White-collar crime in Australia


Allens operates across the full breadth of market leading bribery, fraud, improper financial conduct and anti-money laundering work, handling a range of disputes, compliance, and risk obligation related issues. The Melbourne team is home to practice co-head Rachel Nicolson, an expert in bribery and corruption issues, as well as Guy Foster who has an illustrious track record in advising on both public inquiries and internal investigations. Co-head Peter Haig counts counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering among his key areas of expertise, while Sydney based co-head Chris Kerrigan  is well-versed in matters concerning investigations launched by AFP, AUSTRAC and AER, in addition to the UK’s SFO. Alexandra Mason is an authority on Ch 7 Corporation Act and ASIC Act offences.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Nicolson; Peter Haig; Chris Kerrigan

Other key lawyers:

Guy Foster; Alexandra Mason; James Campbell; Andrew Maher; Belinda Thompson; Simon Sherwood


‘Quality commercial legal advice, exceptional partner availability, always reliable, easy to deal with, a pleasure to work with, I feel like they are a safe pair of hands, they’re trusted by us, are at the forefront of change and they will communicate proactively with us on legislative change and industry trends.’

‘Large pool of experts in the areas of investigation, criminal and civil trial, forensic and commercial understanding. ’

‘Consideration given not only to legal issues but practical and commercial ones as well.’

Key clients

The Star Entertainment Group


Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC)


Macquarie Bank

Aware Super


KB Securities

Gold Corporation (The Perth Mint)

Work highlights

  • Acting for ANZ in relation to ASIC investigation and subsequent Federal Court proceeding alleging breach of ANZ’s continuous disclosure obligation in relation to the institutional placement.
  • Acting for Star Entertainment Group and its subsidiaries (Star Sydney and Star Queensland (together Star)) in relation to civil penalty proceedings commenced by AUSTRAC in the Federal Court.
  • Advising the Perth Mint in relation to the AUSTRAC appointed external audit into its compliance with the AML/CTF Act and AML/CTF Rules.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills maintains a stellar track record in bribery, corruption, fraud, whistleblowing, modern slavery and cybercrimes matters. The team, which is predominantly active in the TMT, financial services, banking, energy, professional services and government sectors, is co-led by Leon Chung and Jacqueline Wootton. Chung regularly assists with internal investigations involving insider trading and misconduct, while Wootton frequently represents clients in prosecutions for breach of criminal misleading and deceptive conduct. Andrew Eastwood  is regularly involved in proceedings commenced by the ACCC and ASIC, and Elizabeth Macknay is an expert within the mining and resources industries. Christine Wong is forging a prominent reputation for handling regulatory investigations and actions stemming from the AFP, ASIC, ACCC, ICAA and Royal Commissions.

Practice head(s):

Leon Chung; Jacqueline Wootton

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Eastwood; Elizabeth Macknay; Christine Wong; Bryony Adams; Jeremy Birch; Merryn Quayle

Key clients

AWP Australia Pty Ltd


Ashurst leverages its vast international network to assist clients with a broad range of national and international regulatory and enforcement matters. The team acts for a diverse client base of corporates, financial institutions, government bodies and senior executives, is active in industries such as mining, construction, energy, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. The corporate crime practice is led by Sydney-based Rani John whose far-reaching expertise includes bribery of public officials, market manipulation, criminal cartels and ASIC investigations; whilst Nicholas Mavrakis serves as a key port of call for financial services-related proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Rani John; Jeremy Chenoweth; Stephen Woodbury; Lea Constantine; Corey McHattan

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Mavrakis; Ian Bolster; Catherine Pedler


‘Premium advisers in a difficult high-risk area – the firm has deep experience and provides carefully considered advice. Highly responsive to client needs and listens carefully to sensitivities. Go-to advisers for challenging issues.’

‘Nick Mavrakis is a standout adviser in providing quality advice on complex issues and makes judgement calls on challenging matters with sense and experience. He is adept at dealing with opponents and will focus on key issues while ensuring all relevant areas are covered.’

‘The practice has had to address a diverse range of white collar offences primarily from a corporate perspective and manage the implications of that for directors and officers. With the increasing focus on cartel and foreign bribery offences Ashurst is uniquely placed in terms of experience.’

