The IT and telecoms practice at Allens is highly active in conducting major transactions and digital transformation and acceleration projects. The practice has clients in the public and private sphere, including emerging Australian health technology and data exchange platforms, across the technology, media and telecoms sectors. Gavin Smith leads the team from Sydney, with expertise in digital transformation projects, large-scale technology procurement and outsourcing deals. Valeska Bloch is also based in Sydney, and has substantial experience in matters involving new forms of technology such as artificial intelligence, as well as cybersecurity and data. Michael Park is a notable team member in Melbourne, with strengths in handling the whole lifecycle of business transformation projects.
IT and telecoms in Australia
‘Market-leading practice with first rate lawyers. Able to leverage off other practice areas as required.’
‘The team is thorough, timely and provides legal advice with strategic and commercial insight that is always appreciated. The team demonstrated impressive insight into technical and operational terms and concepts.’
‘The team is well-rounded and can respond to concepts that are unique or not expected. The team utilised the knowledge of other teams that are relevant to particular queries but there is also a range of strengths in the team that provide a depth of understanding in lots of specific areas of law related to IT and telecoms.’
‘The team truly get the balance between legal risk and commercial risk. They can take all the various data points and present back options that help the business make choices.’
‘Valeska Bloch is able to bring perspectives to a conversation and able to advise based on experience, market and legal points.’
‘Michael Park is excellent at utilising the knowledge of other teams that are relevant to particular queries to add to his own expertise. This means he provides well-rounded advice. He is pragmatic and commercial in his application of the law to our specific queries.’
‘Gavin Smith and Jessica Mottau are excellent lawyers but also good people. They always bring the right tone to a negotiation in order to keep the mood collaborative, professional and friendly, ultimately leading to better outcomes and kicking long-term commercial relationships off on the right foot and setting us up for long-term success with our partners.’
‘Gavin Smith is an understated but exceptional lawyer. Very intelligent and calm under pressure.’
- Advised Westpac on various transformation and data related matters.
- Advised Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a range of strategic data, security and privacy matters.
- Advised TPG Telecom on the negotiation and drafting of a new, long-term master access agreement with Axicom Pty Limited for the provision of access to Axicom’s portfolio of mobile tower assets across Australia.
The Australian digital economy team at Ashurst works closely with the firm’s international team on major projects within the technology, financial services, telecoms, government, energy and resources, and infrastructure sectors. Telecoms strategies, international projects, digital infrastructure and transformations, and advising on digital regulation, are also core focuses of the group, in addition to providing support on technology-focused M&A deals. Brisbane-based Amanda Ludlow is the global co-head of the group and is particularly strong in the legal and regulatory space regarding digital infrastructure, such as subsea and terrestrial fibre networks. Tim Brookes in Sydney advises technology suppliers and customers on technology and outsourcing contracts, whilst Angela Summersby in Canberra is notable for her governmental sector work, including procurement, contracts, software development and licensing, and data protection and privacy. Clare Doneley in Brisbane specialises in procurement and outsourcing transactions across a range of sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Passion for telecommunications work and great business partners.’
‘The Ashurst team has deep experience of submarine cable construction and related terrestrial network infrastructure build arrangements.’
‘The team is led by a very capable partner with many, many years of experience in this area in the Australian market. Plus the team includes very capable junior lawyers with lots of drive.’
‘Rebecca Cope is very responsive, creative in her problem-solving and brings a commercially pragmatic mindset to her work which is valued. She is trusted not only by the client but puts the counter-party at ease over extended negotiations, and helps smooth the path to contract closure.’
‘Amanda Ludlow is highly experienced in the telecoms infrastructure business. She’s unflappable under pressure and combines her strong technical skills with a firm commitment to getting the deal over the line.’
‘Tim Brookes is an extremely experienced partner who is able to execute very large deals smoothly and with good rapport with all parties involved.’
‘Emma Butler is exceptionally accommodating with billing arrangements and has provided an innovative retainer, delivering enormous value at very substantial discounts. She is very personable and has gone out of her way to look after the wellbeing of her clients.’
‘Geoff McGrath is exceptionally strong in telecommunications regulations and commercial contracts. He is very detailed and thorough in his advice, and does his best to provide a quick turnaround. He mixes legal knowledge with business acumen and a practical approach.’
AGL Energy Limited
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
NBN Co Limited
Rio Tinto Limited
Toll Holdings Limited
Westpac Banking Corporation
Woolworths Group Limited
- Advised Facebook on 2Africa, the largest digital infrastructure subsea cable project in the world, connecting over 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East, India, the UK and Europe.
- Advised AGL Energy on requirements arising from the launch of its telecommunications brand, including mapping of regulations and industry codes.
- Advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on its strategic Technology Simplification project that is intended to streamline CBA’s technology landscape with the aim of reducing operational complexity, risk and cost.
