Firms To Watch: Competition and trade

KHQ Lawyers specialises in competition-related litigation, including issues relating to cartel conduct, exclusive dealing and misuse of market power, and has a successful record in negotiations with and proceedings against the ACCC, ASIC, and other enforcement agencies. The team is led by David Robbins in Melbourne.
Moulis Legal advises clients on international trade and competition issues, with Canberra-based Daniel Moulis offering great experience across WTO rules and disciplines, anti-dumping and customs issues, and competition approvals for cross-border fund transactions and FDI, both on an advisory basis and in litigation.

Competition and trade in Australia

Allens

Allens combines a high-level merger clearance offering with leading work in major ACCC investigations and litigation, including criminal cartel cases and allegations of anti-competitive conduct. The team has advised on ACCC clearance for market-leading transactions, including the acquisition of Slack by Salesforce and the Pfizer-Mylan merger. Jacqueline Downes leads the team, and is a standout player in merger clearance work, while firm chair Fiona Crosbie has a broad practice encompassing complex global and domestic merger clearances, competition investigations and defence in prosecutions. Carolyn Oddie has extensive experience in litigation and regulatory investigations, while Ted Hill is noted for his work in the financial services, energy, and infrastructure spaces on both merger clearances and regulatory investigations. Melbourne’s Rosannah Healy and Robert Walker continue to bolster their growing profiles within the market, and Felicity McMahon‘s recently contributions were rewarded with her promotion to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Downes

Testimonials

‘The Allens Competition and trade practice team exhibits the perfect mix of top quality technical expertise with commercial common sense. Advice is given in an easily digestible format, ensuring that it is easily understood by clients. They are my “go to” firm for competition and consumer law advice. Allens have a real focus on project management and fee management with regular updates. They make very good use of resources, applying appropriate junior and mid level lawyers to relevant aspects of a matter, ensuring appropriate billing practices. Their regular client industry and legal updates is of high quality and often targeted directly to our organisation as a client.’

‘Rosannah Healy is a stand out in the competition law space. She combines the highest quality technical expertise with common sense practical advice, which is delivered in an easily digestible form for non-legal clients. Rosannah is also calm and methodical in a crisis, with an ability to command the room.’

‘The competition team lead by Jacqui Downes is without comparison. The team is quick to understand the most intricate of technical details while also, and importantly, quickly getting on top of the commercial drivers and commercial context. The team is focused on what is required to be delivered immediately, and also has a sharp eye on the next steps in what can often be long processes. The team understands both policy and legal, and is conscious that laws play out – both the development and operation of laws – in a broader policy and political context.’

‘Fiona Crosbie is an expert in the field, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else as much as her. She is direct, commercially driven and ensures she understands the strategic drivers before providing counsel.’

‘Felicity McMahon has been exceptional, and our team have loved working with her. She’s proactive, responsive, hard-working, has an excellent professional manner and client engagement skills, and deep knowledge of her area.’

‘Carolyn Oddie and Robert Walker have both been valued and trusted advisers, who take an interest in the business, its history and its goals and use that knowledge to provide excellent advice.’

‘The Allens competition and trade practice team are highly responsive, strategic, and very commercial. They take the time to know and understand the business and then provide excellent, practical advice.’

‘Small but nimble and highly capable team.’

Key clients

Alinta Energy

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

AstraZeneca

Australasian Food Group

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)

Bayer AG

Coles

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

CSL Behring LLC

Sydney Airport

News Corp Australia

Port of Newcastle

Pfizer

Queensland Investment Corporation

Salesforce.com

Sony Interactive Entertainment

TPG Telecom

Veolia

Vocus

Westpac Banking Corporation

Ashurst

Ashurst has a strong record across merger clearances, ACCC enquiries, cartel defence and energy market issues. The team has multi-jurisdictional expertise and maintains a top-tier client list in a variety of industries, including the financial services, technology, government, and energy sectors. Of particular note is the firm’s work on ACCC’s long-running Big Tech investigations, alongside a number of major competition and market investigations. The team is led by Peter Armitage, an experienced figure who regularly advises on merger clearances and defends clients in high-profile ACCC litigation. Ross Zaurrini specialises in cartel and enforcement proceedings, while Brisbane’s Alyssa Phillips is highly active in merger control proceedings. Melbourne’s Justin Jones has a strong focus on infrastructure access and energy matters, and Melissa Fraser combines merger clearance work with standout work on ACCC investigation and enforcement proceedings across the financial services, infrastructure and consumer goods sectors. Tihana Zuk was promoted to partner in early 2021, and is noted for her work on high-profile digital economy issues.

