Defence contractors

Allens has extensive experience working in the defence sector, including on significant procurement work for and against the Australian Department of Defence.

The firm was previously one of four firms appointed to the former Department of Defence Materiel (DMO) strategic commercial legal services panel. We served on the panel from 2006-2012, after which we retired from the panel in order to act more extensively for private sector contractors to the DMO and to the Department of Defence, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.

Having advised both the Australian Government (DMO and Department of Defence) and a number of key contractors, we are acutely aware of government's commercial, political and policy drivers, including the defence strategic interest in each project. This has allowed us to develop a detailed appreciation of the risks and issues involved in the defence industry and defence procurement transactions. We also understand the importance and sensitivity of the political environment and political and Parliamentary oversight surrounding projects and transactions.

Our recent work has included advising defence contractors on the acquisition of competitors involving the transfer of significant defence contracts. In particular, we recently advised Northrop Grumman on its recent acquisition of Qantas Defence Services. We have also advised on intellectual property and cyber security issues, and assisted defence contractors with sanctions policies and compliance programs and contract disputes.

Our experience

Australia's Future Submarine Program (SEA1000)
Advising DCNS SA on the design and mobilisation contract for the Australian future submarine program, and the commencement of the design phase of the program. Work has involved including technical data transfer issues, cybersecurity and technology security control plans and establishment of special purpose IT systems, and analysis of the regulation of controlled defence technology in Australia, France and the United States. Allens is advising alongside law firms Gide (France) and Morrison & Foerster (United States) to assist DCNS.

Acquisition of Boeing's Naval Systems Division and contracts for Collins Class Submarines
Advised Raytheon on its acquisition of Boeing's Naval Systems Division and the associated contracts in relation to the Collins Class Submarines. This was the key contract for the design and installation of the combat systems for the submarines and was integral to its design. Our work involved negotiating all aspects of the transfer of this main contract from BAE to Raytheon, including obtaining all necessary consents from Defence.

Destroyers' weapons system contract
Negotiation of a contract for Raytheon with the Commonwealth for the design of the new Destroyers' weapons system. Raytheon was one of the participants in the alliance-based target incentive agreement for the Defence Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Program.

Acquisition of Qantas Defence Services
Advised Northrop Grumman on its acquisition of Qantas Defence Services, which provides support and maintenance for customers including the Royal Australian Air Force. Allens also advised on Northrop Grumman's acquisition of M5 Securities, a defence cyber security provider.

Single LEAP project defence force housing public-private partnership
Advised Plenary Group on a public-private partnership project to deliver Defence Force accommodation at 14 military bases across Australia. Allens advised the leading public infrastructure investor, developer and operator on its contractual and financial arrangements for the Department of Defence's $900 million Single LEAP project. Plenary Group has partnered with a consortium of regional construction firms and ESS Support Services Worldwide to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain 3015 accommodation units for the 30-year term of the contract.

Maintenance and support services contracts
As a member of the Department of Defence Materiel (DMO) strategic commercial legal services panel from 2006-2012, the firm also advised on procurement contracting projects for navy (Collins submarine rescue services, Under Water System support, Fast Frigate Group Integrated Materiel support) and airforce (Seahawk and Blackhawk maintenance, Tiger Helicopter maintenance, Hornet engineering services).

Acquisition of Australian Defence Industries (ADI Limited)
Advised Thales SA in relation to its acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in defence contractor ADI Limited from Transfield Holdings, including securing consent of the Department of Defence to the change of control.

Successful bid to acquire Tenix
Advised BAE Systems Australia Limited on complex information technology transitional services and separation arrangements associated with BAE's successful bid to acquire Tenix for A$775 million.

ITAR obligations and local discrimination laws
Advising a US-based defence contractor on the interaction between its obligations under the ITAR and local discrimination laws.

Industrial tribunal orders
Assisting a defence contractor to obtain orders from the industrial tribunal (the Fair Work Commission) permitting employees acquired with a business to be employed on the contractor’s pre-existing terms and conditions.