Clayton Utz acts for both public and private sector clients, including major fixed-line owners, mobile network operators, banks and governmental departments. Significant technology infrastructure projects, transactions and regulatory mandates are all part of the offering of the team, which is also active in the telecoms space, with an impressive client roster of providers. Bruce Lloyd leads the team from Sydney and is the relationship partner for long-standing client nbn; he is experienced in handling major infrastructure projects. Simon Newcomb in Brisbane is a skilled public sector technology lawyer, whilst Sydney-based Ken Saurajen has particular expertise in complex international technology transactions. Angie Freeman is a name of note in Canberra, whilst recently promoted partner Walid Sukari in Sydney is skilled in commercial contracting.
‘The high degree of partner involvement in all of the matters we brief to Clayton Utz is what keeps us going back to them.’
‘Simon Newcomb has a wealth of current experience, and a depth of experience and knowledge of market practice, in exactly the areas that we need.’
‘Availability, expertise, well leveraged with access to lawyers at all levels. Value for money. They understand our business.’
‘Bruce Lloyd is a go-to partner for competition and regulator inquiry support. Geoff Hoffman is a trusted advisor on IT commercial matters and alternate dispute resolution.’
‘Industry and commercial acumen crossed with exception technical legal skills and analysis and an ability to communicate that in way that business partner are able to understand.’
‘Highly accessible partners are able to present both legal and commercial arguments succinctly and in a time sensitive manner. Walid Sukari is able to present the key legal risks and benefits in a commercial manner that enables management to make the key decisions they need to make.’
‘Geoff Hoffman is able to get on top of very complex transactions very quickly and provides practical and well thought out advice. He has developed the strong trust of our legal and commercial teams. Geoff is a pragmatic, strategic commercial thinker, and comes to us with solutions for complex issues.’
Westpac Banking Corporation
NSW Government – Department of Customer Service
Sydney Water Corporation
Gateway Network Governance Body
Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
Australian Taxation Office
Reserve Bank of Australia
Transport for NSW
Brisbane City Council
amadeus IT Group S.A.
Indigenous Business Australia
- Advising nbn across its main legal work streams, and has been reappointed to nbn’s panel in March 2020 as a full-service firm across all aspects of the client’s legal and regulatory advisory needs.
- Acting for Optus in multiple significant disputes, both before the courts and in matters where litigation has not yet commenced, including in the Supreme Court and in three landmark Federal Court cases.
- Acted for Bamm in the successful resolution of a dispute with Corum, an ASX-listed company, relating to the development of a pharmacy-related cloud-hosted solution.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth acts for Australian and global corporations, major IT, telecoms and social media companies, and government institutions on major infrastructure and transformation projects, commercial mandates, disputes, product launches and regulatory matters. Assisting international clients on their investments into Australian telecoms assets is another strength of the team. Sydney-based James North is head of the group and is active in high-profile telecoms mandates for major Australian telecoms carriers. In Melbourne, Philip Catania, who has a background in both law and computer science, and is thus particularly skilled in handling technology disputes, whilst Helen Clarke in Brisbane acts for both public and private sector clients on their technology outsourcing transactions and software licensing agreements. Arvind Dixit is also a notable team member in the Melbourne office.
Other key lawyers:
‘Great experience in IT procurement.’
‘Corrs invests time in gaining a deep understanding of their clients’ business and is able to provide full-service support for all aspects of their external legal requirements. Corrs have provided innovative support to our team through virtual secondments, short term contractor placements and capped fee arrangements.’
‘A combination of experience across technology platforms and solutions, and strengths in the section. Training capability and seminars are also up to date, and ready to use recommended base documents that can be tailored to suit a client’s needs.’
‘Highly effective use of expertise combined with a good understanding of our organisation’s business and working together with our organisation’s operations, commercial and legal teams as one team to deliver great outcomes. The Corrs team are professionals, committed, responsive and easy to work with and it makes work more enjoyable.’
‘Helen Clarke is an expert advisor you can rely on. She listens, is friendly and responsive, has a calm and considered approach and works with you. She leads a team and engages well to make arrangements that meet the needs of and support her clients.’
‘Phil Catania, Arvind Dixit and Helen Clarke are partners who have led projects and provided pragmatic but legally considered astute guidance.’
‘Arvind Dixit provides pragmatic and responsive legal support to our business in relation to a broad range of technology and digital transactional matters. His deep understanding of our business and practical approach to risk means that he is able to provide cost-effective legal support that focuses on the material issues. Arvind has provided practical support across a number of unique and complex matters for our business.’
‘Arvind Dixit has an unusual combination of great technical knowledge and a very commercial approach. He is very responsive and delivers top quality advice.’
Mastercard International Inc.
State of Queensland
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
NBN Co Limited
- Defending Google in the ‘location history’ proceedings commenced by the ACCC in the Federal Court, in which the regulator alleges that Google engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the collection, retention and use of consumers’ location data on Android phones and tablets.
- Acting for Mark43 after its being appointed by NSW Police to deliver the state’s new integrated policing operating system, which will replace the force’s 27 year old core operational policing system.
- Acting for Oxfam in relation to a major data breach incident concerning the information of a large number of Australians.
