Allens

Experience

The in-depth knowledge of our Japan Group, coupled with the extensive experience of our other sectors and practice groups, allows us to advise on the key areas of interest to Japanese business investors in Australia and the Asia region.

Oil & Gas

Our experience includes structuring major oil and gas acquisitions and disposals, and the development and financing of LNG and floating LNG projects, as well as coal seam gas and shale gas projects in Australia and in the Asia region. Some of the examples that involve Japanese parties are:

  • advised a major Japanese energy company and its equity partner on the project financing of Ichthys LNG project;
  • acted for a Japanese utility company on its participation in the Pluto LNG project;
  • acted for a Japanese utility company on its participation in the Wheatstone LNG project;
  • acted for a Japanese utility company on its acquisition of interest in the Gorgon LNG project;
  • advised a major Japanese energy company on the investment into the Prelude Floating LNG project;
  • advised a Japanese utility company on its participation in the Crux Liquids project;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on its project financing of Casino Gas field project;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on its acquisition of an interest in the PNG LNG project;
  • advised a major Japanese energy company and its equity partner on all aspects of the development of the Bayu Undan LNG project in Timor Leste; and
  • acting for a major Japanese energy company on its development of Masela Floating LNG project in Indonesia.

Mining

Our experience in the mining sector goes back more than 100 years. We have been involved in some of the most significant mining projects in Australia, Africa and Asia, from day one. This has given us an unparalleled understanding and track record in providing advice, from significant matters through to advice on the day-to-day operations of mines. Some of the examples that involve Japanese parties are:

  • advised a Japanese utility company on its acquisition of an interest in the Boggabri coal mine in NSW;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on financing arrangements for the development of Caval Ridge coal mine in Queensland;
  • advised financiers on loans for the acquisition of Minerva coal mining interests in Queensland;
  • acted for a leading Japanese trading house on the formation of a joint venture with Aquila Resources involving the transfer of a 50 per cent interest in the Isaac Plains coal mine in Queensland;
  • acted for four Japanese companies buying into a Queensland coal mining joint venture;
  • acted for a leading multinational company defending litigation relating to its coal mine in Queensland, one of the world's largest coking coal mines;
  • acted for a leading Japanese trading house and its joint venture partner for the financing and development of the Southdown Iron Ore Project in Western Australia;
  • drafted and negotiated the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the iron ore processing facility and associated infrastructure at the Mesa A mine in Western Australia; and
  • acted for a Japanese-Indonesian smelting company on the project financing of a new copper smelting plant in Gresik, East Java.

Banking & Finance

We are one of the few firms to feature on every major legal panel in the Australian finance market and we advise some of the world's leading financial institutions, corporates and governments across the Asian region. Some of the examples that involve Japanese parties are:

  • advised a syndicate of Japanese banks on the refinancing of project financing for the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline;
  • advised a major Japanese bank on its project financing on various PPP projects, including Bendigo Hospital, Melbourne Convention Centre, South Australia schools and Brisbane Airport;
  • advised the Japanese arm of a global life insurance specialist on various property finance transactions in Australia;
  • advised major Japanese banks on financings of various residential property development matters in NSW;
  • advised a major Japanese bank as the debt providers in the US$400 million capital raising for Babcock & Brown Asia Infrastructure Fund (BBAIF); and
  • advising foreign banks on various loan, security, foreign currency, and regulatory matters in Vietnam.

Infrastructure & Projects

We advise the public sector, sponsors, financiers, contractors, suppliers, consultants and insurers in relation to infrastructure and energy and resources projects. Some of the examples that involve Japanese parties are:

  • acted for the winning consortium's bid to develop the Victorian Desalination Plant;
  • acted for the Bombardier-led Consortium on its successful bid for the Queensland New Generation Rollingstock PPP;
  • acted for a leading Japanese trading house on the off-take and project financing arrangements for Bald Hills Wind Farm project in Victoria;
  • advised on all aspects of development, including construction, government support and project financing of the Nghi Son Refinery, Vietnam;
  • advised as project and local finance counsel in relation to the establishment of Vung Ang II power station in Vietnam, including its project finance;
  • provided a report to a Japanese government body on the public private partnership (PPP) regulatory framework in Indonesia and Vietnam; and
  • advised an international consortium on their successful bid to develop the CHP5 combined heat and power plant in Mongolia.

