"I make things happen – FAST!"
Leading global and Australian brands trust Laura with their most significant and strategically important transactions and legal challenges because they know she will give them a one-stop shop in being able to provide a unique mix of expertise in being both a M&A lawyer and a competition and consumer lawyer. She will also provide them with exceptional service, completely relevant solutions and bring passion to deliver their projects.
Laura has had the privilege to work with many, large fast moving consumer goods companies over many years, allowing her to bring industry knowledge to everything she does. Laura’s clients in this area include:
• The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Australia
• The a2 Milk Company
• Bega Cheese Limited
• Hill’s Pet Nutrition
• Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company
The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) — represented TCCC in both the M&A and merger clearance aspects of a variety of transactions in Australia including in 2021 sale of its 45% interest, together with its bottler, Coca-Cola Amatil, in the Made Group of Companies (owners of the Cocobella, Rokeby Farms and Impressed Juice brands) and its 2018 acquisition of that same investment.
The a2 Milk Company — between 2010 and to date, provided daily advertising and marketing clearance advice to The a2 Milk Company on its global and Australian advertising and marketing campaigns, and advising this client on food regulatory issues. In 2016 – 2017, representing The a2 Milk Company in its Federal Court challenge to certain advertising of Lion Dairy & Drinks.
Bega Cheese Limited — obtained merger clearance from the ACCC on all its transactions including: • in 2020, in relation to its $534m acquisition of Lion Dairy & Drinks, owners of the Dairy Farmers, Yoplait, Big M, Masters and Dare and Farmers Union iced coffee brands; • in 2018, in relation to its $250m acquisition of Saputo’s Koroit processing facility; • in 2017, in relation to its $460m acquisition of various assets from Mondelez Australia including the Vegemite and Kraft peanut butter brands.
Bega Cheese Limited — represented Bega Cheese in 2017 in responding to a compulsory notice issued by the ACCC as part of the Federal Government’s then inquiry into the dairy industry in Australia. Advised Bega Cheese since then on its milk supply agreements and milk procurement practices to ensure compliance with the Dairy Code.
Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative — advised DFMC in relation to the re-authorisation of their back-to-back milk purchasing policies and pricing arrangements with DFMC farmer members and Bega, which involved liaising with and lodging a detailed submission with the ACCC’s Competitions Exemptions team. This led to a favourable outcome being achieved for DFMC, with the ACCC agreeing to grant a further authorisation of these arrangements for 10 years.
Australian Association of National Advertisers — in 2022, undertook a comprehensive review of the procedures and processes of the competitor vs competitor alternative dispute resolution of the AANA’s AdStandards Industry Jury.
Decathlon — represented Decathlon in 2019 in relation to a section 155 notice issued to it by the ACCC, the subsequent ACCC investigation and then proceedings which were commenced by the ACCC against Decathlon arising out of breaches of various mandatory safety standards.
KU Children’s Services — in 2023, advising KU Children’s Services on a compulsory notice issued to it by the ACCC as part of its pricing inquiry into childcare costs.
Reebok Australia — acted as a Compliance Auditor to undertake an annual review of an Australian Consumer Law Compliance Program of Reebok Australia which was ordered to be implemented by the Federal Court of Australia arising out of proceedings brought against it by the ACCC for false and misleading advertising. Reebok Australia was motivated to retain Laura knowing she had significant knowledge of consumer law issues and was an approved auditor from the ACCC’s point of view.
Subway Systems Australia — advised Subway Systems on various of its advertising and marketing campaigns from 2016 to date.
Water Filters Australia — in 2022, advised WFA on various voluntary product recalls it implemented as a result of the introduction of various mandatory standards on button batteries.
Cartel Conduct and Resale Price Maintenance Audit for key client — from 2016 to date, conducting comprehensive and in-depth cartel conduct and resale price maintenance audits for a key client of the firm as part of the client’s compliance initiatives and in order to assist the client in determining the level of competition law risk exposure within their sales team.
Competition and Consumer Law Compliance programs — designing, developing and then providing training to many different clients in many different industries on Competition and Consumer law.
Exclusive Dealing Review for FMCG client — completed an in-depth competition law review in each of 2022, 2021 and 2020 for a key client in relation to an exclusivity restraint and its rollover in a core commercial supply agreement with a retailer. This involved an assessment of the purpose and effect of the restraint on competition in various FMCG markets which amongst other things required an analysis of market scan data and consumer behaviour data.
Unfair contract terms redrafts — from 2016 to date, reviewed multiple sets of terms and conditions of clients from a wide variety of industries for compliance with the unfair contracts terms provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
Lawyers Weekly — Partner of the Year Awards: Competition, Trade & Regulation: Finalist — 2022
Committees and memberships
Member (and sometimes Chair) of the Advertising Standards Industry Jury,
KU Children’s Services, Chair of the Board 2016 - 2021
Director, KU Children’s Services 2012 - 2021
Managing Partner, Addisons 2011 - 2016
Member, Competition Law Discussion Group
Member, Law Society of NSW
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Laws, University of Sydney
“Laura’s competition and regulatory expertise has ensured Bega Cheese has been able to conclude a number of successful mergers and acquisitions as the dairy industry in Australia has consolidated over the last few years. Her advice has been exceptional in making sure we meet the regulatory requirements of the ACCC in terms of the many mergers we have done and in furthering our relationships with farmers including her wise counsel in relation to our milk supply agreements and compliance with the dairy code.”