Gilbert + Tobin
Gilbert + Tobin’s technology and digital team has an impressive client roster including large corporates and government departments, and is active in complex and high-profile projects and transactions. In addition, designing procurement processes and developing and negotiating service descriptions, service levels and pricing documents is within the team’s offering. The practice is also skilled in the increasingly evolving technology infrastructure space. Tim Gole leads the team from Sydney, with a particular focus on significant IT transactions and consultation needs across the governmental and broadcasting sectors. Sheila McGregor's strong and varied practice includes advising on digital disruption and cyber security, whilst Michael Caplan heads up the Melbourne office and is the relationship partner for a number of significant clients such as Telstra, BHP and Lendlease.
Other key lawyers:
‘G+T are deeply expert market-leaders in IT and telecoms. Partners are accessible, but work is done efficiently and at the right level. They are highly responsive and provide commercially relevant advice. The partners appear to be collaborative, which reduces friction when the firm handles a number of different matters across different areas of expertise. As a client, I feel like we are in safe hands, which, in my role managing the legal function, represents value.’
‘Gilbert and Tobin has a deep team across various sub-topics within the IT practice. They are willing to provide unique services that don’t fall squarely into their wheelhouse – with excellent work product. The team is open to alternative fee arrangements and transparently discusses overs and unders to ensure positive outcomes for us and them. The firm is quantifiably aligned to our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and has designed a team that exceeded our expectations in that sphere. G&T is also receptive to modern technology engagement requirements.’
‘The team is the best I’ve worked with. Subject matter experts who are practical, approachable, available and reliable. Unlike some other firms you also know that the partner is truly engaged in the project too.’
‘Out of all of the firms we work with, Gilbert + Tobin understand our business and the way we operate the best. No matter what deal they work on, we know they will do a great job – whether it be a small software agreement or a large outsourcing arrangement. They have excellent knowledge and awareness of the market and market trends, including the emergence of new technologies. They provide excellent access to news articles and training on changes to the law and new technologies, which I have found to be very helpful. Gilbert + Tobin also appear to be one of the only large firms which has embraced the use of technology to improve their own operations and efficiencies, e.g. the use of project management tools and running “Hack-athons”.’
‘Melissa Fai is an attentive, pragmatic subject matter expert. She is agile, reacting to instructions that are unfamiliar; transparent, able to professionally discuss both the potential for conflicts and billing matters; and expert, able to provide clear, accurate advice in short form when required (with little notice), and later provide the detail – a skill highly valued by in-house counsel.’
‘Tim Gole is a market-leading technology lawyer. He has strong financial services sector experience, so is very adept at dealing with the complexities of a highly regulated industry as they intersect with technology contracts. He has a strong team, but retains the right level of involvement in matters, and is an excellent strategic thinker and problem solver. He is responsive and a good communicator.’
‘Simon Burns and Andrew Hii are each considered trusted advisors to our team and our business. They know how we operate and what is important to us. When we engage them we know they are a safe pair of hands. They are practical and commercial. They also provide additional value by raising issues which are not strictly legal but which are important and that often our business has missed or not thought of. Simon and Andrew (and their teams) often go above and beyond the original ask, working long hours and delivering an excellent legal (and commercial) outcome for our business.’
‘Lesley Sutton can work towards a shared issue to find solutions, demonstrates excellence in her field, and offers a high degree of confidence in her ability to deliver on a matter.
Transport for NSW
Department of Customer Service
Australian Rail Track Corporation
Westpac Banking Corporation
Australian Securities Exchange
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Microsoft Pty Limited
- Advising Transport for New South Wales on its once in a generation transformation of the Sydney Trains suburban and intercity network to replace legacy signalling and train control systems with an advanced, integrated digital rail signalling and traffic management system.
- Advising on ASX’s replacement of its Clearing House Electronic Sub-register System with a distributed ledger based (DLT / blockchain) platform.
- Advising Transurban on the transformation of its operational technology stack over the last 8 years, including the implementation and operation of a first-of-its-kind multi-tenanted tolling system and the development of state-of-the-art Intelligent Transport Systems across multiple toll roads in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Herbert Smith Freehills
The team at Herbert Smith Freehills is led jointly by Julian Lincoln in Melbourne and Tony Joyner in Perth. The team is known for advising on a wide range of significant technology transactions and projects across their whole life cycles. Peter Jones and Matthew O’Leary are also key members of the practice.
King & Wood Mallesons
The team at King & Wood Mallesons acts for major international technology clients including Facebook and Google, ASX-listed companies, technology start-ups and investors, and major telecoms carriers. The group is also still active in supporting long-standing client Telstra on its proposed restructuring; Cheng Lim, based in Melbourne, is the core relationship partner for this client. Renae Lattey is head of the practice and is also based in Melbourne; she has expertise in telecoms law commercial projects and regulatory issues. In Sydney, Patrick Gunning is a strong privacy and data protection lawyer, especially for new types of technology and platforms, whilst Brisbane-based Kirsten Bowe is particularly adept at handling large IT and commercial transactions, as well as IP and commercial law issues.
Other key lawyers:
Energy Security Board
Power and Water Corporation
- Assisting Telstra in its proposed restructuring of its organisation to create three separate legal entities within the Telstra Group.
