Sectors

Startup companies and disruptors and innovators are creating many new and dynamic markets. We’re across these evolving markets that startups and investors are operating in

Fintech

Fintech is an industry where companies use technology to make financial services more efficient. It is an area of disruption and of great opportunity for startups.

Our team is working with market leading startups as well as investors and corporate clients looking to harness the opportunity in fintech. We have the knowledge and experience to assist startups as they navigate the legal and regulatory issues associated with their fintech solution, as well as helping corporates integrate those solutions into their existing businesses.

STONE & CHALK
Allens is one of the corporate foundation members of Stone & Chalk, an independent entity created to foster and accelerate the development of world-class Australian fintech start-ups. Read our media release.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    With the Consumer Data Right going live for the banking sector in July 2019, we take an in-depth look at the main issues and practical considerations arising from the Rules Framework (which contains new information about how the regime will function) and from the revised draft legislation giving effect to the CDR.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    In this publication we untangle the complex web that is the proposed Consumer Data Right framework – reflecting on the drivers that have led to this reform, the regulatory framework, the key players responsible for administering the regime, the consequences of non-compliance and what you need to do to get ready.
  • Client Update: ASIC announces fintech licensing exemptions
    As part of its implementation of the 'regulatory sandbox' for fintech companies, ASIC is providing relief for certain fintech businesses from the obligation to hold an Australian financial services or Australian credit licence. Relief may be available for up to 12 months and may be useful to businesses in what ASIC refers to as the 'testing' stage of their development. ASIC has also made some changes to the responsible manager requirements for licensees, which may be particularly useful to 'robo advice' providers. Managing Associate Simun Soljo and Associate Jonathan Gardner report.
  • Special Report: Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain
    Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.
  • Unravelled: Fighting to protect Fintech innovations
    The growth of financial services technology, or Fintech as it is now called, has exploded in recent years, yet many of its creators don't realise that their innovations are patentable.
View More Publications

WATCH

Watch co-founder and CEO of Simple KYC, Eric Frost, discuss technology in financial institutions and give his advice on establishing a startup.

Agtech

The potential of technology to generate higher levels of innovation and productivity in the agricultural industry is behind the rise of the agtech industry in Australia, and startups are helping to fuel its growth.

From new finance models, to precision farming and supply chain optimisation, we have the experience to provide your business with expert legal advice.

Allens is the exclusive partner of SproutX, Australia's first agtech pre-accelerator and $10 million agtech accelerator fund.

Read our survey - A greater yield: Attracting investment into Australian agribusiness.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Media release: Allens cultivates agtech with SproutX
    Allens is supporting Australia's agtech boom as a launch partner of SproutX, Australia's first agtech pre-accelerator and $10 million agtech accelerator fund.
  • Paper: Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper - key proposals for agribusiness investors
    The Federal Government's Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is focused on increasing the attractiveness of Australia's agribusiness sector as an investment destination. The White Paper contains significant proposals of relevance to both domestic and international agribusiness investors. Of most interest are proposals relating to increasing farm gate returns, the building of key water infrastructure, research and development into agribusiness technology, and improving access to premium markets.
View More Publications

WATCH

Watch co-founder and director of Full Profile, Emma Weston, discuss the role of blockchain in agriculture and the challenges facing new startups.

WATCH

Watch co-founder and chairman of AgriWebb, Justin Webb, discuss AgriWebb's approach to on-farm data management and the future of livestock management.

Big Data

Huge amounts of data are flowing into businesses each day. While the volume can seem overwhelming, it is how the data is used that is most important. Strategic analysis of the data can yield key insights for better business and management decisions.

Our team has expertise in a range of big data applications. From assisting with the development of platform architecture and privacy by design frameworks, to ensuring startups are compliant with applicable privacy and data security requirements, our team has the knowledge and experience to guide your business through any legal challenge associated with big data.

