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Rachel Nicolson

Rachel Nicolson

Partner since 2013
BA LLB (Hons) M Pub & Int Law
Melbourne | +61 3 9613 8300
Rachel.Nicolson@allens.com.au


Rachel specialises in Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution and is based in Melbourne. Before joining Allens, Rachel spent several years managing World Bank, ADB and Australian funded law reform projects in Asia.

Rachel has particular expertise advising on international business obligations, including anti-bribery and corruption laws, export controls and sanctions, international trade and investment law and corporate human rights obligations. This includes advising on environmental, landowner and community impacts of large-scale projects and investments.

Rachel's experience includes advice on constitutional, tort, competition and administrative law actions as well as regulatory investigations brought in Australia, the US, the UK and Papua New Guinea. Rachel has also advised on legal issues for offshore projects in China, Indonesia, India and across Africa.

It includes advising:

  • BHP Billiton on PRRT-related proceedings in the Federal Court and various tax disputes concerning Olympic Dam;
  • AngloGold Ashanti and ExxonMobil on various tenement related disputes in Australia and PNG respectively;
  • Amcor and Air France, KLM and Martinair in class actions in the Federal Court alleging cartel conduct;
  • ExxonMobil on all litigation emanating from the LNG Project in PNG;
  • numerous resources, banking and finance and manufacturing companies on development and implementation of anti-bribery, sanctions and human rights-related polices;
  • clients across a range of sectors on independent investigations into allegations of foreign bribery or sanctions breaches including involving Australian, US and UK enforcement authorities;
  • mining and oil and gas clients including Barrick Gold on investigations into alleged human rights violations by public or private security forces at mine sites. This includes audits of alignment with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights;
  • Chevron in China and other clients on design and implementation of project-level grievance mechanisms;
  • Newcrest, ExxonMobil, Glencore and Rio Tinto on various class actions and representative proceedings involving tort and constitutional law claims commenced in Australia and overseas alleging environmental, social or human rights impacts.

Rachel led the Allens team that advised the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights in development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Rachel was also on the IFC's Expert Panel for review if its 'Guidance for Projects and Companies on Designing Grievance Mechanisms', and on the International Commission of Jurists' Expert Panel on Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Violations.

Rachel is a Director of the UN Global Compact Network Australia and leads its Anti-Corruption Leadership Group.

Rachel is also proud to co-chair Allens' LGBTI network, ALLin.