Key clients

CPH Crown Pty Limited

Noumi Limited (formerly Freedom Foods Group Limited)

Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd

TerraCom Limited

Alkaloids of Australia Pty Ltd

Rio Tinto Limited


Westpac Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting Noumi Limited in relation to an ASIC investigation and civil penalty proceedings commenced by ASIC, concerning substantial accounting irregularities connected with the treatment of obsolete inventory and recognition of revenue.
  • Acting for the ASX-listed multinational mining company, Rio Tinto Limited, in civil penalty proceedings before the Federal Court of Australia commenced by ASIC in March 2018 concerning an alleged failure to promptly impair an overseas mining asset at 2012 half-year in accordance with the relevant IFRS international accounting standards.
  • Acting for PwC defending substantial privilege dispute in which the Commission of Taxation is challenging over 15,000 privilege claims in the Federal Court.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz is known for handling a varied array of mandates, from white-collar, enforcement, regulatory and corporate investigations through to anti-bribery and corruption proceedings and risk management issues. In Sydney, Tobin Meagher‘s primary areas of focus are fraud and bribery matters, in addition to acting in proceedings before the ACCC, AFP and ASIC; Meagher leads the team alongside the Perth-based David Benson, who garners acclaim for his work within the energy and resources industries. Further key fields of activity for the group include the financial services, pharmaceutical and the government sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tobin Meagher; David Benson

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Slater


‘Clayton Utz has excellent capabilities in this space, back up by deep experience in regulatory investigations and contested hearings. This end-to-end experience makes it well positioned to ensure that potential pitfalls are identified, addressed and managed early in the engagement to help achieve a successful result.’

‘Tobin Meagher and his team stand out in this space through the excellent legal knowledge and analytical skills, backed up a commitment to the timely delivery of work product.’

‘The team are incredibly attentive and dive deep to understand our business. Every discussion is more pointed and meaningful as a result.’

Key clients

Rentokil Initial Pty Ltd

Creative Promotions Pty Ltd

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Sheahan Lock Partners, as liquidators for Marbin Finances Pty Ltd and various other companies

Work highlights

  • Acted for Rentokil Initial who sued a former employee and his companies in the Australian Federal Court for a $3.4M fraudulent scheme involving fake invoices.
  • Acting for Creative Promotions, who is suing a former employee and his wife before the Australian Federal Court to recover $3.4M fraudulently paid to third-party accounts. Freezing orders were promptly obtained on assets to prevent disposal and ensure enforcement of future judgment.
  • Represented Sheahan Lock Partners, liquidators for Marbin Finances and other companies, in a high-profile legal battle against a family for evading Australian taxation laws using intricate loan schemes.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Highly regarded for its experience in prominent public inquiries, Corrs Chambers Westgarth is active on an array of corporate enforcement, insider trading, anti-bribery, corruption and anti-money laundering mandates. The practice also handles numerous internal investigations involving ESG, whistleblowing and misconduct. The practice is headed from Melbourne by Abigail Gill, an expert within the mining and financial services industries.

Practice head(s):

Abigail Gill

Other key lawyers:

Craig Phillips; Simon Johnson; Richard Flitcroft; Anna Ross; James Whittaker


‘Strengths include technical abilities. ’

‘The practice is uniquely placed to support large-scale regulatory and litigation matters due to the extensive pool of talent it can readily draw from, including paralegals and legal technology experts. The practice has lawyers who are highly skilled in identifying key legal risks associated with investigations involving white collar crime. ’

‘Simon Johnson is extremely responsive and pragmatic. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Client focused, very knowledgeable and hard working. ’

‘Up to date on all the latest happenings and able to give strong legal advice with an excellent strategic angle. ’

‘High quality technical analysis with a good commercial overlay’

‘Corrs takes a collaborative approach to the services they provide from an internal/firm resources perspective and in terms of the client having input on the legal process. ’

‘The team is always eager to help and go out of their way to make themselves available when it suits the client. Abigail Gill has been a standout. ’

Key clients


ME Bank

Queensland Government

NSW Police

Former Secretary of the Department of Human Services



Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Google in the landmark ACCC v Google regulatory enforcement action.
  • Engaged by the Queensland Government in relation to the external review of the Queensland operations of The Star Entertainment Group Limited.
  • Acting for ME Bank, a company wholly owned by Bank of Queensland Limited, in relation to the prosecution of charges in the Federal Court of Australia under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act).