- Advising Energy Security Board on its data strategy, which is seeking to ensure that energy policy makers can drive the digital evolution.
- Acting for Google in relation to the Australian competition law aspects of its now completed US$2.1bn acquisition of Fitbit.
Baker McKenzie has a dedicated, full-service TMT team that advises a wide range of clients, from large multinational technology and telecoms companies, data centre providers, and social media and digital infrastructure companies, to healthcare companies, private equity investors and new innovators. The practice is adept at handling business transformations and corporate transactions, data protection and cybersecurity, regulatory compliance issues and disputes. Media lawyer Andrew Stewart leads the team from Sydney with expertise in copyright and media defamation. Anne-Marie Allgrove is the global chair of the firm’s IP, data and technology practice, and has strengths in the communication, technology and media sectors. Anne Petterd returned to the Sydney office in early 2020 after spending three years leading the technology and telecoms practice in Singapore.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team invests the time and effort to build a good relationship with the client. The team is responsive and wears a commercial hat which helps me as an in-house counsel.’
‘The Bakers team has exceptional depth across multiple APAC markets which makes them an invaluable legal partner across the region. We appreciate the effort they take to understand our business and risk profile in order to provide practical and context driven advice.’
‘We turn to Baker McKenzie for global advice on our cybersecurity business. They have been our trusted advisers since the very early days of our business, and have always provided pragmatic, commercially focused analysis and advice. What makes this practice unique is that we can pose a question to them, in any office, anywhere in the world, and have them provide us with a global and jurisdiction-specific view, coordinated across the various countries, with input from the various specialists needed. They collaborate excellently between offices, and personnel, including their affiliated firms in smaller jurisdictions. We never feel like we need to piece information and advice together. The team always consolidates it, applies a consistency lens, and brings us the high quality of advice we need.’
‘Client- and solution-focused, approachable, strategic, deep industry understanding and experience but without arrogance, sought to understand our organisation and what we were trying to achieve, did not sweat the small stuff and stayed true to the brief, really easy to deal with and helpful.’
‘Anne-Marie Allgrove is my primary contact, and trusted advisor and friend. I know that I can pick up the phone to her and ask her advice whenever I need it. She will coordinate with her colleagues, bring in the right specialists from other practice areas, and always provide thoughtful, practical and pragmatic advice.’
‘Anne-Marie Allgrove is responsive and thinks out of the box to help clients. She has a good grasp of commercial realities.’
‘Adrian Lawrence was excellent – very helpful, sensible, smart-but-practical and understood what we were concerned about and where we wanted to get to. Very effective operator.’
‘Anne Petterd is an exceptional partner with a strong understanding of both our business, the law and market trends.’
World Wildlife Fund
- Advised Equinix Inc. on a joint venture with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, to develop and operate a hyper-scale data centre in Japan.
- Acting for ALDI to provide strategic support in managing the outsourcing process and assisting them to navigate such a process.
- Assisted a leading Australian telecommunications company in the retender, down-selection and negotiation of managed network services arrangements with an important Australian government office, and acted in the renegotiation of its global network services agreement with a large private finance institution.
Bird & Bird‘s Sydney-based technology and communications team advises global technology companies, major communications firms such as Vodafone, highly regulated industry clients and leading computer game companies. The practice has developed niche areas of expertise, including advising on satellites, space law and autonomous vehicles, providing contracting, regulatory and dispute resolution assistance in these areas. Hamish Fraser and Thomas Jones are co-leaders of the practice; Fraser’s focus is on technology contracts, advising on commercial and regulatory issues for information, communication and technology clients, and Jones is strong in telecoms regulatory matters, including on novel issues linked to satellite and space activities. Sophie Dawson has expertise in handling major disputes for media companies, whilst managing partner Shane Barber is strong in the knowledge economy sector. In September 2021, the team’s TMT disputes expertise was strengthened by the arrival of Julie Cheeseman from Ashurst.
‘Very broad and deep coverage of telecoms issues, extremely responsive, and very pragmatic. Strong relationships with regulators. Able to resolve problems quickly and effectively.’
‘Excellent team with a network of lawyers that are able to assist with a wide range of questions and issues both locally and in a wide range of other jurisdictions.’
‘Hamish Fraser is always available and able to come up with solutions suitable to my needs and resources within his team that are suitable to my work.’
‘Thomas Jones is a creative thinker, deeply knowledgeable, responsive, and very effective at communicating advice.’
‘Michael Stojanovic is very good at strategic thinking and helping mitigate risk, and terrific at managing complex multi-jurisdictional matters.’
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia Pty Ltd
Software AG Australia Pty Ltd
- Acting for Vodafone Hutchison Australia and also the joint venture between Vodafone and Optus Mobile Pty Limited.
- Acting for Speedcast International on an innovative communications project in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Advising Aircall on the roll out of an innovative call centre as a service solution in Australia, including providing both initial and ongoing regulatory advice.
