International trade and investment
We advise clients on the operation of Australia’s foreign investment regime, as well as in the areas of both public and private international trade law. We assist both domestic and foreign entities to manage their risk and achieve their objectives in the global market.
Our team covers the full range of issues arising in public and private international trade law.
At the centre of public international trade law are the agreements between governments with respect to the global marketplace. We provide advice on the non-discriminatory market access protected under both Australia’s Free Trade Agreements and its World Trade Organisation Agreements.
We advise both domestic and foreign entities on their rights arising under Australia’s Bi-lateral treaties which are aimed at protecting commercial investments.
We can assist you in navigating the maze of governmental domestic trade laws and regulations, as well as maximising any resulting opportunities in areas including:
- trade remedies including anti-dumping measures;
- import and export controls;
- quarantine; and
- excise matters, including tariffs.
These areas are also addressed in private international law through their inclusion in agreements between private entities, such as in the sale of goods and services.
Our firm’s practice is enhanced by its alliance with Mackrell International, a global network of international lawyers. Among other things, Mackrell International allows for effective partnering in foreign jurisdictions.
The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (FATA) and the Australian Government's foreign investment policy (Policy) regulates foreign investment in Australia. The Policy is framed to encourage foreign investment, while at the same time ensuring that this investment supports Australia’s domestic requirements and enhances its economic development.
The FATA requires that certain acquisitions are notified to the Federal Treasurer. It also provides the Treasurer with the power to intervene in acquisitions that are deemed contrary to Australia’s national interest. The Treasurer may also intervene in acquisitions that are not compulsorily notifiable to make adverse orders, such as divestment or prohibition orders. To this end, a foreign person may voluntarily apply to the Federal Investment Review Board (FIRB) for foreign investment approval.
We are able to advise both domestic and foreign clients with respect to all aspects of the operation and application of the FATA and Policy, including:
- drafting proposals submitted to FIRB;
- drafting and negotiating agreements dealing with notifable transactions; and
- advising on foreign investment in certain industry sectors which attract special interest and scrutiny by FIRB.
We are also able to act for clients investing in foreign jurisdictions, either directly or by referral to other advisers through our association with the Mackrell International network group.
Client success story
We successfully represented an overseas entity who wished to purchase assets in Australia. Our services included navigating the requirements of the FATA and foreign investment policy on behalf of our client.
The transaction was unique, as the acquisitions included a variety of assets across a range of different industries and jurisdictions in Australia.