Prof Jenni Lightowlers



Dean, Deakin Law School


Faculty of Business and Law


BL Deakin Law School


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 46003


Jenni Lightowlers is the Dean of Deakin Law School. Jenni is considered one of Australia's leading advisors to universities (both in Australia and the South Pacific) and has a deep understanding of the university and higher education sectors, particularly their compliance and operational issues. In addition, she has been a Deputy Chancellor of Deakin University and is a Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow. Prior to taking up the role of Acting Dean, Jenni also chaired the University Legislation Committee and was a Member of the Advisory Committee to the Law School.

She is arguably Australia's leading authority on establishing research entities such as industry growth and innovation centres and Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). She is also recognised as a leading lawyer in the life sciences (health, biosecurity, biotechnology and medical devices), commercial and intellectual property sectors.

Jenni is a founding Partner of Francis Abourizk Lightowlers (FAL). Prior to establishing FAL in 1993, she worked for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) and Allens Linklaters (as it is now known).

Jenni advises clients on a wide range of issues including research funding opportunities; corporate structuring; constitutions; governance; company secretarial matters and directors' duties; R&D agreement and taxation matters; IP protection; management, commercialisation and licensing; employment and workplace relations law; and general corporate and commercial matters. On commercial IP issues, she is considered "an esteemed presence in the marketplace" (IAM Licensing 250).

Acting as a long-term and trusted Counsel to her clients, Jenni frequently provides support and advice to a wide range of companies, not-for-profits and charities. With extensive commercial experience, Jenni advises ASX listed entities on matters such as NASDAQ listings, strategic planning and advisory services for intricate transactions. Over the last two decades, Jenni has advised on some of the most complex Australian technology and R&D projects.

Jenni is particularly highly respected in the mining & resources sectors for her advice on technology innovation, collaborative research and export controls.

Her expertise also extends to Government, having drafted, evaluated and structured legislation for Australian governments prepared Ministerial briefing and policy papers and provided advice on multilateral treaties in the Pacific Region.

Jenni is also a qualified mediator and has litigated in areas relevant to her practice.

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  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  • Member, Licensing Executives Society of Australian and New Zealand (LESANZ).
  • Member, Intellectual Property Society of Australia Inc.
  • IAM Licensing 250, World’s leading patent & technology licensing lawyers.


  • Recognised for Excellence in Client Service for the Health & Life Sciences Sector in Australia, International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice Awards,  2015, 2016 and 2017.