Maddocks has a dedicated national TMT team, and is particularly adept at handling governmental work, as well as IT, data, cyber security and IP-related mandates. Outsourcing, procurement and transformation matters are core areas for the group, which advises governmental agencies and blue-chip private sector clients. The telecoms capabilities of the practice are also strong, spanning regulatory and commercial matters for carriers and service and infrastructure providers. Caroline Atkins in Canberra, Brendan Coady in Sydney, and Robert Gregory in Melbourne jointly head the group; Atkins is recognised for her strengths in advising the government on its major vendor contracts; Coady is highly active in telecoms regulatory matters; and Gregory has substantial expertise in acting for clients in the education sector. Brendan Tomlinson is also a notable team member in Sydney, working on technology transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘The technology team within Maddocks has an in-depth understanding of the industry in which we operate and this is unique to Maddocks. I don’t believe there is another team that has such detailed understanding of the technology and the stakeholder communities that have influence over this sector.’
‘Maddocks have a strong background and experience in working within the IT sector and in a government environment. The level of experience across all levels of government is excellent. Maddocks also provide innovative solutions to complex problems that can be re-used across different contracts. Maddocks have a strong knowledge and background in IT environments and work collaboratively with different teams, both commercial and legal, to deliver high quality outcomes.’
‘Caroline Atkins goes above and beyond to deliver innovative solutions and outcomes and is a key member of our negotiation team, often contributing to multiple complex negotiations at once. Caroline has also provided valuable insight to help develop the skills and experience of our team by providing advice and running information sessions and presentations on key topics relevant to our business. These sessions are value adds and provided at no additional charge.’
‘Robert Gregory and his team’s understanding of our sector and industry is second to none. I value Rob’s ability to think openly and laterally to deal with issues that often have no precedence in resolutions.’
Philips Electronics Australia
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth Government departments and agencies
Minter Ellison's offering of end-to-end technology consulting and legal services encompasses the commercial and legal aspects of major projects. Its client roster mainly includes those in highly regulated industries, including companies the financial services, energy, education, health, transport and aviation sectors, as well as government agencies. Nick Pascoe is head of the practice in Sydney and is strong in the information technology and telecoms space. Canberra-based Amanda Story is head of government work, with a focus on contractual matters, whilst Kylie Diwell in Melbourne heads up the Victorian government practice. Also in Melbourne, Paul Kallenbach heads the cyber law and data protection group, covering strategic and global outsourcing, procurement and supply. Sydney-based Anthony Borgese heads the outsourcing group and has significant regulatory expertise.
‘The team’s strengths are its technical capabilities and commercial approach to negotiating agreements. Its key capabilities are in relation to large-scale commercial outsourcing arrangements and they are a leading firm in this space.’
‘ME has a meticulous understanding of commercial law, specifically in relation to safeguarding and ensuring the interests of the Commonwealth, both in the preparation of market documentation, and also throughout the procurement process, right through to commercial and legal negotiations and finalisation of contracts. They offer a very high standard of client care, including the ability and willingness to work seemingly tirelessly to meet very tight timeframes.’
‘Minters provide a full range of legal advice in respect to contracts. Minters have a very good understanding of the technology, all services provided are of the highest standard and delivery is always within the time expectations.’
‘MinterEllison are a very professional firm. They partner well with their clients, are quick to build trust and deliver on their promises. They demonstrate high levels of expertise and are able to communicate in a way that can be clearly understood. MinterEllison is the most commercial law firm I have worked with and they have demonstrated they understand how businesses operate. They show enormous amounts of client care and are committed to putting in the long hours to ensure tight deadlines are met.’
‘Paul Kallenbach was outstanding and his key strengths related to communicating with influence, having a strong business acumen and strategic, good problem solving and management of risk and personal resilience.’
‘Nicholas Pascoe and Anthony Borgese are both excellent, experienced, practical, adaptable (very helpful in Covid), outcomes based, personable and engaging, responsive and trusted advisors.’
‘Amanda Story is diligent and professional. Her advice and services are excellent, and I believe represent good value for money. I have complete confidence in her abilities as a lawyer, and she is always a pleasure to deal with. Amanda and her team go above what is required to achieve the best possible outcome.’
‘Anthony Borgese has a strong commercial approach and good experience in the area. Anthony was key to closing out some major negotiations of a large scale M&A and licensing arrangement.’
Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet
Office of the Crown Solicitor of Tasmania
Emergency Management Victoria and Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
NSW Telecommunication Authority
Nomura Research Institute
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd
Norton Rose Fulbright advises on both contentious and non-contentious telecoms and technology matters for Australian and internationally domiciled clients. Particular areas of focus on the technology side include infrastructure upgrades, technology procurement and outsourcing, data privacy and cyber security, and digital transformation. On the telecoms side, recent work of note includes the AU$21bn merger of Vodafone Hutchison Australia with TPG Telecom, an example of the group's strong capabilities in handling commercial transactions. Nick Abrahams is global head of technology and innovation with expertise in technology procurement especially. Martyn Taylor is head of the telecoms and media group and has substantial experience in contentious, advisory and transactional mandates. Technology group head Peter Mulligan is active in advising private and public sector clients on their acquisition, licensing and supply mandates. All lawyers mentioned are Sydney based.
Other key lawyers:
‘The IT and telecoms team is very strong and understands the industry well.’