Allens has also recently become a founding law firm member of Data Governance Australia, a body founded to establish best practice industry norms for innovative data use. Visit our Data Governance, Data Services, Privacy & Cyber Practice for more information.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Pulse: Cyber security
    In this bulletin, we offer a practical guide for navigating cyber security risks in M&A transactions; examine the obstacles that data breach class actions face in Australia and lessons learned from high profile class actions overseas; explore the prevalence of data breaches in the healthcare sector; track the ongoing effects of Yahoo's 2014 data breach; and consider the debate at home and abroad about whether 'hacking back' against cyber criminals is a viable (and legal) option.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    With the Consumer Data Right going live for the banking sector in July 2019, we take an in-depth look at the main issues and practical considerations arising from the Rules Framework (which contains new information about how the regime will function) and from the revised draft legislation giving effect to the CDR.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    In this publication we untangle the complex web that is the proposed Consumer Data Right framework – reflecting on the drivers that have led to this reform, the regulatory framework, the key players responsible for administering the regime, the consequences of non-compliance and what you need to do to get ready.
  • Pulse: Cyber security
    In this bulletin, we give you the rundown on proposed reforms to encryption laws; offer a practical guide to cyber insurance; look at APRA's proposal for a cross-industry framework for information security; give tips for fostering a culture of cyber awareness; examine the key findings from the OAIC's first quarterly report under the new Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme; and look at the steps that governments at home and abroad are taking to combat the growing risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.
  • Client Update: Mandatory data breach notification scheme passed
    The Federal Parliament has today passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 which will amend the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme.
View More Publications

WATCH

Watch Steve Millward, head of commercial at Data Republic, discuss Data Republic's journey and what's next for big data.

WATCH

TOP TIPS FROM PAUL MCCARNEY
Paul McCarney, Co-Founder and CEO, Data Republic discusses keeping in mind the long-term goal and ensuring regulatory and technology platforms support future growth with Gavin Smith, TMT Sector Leader and Practice Leader, Startups and Emerging Companies.

Biotech, Medtech &
Health Innovation

Allens currently works closely with a number of key players in the pharmaceutics, biotechnology and medical devices industries. Our team can help you with every aspect of the legal challenges and requirements for investing in, developing and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals required for bringing new technology to market in this space. We have worked with some of Australia's leading startups in the industry to assist them in product development, licensing, intellectual property protection and fundraising.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Focus: Government rejigs electronic health records system with opt-out approach
    The Federal Government's electronic health records system may have a new lease on life following the introduction of a new Bill that attempts to improve the system's effectiveness with key changes such as the transition to an 'opt-out' approach. Partner Ian McGill, Senior Associate Phil O'Sullivan and Associate Emily Cravigan report.
View More Publications

Drones

Drones are rapidly emerging as a technology with significant commercial applications in a broad range of industries including infrastructure, agriculture and mining. While drones have been used for some time in the defence industry and have more recently seen a variety of consumer applications, new innovations are seeing drones used commercially for such tasks as inspection and monitoring of critical sites and facilities, surveying and environmental analysis, and even product delivery. Companies making commercial use of drones operate in a regulatory environment which has sometimes struggled to keep pace with the speed of the advancements of the industry.

Our team can help you with every aspect of your drones startup or investment, from protecting your intellectual property, meeting regulatory and licencing requirements, to crafting contracts for the provision or supply of drone services.

Our Clients

Robotics, Automation &
Machine Learning

The latest reports from the McKinsey Global Institute predict that automation, machine learning and robotics will transform the future of work. Technological advances in these areas raise issues with respect to privacy, employment, product liability and personal injury. We have worked with universities, manufacturers as well as drone startups providing advice and assisting on transactions that arise in this space.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Focus: Predictive coding gets green light from an Australian court
    The Victorian Supreme Court recently handed down the first decision of an Australian court to specifically consider and approve the use of predictive coding technology in a large-scale discovery exercise. Partner Nick Rudge, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Applied Legal Technology Manager Lisa Kozaris consider the decision and its implications.
  • Focus: Predictive coding: the future of electronic document production?
    A recent decision of the English High Court may pave the way for the use of 'predictive coding' in large scale discovery and regulatory investigations in Australia. Partners Nick Rudge and Duncan Travis, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Associate Emily Giblin look at the benefits and risks of the new software.