Allen & Overy LLP

Excelling in both compliance and contentious mandates, Allen & Overy LLP acts on the full array of anti-bribery and corruption mandates, demonstrating a distinct ability for matters overlapping with US and Hong Kong authorities. Former practice head Jason Gray has since left the firm.


‘The firm stands out for its knowledge of debt securities issuance and financial markets trading regulatory requirements’

‘I value highly both their industry knowledge and experience across both legal requirements and operating risk consulting advice in the context of wholesale financial markets trading in Australian legal and regulatory compliance context. ’

Key clients

Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Fortescue Metals Group / Fortescue Future Industries

Japanese global car manufacturer

Japanese global automotive company

Chrysos Corporation Ltd

Board of Directors of Star Entertainment Group

Acting CEO and CFO of ASX listed financial services company

Board member of Australian and London listed resources company

CFO of Australian listed resources company


Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler, which is adept before ASIC, ACCC, ATO and AFP investigations, assists clients accused of corruption, insider trading, fund misappropriation and misleading or deceptive conduct, among other matters. Melbourne-based practice head, Leon Zwier, fronts the practice.

Practice head(s):

Leon Zwier

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Milner; Susanna Ford; John Mitchell; Elyse Hilton


‘High quality, experienced staff providing excellent service and outcomes.’

‘From juniors through to senior partners, ABL offers experience in commercial matters and criminal practice, making it a market-leader in white collar crime.’

‘Jonathan Milner – excellent insight into commercial matters and sophisticated understanding of strategies for litigation. John Mitchell – very good operator who has excellent insight into commercial practice. Also makes valuable contributions in all litigation. Susanna Ford – experienced litigator and market-leader in preparation of white collar crime matters for trial.’

Key clients

Former CEO of Deutsche Bank and former head of Equity Capital Markets Australia and New Zealand at Deutsche Bank

Non-executive directors of The Star Entertainment Group Limited

Former Chief Executive Officer of Leighton Holdings

Phoslock Environmental Technologies Ltd

Former director of Capital Mining Ltd

Non-Executive Chairman of PointsBet

Former CEO of Sinclair Knight Merz (now Jacobs Group)

Honda Australia

Work highlights

  • Acted for two former senior executives of Deutsche Bank in criminal proceedings commenced by the ACCC, alleging criminal cartel conduct in connection with a $2.5 billion institutional placement of ANZ shares in 2015.
  • Acting for six current or former non-executive directors of The Star Entertainment Group Limited in civil penalty proceedings commenced by ASIC.
  • Acted for the former Chief Operating Officer of Leighton Holdings, in defending criminal charges relating to his alleged role in the international Unaoil scandal.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie supports a broad range of clients on investigation, enforcement and risk management matters, both domestic and multijurisdictional. Based in Sydney, Georgie Farrant leads the practice, leveraging a track record in anti-money laundering, bribery, corruption, risk assessment, fraud, whistleblowing and insider trading affairs.

Practice head(s):

Georgie Farrant

Other key lawyers:

Alex Wolff; Helen Joyce


‘The B&M has significant unique experience in running high-profile white-collar crime matters. The depth of experience and whole of service response make it a go-to firm for such matters.’

‘Alex Wolff’s depth of experience, mastery of establishing and motivating the appropriate teams and client management all combine to make him a consummate professional in this field.’

‘Helen Joyce’s laser like focus on detail make her a formidable asset in any complex litigation.’

Key clients

ALS Limited


Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a private individual in his defence of two counts of insider trading in relation to the disposal of over 8 million shares in Vocus to the value of approximately AU$26m.
  • Continuing to act for ALS Limited, an ASX listed company employing over 13,000 staff in over 65 countries with annual global turnover exceeding AU$1.6bn.
  • Serving as a long-term advisor to Fujifilm advising in relation to the preparation and implementation of its anti-bribery and corruption and whistleblower policies and procedures including advising in relation to the intersection with global laws and policies.


Dentons leverages its expansive international footprint to support on local and global enforcement and investigation matters. The team, which has recently noted an uptick in data privacy, modern slavery, corporate governance and greenwashing allegations related instructions is led from Sydney by Ben Allen.

Practice head(s):

Ben Allen

Other key lawyers:

Elise Ivory; Amber Warren

Key clients

Avis Budget Group

Watches of Switzerland

Rapid Response Revival

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

State Bank of India



World Mobile Token (BVI) Ltd

Fifth Third Bank

Bank of Hope



Work highlights

  • Advised Watches of Switzerland on anti-money laundering laws and implications for privacy/cyber security arising from customer relationship management and database management strategies.
  • The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered Toronto, Ontario that engaged the team to advise on the launch of its International Student Pay (ISP) Platform in Australia.

