John Keeves Partner

Meet John

John is a corporate lawyer with 30 years’ experience advising on major projects, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, corporate governance, and corporate and securities law, with a focus on large and complex transactions, public markets mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets.

He has extensive experience with the technology and energy sectors, but has advised across many of the sectors most important to the Australian economy including resources, agribusiness, infrastructure, transport, and financial services, and has advised Australian and international corporates and investment funds, and governments and government business enterprises.

John was a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel from 2006 to 2015 and a member of the Companies Auditors & Liquidators Disciplinary Board from 2004 to 2014.

John is a Director of SA Government technology agency TechInSA, Chair of the Council of Prince Alfred College, a past National Chair of the Corporations Committee of the Law Council of Australia, a past Chair of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and a Life Member of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (formerly the Securities Institute of Australia).

He is the inaugural Chair of the Law Council, Business Law Section, Technology in M&A Working Group and has a particular interest in the application of technology and project management to corporate transactions.


Mergers, Acquisitions & Reconstructions

ABB Grain

Acting in relation to Viterra Inc.'s acquisition by $2.1 billion scrip and cash scheme of arrangement.

Centro Australia Wholesale Fund and Centro Direct Property Fund

Advised on the reconstruction of the Centro group involving the aggregation of Centro funds (equity value in excess of $3 billion) and restructure of Centro Properties' over $3 billion in senior debt.

CP2 Ltd/Horizon Roads consortium

Advised on the $2.3 billion acquisition of ConnectEast Group by trust scheme.


Advised on the $2.4 billion takeover by Cheung Kong Consortium, and on APA’s $2.1 billion proposed merger by scheme of arrangement.

Gerard Lighting Group

Advised on the $200 million acquisition by CHAMP by a scheme of arrangement.

Equity Capital Markets

ABB Grain

Advised on its $187 million capital raising by way of private placement plus share purchase plan.


Advised on its $130 million private placement and $32.5 million share purchase plan; and advised on its $111 million capital raising by way of undocumented rights issue.

Gerard Lighting Group

Advised on its $177 million ASX listing, including $85 million in underwritten new equity, including corporate restructure and refinancing.

Major projects

SA Department of Premier and Cabinet

Energy Plan Projects, including 270MW Emergency Generation, 100 MW Battery (world’s largest grid connected battery - constructed), 150MW Solar Thermal Project (world’s largest - announced), Virtual Power Plant, Government-wide Power and Gas Procurement, various projects financed from SA Renewable Technology Fund.

SA Water Corporation

Build, Own, Operate (BOO) arrangement for Wastewater Treatment Project at Aldinga, SA.

SA Health Commission and SA Department of Treasury & Finance

Construction and private financing of new Mount Gambier Public Hospital.


Brilliant advice.... Clear, well-reasoned and practical.
Client Feedback 2019
Recommended in Capital Markets, Corporate and M&A and Natural Resources Law.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Listed as a leading lawyer in Corporate Law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2016 - 2020
Ranked as a leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2015
John Keeves heads the team and is valued for his extensive "exposure to complex M&A matters" and his sensible approach to matters, which "buries the ego and unnecessary mumbo-jumbo."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2015
Practice head John Keeves has over 20 years' experience in this space, which is "valuable in assisting us to plan adequately and execute efficiently."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2014
Listed as a leading lawyer in Equity Capital Markets, Oil & Gas and Venture Capital Markets law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2020
Listed as a leading lawyer in Corporate/Governance Practice
Best Lawyers Australia, 2009 - 2020
Named “Adelaide Lawyer of the Year” (as judged by his peers) for Equity Capital Markets Law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2020

Career & qualifications


  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Economics (Accounting Major)
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice


  • Finsia (Life Member)
  • ACC Australia
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia (Former Chairman), Member Corporations Committee, Member Foreign Investment Committee
  • International Bar Association, Member Corporate M&A Committee, Member Corporate Social Responsibility Committee
  • American Bar Association, Member Business Law Section

Insights Read more insight

Key points for boards and activist shareholders from Perpetual’s loss to Brickworks and Soul Patts

The Federal Court has released its judgment in favour of Brickworks Limited and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, in its proceedings with Perpetual.1

2016 AGM Season Survey Results

At the conclusion of the 2016 AGM season, we conducted our annual survey of remuneration report voting for S&P/ASX 1001entities.

Mergers & Acquisitions Review 2013

Mergers & Acquisitions Review 2013