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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Australia

We help Australian and international clients make the most of business opportunities in domestic, Asia Pacific and international markets.

A practice that's built on solid experience

We formed our Australia practice to help clients make the most of domestic and regional opportunities; Australia has a mature economy, substantial natural resources and longstanding business links with Asia Pacific markets.

Our local team of more than 80 partners and lawyers are leaders in their fields. They bring decades of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge to businesses looking to expand or defend their interests in Australia and around the world.

Local and regional know-how that delivers results

We are passionate about our clients' businesses and are committed to using our knowledge of the law and the markets we operate in to offer global solutions, new ideas, a fresh perspective and, ultimately, competitive advantage.

We advise clients from all commercial and industrial sectors, financial institutions, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not for profit organisations on domestic, inbound and outbound work. With the ability to quickly put together teams that manage complex, fast-moving transactions in Australia and beyond, we seek to provide our clients with the highest quality advice and legal insight which combines our local knowledge with the breadth and depth of our global network. Our clients include many leading businesses, operating across a wide variety of markets, cultures and languages.

Our core areas of focus across Australia

Corporate

  • Partners Group, on the M&A aspects and development and financing aspects on the Murra Warra wind farm project, one of the largest wind projects in Australia, and on its investment in the Bango Wind Farm, the third renewable wind farm investment in Australia under the landmark Grassroots Renewable Energy.
  • Tobi Pearce and Kayla Itsines, and The Bikini Body Training Company Pty Ltd on the Series A investment by US private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners into The Bikini Body Training Company.
  • PVH Corp., one of the world's largest fashion apparel companies, in connection with its acquisition of Gazal Corporation Limited, by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • Five V Capital on its acquisition of funds ratings agency and investment research house Zenith Investment Partners.
  • Pemba Capital Partners on the sale of secure ID and transaction cards company Placard to Swedish corporate ASSA ABLOY, for a headline purchase price of A$85 million.
  • TBG AG, through its portfolio company DTN, on the purchase of a majority stake in Weatherzone, a leading provider of weather information, from Australian media conglomerate Nine Entertainment for a headline purchase price of A$30 million representing an EV of A$40 million.

Banking & finance

  • A syndicate of international and domestic financiers, including ANZ, Bank of China, ING, National Australia Bank and Société Générale, to the Land Services WA Consortium on the financing and corporate aspects of the partial privatisation of Landgate, the Western Australian property and land data agency. This is the fourth privatisation of an asset of this kind in Australia (with previous privatisations being in respect of the New South Wales land titles registry, the South Australian land titles registry and Victorian land titles registry, all of which we also advised on).
  • The lenders, arrangers and joint lead managers (comprising around 10 banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Commonwealth Bank of Australia) on the $350 million multi-sourced refinancing of Endeavour Energy's initial acquisition financing, including the update and issuance under the MTN for Endeavour Energy, the refinancing of numerous debt facilities, an initial 'samurai' financing into the Japanese market, and the implementation of various bilateral facilities.
  • HSBC Bank plc, and the other Active Bookrunners, in the syndication of Glencore's refinancing of its Short-term Revolving Credit Facilities.
  • Macquarie Capital and Swancor Renewable Energy in their capacity as the initial sponsors, on Formosa II (376-MV), one of the largest offshore wind projects in Taiwan, including on the wind turbine construction and O&M packages with Siemens Gamesa, and the project financing package.
  • Three syndicates of financiers to the Sydney Transport Partners consortium (led by Transurban) on its A$9.3 billion acquisition from the New South Wales government of a majority stake in WestConnex, the largest road infrastructure project and biggest privatisation currently in Australia.

