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Government

Government at all levels and public sector entities confidently rely on us for our deep understanding of the context in which they plan, develop and implement policy, and procure, manage and deliver services.

Government departments, agencies and statutory authorities continue to play a crucial role in policy implementation, reform, economic growth and stimulus, infrastructure development, regulating the market and delivering services to the community. They contribute and influence the market, private sector activities and how business is undertaken.

  • Major projects
  • Commercial & governance
  • Admin law
  • Health, competition & tax
  • Employment & disputes
Major projects

(including PPPs and asset sales) 

Major projects require support across the whole project lifecycle, from project inception, project design, structuring and strategic advice, project approvals, environment and planning, project risk identification and allocation, procurement methodology selection, transaction documentation, project tool box and manual preparation, project execution and contract administration, defect close out and claims/ dispute resolution. Our extensive experience allows us to support governments seeking innovative solutions and commercial and strategic support on their most complex projects and transactions. We have a strong history of successfully advising on PPPs and also on the purchase and sale of assets and large-scale government privatisations.

We have successfully advised governments around Australia on high profile, complex and strategically important major projects. We pride ourselves on the relationships we have built across government and our intricate knowledge of key objectives and drivers for government in major project procurement.

Our government clients benefit from the experience our lawyers have gained working for both the government and the private sector on successful bids for complex and large-scale projects across a broad range of industries including roads, rail, airports, ports, healthcare, education, energy, water and telecommunications. We use our understanding of the private side's risk profiles to bring our government clients' contracts to market quickly, streamlining the procurement process and optimising value for money.

Our team will:

  • Successfully manage the whole lifecycle of a major project
  • Bring lessons learned from common claims and disputes that arise on major projects to mitigate risk in the delivery phase
  • Anticipate and advise on the complex issues that often arise on major projects and provide cost efficient and commercial outcomes that balance the diverse interests of stakeholders
  • Deliver insights on major project regulation, risks and trends as market leaders.
Commercial & governance

Governments face unique issues and challenges in managing governance, commercial and corporate requirements. These include complex services agreements, commercial transactions, consultancy agreements, mergers and acquisitions, insurance, funding and grant agreements, intellectual property, information technology, joint ventures and procurement.

We provide solutions to help governments comply with all relevant legal and regulatory state and federal frameworks, including those governing the use of IP, relating to privacy and data (including the Notifiable Data Breach scheme) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our interdisciplinary technology, privacy, data protection and cyber security legal experts, provide support on large scale ICT procurement and outsourcing transactions, advise on local and international privacy, data protection and cyber security risks and issues, and assist with crisis and reputation management.

The challenges associated with governance and commercial law and are cognisant of the pressures faced by the government in resolving related matters. We work closely with our clients to:

  • Ensure effective and compliant handling of both large scale and routine corporations and commercial law matters
  • Mitigate future risks by implementing effective agreements and contracts
  • Ensure contracts and agreements are appropriately structured to deliver the required policy outcomes and meet our clients' objectives
  • Apply technical corporations and commercial law to the 'real world' to ensure strategic objectives are met.
Admin law

Government clients require support for the complex and strategically important issues relating to the machinery of government and the structure and functioning of legislative and decision-making processes. We have advised a large number of government departments (both at the State and Federal level), statutory authorities and other public sector organisations for more than 40 years on all aspects of statutory interpretation, good decision-making, privacy, FOI, merits review and judicial review challenges, regulatory practices and powers, and delegations , as well as related litigation and dispute resolution.

We also bring strong dispute resolution credentials to the table, robustly defending administrative decisions for government clients in tribunals and courts.

We provide practical and strategic support to government agencies in managing FOI and access to information requests. Our specialist team understands the challenges of balancing transparency and accountability of open government with the need to protect sensitive information and obligations of privacy, confidentiality and secrecy. We are familiar with, and have advised on, cutting edge issues in public law, including the benefits and risks of use of new technology in government decision-making, and contracting for the provision of external services to assist with government decision-making.

Health, competition & tax

Heath & ageing

Advisors to the government sector require a sophisticated understanding of policy, regulation, compliance, risk, funding and data management. Our team can assist with the day to day issues of managing a health service, solutions for health projects, serious incident management, implications and impact of health innovations and understanding how complex government policy and legislative requirements apply.

Competition

We offer our clients deep experience advising both public and private clients on anti-competitive and unfair market practices, mergers and acquisitions, market regulation and consumer law. Government clients require specialist experience in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), including competition and consumer protection.

Tax

Our work within the public sector has been wide ranging - including complex large scale urban renewal, land and housing development and infrastructure projects, public private partnerships (PPPs) and social and affordable housing developments.

There are unique challenges and opportunities that distinguish government from the private. We have direct oversight of current and emerging tax issues and compliance concerns of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Employment & disputes

Our national Workplace team has played important advisory and advocacy roles in some of Australia's most high profile employment, industrial relations, safety and prosecution matters. The team has a reputation for providing sound, strategic advice and applying technical skills to the 'real world' of the workplace.

We offer a highly experienced legal team with long-standing, deep relationships with Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.

Understanding the political and policy environment, how governments operate, their drivers, pressures and sensitivities, stakeholder management and how to navigate the processes are important for both public sector and private sector organisations.

We provide a full range of legal and consultancy services to local, state and federal Australian governments across departments, agencies and related entities. 

Through our longevity of experience, having advised governments' on their most sensitive projects for over 50 years, the team has a deep understanding of public sector issues and the environment in which our clients operate. 

Recent developments


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Experience


NSW Land and Housing Corporation - principal legal advisers on the $2.2 billion redevelopment of Ivanhoe Estate (the flagship project of the Communities Plus program)


NSW Transport for NSW – their sole legal adviser on Region 6 Buses Procurement and Renewal of Sydney Ferries Franchise


QLD Queensland Rail – advising on the transformational Cross River Rail Project, a 10.2km rail line, 5.9km twin tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD and underground and over ground stations, including both a PPP and alliance


QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads – procurement of 16 long term SEQ bus operations contracts that are 'step changes' in performance management, risk allocation and the incorporation of technology.


CWTH Department of Home Affairs – advising on the Visa Transformation Program, described as a 'once in a generation' transformation programme involving the procurement of eight bundles of services, including the design, build and operation of a visa processing platform


CWTH Department of Defence - advising on the disposal of two significant Defence sites, the former Defence base in Maribyrnong, Victoria and Leeuwin Barracks in East Fremantle, Western Australia


WA DevelopmentWA – advising on the construction and operation of Australia's first ever industrial renewable energy microgrid within the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, 70km south of Perth


WA State of Western Australia – advising on the wholesale electricity market reform


SA Crown Solicitor’s Office - advising on the SA Schools PPP Project, involving the development of two new Birth to Year 12 schools in Adelaide, under a public private partnership model


NT Territory Families – advising on the outsourcing of its Out of Home Care services. In addition to providing legal advice, our Infrastructure Consulting team is providing additional assistance including developing the services specification and assisting with developing the payment mechanism.


VIC The Port of Melbourne lease transaction – advised on a number of high profile valuation disputes, the reorganisation of the portfolio for the transaction and various financial and taxation issues with an impact on the Port which could have distracted from the important State process.


VIC Land Use Victoria - led the planning, design and implementation of the project strategy for establishing workforces to support the division of responsibility between the Victorian Government and private sector operator in relation to relevant land titles and registry functions

Supporting our communities

We closely support the communities in which we live and work, with awareness of Government priorities and objectives.

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