Practice head(s):

Peter Armitage

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge coupled with experience across a range of industries enables the team to deliver accurate and pragmatic counsel.’

‘Justin Jones is accessible and has a great ability to communicate in a way that’s relevant to his clients. A wise counsellor.’

‘Experienced practitioners from quite senior partners to quite young (but really good) ones, experience across contentious and non-contentious matters.’

‘Tihana Zuk is my go to person. She’s responsive, pragmatic, engaging for training with our business people.’

‘A team of great individuals, who work very effectively together, to deliver great insight and strategic direction to matters, as well as market-leading service and attention to the detail.’

‘The Ashurst Competition team is particularly effective because they work so well together as a team.’

‘Peter Armitage is a stand out for clear, practical, considered advice on strategic direction and likely outcomes. His judgment is genuinely exceptional. Ross Zaurrini is a very experienced regulatory litigator and is a cool head in high-stakes investigations and prosecutions.’

‘Alyssa Phillips is exceptional in merger clearance and transactions. Her global experience gives her a terrific perspective and approach.’

‘Melissa Fraser is outstanding in her client service and is building deep experience in merger clearance, difficult consumer protection issues etc.’

Key clients

AGL Energy

AIA International

Air Niugini

Alkaloids of Australia

Arrotex

Aurizon Holdings Limited

Australian Shopping Network Pty Ltd

B.Solar

Baby Bunting

Bank of America

Cardtronics

Cleanaway Waste Management

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Downer EDI

EnergyAustralia

Fletcher Building

GLNG

Goldman Sachs

Google

Hipages

Imperial Brands

Informed Sources

Kellogg

Lendi

LVMH Moët Hennessy

McLaren Group Limited

Mitsubishi Development

Nick Scali

Nine Entertainment

Nutrien

Prosegur

Rolex

Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia, Inc

Samsung Electronics

True Alliance

Uber

Woodside Energy

Woolworths Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Aurizon in proceedings brought by the ACCC in connection with the proposed sale of the Acacia Ridge rail terminal to Pacific National, after final appeals by the ACCC to the Full Federal Court and High Court were dismissed during 2020.
  • Advising Alkaloids of Australia Pty Ltd on criminal cartel proceedings commenced by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, following a criminal investigation by the ACCC.
  • Advising Google on the ACCC’s Digital Platform Services Inquiry, which is currently examining the provision of web browsers and general search services to Australian consumers, and gathering information for the ACCC’s advice to the Government on Google’s rollout of choice options on Android devices in Europe.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz handles the full range of high-level competition matters, including cross-border merger control proceedings, ACCC sector investigations, enforcement proceedings and cartel cases, working across key industries such as the telecoms, technology, infrastructure, and retail sectors. The team has a key role in major technology and digital competition matters, as well as the high-profile consumer law product class action space. The team is led by Kirsten Webb, who advises on complex anti-trust litigation, merger clearance and investigations by the ACCC, with Michael Corrigan a senior figure within the space, working with a number of major international corporations on competition and consumer matters, including high-profile investigations. Elizabeth Richmond has a strong focus on merger control and consumer law issues, advising on a number of major class actions. Mihkel Wilding continues to bolster his profile in the market, handling Competition Tribunal proceedings and merger control work for high-profile retail and technology clients. All lawyers mentioned are in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Kirsten Webb

Testimonials

‘The Clayton Utz Competition and trade practice is outstanding. The team pride themselves on getting to know the intricate details and drivers of our organisation and sector which serves to ensure their advice remains first class, technically and strategically and commercially oriented. The team place an emphasis on enduring relationships and are generous with their time. They get the right people involved in matters to ensure the requisite expertise combines on complex and sensitive issues for the best advice and outcomes for our organisation.’

‘Michael Corrigan – Michael’s immense depth of experience is a stand out. There is little he has not seen and regularly offers significant value and insight in his advice, both legally and strategically in helping our organisation achieve its most challenging objectives. He is responsive and client focused. He smartly gets under the hood on issues and his pragmatism and commerciality makes him a joy to work with.’

‘Mihkel Wilding – Mihkel strikes us as a rising star in the competition and regulatory area. Our organisation has regularly used Mihkel well prior to him becoming a partner owing to his technical strength and commercial acumen. Mihkel is an incredibly astute lawyer and collaborates with our organisation seamlessly on some of the most complex issues and high profile projects and M&A deals.’

‘The advice provided by the Clayton Utz Competition and trade practice is clear and compelling and importantly for its clients, provides practical and pragmatic recommendations based on a deep understanding of the client’s operating environment and business. What sets this team apart from others in the legal industry is that they feel more like a valued partner of the organisation than a service provider.’

