O'Brien, Maria

Maria O'Brien

Baker & McKenzie


Maria O’Brien is the head of the Australian Restructuring & Insolvency team and has been a partner of Baker McKenzie since 2003. She was the winner of the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation NSW's inaugural Award for Outstanding Female in the Insolvency and/or Restructuring Industry in 2009.

Maria is recognised as being a talented member of the Insolvency team who "has a very commercial approach and she quickly cuts to the chase and spots the issues. She is tenacious but she knows when to be commercial." (Chambers Asia Pacific 2013) and is " very knowledgeable, practical and collegiate in her approach" (Chambers Asia Pacific 2012). 

Practice Focus

Maria is a commercial litigator and a restructuring and insolvency professional. She has considerable experience acting for insolvent companies, their administrators, receivers and liquidators, and for creditors, in respect of a wide range of insolvency issues including informal workouts.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acted for TPG, the lead participant in the senior secured debt syndicate to the Alinta Energy group of companies, in connection with the $2.8b work-out, restructuring and privatisation which won the Macquarie Bank ALB Australian Law Awards “Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year” 2011.
  • Acted for KordaMentha as administrators and subsequently deed administrators of Griffin Coal and related entities, Western Australia's largest coal mining operation.
  • Acted for KordaMentha as administrators of Hans Continental Smallgoods in connection with all aspects of the administration and deed administration.
  • Advised KKA Holdings and JA Kinghorn & Co as parent company and secured lender to Krispy Kreme Australia, the holder of the franchise for the 60 Krispy Kreme doughnut stores in Australia, which was restructured by deed of company arrangement.
  • Works extensively in facilitating the court approval of members' and creditors' schemes of arrangement under the Corporations Act.


  • Western Australia~Australia (1999)
  • New South Wales~Australia (1997)
  • South Australia~Australia (1993)
  • High Court of Australia~Australia (1993)


  • University of South Australia (Graduate Diploma Legal Practice) (1994)
  • University of Adelaide (LL.B.) (1993)
  • University of Adelaide (Bachelor of Commerce) (1993)
  • University of Adelaide (Bachelor of Economics) (1991)


  • English