John specialises in:
- mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures;
- competition law (including third party access and economic regulation, and competition and consumer law); and
- major commercial transactions, particularly in the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors.
John is listed as a notable practitioner for Competition/Antitrust in Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 and 2018, with Chambers noting the 'extensive, positive feedback, testifying to his mastery of merger clearance, infrastructure access and other competition matters' and is recommended in the Energy and Resources section of Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.
Examples of John's recent relevant experience include:
Mergers and acquisitions / Joint ventures
- Mergers and acquisitions – sales by Rio Tinto of the Clermont and Blair Athol coal mines, Australian aspects of the acquisition by JERA of EDF's coal business, sales by First Reserve of its interests in AMCI's Australian coal assets, the Belvedere coal joint venture, the Australian Premium Iron joint venture and Whitehaven Coal Mining Limited, and acquisition of its interest in Calibre Group and subsequent IPO; acquisitions by Central Petroleum of 50 per cent of Santos' Mereenie project and Magellan's Palm Valley and Dingo projects.
- Joint ventures – advising AMCI, Mitsui Coal Holdings, Rio Tinto, Central Petroleum and Wilmar Gavilon on joint venture issues, joint marketing and joint venture restructures, including negotiation of Rio Tinto's proposed strategic alliance with Chinalco and proposed Pilbara iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton.
Competition, access and economic regulation
- Competition law – advising clients including Queensland Sugar, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Energy Queensland, QIC, Queensland Treasury, Central Petroleum, SunWater, on a wide variety of competition law issues including merger clearances, exclusive dealing, notifications, authorisations, ACCC and office of fair trading investigations, government inquiries and taskforces on competition issues, industry codes of conduct, the Australian Consumer Law and providing compliance training.
- Access regulation – advising on access undertakings for Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT User Group), Aurizon Network's central Queensland coal rail network (Glencore), ARTC's Hunter Valley rail network (Anglo American); Queensland Rail's rail network (Glencore, New Hope, Yancoal); the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct (Wilmar Gavilon), regulation of the Dawson Valley pipeline under the national gas laws (WestSide), the Vertigan review (Central Petroleum) and advising on the previous Aurizon Network access undertakings (Queensland Competition Authority).
- Economic regulation – advising SunWater on the ACCC's review of Murray-Darling basin water charges rules; NSW government on submissions to the AER in relation to pricing aspects of decisions regarding electricity network businesses; BHP on regulated pricing of domestic transmission capacity service.
Energy, resources and infrastructure
- Rail, port and pipeline infrastructure – negotiation of rail haulage and rail access agreements (Glencore, Rio Tinto, Yancoal), port user agreements (Rio Tinto, BHP), capacity trading and transfer arrangements (Peabody, Rio Tinto, Yancoal), pricing reviews and arbitrations (BHP, Middlemount Coal), gas sales and transportation arrangements (Central Petroleum), gas storage arrangements (APA), water supply and transportation arrangements (SunWater), bulk sugar terminal storage and handling arrangements (Queensland Sugar), feasibility and study funding arrangements (Rio Tinto), and bid for rail operator services for Galilee rail line (confidential client) and advice on terminal operations and regulations (Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal).
- Pit to port and other resources projects – advising on development of infrastructure contracts and/or access arrangements for the Wandoan/Surat Basin Rail projects (Glencore), West Pilbara Iron Ore project (AMCI), Simandou iron ore project in Guinea (Rio Tinto) Moatize to Macuse project in Mozambique (Italian-Thai Development plc) and Oakajee rail and port project (West Australian government), and advising on development of the Oyu Tolgoi (Rio Tinto) and Wafi-Golpu (Newcrest/Harmony) projects.
John is a member of the Law Council of Australia's Competition and Consumer Law Committee and the Queensland committee of the Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association, author of the Resources Joint Ventures chapter of Joint Ventures Law in Australia (2012, 3rd edition) and editor of the 'Access to Services' section of the Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law.
John efficiently manages matters (big and small) to provide cost-effective results for his clients, combining techniques learned from both his experience in major transactions and formal legal project management training.
Areas of Expertise
Recent News & Publications