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 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 is well known for achieving clearance of high profile and complex mergers, domestic and international, including:
- DuPont – merger of equals with Dow Chemical Corporation including proposed divestments.
- News Corporation – a number of acquisitions and divestments, including merger between wholly-owned Fox Sports and Foxtel; acquisition of regional newspaper group Australian Regional Media from APN News & Media; sale of Sunday Times to Seven Network; and sale of online directory business True Local to Sensis, a subsidiary of Telstra.
- Foxtel – acquisition of Australian subscription TV provider Austar and acquisition of 15 per cent 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.
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:
- 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.
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.