image of Mark FriezerMark Friezer

Clayton Utz Partner , Sydney T +61 2 9353 4227 https://www.claytonutz.com

Mark is considered one of Australia's leading experts in Australian tax law. 

He advises on high-level taxation of financial transactions, corporate tax, trust taxation, capital gains tax and treaties and has particular expertise advising both local and international funds and companies on their tax dealings, including advising on acquisitions, capital raisings and project finance facilities, and liaising with the Australian Taxation Office. Clients appreciate his ability to "keep it simple and to the point" when dealing with "new areas of law that are challenging and not necessarily well tested". Through participation in various industry and government consultation committees, Mark maintains a detailed understanding of business tax reform. Mark is the Deputy Chair of the Law Council of Australia Business Law Section.

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Expertise

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Taxation

APLNG – Australia Pacific LNG development: Mark advised on the tax aspects of the US$8.5 billion project finance facility for the development of the Australia Pacific LNG coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas project in Queensland, Australia. Although the particular details remain confidential, suffice to say the extraordinarily high capital cost of the project gave rise to sophisticated and complex tax issues.

Macquarie Bank: Mark advised on the income tax, stamp duty and GST implications of Macquarie's acquisition of the Esanda dealer finance portfolio from ANZ for $8.23 billion.

Barrick Gold Corporation: Mark is a trusted adviser to Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner. He has advised in relation to Australian income tax, GST and stamp duty implications arising from on numerous transactions in which they have been involved. This includes:

  • advised on the sale for $1.1 billion of Barrick's joint venture interest in the Kalgoorlie superpit to Saracen Minerals;
  • advised on the sale or partial sale of Australian mining interests including the Cowal Coal mine, Porgera in PNG;
  • as Australian counsel to Barrick Gold Corporation, on its successful A$7.1 billion bid to acquire ASX and TSX listed Equinox Minerals Limited;
  • on its acquisition and integration of the Place Domer into its Australian operations. Tax advice included complex integration issues such as tax consolidations and capital gains tax; 
  • on its raising US$1.25 billion in two tranches pursuant to Rule 144A from the US capital markets; and
  • acting on tax dispute issues in relation to Porgera mine in PNG.

Canadian Pension Funds: Mark provided advice to various Canadian pension funds and government entities on foreign pension fund and sovereign immunity aspects of Australian Investment including obtaining a private binding ruling.

The Hunger Project:  Mark ran this case successfully at Federal Court and Full Federal Court establishing a precedent for charitable institutions whose primary focus is fundraising to qualify any public benevolent institutions.

Saputo: Mark advised on Saputo's Australian recent transactions, including:

  • the $1.3 billion acquisition of Murray Goulburn and consequent disposition transactions; and
  • the acquisition of King Island Dairy.

Singtel Optus: Mark advised Singtel Optus, on its issue of US$500 million 10-year Regulation S EMTNs.

Virgin: Mark advised on the lease by Virgin of a 737 aircraft.

Western Sydney University: Mark is acting in relation to the campus redevelopment initiatives.


Securitisation

Mark advises a wide range of clients on securitisation transactions including in relation to structural issues and the taxation aspects of accessing offshore capital markets. 

See Taxation

Knowledge

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