‘We predominantly work with Elizabeth Richmond who is exceptional for a number of reasons – she is extremely knowledgeable in competition and trade but she is also very easy to work with as she just ‘gets it’ through her deep understanding of our business but also she understands what clients want or need and tailors her advice accordingly. She is also an exceptional communicator – she is clear, considered and articulate but also direct where she needs to be.’

Key clients

London Stock Exchange

Singtel Optus

HUMM (formerly Flexigroup)

Virgin Australia

Woolworths

Gebr. Knauf KG

iSelect

NBN Co

Heineken International B.V.

Port of Newcastle

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WWO)

Pacific National Pty Limited

Barclays

Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ)

Audi, Volkswagen

Apple

Facebook

Medicines Australia

Work highlights

  • Represented Humm in Australian Competition Tribunal proceedings concerning algorithm-based lending assessment in the fintech industry.
  • Advised NBN Co on an ACCC enforceable undertaking to resolve an ACCC investigation alleging that NBN misled consumers, which involved working with NBN to negotiate the terms of an enforceable undertaking and establish a number of safeguards.
  • Advised Flutter Entertainment and its Australian subsidiary, Sportsbet, on its acquisition of Canadian-based The Stars Group, obtaining informal clearance without a public review.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin advises its international client base on a broad range of competition investigations, merger clearances, state aid cases, and regulatory issues. The team is regularly involved in high-profile international matters on behalf of multinationals and major Australian businesses. Elizabeth Avery  heads up the team, and has a strong record across multi-jurisdictional mergers, litigation and investigations. Gina Cass-Gottlieb is in-demand for her work on complex merger clearances and cartel investigations, with Luke Woodward a leading name for regulatory matters. Melbourne’s Simon Muys  has notable capabilities in the utilities and infrastructure space, alongside other regulated industries, while Charles Coorey specialises in clearance work for private equity clients. Louise Klamka advises on ACCC investigations and cartel prosecutions, and recently-promoted partner Susan Jones has strong expertise in life sciences and pharmaceuticals work from a previous in-house role. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated. Jennifer Barron departed for a position at the ACCC.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Avery

Testimonials

‘Not only legal advisers; but strategic advisers. They connect us and keep us informed of competition law issues, and understand our business values, strategies and goals.’

‘Elizabeth Avery understands the regulator, understands our markets, and has deep knowledge of our products. More then merely knowing the law, she gives us advice we trust.’

‘They are unique because they understand a client’s business and therefore better understand their legal needs. They are available at short notice, they regularly share relevant legal and industry knowledge and their work is top quality.’

‘Louise Klamka – Louise has excellent technical knowledge and an ability to translate that into an outcome for our business. She knows our industry inside out and is also a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Charles Coorey – Charles has excellent technical knowledge and always makes himself available. He is great to deal with.’

‘Deep knowledge and experience in competition and trade practice.’

‘We deal with Elizabeth Avery. Good availability and attention to detail. Excellent operator.’

Key clients

Westpac Bank/BT Financial

Wesfarmers Limited

Telstra Corporation

BlueScope

Virgin Australia

CSR Limited

Jemena

Aon

Ausgrid

Qube Logistics

NSW Ports

Carnival Cruises

Coca-Cola Amatil

Expedia

Tabcorp

Microsoft

GrainCorp

ASX Ltd

Coles Group

ABInBev/CUB

Fitbit

Alstom

Elanco

Mylan Inc

Korean Airways

Work highlights

  • Advising Microsoft on its proposed $20bn acquisition of Nuance Communications.
  • Advising BlueScope on the ACCC’s investigation of alleged price fixing cartel conduct relating to the supply of steel products in Australia in the period from late-2013 to mid-2014.
  • Representing NSW Ports in high-profile Federal Court proceedings commenced by the ACCC in connection with the terms of the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills advises on major merger clearances, ACCC investigations and enforcement proceedings, and cartel issues, with strength across the energy, telecoms, financial services and infrastructure sectors. The team is led by senior practitioner Linda Evans , who joined from Clayton Utz in early 2021 and has broad expertise across mergers, contentious matters, and regulated sector issues. Patrick Gay has a strong focus on consumer products, handling regulatory and competition issues, while Sarah Benbow handles litigation and cross-border issues, particularly within the UK and Europe. Grant Marjoribanks has a successful record in competition litigation, regularly succeeding against the ACCC. All lawyers mentioned are in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Linda Evans

