Profile of Jacqueline Downes

Jacqueline Downes

Partner, Practice Group Leader, Competition, Consumer & Regulatory, BA (Hons) LLB (Hons)

About Jacqueline Downes

Jacqueline heads our national Competition, Consumer & Regulatory group. 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 chair 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.

Jacqueline is ranked as a leading competition and antitrust expert in Chambers, Best Lawyers, The Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Global Competition Review. 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.' Recent commentary says Jacqui is well respected by clients who state 'She gives a very good assessment of the likely outcome and what's going to be needed to get a different outcome.'


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

  • Salesforce – acquisition of Slack.
  • QAF – sale of Rivalea to JBS.
  • CBA – sale of general insurance business to Hollard.
  • PEP – sale of Pacific Health Group to EBOS.
  • DuPont – merger with Dow Chemical Corporation including proposed divestments.
  • Bayer – sale of its animal health business to Elanco.
  • AP Eagers – acquisition of Automotive Holdings Group in the first formal merger authorisation.
  • BMS – acquisition of Celgene.
  • APN Outdoor – acquisition by JCDecaux.
  • News Corporation – a number of acquisitions and divestments, including merger between Fox Sports and Foxtel, acquisition of regional newspaper group Australian Regional Media and sale of Sunday Times to Seven Network.
  • Foxtel – a number of acquisitions including Australian subscription TV provider Austar.
  • CPPIB and GIP – acquisition of rail haulage company 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.
Investigations & 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:

  • Fronerri-owned Australasian Food Group (Peter's Ice Cream) in relation to proceedings brought by the ACCC for alleged exclusive dealing.
  • PZ Cussons in defending proceedings brought by the ACCC on a 'hub and spoke' cartel.
  • Sony Playstation – in settling proceedings brought by the ACCC in relation to consumer law matters.
  • Litigation by Seven Network in relation to the acquisition of the AFL and NRL rights.
  • Global investment banks – ACCC cartel investigations.
  • Multinational and domestic companies – ACCC investigations into competition and consumer law matters including cartel conduct, misuse of market power, exclusive dealing, unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive conduct.

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.