‘Most of the firm’s work has been done pro bono. Where they have charged, we felt that the charges were very reasonable. In terms of expertise and client care they are top notch. I find them very practical and solution-focussed (in other words, very commercial).’
‘Ka-Chi Cheung is technically exceptional and understands the industry well along with the market dynamics. He is well versed across the IT hosting supply chain and understands the challenges faced by our business.’
Vodafone Hutchison Australia
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
World Wide Fund for Nature
- Acted for Vodafone Hutchison Australia in relation to its AUD$21bn merger with TPG Telecom Limited, one of the largest mergers in Australian telecoms history.
- Advised Megaport on the expansion of all of its global operations as well as several new strategic partnerships.
- Acting for AirTrunk as lead external counsel in advising on its customer contracts.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP‘s Sydney-based TMT group is adept at both Australia-based and Asia-related mandates. The team has a wide-ranging offering, acting on transactions including M&A and joint ventures, integration and digital transformation projects, and telecoms infrastructure mandates. Group head Michael Reede is an expert in handling large corporate transactions and regulatory matters for clients across the Asia-Pacific region in the telecoms industry specifically. Senior associate Saranpaal Calais is also a team member of note, advising on technology, data and commercial IP matters.
‘A&O has a market-leading IT and telecoms team, which is supported by highly capable and responsive associates. The team has very deep knowledge in IT and telecoms, is highly responsive and reliable, and offers practical advice that balances client needs with market realities.’
‘What stands out is the know-how, familiarity in terms of the industry, and the way experts are assigned in the field of the client’s business. They have a good research team that brings good value to the engagement.’
‘They protect the business interest of their clients, and they understand the objective and roadmap for better results.’
‘They have decades of experience and use this in a practical way best suited to individual clients. The team have a culture that balances pragmatic advice and action better than most.’
‘The individuals are readily contactable and feel like part of the team, not like external and separate lawyers.’
Property Exchange Australia (PEXA)
Grow Super Australia
- Advising the Telenor Group on the proposed merger of Digi.com Berhad and Celcom Axiata Berhad, two of the three telecoms operators in Malaysia.
- Acted for IOOF Holdings’ AU$1.44bn acquisition of superannuation and wealth management business MLC Wealth, a subsidiary of National Australia Bank, including data migration and IT separation matters and regulatory compliance.
- Advising Google on a number of enquiries by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
DLA Piper acts for technology, e-commerce and fintech businesses situated globally. The group provides advice and support on a range of matters, including licensing, implementation projects, hardware acquisition and outsourcing mandates. Melbourne-based group head Tim Lyons is adept at handling matters in the information technology and telecoms arena, advising the government and other purchasers of goods and services on the supply, outsourcing, and procurement aspects of large-scale transactions. Anthony Lloyd joined the Sydney office from Minter Ellison in April 2021, bringing additional strengths in projects involving cross-border elements to the team. Nicholas Boyle, also based in Sydney, has a strong IT practice and advises on the digital transformation of businesses, whilst Melbourne-based senior associate Sarah Dolan handles procurement and outsourcing projects.
The technology, outsourcing and privacy group at K&L Gates has a strong focus on undertaking highly complex outsourcing projects and also assists the firm’s corporate team with some of its major transactions in the sector. The firm’s international presence allows the team to utilise a wide network of knowledge and experience, as well as gain global cross-referrals. Melbourne-based Cameron Abbott leads the team, as well as the firm’s global corporate group. The arrival of Richard Chew to the Sydney office from Sparke Helmore Lawyers has significantly benefitted the practice, with his background in IT and computer science proving advantageous to his clients.
‘K & L Gates are experts in IT & IP and we use them exclusively. K & L Gates also have a global reach which complements our strategy and work flows as more and more matters have international scope and application.’
‘Richard Chew is very hard working and easy to work with. I would highly recommend him.’
‘Richard Chew has a very broad understanding of what is best practice in IT contracts, as well as the APRA regulations around outsourcing, providing us with timely and very cost-effective advice on both our compliance obligations and our contractual requirements. Richard’s depth of understanding of IT service providers, and insight into how they work, made his advice to us invaluable in our negotiations. We found him engaging to deal with, very accessible and a tough negotiator on our behalf. We would happily recommend him to others needing advice in the IT and telecoms space.’
BlueScope Steel Limited
The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd
Oil Search Limited
VCS Foundation Ltd
Verrency Holdings Pty Ltd
- Providing technology advice for Verrency, a global start-up, which through its platform provides clients with streamlined access to its own, as well as third-party, market place services.
- Advising Ansvar, an Australian insurer of churches and historic buildings, in relation to a project to replace its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, including software that covers claims intake and management.
- Acting for Hydro Tasmania on its procurement of a generation management system to replace its legacy energy control system.
