Australian business finds itself in a regulatory environment of ever-increasing complexity. Compliance is no longer optional - it is critical to protect the interests of all organisations and their staff, regardless of size.
Holding Redlich has extensive experience assisting clients in all aspects of regulatory compliance, dealings with regulators and judicial challenge and review of regulatory decisions. We work with clients at both a national and state level.
And when the need arises, we work with companies and individuals who may be the subject of civil and criminal proceedings arising out of a regulatory investigation.
Our team of expert litigators and advisors is committed to helping our clients achieve optimal outcomes. Whether our clients seek proactive risk management through the development of policies and procedures or advice and representation in investigations and prosecutions, we work alongside them to help guide their businesses through an increasingly complex regulatory landscape. We specialise in:
- acting for both corporations and individuals in regulatory investigations and prosecutions
- assisting clients in managing regulators’ monitoring and enforcement visits
- advising on and creating compliance and risk management policies and programs tailored to the particular risks faced by different corporations and individuals
- advising companies, directors and officers involved in external investigations and prosecutions brought by Commonwealth and state agencies (click here to read more).
Following are some examples of our recent regulatory work with major Australian regulators.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT): Acted for Beyond Productions, an Australian screen producer, in AAT proceedings seeking a review of a decision by Screen Australia to refuse to grant a producer offset certificate under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) in respect of a documentary series. Acted for Beyond Productions in subsequent Federal Court proceedings appealing the decision of the AAT to uphold Screen Australia’s decision.
Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABC): Acting for the Office of the ABC Commissioner in investigations and prosecutions arising out of contraventions by building industry participants of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (Cth), including a sham contracting/underpayment prosecution in Queensland.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC): Advising and representing businesses in respect of competition law investigations by the ACCC.
Advising on and preparing ACCC notifications in respect of proposed engagement of exclusive service suppliers.
Advising on and preparing ACCC authorisations in respect of proposed joint venture arrangements between competitors for the provision of various services.
Advice and preparation of ACCC authorisations and notifications in respect of joint ventures and exclusive supply arrangements.
Providing submissions and dealing with information requests from the ACCC in respect of mergers in the Australian media sector.
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA): Most recently, Holding Redlich has acted for a major broadcaster in seeking ADJR Act review of a refusal by the ACMA to alter the boundaries of a radio broadcasting licence area.
Acting for Today FM, a commercial radio licensee, in respect of an ACMA investigation into alleged breaches of the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice following a broadcast.
Successfully acting for the licensee in Administrative Appeals Tribunal proceedings seeking a review of a decision by the ACMA to impose an additional licence condition on the licensee following the ACMA investigation.
Acting for Radio 2UE Sydney, a commercial radio licensee, in Federal Court of Australia proceedings relating to a decision by the ACMA to impose civil penalties against the licensee for breaches of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth). This was the first civil penalties case under the legislation.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA): Acted for companies within the Calliden Group, a general insurer, in two separate Federal Court of Australia proceedings seeking approval of schemes under the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth) to transfer their insurance business to other companies within the group to effect a corporate restructure. The application included preparing submissions to APRA to grant approval to the proposed schemes.
Acting for companies within the XL Re Group, reinsurance companies registered in Australia as foreign companies, in respect of a Federal Court of Australia application seeking approval of a scheme under the Insurance Contracts Act 1973 (Cth) to transfer its reinsurance business to another company within the group to effect a corporate restructure. The application included preparing submissions to APRA to grant approval of the proposed scheme.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC): Acted for a former stockbroker and authorised representative of a financial services licensee in an ASIC investigation, and subsequent District Court of NSW criminal proceedings, commenced by the Commonwealth DPP. The investigation and subsequent trial related to allegations of forgery and dishonest conduct against the stockbroker in providing false and misleading information to investors.
