Australian Consumer Law
Australian consumer laws are complex, onerous and continue to evolve. If you run a business, you need an experienced legal adviser to guide you on the rights of consumers when purchasing goods and services.
What sets us apart is that we have experience advising on sophisticated consumer law issues, which means we are the go-to firm to translate complex consumer law issues into practical and commercial advice to ensure regulatory compliance. We advise across the full spectrum of consumer law matters, including false, misleading and deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct and unfair contract terms, advertising and marketing, warranties and consumer guarantees and product safety issues. We do so in relation to ACCC and Fair Trading investigations and contested enforcement actions, commercial disputes and proceedings, and in Australia's vigorous class action space. We also advise clients across the automotive, FMCG and other franchised industries in relation to Franchising Code of Conduct compliance and in response to commercial and regulatory enforcement actions.
We have a deep and ongoing understanding of the many issues our clients may face
We know the ACL issues likely to emerge and the best way to resolve them. We are at the forefront of new ACL developments, which we proactively share with our clients, and are pioneers in designing innovative solutions that save our clients time and money. We provide ACL advice to a number of local and international clients including global technology and platform clients, Woolworths, Optus, Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota, as well as Australian energy providers.
The team’s quality of work is outstanding. Team members exercise excellent judgment, they are hardworking and very efficient at the same time, and they do not waste time on unnecessary tasks.
OUR RECENT EXPERIENCE
- Confidential: We act in Federal Court litigation commenced by an app developer offering services a platform alleging breach of contract as well as ACL and competition contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).
- iSelect: We successfully acted for iSelect in settling litigation commenced by the ACCC in relation to iSelect's energy business, which alleged false or misleading conduct and challenged iSelect's marketing business model based on its algorithm operation.
- Confidential: We act for one of world's largest technology companies for ACCC consumer law investigations, and have negotiated non-court resolutions and proceedings relating to misleading conduct allegations and consumer guarantee/warranty issues in respect of the distribution and sale of technology devices and associated services.
- Volkswagen Emissions: We defended the VW Group in five consumer class actions brought by two separate law firms on behalf of vehicle owners, and two regulatory actions by the ACCC in relation to vehicles which contain EA 189 diesel engines. After running the matter to a trial, we successfully negotiated a settlement in each proceeding, with the Federal Court approving the settlement in April 2020.
- Takata Air Bags: We are acting for Volkswagen in their defence of Takata airbag class actions brought in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on behalf vehicle owners against the Australian distributors of vehicles originally supplied with airbag inflators manufactured by Takata. The claims allege that these vehicles have reduced in value as a result. Volkswagen was entirely successful in its defence in the only trial held to date.
- Optus: We regularly advise Optus on a range of consumer law matters, including in relation to advertising and marketing, compliance, private litigation and regulatory investigations. This includes successfully defending, and bringing, three separate proceedings against Telstra in as many years in relation to advertising claims - with a 100% success rate for Optus.
- Virgin Australia: We advised on consumer law compliance (including refund policies and consumer guarantee provisions of the ACL) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the insolvency of the Virgin Australia Group.
- Lime e-scooters and e-bikes: We are advising Lime on a range of product safety and consumer law matters, including compliance with an ACCC enforceable undertaking. This has involved assisting Lime with completing its compliance review and satisfying the Independent Reviewer appointed under the undertaking of Lime's consumer law compliance.
- Automotive clients: We advise a full fleet of multinational automotive companies, including Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Ferrari, Toyota, Mercedes, Volvo and others, on a full range of Australian Consumer Law issues, from misleading conduct claims to unfair contract terms in dealings with suppliers and dealer networks, in addition to advising on automotive regulatory issues affecting the importation and supply of vehicles to market and Franchising Code of Conduct matters affecting dealings with authorised dealer networks.
- Prepaid calling card services: We acted for Australia's largest pre-paid calling card carriage service provider in relation to investigations and enforcement by ACCC, ACMA, Department of Justice, Victoria and in private party disputes relating to alleged misleading and deceptive conduct and other alleged consumer protection breaches.
- Mid-tier Telco: We were appointed as compliance reviewer for a telco that resolved ACCC enforcement action via a 3 year s87B Undertaking requiring risk assessment and overhaul of compliance processes and practices. Concerns in that matter were in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct in advertising and calling scripts.
- Novartis Group: We advised on ACCC proceedings in the Federal Court against GlaxoSmithKline Healthcare Australia and Novartis Consumer Health Australasia, alleging false or misleading representations in the marketing of two Voltaren pain relief products containing the same active ingredient.