Allen & Overy LLP

Competition/Antitrust Department

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What the team is known for Respected team with high cross-border capability, backed by a worldwide network and frequently acting on behalf of high-profile clients from the Australian and international financial services, energy and aviation sectors. Offers proven expertise advising global clients on multi-jurisdictional merger filings throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Also noted for its competition litigation and investigation-related capabilities, complemented by in-depth, experience-based understanding of ACCC processes and constructive relations with the Commission.

Strengths Clients acclaim the team's "excellent performance and responsiveness," one calling its "very commercial and practical" approach "a great value-add," another speaking of "high-quality service and the stamp of quality" and adding: "There's never any need to question their advice, which is tailored to the circumstances."

The same client further emphasises that the Allen & Overy team enjoys "the advantage of a firm with global reach of being able to use its network to co-ordinate a global response."

Work highlights Advised the UK-based EG Group on merger control aspects of its AUD1.73 billion acquisition of Woolworths' Australia-wide network of 540 petrol stations. The transaction received close scrutiny from the ACCC, which had blocked an earlier Woolworths attempt to sell the assets to BP, but received clearance both from the Commission and from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Notable practitioners

Peter McDonald leads the practice and takes the helm on both transactional and regulatory mandates, commanding "high regard" from both peers and clients. The latter stress the fact that he understands, on the basis of having worked at the Commission himself, "how the ACCC works and assesses things," one client reporting: "We found his insights into their internal workings and potential thought processes insightful and helpful." Another observes: "He is always looking to provide an answer based on what we are trying to achieve – and does provide effective answers and good, clear, coherent and on-point advice."