial services disputes

  • Acting for a pillar bank in two Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings including in a two-day trial to defend claims relating to set-off, combination of accounts and employee entitlements.
  • Acting for a pillar bank and its appointed receivers and managers to enforce secured rights against a health services group of companies.
  • Successfully acting for a pillar bank to protect its confidential and legally privileged documents over a two-day contested hearing in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Acting for a listed property group against a high-profile builder at first instance and in appeal proceedings, and in the subsequent voluntary administration of the builder.
  • Acting at first instance in Victorian Supreme Court proceedings relating to security rights in high value crypto‑currency mining equipment.

Insolvency and restructuring

  • Acting for a major creditor in the voluntary administration of the Callide C Power Station.
  • Advising Brisbane Airport Corporation in the voluntary administration of Virgin Group.
  • Acting for the voluntary administrators of the flat pack manufacturer, including to obtain orders to extend the convening period on two occasions.
  • Advising a government department about complex insolvency and security issues relating to environmental remediation obligations.
  • Acting for the Australian Government in Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings against liquidators to successfully contest the liquidators’ remuneration and claims.