With almost 60 lawyers, Mallesons Stephen Jacques boasts Australia's largest competition practice. It took its tally of antitrust partners to 12 in January 2007 when it promoted specialist Vishal Ahuja in Melbourne. The group includes two Who's Who nominees – Dave Poddar and Roger Featherstone.
Mallesons Stephen Jaques
|Global head: Amanda Bodger|
|Home jurisdiction: Australia|
|Total size of firm: 977|
|No. of competition lawyers: 57|
|% of firm specialised: 6|
|Who's Who nominees: 2|
|Non-equity partners: 12|
|Senior associates: 15|
|Other: 30 (27 solicitors/graduates, 3 special counsel)|
|No. of lateral partner hires: 0|
|No. of partner departures: 0|
|No. of internal promotions: 1|
Far and away the firm's most important antitrust client is Telstra. This year, Mallesons represented the telecoms incumbent in relation to a constitutional challenge to access regulation and in relation to a number of access arbitrations. It also advised Telstra when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigated its wholesale and retail price increases, and provided advice on all aspects of the company's advertising and marketing laws.
Other key clients include Nestlé, Schneider Electric and CVC. Mallesons successfully persuaded the ACCC not to oppose Nestlé's acquisitions of Uncle Toby's, Green's Pet Foods, and Novartis's Medical Nutrition Business. It advised Schneider Electric as one of the multiple respondents in a civil price-fixing case arising out of the distribution and power transformer cartel prosecutions brought by the ACCC. And it acted for CVC on its successful bid for a 50 per cent stake in PBL's key assets.
Another key case this year saw consolidation in the Australian steel industry. Mallesons advised BlueScopeSteel on the application by OneSteel for clearance to acquire Smorgon Steel, and also on the application by BlueScope to acquire Smorgon Distribution.
Mallesons is currently working on two significant matters involving the airline industry. On the deal front, it is advising the Airline Partners Australia consortium on competition aspects of its bid for Qantas. Meanwhile, it is representing British Airways in relation to allegations of cartel activity in the air cargo and air passenger industries, including coordinating BA's response to the allegations in jurisdictions such as New Zealand, China and India. This year also saw Mallesons advise parties in relation to investigations of cartels in the wood preservatives, power transformers and marine cable cartels.