Australian trade practices legislation has come a long way since the Australian Industries Preservation Act 1906, the first trade practices law. The Trade Practices Act 1974 itself has undergone numerous reforms, particularly following the Hilmer Report in the 1990s and more recently the Dawson Report in 2003.
The continued development of this area of law reflects increasing recognition of its importance to protecting consumers and promoting competition. The current and previous Commonwealth governments have continued to commit significant resources to the enforcement of this area of law. Recent developments include:
- The ACCC's investigation, and prosecution, of numerous global airlines for alleged price fixing in relation to fuel and other surcharges (in which many of the airlines have settled);
- The ASIC's successful proceedings against James Hardie and its executives for alleged misleading or deceptive conduct with respect to its funding for asbestos victims. This was the subject of a recent High Court decision; and
- The ACCC's unsuccessful prosecution of Google in relaton to the publishing of misleading advertisements through sponsored links. This was also the subject of a recent High Court decision;
- more recently, the ACCC's decision to investigate the two major supermarket chains for possible misuse of market power toward their suppliers.
I am well placed to assist in this area of law.
I have extensive experience in advising and acting for consumers, private and public companies and regulators on all matters concerning trade practices and competition law. Examples of this experience is set out in my CV which can be viewed on the Contact page.
In 1998, I won the Corrs Chambers Westgarth Prize for the best result in Restrictive Trade Practices at Monash University. Following that, in 2001, I obtained a Distinction result in Advanced Restrictive Trade Practices at Melbourne University as part of my Masters of Laws.
I have published three articles in the Trade Practices Law Journal entitled "Aspects of Trade Practices Regulation in an Era of Globalisation and E-commerce", "The ACCC's immunity policy: A new application of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" and "Transnational commerce and the problem of market definition". These articles can be found under "Papers and Publications".
More recently, I have:
- appeared as Junior Counsel in a Supreme Court class action trial on behalf of investors in Timbercorp managed investment schemes involving claims of misleading and defective product disclosure statements. The matter is currently on appeal;
- appeared as Counsel in a number of injunctive proceedings on behalf of a franchisor against a franchisee;
- appeared as Counsel in a number of Mareva applications on behalf of an investor in a property investment dispute against the investment company and its directors;
- acted in continuing Supreme Court proceedings between a Hong Kong based lingerie manufacturer and the Australian subsidiary of leading lingerie label Simone Perele involving allegations of defective goods and breaches of implied terms and warranties.