Lander & Rogers
Lander & Rogers advises private and public sector clients in the financial services, retail, health and government sectors on their varying IT needs. Technology and regulatory lawyer Robert Neely leads the team from Sydney, assisting a range of clients with complex technology procurement projects and the provision and use of digital services. Lisa Fitzgerald joined the Melbourne office in May 2020 from Allens, bolstering its offering with expertise in commercial transactions, M&A and outsourcing. Fitzgerald’s client roster includes global businesses, start-up companies, and government agencies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good quality team’
‘Lisa Fitzgerald is excellent and the person we have taken the majority of advice from. We would highly recommend her.’
‘Landers have a desire and willingness to learn more about their client and the client’s industry.’
Mercer Superannuation Limited
Medibank Health Solutions
DCI Data Centres
Philip Morris Limited
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
- Advised EnergyAustralia on the multi-product experience project of developing and offering mobile, data, nbn and insurance products alongside its existing energy services.
- Advised Medibank Health Solutions, a provider of outsourced telehealth and other health-related services, in its bid to the Department of Home Affairs for Immigration Medical Services.
- Advised a Big 4 Australian bank on analysing and summarising all business-critical contracts with its key institutional customers and on technology services procurement and negotiations for a new business-critical contract with multiple service providers.
The technology, media and telecoms team at McCullough Robertson has strengths across a variety of areas, including advising on newer areas of technology such as Internet of Things, blockchain and smart contracts. The practice acts for both private and public sector clients, including suppliers of TMT goods and services, as well as start-up companies and clients in emerging industries such as life sciences, biotechnology and information technology. Alex Hutchens heads up the team from Sydney and handles large transactions such as IT procurements. Matthew McMillan is also a notable team member, advising clients on commercial TMT issues.
‘Matthew McMillan provided pragmatic and reasonable suggestions to help close out negotiations. Rebecca Lindhout worked quickly and the effort was over and above expectations many times. This was much appreciated.’
‘Extremely efficient team with highly responsive and technically proficient members. They are user friendly too.’
‘Rebecca Lindhout has great subject matter expertise, is very technically able, and has very fast turnaround speeds. All in all a great asset. Matt McMillan is understated but effective, and client friendly.’
‘A genuine desire to get to know my business and understand what we need from the transaction.’
‘Matt McMillan and Rebecca Lindhout are both excellent and share the same traits which I value – desire to get to know the business, and a very personable and approachable manner, making for effective communication and distilling complex legal points with ease.’
Over the Wire
Maropost Marketing Cloud Inc.
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Southwest Research Institute
Macquarie Bank Limited
I-MED Radiology Network Limited
The Sydney-based team at Webb Henderson handles corporate, commercial and regulatory projects for large telecoms operators and technology and media companies. Super-fast broadband projects, telecoms regulation, telecoms infrastructure and technology transactions are all part of the firm’s offering. Angus Henderson leads the team and is particularly strong in regulatory matters, acting for clients across Australia and South East Asia. Telecoms lawyer Ara Margossian is active in transactions supporting large infrastructure projects, whilst Ish Omar is experienced in the telecoms and media spaces, acting for clients across Australia and New Zealand.
‘Extensive historical knowledge of the telecoms and technology industry in Australia and New Zealand.’
‘No other firm has the same level of expertise in the telecoms industry as WH. Being a boutique firm that specialises in the telco industry, they are able to be far more flexible than the large firms, in every respect – billing, secondees and free value adds.’
‘Broad, deep and extensive experience in IT and info-comm, both domestically and abroad, from a government and regulator prospective and an operator’s perspective in various markets – fixed, mobile and wireless.’
‘Their deep knowledge and experience enables them to very quickly understand the technical, commercial and regulatory issues involved and advise in a timely and efficient manner.’
‘Angus Henderson has a remarkable ability to write very clearly and succinctly, meaning his advice is short and to the point yet thorough. ’
‘Ish Omar is an exceptional telecoms lawyer. He has an extensive knowledge of the industry. He comes up with practical solutions to complex problems. He is always available. He is also an all-round great guy.’
- Acted for nbn in relation to the negotiation of the fourth iteration of nbn’s Wholesale Broadband Agreement.
- Advised Spark on the acquisition and production of rights to all New Zealand Cricket matches for six years (starting from April 2020), which saw Spark’s on-demand Spark Sport video platform showing all Blackcaps and White Ferns matches and all Men’s and Women’s Super Smash matches, as well as the Ford Trophy one-day final.
- Advised Starlink on its supply of next generation low orbit satellite broadband services to users in New Zealand and Australia.
Gadens Lawyers is active across a broad range of matters, from due diligence, IT and transformation contracts, commercialisation of assets and e-security to outsourcing, regulatory mandates and disputes. Its client roster includes local and global technology consulting providers, telecoms and cloud services providers, financial institutions and suppliers. Donna Bartlett and Dudley Kneller co-lead the team from the Sydney and Melbourne offices, respectively; Barlett is adept at advising technology suppliers and acquirers on their technology-related transactions, whilst Kneller has specialisms in financial technology, cyber risk, and strategic sourcing and supplying projects. Antoine Pace and David Smith are also notable team members based in Melbourne.
