COMPETITION, Access & Utility Regulation

We advise on competition (anti-trust) laws and consumer protection laws.  We also advise in relation to third party access issues concerning railways, electricity networks, gas transmission and distribution pipelines and ports.

We understand the importance to asset owners and buyers of protecting their investments and maintaining efficient operations. We help asset owners and buyers understand Federal, State and Territory third party access laws, such as Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the National Gas Law, the Electricity Networks Access Regime, and the Western Australian Rail Access Regime.

We have expertise in advising businesses that want to secure or resist access to linear infrastructure. This has included evaluating options for seeking access, acting on access application processes, negotiating and drafting access agreements (such as rail track access contracts, gas haulage contracts and electricity access contracts), representing clients in regulatory review processes and pursuing legal action such as arbitration and court proceedings.

We also have substantial experience in advising regulated utilities, particularly corporatised Government Trading Enterprises. We have a detailed understanding of the legislation that underpins the operation of GTEs as well as the industry frameworks under which they operate. This includes advising on economic, technical and licensing laws and compliance.

We are also experienced in dealing with issues that can arise with cartels, boycotts, anti-competitive information disclosures, exclusive dealing, misuses of market power, resale price maintenance, and anti-competitive arrangements. We understand how those issues can arise and be addressed in complex commercial situations, such as with joint ventures, joint marketing, collective acquisitions and enforceable undertakings.

We also advise clients on consumer protection issues, including misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, unfair contracts and consumer guarantees.