Litigation & dispute resolution

  • Deloitte, in relation to multiple proceedings arising from the collapse of the Dick Smith Group. This is complex, large-scale and high-profile litigation arising out of a major corporate collapse in Australia, involving at least 10 separate trial teams, cross-examination of approximately 30 lay witnesses and 16 expert witnesses, and a very large volume of documentary evidence. 
  • Deloitte, in defending claims arising from the collapse of Hastie Group Limited, which was an ASX-listed, multinational mechanical (HVAC), electrical, hydraulics, fire and refrigeration services provider to the building and infrastructure sectors. Hastie had operations in Australasia, the UK and Ireland, and the Middle East, with more than 7,000 employees based at over 110 locations. Hastie collapsed in 2012 with debts in excess of AU$1 billion.
  • We are acting for former and current Australian partners of Herbert Smith Freehills, in relation to their defence of multiple proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, arising out of the collapse of the Arrium Group.
  • Tantalum, in an ongoing dispute with the Arab Republic of Egypt at ICSID. The matter is the first ever claim under the Australia-Egypt Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • Cortec Mining Kenya and its UK shareholders, in an ongoing investment dispute with the Republic of Kenya at ICSID. The dispute arises out of the 2013 revocation of a mining licence granted to Cortec Mining Kenya (CMK) over Mrima Hill, near Mombasa.

Antitrust & competition

  • AMA Group in its purchase from SunCorp of Capital SMART Smash repair business and ACM Parts for A$440m in 2019, which involved two of the largest industry participants in the market.
  • Bunnings in relation to its acquisition of Adelaide Tools.
  • Glencore on a number of matters, including its successful application to the Australian Competition Tribunal and the subsequent appeal to the Federal Court, and ultimately in March 2018 the successful High Court case over access charges to the shipping channels of the Newcastle Port, the world's largest coal export port.

 

More information

Recent highlights

Corporate 

  • Partners Group, on the M&A aspects and development and financing aspects on the Murra Warra wind farm project, one of the largest wind projects in Australia, and on its investment in the Bango Wind Farm, the third renewable wind farm investment in Australia under the landmark Grassroots Renewable Energy.
  • Tobi Pearce and Kayla Itsines, and The Bikini Body Training Company Pty Ltd on the Series A investment by US private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners into The Bikini Body Training Company.
  • PVH Corp., one of the world's largest fashion apparel companies, in connection with its acquisition of Gazal Corporation Limited, by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • Five V Capital on its acquisition of funds ratings agency and investment research house Zenith Investment Partners.
  • Pemba Capital Partners on the sale of secure ID and transaction cards company Placard to Swedish corporate ASSA ABLOY, for a headline purchase price of A$85 million.
  • TBG AG, through its portfolio company DTN, on the purchase of a majority stake in Weatherzone, a leading provider of weather information, from Australian media conglomerate Nine Entertainment for a headline purchase price of A$30 million representing an EV of A$40 million.

Banking & finance

  • A syndicate of international and domestic financiers, including ANZ, Bank of China, ING, National Australia Bank and Société Générale, to the Land Services WA Consortium on the financing and corporate aspects of the partial privatisation of Landgate, the Western Australian property and land data agency. This is the fourth privatisation of an asset of this kind in Australia (with previous privatisations being in respect of the New South Wales land titles registry, the South Australian land titles registry and Victorian land titles registry, all of which we also advised on).
  • The lenders, arrangers and joint lead managers (comprising around 10 banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Commonwealth Bank of Australia) on the $350 million multi-sourced refinancing of Endeavour Energy's initial acquisition financing, including the update and issuance under the MTN for Endeavour Energy, the refinancing of numerous debt facilities, an initial 'samurai' financing into the Japanese market, and the implementation of various bilateral facilities.
  • HSBC Bank plc, and the other Active Bookrunners, in the syndication of Glencore's refinancing of its Short-term Revolving Credit Facilities.
  • Macquarie Capital and Swancor Renewable Energy in their capacity as the initial sponsors, on Formosa II (376-MV), one of the largest offshore wind projects in Taiwan, including on the wind turbine construction and O&M packages with Siemens Gamesa, and the project financing package.
  • Three syndicates of financiers to the Sydney Transport Partners consortium (led by Transurban) on its A$9.3 billion acquisition from the New South Wales government of a majority stake in WestConnex, the largest road infrastructure project and biggest privatisation currently in Australia.

