Access and economic regulation

"They punch above their weight - and deliver exceptional value."

Chambers Asia-Pacific

The Australian regime for third party access to essential facilities presents a range of complex challenges on the two central aspects of the issue, obtaining (or defending against) a right of access and pricing.

Our specialist third party access and economic regulation team has significant experience advising asset owners and access seekers (including major Australian corporations and public or private financial investors) and regulated entities subject to revenue or price controls.

We advise clients in a range of sectors including gas pipelines and networks, electricity networks, ports, railways, airports, grain export terminals, coal handling facilities, petroleum processing facilities, gas storage reservoirs and oil terminals on:

  • all aspects of access regulation under the Competition and Consumer Act, national electricity law, national gas law and state-based regimes
  • broader strategic issues affecting access seekers and infrastructure owners
  • access undertakings and arrangements including drafting submissions to regulators and compliance issues
  • negotiating and drafting complex access agreements
  • regulatory processes setting price and non-price terms of access (including submissions and responses to regulators’ determinations)
  • access and pricing disputes before tribunals and courts including representation of clients and prosecuting appeals from regulatory determinations.

A number of our team members have qualifications in economics and understand the context for providing commercially focussed legal analysis of competition in markets dependent on infrastructure facilities, and of economic regulation of access terms and conditions.

  • ATCO Gas Australia: advising on issues arising on the revenue determination, including operating and capital expenditure allowances, depreciation, tariff structures and the rate of return on capital.
  • Electricity distribution networks: advising on commercial, competition and access issues arising from the introduction of smart metering technology in Victoria.
  • Energy Networks Association: assisting the national industry association representing Australia’s energy distribution networks with submissions to Government on statutory enforcement regimes.
  • Flinders Ports: advising on competition and access issues in relation to logistics and transport companies and submissions to ESCOSA.
  • Queensland Competition Authority: advising on competition, access and administrative law issues relating to Queensland Rail’s proposed access undertaking and other access matters.
  • United Energy: advising on the regulatory proposal and preparation of submissions for the Australian Energy Regulator’s determination of allowed revenue for the electricity distribution network for 2016-2020.
  • Anthony Groom, John Kench, Rohan Madders, Gordon Radford, Peter Rose, Roxanne Smith, Sar Katdare and Tom Jarvis are named as leading lawyers in Regulatory Practice. – Best Lawyers Australia, 2018
  • Anthony Groom, John Kench, Rohan Madders, Gordon RadfordPeter Rose and Roxanne Smith are recognised as leading lawyers in Regulatory Practice. – Best Lawyers Australia, 2014
  • Rohan Madders is named 'Melbourne Regulatory Lawyer of the Year' – Best Lawyers Australia, 2013