David Kelly LLB/LP(Hons)(First Class, University Medal), BPsych(Hons)(First Class) is a graduate of Flinders University in law and legal practice and psychology. He graduated as Dux of Law and is admitted to practice law in South Australia and the High Court of Australia.

David returned to Leventis Lawyers in 2020 as a Senior Associate.  He commenced his career as Associate to the Honourable Justice Peek in the Supreme Court of South Australia from 2013 to 2015 and has also practised at Iles Selley and Camatta Lempens Lawyers.

Whilst studying, David was awarded subject prizes in administrative law, civil procedure, criminal law, land use planning law and tort law. He also completed clerkships at the Crown Solicitor’s Office, Lipman Karas, Minter Ellison, Piper Alderman, and Wallmans Lawyers. His earlier Honours thesis in forensic psychology addressed the relationship between the accuracy of, and the confidence expressed in, facial identification decisions of eyewitnesses.

Practice areas

David gives emphasis to commercial litigation and dispute resolution and related work for selected clients.  He also deals with building and construction, corporate and commercial, employment and industrial, property and land use, and wills, estates, and succession matters.  He regularly engages leading counsel in especially complex cases, and forensic and engineering expert witnesses where necessary.

Selected matters as instructing solicitor

  • Andrash Pty Ltd v City of West Torrens, for the appellant, who successfully appealed against the Council’s decision to confine the operating hours of the appellant’s car wash.
  • Cooper & Ors v District Council of the Copper Coast, for the appellant, who successfully appealed against a decision of the Council refusing to vary the permitted land use to allow operation of the business of the appellant’s agricultural engineering firm.
  • CW Group Wealth Advisors v Alafaci, for the plaintiff, who successfully obtained an Anton Piller order to search a defendant’s residential and workplace premises for evidence of alleged fraud, and Mareva injunction to freeze assets.
  • George Street Steel Pty Ltd v Wilson & Ors, for the defendants and plaintiffs by cross claim, who successfully defended a breach of contract and quantum meruit claim relating to agricultural engineering works to a stockfeed pellet plant machine, and successfully cross-claimed for damage to equipment.
  • Hill v State of South Australia, for the plaintiff, who achieved a favourable settlement in an action for trespass to land and goods by South Australia Police.
  • JAM Constructions SA Pty Ltd v Klemm Homes Pty Ltd, for the defendant, against whom an alleged infringement of copyright claim was discontinued.
  • MSM Legal v Steed, for the plaintiff, who achieved a favourable result in an action to seek specific performance of a Heads of Agreement in relation to enforcement of an agreement that was dishonoured by the defendant following a mediation.
  • Pearce v Riverland Vintners Pty Ltd, who achieved a favourable result in an action to seek payments of monies withheld by the defendant in breach of an executive employment agreement.
  • Platinum Fine Homes v Mills & Anor, for the plaintiff, who successfully applied for a declaration that the parties had entered into a contract in relation to building work.
  • Poulson v Residence Building Group, for the plaintiff, who achieved a favourable settlement in an action to enforce a Conciliation Agreement that was dishonoured following a mediation.
  • SANTS v Hibbert, for the plaintiff, who achieved a favourable settlement in an action to recover monies defalcated by the defendant previous staff member.
  • Wilson Pastoral International Pty Ltd v George Street Steel Pty Ltd, for the applicant, who successfully applied to stay the operation of a statutory demand issued by the defendant pending the resolution of an appeal to the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia.


In addition to legal practice, David has returned to Flinders University as a casual academic and peer mentor.  He is a reporter of the South Australian State Reports and previously also a reporter of the Federal Court Reports, Federal Law Reports, and Industrial Reports.  He currently sits on the Litigation Committee of the Law Society of South Australia and has published in its Bulletin on the legal status of Airbnb.


  • Law Society of South Australia
  • Walkerville All Cars Club