Jacqueline Downes

Jacqueline Downes

Partner, Practice Leader, Competition Law
BA (Hons) LLB (Hons)
Sydney | +61 2 9230 4850

Jacqueline heads the national Competition and Consumer Law Group at Allens. Clients rely on her advice and extensive experience in dealing with the ACCC and other regulators to resolve significant issues for their businesses.

Jacqueline is ranked as a leading competition and antitrust expert in Chambers, Best Lawyers, The Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Global Competition Review. Recent commentary in Chambers Asia-Pacific singles Jacqueline out for her 'knowledge of how the authorities work especially in the merger control space' and describes her as an 'exceptional practitioner' whose 'responsiveness, sharp intelligence and ability to deliver set her apart'.


Jacqueline has particular expertise in mergers and is well known for achieving clearance of high profile and complex mergers, domestic and international, including:

  • News Corporation – a number of acquisitions and divestments, including, recently, its acquisition of regional newspaper group Australian Regional Media from APN News & Media; divestment of Sunday Times to Seven Network; and divestment of its online directory business True Local to Sensis, a subsidiary of Telstra
  • Foxtel – acquisition of Australian subscription TV provider Austar and acquisition of up to 15% of Ten Network
  • A consortium including CPPIB and GIP – acquisition of rail haulage company Asciano/Pacific National
  • CPPIB – acquisition of an interest in Glencore Agriculture
  • ERM Power – proposed acquisition of state-owned electricity generator Macquarie Generation
  • Wesfarmers – acquisition of Coles
  • St. George Bank – merger with Westpac Bank
  • Oracle Corporation – acquisition of Sun Microsystems
  • Cemex – acquisition of Rinker and subsequent sale to Holcim

Jacqueline is currently acting for DuPont in its proposed global merger with Dow Chemical.

Investigations and enforcement

Jacqueline advises and acts for companies the subject of investigations into cartel and other competition and consumer law matters by the ACCC as well as private actions, including:

  • litigation by Seven Network in relation to the acquisition of the AFL and NRL rights
  • Global investment banks – ACCC cartel investigations
  • Multinational companies – ACCC investigations into well-publicised competition and consumer law matters.


Jacqueline also has expertise in access matters under Part IIIA and Part XIC of the Competition and Consumer Act, including acting for:

  • Foxtel – various arbitrations and exemption applications, appearing before the Australian Competition Tribunal and acceptance of the first ever special access undertaking successfully defended in the Federal Court
  • Queensland Government – advising on its application for certification of the Queensland Rail Access Regime

Consumer law

Jacqueline has extensive experience in all aspects of consumer law, including unfair contracts, consumer guarantees and misleading or deceptive conduct. She advises clients on compliance with the Australian Consumer Law, including regularly reviewing and advising on marketing materials and acting in investigations by the ACCC, Fair Trading, Advertising Claims Board and Advertising Standards Bureau.

Jacqueline is a member of the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Law Council of Australia. She has assisted in preparing submissions, meeting with government and attending parliamentary inquiries on matters of competition policy. Jacqueline is regularly asked to speak at conferences and seminars on competition law issues, including attending the ICN as an ACCC-nominated NGA.