THE FIRM This practice continues to impress with its depth of talent and handles some of the most significant transactions in this area. The team acted for a group of major fuel suppliers, including Shell and ExxonMobil, together with Qantas on successfully defending an application by a group of airlines in connection with access to the jet fuel infrastructure at Sydney Airport. Other key work includes advising Sony on the Australian competition aspects of its high-profile USD2.2 billion proposed acquisition of EMI Music Publishing from Citi.
Sources say: "I thought we were in very safe hands. They were hugely available and committed to the result.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Brewster is described as “very experienced, balanced and knowledgeable of the regulatory environment." He has particular expertise in M&A and litigation in the healthcare, electricity and gas industries. His highlights include advising Air France and other airlines on the ACCC investigation into an alleged air cargo cartel.
Practice leader Fiona Crosbie has a particular focus on complex merger clearances, antitrust investigations and infrastructure access. “I think she's excellent," said one interviewee, adding: "She's commercial and good to work with, and has a proven track record.” Crosbie recently advised Johnson & Johnson on the Australian aspects of its global acquisition of Synthes, an orthopaedic devices manufacturer.
Jacqueline Downes advises on all types of restrictive trade practices and consumer protection matters, including mergers, access, cartels and misuse of market powers. One client enthused: “She is a strategic thinker. She doesn't set unrealistic goals but manoeuvres you to achieve what's achievable.”
Carolyn Oddie has particular experience in merger clearances, joint ventures and antitrust investigations and prosecutions. She recently advised Cargill Australia on its acquisition of Agrium assets, including obtaining ACCC clearance. “She is very practical and keeps her eyes on the prize," say sources.
Ted Hill continues to act for Rio Tinto, most recently on its appeal to the High Court regarding Fortesque Metals Group's rail access application. He also advised Wesfarmers on its bid to acquire a AUD1 billion stake in Burrup Fertilisers. An appreciative client commented: "He gives us confidence that he knows what he is doing and can take a step back and give constructive commercial advice."
Kon Stellios is noted for being “very prudent" and for "looking at things from all different angles – he's very good at risk analysis." He specialises in regulatory and contentious matters, and recently acted for Emirates in Federal Court proceedings commenced by the ACCC concerning the alleged cartel in the air cargo industry.