DLA Piper

The team at DLA Piper is noted for its vast knowledge of matters relating to inquiries and investigations, in addition to prosecutions under the Corporations Act and anti-money laundering issues. Natalie Caton leads the team from Brisbane, and is known for her longstanding expertise in bribery and corruption, modern slavery, and counter terrorism financing law, while Melbourne’s John Fogarty is noted for acting in data breaches and Royal Commissions. Matthew Spain left the practice to join Clayton Utz  in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Natalie Caton

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Spain; John Fogarty

Key clients

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company Australia



Ashton Raggatt McDougall Pty Ltd

AAI Limited trading as Suncorp Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advising various clients across the technology, energy and natural resources, infrastructure construction and transport, health, insurance sectors in relation the development of their modern slavery programmes. This includes organisational and supply chain risk assessments, bespoke policy formulation, board and c-suite training, the development of annual modern slavery statements, and monitoring and review.
  • Acting for the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission in relation to the Casino Operator and Licence disciplinary proceedings and related investigations. The firm is providing ongoing advice to the VGCCC in relation to a its review of Crown Melbourne has become a suitable casino operator, its forthcoming licence decision, and on the consequences of that decision.
  • Advising the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on an investigation into ANZ Banking Group concerning allegations that ANZ overstated credit card balances.

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin draws together lawyers with notable litigation, regulatory, tax, corporate and competition expertise. The team is headed by Richard Harris, a name well-versed in investigations, regulatory enforcements and related litigation, and operates across matters including corruption, anti-bribery, corporate misconduct, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing.

Practice head(s):

Richard Harris

Key clients


Westpac Banking Corporation


Macquarie Bank

JP Morgan

PayPal Australia


Former executives from Star Entertainment Group

SkyCity Adelaide

Commonwealth Bank Group


Credit Suisse Group

Work highlights

  • Advising SkyCity Adelaide in relation to major AUSTRAC enforcement alleged breaches of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws relating to the provision of designated services by SkyCity Adelaide to its customers.
  • Advising Westpac and a number of its directors and senior executives in relation to an ASIC investigation, an APRA investigation and a class action proceeding, which arose from proceedings commenced by AUSTRAC (Australia’s financial intelligence government agency) against Westpac in the Federal Court.
  • Advising Nuix Limited and a number of its directors and senior executives in connection with ASIC’s investigation into matters arising from the company’s initial public offering and its financial performance following that.

Johnson Winter Slattery

Johnson Winter Slattery is home to far-reaching expertise spanning money laundering, regulatory criminal investigations/prosecutions, whistle-blower complaints, and trade sanctions advice. Practice head Robert Wyld  has handled matters throughout Asia, the Middle East and the Americas throughout his 30-year career; his team is especially knowledgeable of internal investigations within the construction, energy, resources, health, procurement, aviation and defence sectors.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wyld

Other key lawyers:

Robert Johnston; Kirsten Scott


‘JWS has experienced practitioners, particularly in cross-border issues like anti-corruption. ’

‘Robert Wyld is recognized globally as an anti-corruption expert. He has served as co-chair of the IBA anti-corruption committee and frequently contributes to thought leadership on anti-corruption initiatives. He is the leading practitioner in Australia for anti-corruption issues. I regularly refer clients to Rob and they are all incredibly happy with his advice and wonderful personality. ’

‘The firm of choice in Australia and New South Wales in every respect. In key Partners Robert Wyld and Robert Johnston, JWS have the leading practitioners in the anti-corruption and litigation community, both domestically and internationally. Exceptionally talented individuals and a great pleasure to know and work with. ’

Key clients

International Bar Association (IBA)

Obela Fresh Dips and Spreads Pty Ltd

Gladys Berejiklian

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

Work highlights

  • Acting for an individual in a successful defence of the first foreign bribery trial taken to trial when the charges against all individuals were either withdrawn or were the subject of an acquittal finding by a jury.
  • Acting for IBA, in ongoing international pro bono work, particularly on the policy reform work in Ukraine, in circumstances where the country is exposed to an aggressive invader yet is managing to address structural reform issues.

