Regulatory

Overview

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.

Experience

Recent matters

ATCO Gas Australia

Advising on the regulatory proposal and the preparation of submissions and evidence for the Economic Regulation Authority’s gas price review for 2020–2024.

Energy Networks

Advising on the AER’s 2018 rate of return guideline review, as well as reviews by the AER in respect of productivity and the regulatory tax approach.

Electricity Distribution and Transmission Network

Advising on transition to regulation under the National Electricity Rules and on first regulatory proposal under the NER.

Port Operator

Advising on obligations under regulatory regime and compliance issues.

Queensland Competition Authority

Advising on QCA review of Aurizon Network’s access undertaking proposal. Acted for the QCA in successfully defending judicial review proceedings commenced by Aurizon Network in the Supreme Court of Queensland in respect of the QCA’s draft decision. Advising the QCA in respect of the Queensland Rail 2020 access undertaking proposal.

Western Power

Advising on the ERA’s review of Western Power’s 2017–2022 Access Arrangement.

Various Energy Networks

Advising on outcomes of AER remitter process in respect of NSW electricity distribution determinations, application of AER 2018 rate of return guideline and other AER review outcomes.

ASIC

Acting for ASIC in the bank bill swap rate litigation against the Big Four banks.

Recognition

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 Radford, Peter Rose and Roxanne Smith are recognised as leading lawyers in Regulatory Practice.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2014
Rohan Madders is named as a Melbourne 'Lawyer of the Year' in Regulatory Practice.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2013

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