3D printing &
Advanced manufacturing

3D printing will be a game changer for industries like advanced manufacturing, retail, construction, automotive and health in Australia. Allens offers a one-stop legal team dedicated to serving the 3D printing and the advanced manufacturing community. The team is from a range of specialisations and advise on all aspects of 3D print from patenting your technology through to the roll-out of 3D print services to customers. We have worked with some of Australia's leading 3D print innovators including large retailers, 3D printing start-ups and biomedical research companies.

Smart Energy

The energy sector is undergoing great and fast-paced innovation. Smart energy offers new ways of generating energy, innovative technologies for storing and deploying energy and new services and products that offer more efficient and cleaner use of resources.

We increasing see alternative ways of delivering gas, electricity and water to large scale mixed use developments. Our team has expertise in creating corporate and legal structures for these non-traditional ways of delivering energy services and ensuring compliance with legal regulatory requirements which themselves are evolving with new technologies.

Read the brochure on 'Power of Choice' reform.

Resources

  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    With the Consumer Data Right going live for the banking sector in July 2019, we take an in-depth look at the main issues and practical considerations arising from the Rules Framework (which contains new information about how the regime will function) and from the revised draft legislation giving effect to the CDR.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    In this publication we untangle the complex web that is the proposed Consumer Data Right framework – reflecting on the drivers that have led to this reform, the regulatory framework, the key players responsible for administering the regime, the consequences of non-compliance and what you need to do to get ready.
  • Media release: Allens joins forces with KPMG to support energy and resources startups
    Allens will give a legal leg-up to energy and natural resources startups in Perth and Brisbane as legal partners for KPMG's Energise 2.0 accelerator program.

Blockchain

With advances in digital technology, the world of records, payments and transactions is on the brink of previously unimaginable change. The terms 'blockchain' and 'Bitcoin' have ricocheted around Australia’s media and banking, financial services and tech startup landscape, accompanied by grand claims heralding a new era of opportunity and disruption.

The so-called 'distributed consensus ledger' is causing the most excitement. A world away from the hard-copy ledgers of old, the attraction of this technology is that transactions or records can be authenticated over the internet without the need for an overarching central authority – and this can occur safely, swiftly and securely.

Our team advises a range of corporate and startup clients on all issues relating to blockchain, from governance arrangements, to smart contracts to broader sector specific regulatory issues.

Our team has authored a special report, Blockchain Reaction, on understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain, as well as a number of articles including Smart contracts need smarter lawyers, Eight recommendations for businesses on blockchain, DAO hack shines a light on blockchain regulation, and Blockchain Summit: Lessons learned.

Our Clients

Resources

  • Client Update: Blockchain reaction update - ASIC joins chorus on ICO regulation
    While ASIC has published information on the issue of coins or tokens in initial coin offerings, other regulators around the world have also been issuing guidance, with some taking a much more restrictive approach. Although Australia remains a relatively friendly regulatory environment for such offerings, there are a number of potential regulatory traps, both here and overseas, that issuers should carefully consider before launch. Managing Associate Simun Soljo, Senior Associate David Rountree and Lawyer Chris Walsh report.
  • Unravelled: Blockchain and why smart contracts still need smart lawyers
    There has been so much talk about blockchain and distributed ledger technology recently, especially in financial services, that you might be forgiven for thinking it might be more hype than substance. But we think it could be very important technology.
  • Special Report: Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain
    Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.
View More Publications

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for all businesses and institutions to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access. Given the connected world we live in, cybersecurity is a critical issue for all businesses and provides a clear opportunity for innovative approaches.

Our team has expertise working with Australian and global leaders in the cybersecurity space. We understand the implications of getting cybersecurity right and the challenges of doing business in a global market.

EXPERIENCE

A number of clients (including Big 4 banks, telcos and new media companies) on a range of cyber issues including data breaches and engaging with regulators.