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons continues to play a leading role in high-profile and business-critical merger clearances, market investigations, enforcement proceedings and cartel cases, with a diverse team of specialists in each key area. Clients include a variety of major domestic businesses, alongside global players, with cross-border work a strong area of specialism for the team, which is now led by active merger control adviser Wayne Leach. Sharon Henrick remains a standout figure in the merger space, advising on major cross-border merger clearances and competition investigations. Caroline Coops‘ diverse practice encompasses competition regulatory investigations, consumer protection litigation and complex merger clearance matters, while Peta Stevenson is a specialist competition litigator with a strong record in enforcement defence and criminal cartel proceedings. Melbourne’s Lisa Huett also has a strong focus on cartel defence, and has a strong record of success against the ACCC. Also in Melbourne, Simon Cooke continues to bolster his reputation in competition and consumer issues. Tamara Hunter was promoted to partner in mid-2021 and combines competition and litigation expertise, while special counsel Christopher Kok advises on mergers, behavioural investigations, and market inquiries. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Leach

Testimonials

‘There is good depth in the team and work is allocated appropriately so that lawyers with the right level of experience do the work.’

‘I have worked with Sharon Henrick for over 10 years now and she has helped me navigate some very complex issues in a number of different roles in a manner that is always commercial and pragmatic.’

‘Obviously the team are highly skilled and experienced. We expect this of all our advisers. However, what sets apart the team led by Peta Stevenson at KWM is its passion, enthusiasm and the genuine pleasure of working with them. They go above and beyond to meet our needs and expectations, taking onboard constructive feedback and working together with us.’

‘Great responsiveness, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the ACCC’s approach to mergers in years gone past and accordingly, a great sense of what will get the ACCC excited.’

‘The team has an excellent working relationship with our company over a long period of time. The knowledge that has been built up means that the ongoing advice that we receive is fulsome and very well considered, while paying regard to past circumstances. The team has a very good working knowledge of our complex operating model that it applies expertly.’

‘The KWM Sydney Competition team has been very proactive in engaging with us on strategic issues and providing insights.’

‘Peta Stevenson is very strong in difficult consumer protection issues and has provided invaluable insight and direction in responding to regulatory challenges.’

‘Wayne Leach has displayed a really valuable, thoughtful and strategic approach to responding to competition issues.’

Key clients

Facebook

Google

Samsung

REA Group

Telstra

Lion

International Airline Group (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and British Midlands)

Air New Zealand

A2B

Ricegrowers Ltd/SunRice

Yazaki

Medibank Private

Expedia / trivago

Luxottica/Essilor

Healius

Viterra

QBE Insurance

NAB

Transurban

amaysim

Kimberly-Clark Australia

Transgrid

Stockland

Tabcorp

Ausgrid

7-Eleven

ISDA

Woolworths

Alstom

ANZ

trivago

dōTERRA

AGL

Willis Towers Watson

QSuper

Sunsuper

Inghams

IRESS

Bank of Queensland

Flight centre

Celgene

ComfortDelGro

Zoetis

Work highlights

  • Advising Facebook on the high-profile and extremely contentious news media bargaining code that has been introduced into legislation by the Australian government to regulate the relationship between Facebook, Google and news media businesses.
  • Representing Samsung in the ACCC’s proceedings in the Federal Court against Samsung, alleging it made false, misleading and deceptive representations in advertising the water resistance of various ‘Galaxy’ branded mobile phones.
  • Advising the Industry Committee on its application to the ACCC to authorise a merger of Australia’s three payment platforms.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has an active merger control practice, advising on local mergers alongside major global transactions, and also regularly represents clients in ACCC investigations and enforcement proceedings. The team has standout expertise in highly scrutinised sectors, including the payment systems and life sciences industries. Georgina Foster heads up the practice, and is an active merger control lawyer, also advising on the competition elements of joint ventures and alliances, alongside providing compliance support. Lynsey Edgar is another standout member of the team, advising on complex global merger control proceedings alongside ACCC cartel investigations and enforcement actions. Senior associate Emma Panhuber combines advice on merger clearances and investigations with standout expertise in competition litigation. All lawyers are in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Georgina Foster

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Edgar; Emma Panhuber

Testimonials

‘Strong commercial acumen that supports their incisive legal advice. Baker McKenzie ensure that their advice is relevant and aligned to the commercial objectives we are seeking to achieve.’

‘Lynsey Edgar’s advice is concise and always focused on the key issues at hand. Lynsey seeks to understand our commercial imperatives and she develops solutions that are aligned to those objectives. Lynsey has high commercial acumen and is always seeking to ensure that her advice is addressing the commercial challenges.’

‘Lynsey Edgar is very strong in providing clear and commercial merger control advice.’

‘I have worked with Lynsey Edgar, and her advice is very commercial and succinct, and it is clear she has the trust and confidence of her clients.’

