I make it easier for you and your organisation to achieve your goals by providing straightforward and expert advice. My experience working at the Commerce Commission and in the private sector sets my advice apart. This experience allows me to anticipate, understand, and do what is needed to succeed.
I have advised private parties and the Commerce Commission on merger clearances, authorisations, investigations, and litigation.
While I was at the Commerce Commission, I played a leading role in redrafting the Commerce Commission’s Mergers and Acquisitions Guidelines and Authorisation Guidelines. These Guidelines explain the Commission’s approach to merger clearances and authorisations. I was also involved in advising the Commission on almost all mergers including Z/Chevron, IAG/Lumley, Vodafone/Sky, and NZME/Fairfax.
Since setting up Blacktop, I have acted for private parties involved in clearance processes and also for the Commerce Commission in its investigation and proceedings relating to Platinum Equity’s acquisition of Office Max New Zealand and during the Commission’s investigation of Fulton Hogan’s proposed acquisition of Stevenson Group Limited's construction materials business.
While previously in private practice I was involved in numerous merger clearances and investigations including assisting in acting for:
Cavalier Wool Holdings in obtaining authorisation to acquire Wool Services International in 2011; and
Woolworths in seeking clearance to acquire The Warehouse, which included appearing in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Cartels and restrictive trade practices
I have advised private parties and the Commerce Commission in relation to cartels and restrictive trade practices.
At the Commerce Commission I led the initial drafting of the Commission’s Competitor Collaboration Guidelines. These Guidelines explain the Commission’s approach to New Zealand’s new cartel laws.
I also advised the Commission on all its competition investigations and litigation including the Commission’s investigations into Sky TV’s re-seller contracts, Winstone Wallboards’ supply arrangements, and Progressive Enterprises’ supplier arrangements, as well as the Commission’s price fixing proceedings against a major timber company, national and regional real estate agencies, and livestock companies respectively.
Since starting Blacktop, I have advised clients in relation to Commerce Commission investigations and business collaborations including advising Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees in establishing the Rural Connectivity Group, a joint venture company that has been appointed by the government to be the infrastructure provider under the RBI2 (Rural Broadband Initiative 2) and the Mobile Black Spot fund.
Regulation and policy
I have advised on various regulatory and policy projects across a number of industries.
I have acted for MBIE, the Productivity Commission, the Commerce Commission, telecommunications providers, and parties involved in the electricity lines sector.
I have written and been asked to comment publicly on a number of competition issues.