John Gooley

For more information on John’s extensive career please visit

John was admitted as a Solicitor in 1982 and came to the Bar in 1996.

John specialises in commercial law – principally in disputes involving corporations and associations (including partnerships, incorporated and unincorporated associations and cooperatives), contract law, insurance law (directors and officers, professional indemnity, special risks and other forms of general insurance and life insurance), franchising law, finance/banking law, trade practices and equity/trusts.

John has wide-ranging trial experience and has been retained in a large number of commercial disputes in the Federal Court and in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. A number of the cases in which John has been involved are significant cases in the relevant practice area and were long-running.

In addition, John has an extensive advisory practice in the above areas of law.

John is also a widely published legal author whose books are extensively used throughout Australian universities as standard textbooks for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well for practitioners in specialised subject areas.

John has over 35 years experience as a University Lecturer and Teacher in the contract, commercial and corporation law fields.


  • LLB University of Sydney
  • LLM (Hons) University of Sydney
  • BA University of Sydney
  • DipEd Sydney College of Advanced Education

Areas of Practice

  • Banking and Finance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Building and Construction Law
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Contract Law
  • Corporations and Associations Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Franchising
  • Insurance
  • Partnerships
  • Real Property and Strata Titles
  • Succession and Administration of Estates
  • Tort

Cases and Commissions of Inquiry

John has been involved in several significant long-running commercial disputes in the Federal Court and in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia some of which were running concurrently and which involved numerous interlocutory applications prior to final hearing. Those cases involved a number of areas of commercial law and included cases in the following courts:

For more detail please see

Mediation and Advisory Work

John has a considerable practice in giving advice in specialist fields of law. In his career at the Bar he has been involved in advising:

  • In relation to class-actions in the Federal Court and Supreme Courts;
  • Senior Officers of insurance companies on issues of indemnity and reinsurance, proportionate liability particularly related to Professional Indemnity and directors and officers Insurance.
  • Insurers in relation to life insurance issues, such as the application of policy exclusions to fact situations;
  • Company directors, officers and shareholders of listed and non-listed corporations and their insurers as well as officers of both incorporated and unincorporated associations in relation to liability for breaches of duty including insolvent trading and in relation to criminal liability and civil penalty breaches;
  •  In relation to shareholder disputes including derivative actions and oppression actions under the Corporations Act, as well as meeting procedures and disputes arising out of the management of companies;
  • Company directors in relation to legal strategies when involved in take-over, merger and reconstruction activity;
  • Liquidators, receiver-managers and other administrators in relation to their responsibility and management of those bodies;
  • Bank Officers, including senior legal staff and directors of matters impacting upon Bank’s liability;
  • In relation to partnership disputes and disputes between joint ventures;
  • Franchisees and franchisors in relation to the operation of franchises;
  • Trustees and beneficiaries of trusts in relation to Bankruptcy and Insolvency issues.

For further information please see

Publications & Presentations

John has authored and/or co-authored a number of legal works many of which have been or are prescribed textbooks in their subject areas at Universities around Australia.

John’s publications can be found at

John’s current publications are:

1. Insolvent Trading and Fraudulent Trading in Australia: Regulation and Context, with Mitchell Gooley, 2016, 1st ed., LexisNexis Butterworths;

2. Corporations and Associations Law: Principles and Issues, with Michael Zammit, Matthew Dicker SC and David Russell SC, 2020, 7th ed., LexisNexis Butterworths;

3. Principles of Australian Contract Law, with Peter Radan and Ilija Vickovich, 2021, 5th ed., LexisNexis Butterworths;

4. Principles of Australian Contract Law – Cases and Materials, with Peter Radan and Ilija Vickovich, 2021, 5th ed., LexisNexis Butterworths;