Resources

  • Pulse: Cyber security
    In this bulletin, we offer a practical guide for navigating cyber security risks in M&A transactions; examine the obstacles that data breach class actions face in Australia and lessons learned from high profile class actions overseas; explore the prevalence of data breaches in the healthcare sector; track the ongoing effects of Yahoo's 2014 data breach; and consider the debate at home and abroad about whether 'hacking back' against cyber criminals is a viable (and legal) option.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    With the Consumer Data Right going live for the banking sector in July 2019, we take an in-depth look at the main issues and practical considerations arising from the Rules Framework (which contains new information about how the regime will function) and from the revised draft legislation giving effect to the CDR.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    In this publication we untangle the complex web that is the proposed Consumer Data Right framework – reflecting on the drivers that have led to this reform, the regulatory framework, the key players responsible for administering the regime, the consequences of non-compliance and what you need to do to get ready.
  • Pulse: Cyber security
    In this bulletin, we give you the rundown on proposed reforms to encryption laws; offer a practical guide to cyber insurance; look at APRA's proposal for a cross-industry framework for information security; give tips for fostering a culture of cyber awareness; examine the key findings from the OAIC's first quarterly report under the new Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme; and look at the steps that governments at home and abroad are taking to combat the growing risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.
  • Pulse: Cyber security
    In this bulletin, we shine a light on the incoming Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme. We assume that with the scheme taking effect this week, you're now across the basics (if not, you can read about them here and here). So, this issue highlights the things you didn't know that you need to know, how to deal with data breaches involving multiple organisations, the key takeaways from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's just-published Data breach preparation and response guide and our quick reference guides to preparing a data breach response plan, determining when you've suffered an eligible data breach and how to notify when you have.
View More Publications

WATCH

Australia's growing cyber insurance industry: insights from Chris Mackinnon, Lloyd's
Valeska Bloch, Partner at Allens, discusses cyber insurance with Chris Mackinnon, head of Lloyd's in Australia

WATCH

CYBER AND STARTUPS
Dr Nimrod Koslovski is a partner at JVP Cyber Labs, a leading Israeli VC focusing on cyber and big data investments and co-leading the VC and state-sponsored incubator for cyber security in Be'er Sheva, Israel. We were pleased to have hosted him recently at a roundtable lunch and Valeska Bloch had the opportunity to speak to him about the necessary conditions for a successful startup economy.

WATCH

Cyber Security seminar held 1 March 2016

Online Marketplaces
& Platforms

Online marketplaces are the primary type of multi-channel e-commerce. It is generally an e-commerce site where the products, or information, is provided by multiple third parties, and transactions are processed by the marketplace operator.

Our team has deep experience working with marketplace operators in a range of industries, including established market players and disruptive new entrants. We have expertise in assisting clients to develop their platform as well as their terms of engagement to ensure compliance with relevant privacy, regulatory and industry legal requirements.

Our clients

  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    With the Consumer Data Right going live for the banking sector in July 2019, we take an in-depth look at the main issues and practical considerations arising from the Rules Framework (which contains new information about how the regime will function) and from the revised draft legislation giving effect to the CDR.
  • Update: Consumer Data Right
    In this publication we untangle the complex web that is the proposed Consumer Data Right framework – reflecting on the drivers that have led to this reform, the regulatory framework, the key players responsible for administering the regime, the consequences of non-compliance and what you need to do to get ready.

WATCH

Watch co-founder and CEO of PLAYGROUND XYZ, Rob Hall, discuss the future of mobile advertising and PLAYGROUND XYZ's experience getting started.

Mining & Resources

Innovation in the resources sector is aimed at reducing operating costs, increasing asset productivity, improving safety and informing decision making. Technology in this sector includes 3D printing, wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, autonomous vehicles, trains and drill rigs, robotic process automation, drones, virtual reality headsets and Geospatial Information Systems.

We are experienced in advising in relation to these technologies and have a deep sector knowledge from acting on the full spectrum of legal issues in the industry.

Resources

  • Media release: Allens joins forces with KPMG to support energy and resources startups
    Allens will give a legal leg-up to energy and natural resources startups in Perth and Brisbane as legal partners for KPMG's Energise 2.0 accelerator program.