Key clients

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Australian Energy Regulator (AER)

Siemens

Metcash

JB Hi-Fi

Fujifilm

SUEZ

Work highlights

  • Represented the ACCC in enforcement proceedings against Medibank Private Limited, trading as ahm, for misleading and deceptive conduct in which a penalty of A$5m was ordered.
  • Advised Metcash on securing ACCC clearance in relation to acquiring 70% of Total Tools.
  • Advised Steeline on successfully obtaining authorisation from the ACCC to allow Steeline members to engage in joint advertising and selling activities.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Corrs Chambers Westgarth handles major merger filings and competition investigations for multinational clients and a growing number of domestic businesses and Australian subsidiaries. The firm is heavily involved in many of the ACCC’s high-profile Big Tech investigations, acting for clients including Google, and also regularly works with major US-based buyout funds on merger clearances for business-critical acquisitions. Mark McCowan  co-heads the team and is an experienced and effective competition practitioner, leading on many of the team’s top mandates. In terms of trade, co-head Andrew Korbel  is particular strong in advising multinationals on market entry regulations, and representing companies in anti-dumping investigations. Melbourne-based Alistair Newton  continues to grow his profile, specialising in merger clearances for clients in a variety of sectors, while Richard Flitcroft  is highly experienced in handling ACCC investigations. Special counsel Ian Reynolds  plays a key role in M&A and cartel work. The practice was further bolstered in early 2021 by the arrival of Jodi Gray from King & Wood Mallesons. Lawyers are in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Mark McCowan ; Andrew Korbel

Testimonials

‘Corrs’ strengths lie in its broad team of subject matter experts that are able to cover multiple areas of law. Corrs provides in-depth analysis on specific areas of law that require a high level of competency. Corrs understands our business and compliance requirements well due to the long standing relationship we have with the firm.’

‘Richard Flitcroft has a long standing relationship with our in-house legal team, and has for many years provided our team with Australian Consumer Law advice. Richard is an approachable, astute and professional partner. He is always willing to assist and is responsive to our team’s requirements. He is highly regarded by our team.’

‘The team demonstrates great professionalism in its work, specifically, in the field of international trade remedy. One of the team’s key edges is its sound grasp of industrial knowledge combined with legal expertise, which comes in handy when handling trade investigations.’

‘The lawyers are cooperative and responsive to the needs of their clients. The partner, Andrew Korbel, stands out as an efficient collaborator and a trusted individual.’

Key clients

Google

Facebook

Coles Group

Wesfarmers

BP

Coca-Cola European Partners plc

Johnson & Johnson

Medibank

Santos

Aurizon Network Pty Ltd

REA Group

AB InBev

Comcast Corporation

Refinitiv Holdings Limited

EBOS Group

Opal Australia (formerly known as Australian Paper)

Woodside Energy

Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd

Hoover Group Inc.

Wright Medical Group N.V.

nbn co

Southern Cross Media

Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

Kam Kiu Aluminium Group

Zhong Lun Law Firm

East & Concord Partners

Ray Yin & Partners

Tahota Law Firm

Mannheimer Swartling

Gleiss Lutz

Press Metal Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Google in the first matter to be tried worldwide concerning Google’s use of location data.
  • Representing Google in a landmark private antitrust litigation commenced by Epic Games.
  • Representing the Press Metal Group in responding to two anti-dumping investigations concerning aluminium exported to Australia from Malaysia, as well as in a formal review of current measures.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison‘s diverse team handles high-profile merger clearances for domestic and international deals, cartel and antitrust investigations, and associated enforcement actions. Clients include financial services, health, telecoms and education companies, alongside government bodies, most notably acting for New South Wales in the ACCC Ports litigation. The team is led by Sydney’s Paul Schoff, who regularly advises on complex competition matters, including merger clearances and market access cases. Melbourne-based Miranda Noble has a strong record in merger control and ACCC investigations, while Geoff Carter takes the lead on cartel prosecutions. Also based in Sydney, Katrina Groshinski‘s expertise was recognised with her appointment to the National Competition Council; she leads on the NSW Ports investigation. Haydn Flack was promoted to partner in late 2020 and focuses on merger control and behavioural cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Schoff

Testimonials

‘The Minter Ellison competition and trade team are very knowledgeable experts who are able to quickly get across complex industries and issues and provide practical legal solutions. They have a number of key skill sets and are able to run complex litigation, contentious mergers and provide timely regulatory advice.’

‘Katrina Groshinski is a major asset to the team. She is an excellent communicator and able to quickly cut through to what a client’s legal needs are. She is also well connected in the competition world, and uses her connections to bring depth and specialist expertise for her clients.’

‘Exceptionally pragmatic and commercial (and timely) advice and assistance, founded on deep technical understanding and a great sense of what is the right fit for our organisation’s objectives and strategy, consistent with our values, even if what they have to say isn’t what we think we want to hear at first.’

