I make things happen – FAST!
Leading global and Australian brands trust me with their most significant and strategically important transactions and legal challenges because they know I will provide them with exceptional service, completely relevant solutions and bring passion to deliver their projects.
My expertise is in the fields of corporate advisory, mergers and acquisitions, competition, consumer and regulatory.
I’ve had the privilege to work with many, large fast moving consumer goods companies over many years, allowing me to bring industry knowledge to everything I do. My clients in this area include:
- Bega Cheese
- Hill’s Pet Nutrition
- Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company
- The a2 Milk Company
- The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Australia
The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) — acted on a variety of M&A transactions for TCCC including in 2018, TCCC’s acquisition, together with its bottler, Coca-Cola Amatil, of a 45% interest in the Made Group of Companies, owners of Cocobella, Rockeby Farms and Impressed Juice brand of products and TCCC’s acquisition of 100% of Organic & Raw, owners of MOJO kombucha.
The a2 Milk Company — regularly advising The a2 Milk Company on its global and Australian advertising and marketing strategies, campaigns and challenges, including advising the company on the litigation it commenced against Lion Dairy & Drinks in 2016.
Bega Cheese Limited — obtaining merger clearance from the ACCC in 2017 for the $460m purchase by Bega Cheese Limited of various assets from Mondelez Australia relating to the Vegemite brand of products, Kraft peanut butter and Dairy Lea branded cheese and snack products. - also advised Bega Cheese in 2017 in responding to a section 95ZK notice from the ACCC under the Competition and Consumer Act as part of the Federal Government’s enquiry into the dairy industry in Australia. These were both significant projects: the former because of the size of the transaction and the commercial importance of fast merger clearance to Bega Cheese Limited; the latter because of the enormous amount of documentation required to be reviewed and produced to respond to the ACCC’s notice, requiring Laura and her team to use a mix of human and technological solutions.
Subway Systems Australia — In 2016, Laura was appointed to undertake a holistic review of all advertising and marketing materials by Subway Systems to ensure their compliance not only with the Australian Consumer Law, Food Standards Code, kilojoule labelling laws and the various AANA and AFGC advertising Codes of Practice but also to reflect best practice in advertising and marketing of meals sold in quick service restaurants. The deliverable for Subway Systems was a set of plain English guidelines, for easy use by the marketers in the company so as to assist them to quickly and accurately create copy, to minimise the time necessary for legal review and therefore ensure fast to market advertising.
Reebok Australia — In each of 2016 and 2015, Laura was appointed 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 experience in relation to such compliance audits so her review would be both efficient and credible to the ACCC.
Committees and memberships
KU Children’s Services, Chair of the Board
Director, KU Children’s Services
Company Secretary, Australian Association of National Advertisers, Advertising Standards Bureau and Advertising Standards Council
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)/Laws, University of Sydney
“Laura Hartley has been my “go to” lawyer for all our external commercial needs since 2007. Her experience in the field, in-depth knowledge of our business and FMCGs generally, as well as her ability to respond to urgent matters in a “no-fuss” manner gives her an outstanding advantage amongst her peers.”