Acted for a former employee of a company in respect of an ASIC investigation against the company alleging breaches of insider trading and market manipulation provisions under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Advised our client on compliance issues relating to a notice served by the ASIC under s33 of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) seeking production of documents for the purposes of the investigation.
Acted for a commercial radio licensee in respect of an application to the ASIC to execute documents under a business sale agreement, to transfer property which had been vested in the ASIC under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) following the deregistration of the transferor company.
Applying for and obtaining approval for a receiver to conduct public examinations under the Corporations Act.
Negotiating with the ASIC concerning the conduct of an insolvency practitioner in a voluntary administration – litigation and non-litigation.
Environmental authorities (State and Federal): Holding Redlich has significant experience and expertise in dealing with environmental authorities and the legislation they administer, including:
- acting for polluters in connection with the investigation and reporting to authorities of contaminated land
- acting for polluters in connection with agreements with authorities for voluntary remediation of contaminated land
- acting for land owners working with authorities to identify persons responsible for contamination
- acting for developers seeking approval for a change of land use
- acting for financiers in relation to their statutory obligation to clean up as part of any enforcement action following borrower default.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS): Acted for a number of investors in Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) claims against a large stockbroking company. The investors’ claims related to alleged breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), and the statutory liability of the stockbroking company for its representatives’ conduct under its financial services licence. Advised the investors on jurisdictional issues relating to their FOS claims, and prepared the claims.
Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate: Acting for the Inspectorate in prosecutions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Recently we advised the Inspectorate in relation to the implementation of an enforceable undertaking relating to a business alleged to have breached workplace laws.
Fair Work Ombudsman: Acting for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in investigations and prosecutions arising out of contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), including the landmark FWO v Wongtas proceeding in relation to an unlawful pregnancy discrimination. Our involvement on the FWO Legal Services Panel has resulted in secondments of our lawyers to the FWO.
Advising the Ombudsman in relation to enforcement action against businesses alleged to have breached the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Recently we acted for the Ombudsman in the first ever proceedings relating to breaches of the discrimination provisions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB): Frequently acting for foreign entities seeking to invest in Australian assets, especially in the commercial real estate, agribusiness, media, and energy and resources sectors.
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure (NSW): Acting for the Minister in relation to an environmental prosecution for a breach of approval conditions for a major coal mine.
Native Title Tribunal: Acted in numerous matters before the Federal Court and Full Federal Court on behalf of the Native Title Tribunal and Registrar of the National Native Title Tribunal in applications under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act, Native Title Act and Judiciary Act.
New South Wales Commissioner for State Revenue (State Revenue): Acting for taxpayers in their submissions to the State Revenue regarding many different valuation issues including the acquisition of significant interests in landholder vehicles and retirement villages.
Acting for taxpayers in their submissions to the State Revenue regarding the tax treatment of transactions including sale and purchases, going concerns, trusts, leases, development agreements and financial instruments.
Advising clients on the impact of state duties and taxes.
Assisting the Property Council of Australia New South Wales Tax Committee in its dealings and regular liaisons with the State Revenue.
Parramatta City Council: Conducting judicial review proceedings challenging the validity of development approvals issued by a private certifier.
PrimeSafe: PrimeSafe regulates the safety of meat, poultry and seafood production in Victoria. Holding Redlich has acted for various companies which are regulated by PrimeSafe, and has recently been involved in challenging PrimeSafe’s regulatory powers in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry: Holding Redlich has represented both companies and prominent individuals in numerous Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, such as the Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Floods.
Screen Australia: Advising on, and assisting screen producers with applications for provisional and final certification for the producer offset for screen production in Australia.
Acting for screen producers in seeking judicial review of Screen Australia decisions.
Superannuation Complaints Tribunal: Assisting trustees of regulated superannuation funds with submissions to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and appeals from that tribunal to the Federal Court.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT): Representing Victorian public sector superannuation schemes concerning complaints to VCAT in relation to benefit calculation and payment of disablement and death benefits.