‘Geoff Carter – Absolutely leading competition law adviser. He knows this area and our organisation inside out. He deals closely with General Counsel but we can also with great confidence let him work direct with the CEO, Chairman, Board, Executives right down to mid-level management and workers on specific issues as required. He happily accommodates all our requirements and timing and we recognise that Minter Ellison is committed to a long term relationship.’

Key clients

Allianz

KraftHeinz

BMW

Raytheon

Internal Air and Transport Association (IATA)

Viagogo

Deliveroo

Hertz

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Sportsbet

Arrotex Pharmaceuticals

Insurance Australia Group

Qantas

SingTel Optus

Bulla Dairy

Viva Energy

Global Forest Partners

Computershare

Kustomer

Site Group International Limited

BAI Communications

Stanwell Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a senior executive on criminal cartel proceedings brought by the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) in relation to a $2.5bn capital raising for ANZ in 2015.
  • Advising Kustomer on Australian competition issues (and the ACCC merger clearance) relating to its acquisition by Facebook.
  • Representing the State of NSW after the State was joined as a Respondent to ACCC proceedings commenced against NSW Ports.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright advises a variety of blue-chip clients, including major corporates, financial services institutions and state bodies, on complex M&A clearances, many of which are cross-border, ACCC investigations, and enforcement actions relating to cartel actions, alongside representing clients in competition litigation. The Sydney-based team is led by Nick McHugh , who maintains a diverse practice across large-scale merger clearances, cartel investigations and enforcement issues, alongside Martyn Taylor , who combines an active competition practice with a standout specialism in international trade matters, including high-profile anti-dumping mandates.

Practice head(s):

Nick McHugh ; Martyn Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Riordan

Testimonials

‘Andrew Riordan brings a wealth of expertise in managing competition and consumer litigation. He is highly engaged, responsive and commercial and works well with my team. He stands out from some of his peers for his willingness to take the reins and have the tough conversations sometimes required to drive the outcomes we seek.’

Key clients

1st Energy

Ampol Management Services

ANZ Bank

Ashley & Martin Pty Ltd

Ausgrid

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian Energy Regulator

Australian Securities & Investment Commission

Anglo American Australia

AT&T

BP

Challenger

Chevron

Connective

CPA Australia

CS Energy

Danfoss A/S

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Digicel

Energizer

Garmin

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

General Motors

Goodman Fielder

Graincorp

Hyundai

HSBC

Intergen

Landis+Gyr

Linfox Australia Pty Ltd

Macquarie Bank

Medibank Private Limited

Megaport Limited

Mercer

Metcash

Michelin

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd

NSW Department of Planning and Environment

PayPal Inc

Pfizer Australia

Resource Management Services LLC

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Sandvik AB

Santos GLNG

Schindler Lifts Australia Pty Ltd

Shell

Snack Brands

South 32

Spotless Group Limited

Thales

Total Gas & Power Asia Private Limited

Toyota Australia

TPG Telecomm

Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd

Westpac Banking Corporation

Wilmar

WSP

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Representing an individual, defending allegations of cartel conduct in what is presently one of the most significant civil cartel prosecutions being brought by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) in Australia.
  • Advised Danfoss on phase 1 clearance of its acquisition of Eaton Hydraulics.
  • Advised Sandvik AB on successfully obtaining competition clearance for Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ A$1.4bn acquisition of DSI Underground.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP fields a globally integrated team with capabilities in merger control, antitrust litigation, and market investigations, working with domestic companies alongside international clients in multi-jurisdictional matters, including Australian clearance for major M&A. The energy, technology, and financial services industries are key sector focuses. The team is led by former senior ACCC officer Peter McDonald, with counsel Stefanie Benson also a key member of the team, advising on merger and joint venture clearance proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Peter McDonald

Other key lawyers:

Stefanie Benson

Key clients

Google

Asahi

BHP

Alinta Energy

Dulux

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA)

IOOF

Societe Jas Hennessy & Co

Work highlights

  • Representing Google in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into app stores.
  • Advising IOOF on ACCC approvals and competition law related aspects of its A$1.44bn acquisition of superannuation and wealth management business MLC Wealth, a subsidiary of National Australia Bank.
  • Advising Alinta Energy on two major ACCC led market inquiries.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises a number of major Australian companies on the full range of competition and trade law matters, alongside working with state authorities on investigations into major transactions and high-profile enforcement proceedings. The vastly experienced Simon Uthmeyer  leads the Melbourne-based team, and combines strong competition and regulatory insight, working on complex and business-critical competition clearances and investigations. Fleur Gibbons  is another standout performer, and has particular strength in the utilities sector. John Fogarty has a strong focus on consumer law, and regularly advises the ACCC.

