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Minter Ellison

Paul Schoff
Partner
As the leader of the firm's Australasian Competition Group, I advise on risk from the access and restrictive trade practices provisions of Australia's Competition & Consumer Act, including misuse of market power and price fixing. I have achieved competition clearance for many major mergers, and manage risk for clients from regulatory investigations as well as defending enforcement action under competition and securities laws.
  • +61 2 9921 4599
  • +61 401 145 015

Career highlights

High profile domestic merger clearances, such as

  • IAG, Australia's largest general insurer, on successful ACCC clearance of its $1.45bn acquisition of Wesfarmers Insurance.
  • CIMIC on its $524m acquisition of UGL, an Australasian provider of engineering, construction and maintenance services.
  • Steinhoff Asia Pacific on its $361m merger of budget furniture retailer and manufacturer, Fantastic Holdings with Freedom Furniture.
  • Linfox Armaguard on its acquisition of the cash logistics business of Brink's Australia.
  • Global Forest Partners LP on the acquisition of significant wood chip handling facilities at the Port of Portland near the so-called forestry "Golden Triangle" in South-Eastern Australia.
  • ACCC authorisation for SingTel Optus on the transfer of its HFC network to NBN Co, enabling the accelerated roll-out of Australia’s National Broadband Network.
  • Advising on successful merger clearance for A$1.45bn sale of Primo Smallgoods to JBS, the world's largest beef processor.

Working with overseas law firms to handle Australian merger clearance aspects of international mergers

  • Advised EMC on the optimal strategic approach to ACCC clearance in the context of massive Dell worldwide transaction with multiple antitrust filings and extensive regulator co-ordination
  • ACCC clearance for Australian and New Zealand aspects of World Fuel Service's acquisition of Exxon's general aviation fuels business at 83 airports in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

Managing the largest cartel and related regulatory investigations and litigation for our domestic and international clients

  • Assisting Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia's largest bank, on significant industry wide securities and antitrust investigations into foreign exchange trading and interest rate bench mark manipulation (BBSW, the equivalent of LIBOR).
  • Defending Singapore Airlines Cargo in its prosecution by the ACCC for alleged airfreight cartel conduct and acting for it and Singapore Airlines in related class action proceedings.
  • Helping IATA to intervene in proceedings alleging that Flight Centre attempted to induce airlines (Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Emirates) to stop directly offering and booking their own international airfares (including over the internet) at prices less than Flight Centre offered.

Directories and awards

  • Leading Individual, Competition and Market Regulation - Chambers Asia Pacific: 2008 to 2017. Paul is "able to quickly grasp the commercial and technical drivers of any transaction and (is) very adept at identifying the regulatory risks and providing creative solutions to work around them". Elite ranked practice - Global Competition Review: 2016/17