M&A, Corporate & Commercial

We have advised on many of Australia's largest M&A transactions in recent years, demonstrating our team's strength as one of the leading corporate practices in Australia. We have also acted for Japanese clients in a number of cross-border transactions and investments, including:

  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on its acquisition of interest in an Australian mining equipment rental business;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on its acquisition of interest in an Australian dairy manufacturer;
  • advised a leading Japanese brewery on its acquisition of interest in a brewery joint venture in Vietnam;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on the establishment of a flour milling joint venture in Vietnam with a South Korean food producer;
  • advised a leading Japanese trading house on its acquisition of an interest in a commercial bank in Indonesia, the largest foreign investment to have been completed in the Indonesian institutions sector; and
  • with Linklaters, advised a Japanese consortium on its entry into the Myanmar telecommunications market.

Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Insolvency

We advise a number of Japanese companies on commercial litigation and dispute resolution in the areas of contractual disputes, resources, employment, insolvency, competition law, transfer pricing, corporate governance and product liability. In addition, a number of our partners and lawyers have practised in litigation and dispute resolution in Japan, giving them a good understanding of the intricacies of the Japanese legal and business systems. Our recent experience includes:

  • acted for a Japanese investor in an Australian coal mine dispute in relation to its contractual right to a dividend and a company’s oppressive conduct in withholding dividend payments;
  • advised a Japanese IT services provider in several highly technical managed services (outsourcing) disputes;
  • advised a Japanese ink manufacturer on industrial relations, enterprise bargaining matters and assisting with a redundancy and restructure program, including by representing the client in the FWC;
  • acted for a major Japanese trading house in relation to an unfair preference claim brought by the liquidators of a renewable energy retailer;
  • acted for a Japanese utility in relation to the voluntary administration of Nexus Energy; and
  • acted for Japanese companies in tax disputes against the ATO.

Competition Law

We advise a number of Japanese companies on competition law issues, including merger control, cartel enforcement and leniency, vertical and horizontal restraints, and compliance audits and training. In addition, our market-leading class actions practice has supported Japanese clients in cartel 'follow on' proceedings. Our recent experience includes:

  • acted for a major Japanese music publisher on the ACCC merger control notification made in respect of its acquisition of the music publishing business from a British multinational record company;
  • acted for a major Japanese music publisher on the ACCC merger control notification made in respect of its acquisition of its 50 per cent share in the music entertainment arm from Bertelsmann AG;
  • acted for a major Japanese cables manufacturer in relation to Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC in respect of alleged cartel conduct in the high-voltage power cables sector;
  • acted for a major Japanese automotive parts manufacturer in relation to aspects of an ACCC cartel investigation in the automotive parts sector; and
  • acted for a major Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer in relation to class action proceedings in the Federal Court against participants in the worldwide vitamin cartel.

IP and Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

We are one of the very few firms in the Asia-Pacific region that offer a 'one-stop-shop' for the creation, commercialisation, management, protection and enforcement of IP rights. Our work for Japanese clients includes:

  • provided trade mark clearance, registration and enforcement services to one of Japan's major consumer electronics companies;
  • represented a Japanese pharmaceutical company in patent infringement proceedings before the Federal Court of Australia;
  • provided trade mark clearance, registration and general portfolio services to a Japanese chemicals company, specialising in the manufacturing of nappies for both babies and adult incontinence, feminine hygiene products and pet care products;
  • provided ongoing patent advice and registration work to the Australian arm of a major Japanese company relating to electronic climate control of shipping containers; and
  • provided trade mark clearance, registration and portfolio services to a major Japanese manufacturer of high-quality golfing goods.