Practice head(s):

Simon Uthmeyer

Other key lawyers:

Fleur Gibbons ; John Fogarty

Testimonials

‘The DLA Team has very high quality leadership and excellent bench strength. This is combined with deep knowledge and/or focus on ‘how things operate’ across the range of industries in which they work. DLA’s competition and trade practice also integrates its capabilities with those of leading economic experts and so forms very effective combinations for addressing the more complex problems in the competition and trade regulation practice area.’

‘Simon Uthmeyer is adept at identifying the most important matters to be addressed to achieve a successful outcome.’

Key clients

Perth Airport

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal

Cairns Airport

Gold Coast Airport

Australian Health Services Alliance

Australian Airports Association

Lake Vermont Resources

Work highlights

  • Acting for Perth Airport in proceedings against Qantas, seeking to recover unpaid airport usage charges, on the basis of a claim in Qantum Meruit.
  • Prepared submissions to the Queensland Competition Authority for DBCT Management Pty Ltd. The submissions were in response to objections made by certain user groups/stakeholders to DBCTM’s proposed amendment to the regulations for the Dalyrmple Bay Coal Terminal.

Jones Day

Jones Day has expanded its competition team with the arrival of experienced Melbourne-based practitioner Matthew Bull from Herbert Smith Freehills in 2020, bolstering the team, which includes former ACCC officer Prudence Smith in Sydney and offers strong expertise in domestic and international merger control proceedings. The firm regularly works on the Australian elements of large-scale mergers, collaborating with its leading US offices, and counts a variety of major corporates and investment funds among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Bull; Prudence Smith

Testimonials

‘The quality of Jones Day lawyers I work with is extremely high. That are technically superb and highly motivated. They are sensitive to the commercial needs of clients. One of the strengths of Jones Day is teamwork among the lawyers who work on a particular matter.’

‘Prudence Smith is the leading competition law partner at Jones Day. She has a great understanding of the regulatory environment in Australia having spent many years at the ACCC before going into private practice. She’s very informed, has good technical skills and great contacts.’

‘Jones Day has built up a significant reputation in Australia in a short space of time. It came with a great depth of knowledge and experience from its overseas offices and has developed rapidly by picking up some established heavyweights and rising stars in most of the key cities around the country. It has a particular culture of client service that is built around having partners with good technical skills who are very attuned to the need to understand the client’s business and keeping up a high level of client communication.’

‘Exceptionally talented individuals.’

‘Matthew Bull is a super bright operator with an extensive understanding of markets and how the ACCC operates.’

Key clients

Cyrus Capital Partners

Bombardier Inc.

PRP Diagnostic Imaging

Tassal Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cyrus on its bid for Virgin Airways (in administration).
  • Advised Bombardier as competition counsel in relation to its €5.5bn sale to Alstom S.A.
  • Advised PRP Diagnostic Imaging and PRP Group on competition issues associated with the sale of PRP Diagnostic Imaging to Crescent Capital for A$440m.

K&L Gates

Led by former ACCC officer Ayman Guirguis, the Sydney-based team at K&L Gates regularly advises on regulatory investigations by the ACCC relating to cartel conduct, as well as advising on consumer law and merger clearance proceedings. The team handles work on behalf of domestic and global companies in sectors including the automotive, technology, natural resources and pharmaceuticals industries.

Practice head(s):

Ayman Guirguis

Testimonials

‘K&L Gates Competition Law practice is strong in resale price maintenance, ACCC investigations and litigation. It also has excellent experience in consumer law and practical applications of the law.’

‘Ayman Guirguis always strives to understand his client’s businesses so he can provide relevant and practical advice. His advice is always well considered, detailed and with risk ratings to assist in-house counsel to make well-informed, strategic decisions with the business.’

‘Ayman Guirguis (head of practice) has worked at Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and draws on this background knowledge of how the ACCC works when providing strategic legal advice.’

‘Ayman Guirguis (Partner) has incredible attention to detail, and will run down every last fact or legal argument when providing advice. Despite this, his advice is never otiose, and Ayman has the knack of accurately conveying difficult legal concepts in language that is readily understood by non-lawyers, without sacrificing legal nuance.’