Minter Ellison

Active on bribery, fraud, compliance, investigation and insider trading litigation mandates, Minter Ellison is routinely active before ASIC and ACCC, among other federal and state agencies. James Beaton, based in Sydney, is an expert in corruption, anti-bribery, governance and compliance matters, in addition to matters pertinent to the Corporations Act.

Practice head(s):

James Beaton

Other key lawyers:

Ross Freeman; Caitlin Murray; Philip Stefanovski


‘The number one law firm practice for white collar matters in Melbourne.’

‘Philip Stefanovski is a leader of the firm in this area. He and the team are both very strong technically and are the go-to practitioners for white collar matters. They are, quite simply, outstanding.’

‘Aware, proactive and experienced.’

‘Capable of quickly understanding the issues personally, commercially and ethically and ensuring a clever and timely response is provided.’

Key clients

Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac New Zealand Ltd

Australian Securities and Investment Commission


Norton Rose Fulbright

The Australian offices of Norton Rose Fulbright supports clients on cross-border and domestic investigations throughout Asia, the US, UK and Europe. The team is led by Abigail McGregor in Melbourne who has recently been instructed on corruption conduct and risk management, anti-bribery and whistleblowing mandates. Elsewhere, in Sydney, the team recently welcomed Sonja Marsic who joined from the Australian Government and has a track record in anti-money laundering, misconduct allegation and international sanctions affairs.

Practice head(s):

Abigail McGregor

Other key lawyers:

Scott Atkins; Rajaee Rouhani; Sonja Marsic


‘The partners in a team have unique backgrounds – extensive in-house practice and deep relationships with the regulator – which are valuable in this area. I’ve also appreciated the firm’s clear commitment to growing their expertise in this field, with a number of recent partnership appointments. ’

‘Their appreciation for the practical difficulties faced by organisations in our sector when dealing with a highly complex and technical legislative regime is appreciated. ’

Key clients

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in its proceeding against 11 directors and officers of The Star Entertainment Group Limited.

Clifford Chance

Primarily based in Sydney, the practice group at Clifford Chance handles mandates involving enforcement agencies, displaying broad expertise in advising on post-settlement remedial actions, crisis management and proceeds of crime matters.  Angela Pearsall is particularly adept at acting for accounting firms in financial reporting litigation. Dividing her time between Hong Kong and Sydney, Donna Wacker frequently handles investigations into cryptocurrency trading platforms and rate-fixing. Since publication, former practice co-head Tim Grave departed in February 2024.

Practice head(s):

Angela Pearsall; Donna Wacker

Other key lawyers:

Lara Gotti


‘Incredibly disciplined & thorough across both detail & summary level of key issues. Strong subject matter expertise. Empathetic.’

Clyde & Co LLP

At Clyde & Co LLP, the team leverages extensive knowledge of internal and regulatory investigations in addition to and civil and criminal prosecutions and risk assessment work. The team is co-led by Sydney-based Avryl Lattin, a sanctions, money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption expert, alongside Jehan-Philippe Wood who works from Perth and specialises in corporate governance affairs, regulatory and professional investigations, compliance programs and human rights issues in the business context.

Practice head(s):

Avryl Lattin; Jehan-Philippe Wood


‘Diverse experience.’

‘Personal service and they make us feel valued as a customer.’

Key clients

John Palermo, Prime Corporate Management Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising John Palermo, Prime Corporate Management Pty Ltd, and Chubb Insurance Company of Australia. John Palermo Jnr is a very successful and highprofile Perth based Chartered Accountant.
  • Advising a confidential consulting company and CGU insurance on claims by clients who had funds stolen from them by a former employee of the consulting company.
  • Acted for Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti- Corruption Commission (IBAC) commenced Operation Sandon in November 2019 which was concerned with potential corrupt conduct by Councillors in the City of Casey, Victoria.

King & Wood Mallesons

Headed by Edwina Kwan, King & Wood Mallesons is acclaimed for its assistance to clients regarding issues including employee conduct investigations and whistle-blower affairs, and assists clients investigated by bodies such as ASIC and the AFP. In addition, the group is increasingly active on sanction, money laundering, fraud, terrorism financing and tax evasion instructions.

Practice head(s):

Edwina Kwan

Other key lawyers:

Dale Rayner

Work highlights

  • Engaged on an ongoing basis to confidentially advise our clients on the implications of the recent passing of modern slavery legislation by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.