23 February 2022

Business Spotlight: Keighran Legal + Advisory

Starting a law firm has always been a dream for Gomeroi man, Duane Keighran. 

Growing up on Gumbyanggirr Country (Coffs Harbour) on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Duane was the first in his family to complete High School and then move to Sydney to study law at the University of NSW. 

The goal was to get into criminal law, but fate had other plans. 

“I didn’t really get into the court room. At university I got a paralegal role and focused on the property and construction areas. That was the path that focussed on from then on.”

After starting his career in Sydney, Keighran ended up travelling the world working for prestigious International top tier firms based in their Dubai offices, where he led the regional teams for his practice areas.

After working in the cut-throat world of corporate real estate law for many years at Partner level, he decided it was time to branch out and start his own law firm. 

Duane said, “I’m in the fortunate position now where I’ve had the experience of leading massive teams and have worked on huge deals. Now it’s our time to build an Aboriginal- owned law firm that specialises in working for commercial entities and government departments – which is what we know so well – which will in turn provide alternative opportunities for First Nations lawyers and non-lawyers.  We want to be known as the First Nations law firm operating in the top-tier legal space for commercial and government clients.” 

Keighran Legal + Advisory is a corporate law firm that focuses on real estate, hotels and construction. 

From commercial sales and acquisitions, hotel and hospitality mandates, to commercial contracts, agreements and project structuring, Keighran Legal + Advisory brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the corporate legal world. 

Starting a new law firm during a pandemic hasn’t been easy. 

“It was a bit of a stop-start. We literally opened the day before Gladys locked us down. Fortunately everyone was used to working from home, so we managed this transition quite seamlessly.”

“Our goal is to provide a premium legal service to corporate and government.

We’re aiming to grow. We want to get to 20 or 30 lawyers over time so we can really make an impact.” 

Keighran Legal + Advisory also want to provide a place for Aboriginal lawyers to access work in corporate law – and is already growing. The firm is currently advertising for a new paralegal and a junior/graduate lawyer – and true to its ethos – has first provided these opportunities to the First Nations legal community. 

“After being overseas and having plenty of time to reflect, I just felt there’s something better to be done in this space, in terms of creating an environment where Aboriginal lawyers can have access to work in this industry – and at the top level. This is about creating opportunities for young Indigenous lawyers to have access to top tier work and be mentored by top tier experienced lawyers, in a culturally safe environment.  We hope that the clients and consultants we work with (and those we want to work with) will get alongside us and help bring our vision to light over the coming years.” 

Find out more about Keighran Legal + Advisory here: https://keighranlegal.com