Litigation & dispute resolution

  • Deloitte, in relation to multiple proceedings arising from the collapse of the Dick Smith Group. This is complex, large-scale and high-profile litigation arising out of a major corporate collapse in Australia, involving at least 10 separate trial teams, cross-examination of approximately 30 lay witnesses and 16 expert witnesses, and a very large volume of documentary evidence. 
  • Deloitte, in defending claims arising from the collapse of Hastie Group Limited, which was an ASX-listed, multinational mechanical (HVAC), electrical, hydraulics, fire and refrigeration services provider to the building and infrastructure sectors. Hastie had operations in Australasia, the UK and Ireland, and the Middle East, with more than 7,000 employees based at over 110 locations. Hastie collapsed in 2012 with debts in excess of AU$1 billion.
  • We are acting for former and current Australian partners of Herbert Smith Freehills, in relation to their defence of multiple proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, arising out of the collapse of the Arrium Group.
  • Tantalum, in an ongoing dispute with the Arab Republic of Egypt at ICSID. The matter is the first ever claim under the Australia-Egypt Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • Cortec Mining Kenya and its UK shareholders, in an ongoing investment dispute with the Republic of Kenya at ICSID. The dispute arises out of the 2013 revocation of a mining licence granted to Cortec Mining Kenya (CMK) over Mrima Hill, near Mombasa.

Antitrust & competition

  • AMA Group in its purchase from SunCorp of Capital SMART Smash repair business and ACM Parts for A$440m in 2019, which involved two of the largest industry participants in the market.
  • Bunnings in relation to its acquisition of Adelaide Tools.
  • Glencore on a number of matters, including its successful application to the Australian Competition Tribunal and the subsequent appeal to the Federal Court, and ultimately in March 2018 the successful High Court case over access charges to the shipping channels of the Newcastle Port, the world's largest coal export port.

Directory and client comments

Client comments

  • A client who find the team a "very clued-up team" is particularly impressed by the extent to which its associates are familiar with "the intricacies of what is being dealt with."
    Chambers and Partners – Australia: Competition/ Antitrust 2021
  • A client describes the practice as "an experienced and professional team," going on to note: "They understand our approach and manage transactions well."
    Chambers and Partners – Australia: Corporate/M&A 2021
  • "Their knowledge of international laws and their interpretation and application is excellent."
    Chambers and Partners – Australia: Dispute Resolution 2021
  • A client enumerates some of the firm's strengths as "excellent attention to detail, proactivity, prompt turnaround, strong support in face-to-face negotiations, strong understanding of the client's policy and procedures, and great soft skills."
    Chambers and Partners – Australia: Project Finance 2021

Awards

  • Asia-Pacific Law Firm of the Year
    Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2020
  • International Law Firm of the Year
    IFLR Asia Pacific awards 2019
  • International Firm of the Year
    Asia Legal Awards 2019
  • Banking and Finance team of the Year
    Lawyers Weekly Australia Law Awards 2019
  • Transport Deal of the Year – WestConnex
    IJ Global Awards 2018
  • Debt and Equity linked Team of the Year
    IFLR Asia Pacific Awards 2018
  • Syndicated Corporate Loan Law Firm of the Year
    APLMA Awards 2018 and 2019
  • Syndicated Project Finance Law Firm of the Year
    APLMA Awards 2017, 2018 and 2019

Responsible Business Report

As we try to build a better, more sustainable future, it is the fundamental principles of the law that guide us, as a responsible business: equality and fairness, access to justice, effective regulation and government, and the promotion and protection of human rights.

Our 2020 report demonstrates our commitment to sustainable growth and how it has endured and been strengthened during a period of uncertainty and change.

Find out more about Responsible Business Report

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