Key clients

BlueScope Steel

ExxonMobil

HP

Visy Industries

Nutrien Ag Solutions/Landmark

Medibank

Honda Australia

National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA)

Americold

Reckit Benckiser

Arnott’s

Ericsson

Standards Australia

GlobalX

HBF

GMHBA

Quadrant Private Equity

Serco

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinch on merger clearance aspects and seeking clearance on the $1.3bn acquisition of MessageMedia.
  • Advised National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) and the four major pharmaceuticals wholesalers in Australia, namely API, Symbion, Sigma and National Pharmacies, on receiving authorisation from the ACCC allowing the above applicants to collaborate and if required limit supplies of certain medicines in the face of spikes in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Visy on obtaining merger clearance from the ACCC for its proposed acquisition of Owens and Illinoi’s glass bottle manufacturing and associated businesses in Australia.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler advises clients on ACCC investigations and enforcement proceedings, with a strong track record in defending against sanctions and securing transactional clearances. Accordingly, the team focuses on litigation, with Melbourne-based practice head Zaven Mardirossian an accomplished litigator, with a successful record defending cases brought by the ACCC against clients before state and federal courts. The firm also advises on a number of major national product recalls in a variety of consumer sectors, particularly the electronics and food industries, handling all aspects of the supply chain.

Practice head(s):

Zaven Mardirossian

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Lees

Testimonials

‘The team, especially Zaven Mardirossian, are technically very strong and have an ethos to vigorously pursue the interests of their clients. It is this latter point that distinguishes ABL from other firms.’

‘Matthew Lees is a stand-out in terms of practical and commercial advice. He has a brilliant legal mind and is able to tailor advice to suit the audience and client needs. He works tirelessly to deliver an exceptional result for his clients.’

Key clients

Retail Food Group

The Card Network

Kogan Australia

Mecca Cosmetica

Tasmanian Ports Corporation

Members Equity Bank Limited

Fonterra

Work highlights

  • Representing Retail Food Group in defence of legal action brought by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission.
  • Represented The Card Network in connection with a number of antitrust disputes relating to its products.
  • Represented Tasmanian Ports Corporation in the first case instigated by the ACCC under the ‘misuse of market power’ provision.

Clifford Chance

Integrated with the firm’s global antitrust offering, the team at Clifford Chance advises on global mergers and joint ventures, market investigations and ACCC proceedings, alongside representing clients in competition litigation. The team also has notable capabilities in market access cases, working with global clients entering the Australian market. The team is led from Sydney by Dave Poddar, with senior associate Mark Grime also noted for his work across merger clearances, cartels, and abuse of dominance issues.

Practice head(s):

Dave Poddar

Other key lawyers:

Mark Grime

Testimonials

‘ Knowledge of the law and knowledge/insights about the prevailing judicial, regulatory and industry trends relevant to the area of law.

‘Works hard to understand what the client is trying to achieve and works to ensure that the result is achieved. Definitely focused on the result and not the size of the file. Will think outside the box to get the required results, and understands the environment around the competition area.’

‘Dave Poddar is excellent and always available to discuss matters.’

Key clients

Epic Games

Glencore Coal

BGC Group

New South Wales Minerals Council

Wesfarmers

Lactalis Australia

CBH Group

NBC Universal

Mills Oakley Lawyers

Mills Oakley Lawyers fields a specialist criminal cartel practice, handling high-level cartel litigation for major international clients in industries spanning the technology and telecoms, food and beverages, and retail sectors. The team is led by Sydney-based Kathryn Edghill, a highly experienced practitioner with a strong track record in domestic and global work.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Edghill

Testimonials

‘Technically excellent but focused on partnering with the client, providing the legal advice but working with the client to provide commercial solutions.’

‘Focused on providing workable pragmatic commercial solutions where possible, seeks to partner with the business, to understand and own the problem and work collaboratively to find the solution always in a very timely manner.’

‘The team has a strong practice across a diverse range of competition law matters with a very strong client base.

‘The team is led by Kathryn Edghill, who has developed extremely strong relationships with clients over 30 years in practice as a competition lawyer. Clients love Kathryn. She is experienced, smart, very practical and personable and she is a tenacious litigator who fights hard for her clients’ interests.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, good strategic thinkers.’

‘Kathryn Edghill – leader in her field of competition and trade practices, sensible and commercially focused advice.’

Key clients

Mazda Australia Pty Ltd

eBay

American Express

LG Electronics

Frucor Suntory

Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Australia

Vodafone

Avery Dennison

Electrolux

Mylan (Alphapharm), now Viatris

Cameron Harrison

Winning Group

NSW Ports

Evergreen Garden Care company

The Nielsen Company

The TJX Companies Inc

Simplot Australia

Work highlights

  • Representing Cameron Harrison in criminal cartel proceedings.
  • Representing Mazda Australia in Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC alleging misleading and deceptive and unconscionable conduct in the context of consumer guarantee claims; defending the largest class action in Australia involving Takata airbags.
  • Advising Mylan (Viatris) on day-to-day competition considerations.