‘The team at Gadens, in particular Dudley Kneller and Raisa Blanco, were excellent in supporting our organisation through many large, complex legal and commercial negotiations with a broad range of large Australian and international customers. Dudley’s responsiveness, patience and lateral thinking helped navigate through many challenging situations, people and legal organisations. Raisa provided fantastic support and rounded out the best quality legal support we have received. Dudley’s knowledge of the IT sector is second to none and a level above any other firm we have used for the past 6 years.’
‘Dudley Kneller and Raisa Blanco are exceptional solicitors and have provided quality legal support. Importantly, Dudley’s experience in dealing with complex MSAs, industry nuances and positive personality helped us navigate the the most challenging customers and people. Furthermore, the responsiveness at any time of the day, including evenings, weekends and early mornings, was humbling.’
‘Broad range of specialist services.’
‘What stands out is the team’s accessibility and the quality of knowledge provided.’
4D Medcial Limited
- Advised 4DMedical, a lung imaging technology specialist, on its AU$55.79m initial public offering and its listing on the ASX in August 2020.
- Advised MeldCX on privacy and surveillance issues for the development of SAMi™, using artificial intelligence to provide a means of detecting and aggregating users’ movement inside premises, in order to develop “heat maps” of touched surfaces and locations to determine optimal times for cleaning and disinfecting the devices and cleaning premises, and the need for urgent clean-up.
- Advised Medibio, a mental health technology company, in regards to its negotiated cooperation agreement with Compass Group UK for the rollout of Medibio’s Ilumen™ wellness application to the Compass Group and its related entities on a worldwide basis.
Alongside the core IT and telecoms offering, the team at Johnson Winter Slattery benefits from the firm’s strong relationship with law firms in the US and Europe, which means it is able to provide advice to telecoms and technology companies seeking to enter the Australian market. In addition, the team advises major clients such as Microsoft and Origin Energy on Australia-based telecoms and technology mandates. Christine Ecob and Ravi de Fonseka jointly lead the team; Ecob has expertise in technology contracting and advisory work, whilst de Fonseka advises on a wide variety of telecoms and IP-related matters for local and cross-border clients. Both lawyers are based in Sydney.
‘The JWS IT team provides excellent advice on all types of IT contracts, up to and including major enterprise IT solutions. They act for key players in the market and have deep knowledge from both client and supplier perspectives. They willingly provide alternative fee arrangements and integrate well with our IT systems and processes.’
‘I find the practice to be highly responsive to all requests which is important when turnaround times are usually tight. The team has a good and deep level of experience and has often negotiated with the suppliers before, so this expedites the establishment of positions, which ultimately speeds up the negotiation and execution process.’
‘Ravi de Fonseka really understands our business. He provides excellent advice on transactions of all types, including major enterprise IT projects, and proactively works with us to improve our systems and processes. I have a great deal of trust in him.’
‘The team, especially the partner Ravi de Fonseka are commercially pragmatic, which is really important to me. While the legal review is always thorough and correct, the JWS team know and advise which points to give on. This is important as it expedites negotiations.’
South Australian Government
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group
Australian Energy Market Commission
- Advising Microsoft on a digital transformation project for the National Australia Bank, re-negotiating the whole of government ProcureIT construct, and a government bespoke agreement construct for volume licensing and IT dervices procurement between Microsoft and the Queensland Government.
- Advised Origin Energy in connection with a major project for the design, implementation, integration and ongoing outsourced operation of a new, whole of business, Enterprise Resource Planning system.
- Acting for The a2 Milk Company Limited in connection with a major project for the design, implementation, integration and ongoing outsourced operation of a new, whole of business, Enterprise Resource Planning system.
The technology practice at Squire Patton Boggs has a particular focus on venture capital financing, tech sector M&A transactions and technology transactions in Australia, the United States and globally. Richard W Horton leads the team and is dual qualified in Australia and the US, with expertise in Silicon Valley technology deals. James Konidaris has expertise in advising regulatory authorities in the Middle East.
Other key lawyers:
‘SPB is highly responsive to client needs and they provide practical, risk-based advice.’
‘Responsive to our needs, willing to understand our business and technology, flexible and practical.’
Ahuit Holdings Pty Ltd
CT Operations Pty Ltd
Intalock Technologies Pty Ltd
Pine Island Capital Partners
Singular Health Group Ltd
Swarmfarm Robotics Ltd
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain
Thomson Geer has significant experience acting on high-profile defence and government projects and procurements. Additionally, the team acts for utilities and suppliers selling to utilities, major international IT suppliers, large Australia-based technology customers and telcos. Mark Feetham is head of the group in Sydney, with substantial experience advising on IT and telecoms projects, as well as complex procurements in the defence sector. Demetrios Christou is based in Adelaide and advises on contractual arrangements, whilst Andrew Chalet, who joined the team in Melbourne from Russell Kennedy in October 2020, has expertise in technology transactions.
- Advised the City of Sydney on a long-running project to appoint a service provider to supply and operate new street furniture assets in the city and install and operate digital advertising facilities on the street furniture.
- Acted on the US$172.5m US venture capital-backed investment into Australian technology company Octopus Deploy.
- Advising the South Australian Government Department of Correctional Services on its procurement of a new Prisoner Management System, known as iSAFE.