Hot Topics in Competition Law is a one-day course that focuses on explaining recent rapid changes in competition law and enforcement practice since the release of the ‘Harper Review’ Report in March 2015.

Competition law is a complex and impactful area of corporate regulatory compliance. Firms exist to compete, but that competition has to be within clear lines, and competition law details what those lines are. As well as huge financial penalties for breaches, recently the criminal law has come into play. In June this year the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions indicted numerous executives from the banking world for activity they thought was routine banking practice – if convicted, they face years in prison. Additionally, changes to the law arising from the ‘Harper Review’ have tilted the playing field even more in favour of successful ACCC enforcement against companies. The law in relation to section 46 (abuse of a dominant position in a market) is now based on sophisticated economic evidence only (the ‘effects test’), without as previously the ACCC needing to prove improper ‘intent’ on the part of executives. There is now great uncertainty in this area of the law, and yet the ACCC has a dedicated unit itching to target companies as ‘test cases’ of the new law. Another novelty is the expansion in the definition of collusion to include ‘coordinated conduct’. This is also currently untested new law involving much uncertainty for business, and where the ACCC is keen to run test cases.

Course content

Much uncertainty currently exists in relation to changes to the law brought about by the implementation of the ‘Harper Review’ over the last two years. Decades of previously settled case-law is now of decreased usefulness in predicting what the courts will decide, and new case-law will have to be created over time. Overlaying this is the increased appetite of the regulators for criminal enforcement, such that corporate executives cannot afford to not know about this increasingly impactful area of the law. This course will explain the main changes to the law and enforcement practices over the last two years. Some basic background in competition law is presumed. In particular, the course will focus on criminal cartels, the new section 46 (abuse of dominant position), and the new coordinated conduct (tacit collusion) provisions. Expert speakers and panelists with diverse backgrounds in competition law will co-teach throughout the day. Teaching experts and panelists have been drawn from academia, the bar, the corporate world, private legal practice and the ACCC.

Download course program (PDF, 92KB)

Facilitators

Dr Barbora Jedlickova
Mr Randall Dennings
Mr Paul Burton
Dr Richard Scheelings
Mr Rohan Jeffs
Dr Graeme Woodbridge

Panelists

Melinda McDonald, ACCC, Head of Enforcement for Queensland and the Northern Territory
Thomas Bradley QC, Queensland Bar
Justin Oliver, Minter Ellison, Competition Law Partner, Brisbane

Networking opportunities

This course is aimed at all persons with a professional interest in knowing the current ‘state of play’ in competition law and enforcement. Lawyers in government, private practice and the bar, and also corporate executives and officers (including compliance officers) in companies which to have to keep abreast of this area of the law. The interactive nature of the program and a number of planned short breaks provide ample opportunity to network with likeminded professionals from different sectors will also be in attendance.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for practicing lawyers (in private practice and government), as well as executives and compliance officers within companies who need to stay in touch with an area of law having potentially large impacts on companies and executives. The course is aimed at anyone concerned with improving knowledge in competition law, and of quickly and conveniently getting on top of the current ‘state of play’ in that area of the law.

Duration: 
1 day
Next course:
19 October 2018 (see all)
Facilitator(s):
Dr Barbora Jedlickova, Mr Randal Dennings, Dr Richard Scheelings , Mr Paul Burton, Mr Rohan Jeffs
Location:
Brisbane CBD (view map)
Enrolment options: 
CPD
Cost: 
including GST
Academic/Government: $462 ($385 early bird)
Private Sector: $595 ($495 early bird)
Early bird closes COB Wednesday 26 September 2018

Topics covered

After attending this course, you will:

  • understand the regulatory environment of competition law.
  • gain insight into recent changes to the law and developments in enforcement (including criminal enforcement).
  • mitigate risk of compliance breaches arising in companies competing fiercely in the market.
  • understand what ‘tacit collusion’ is, and the compliance implications for companies.
  • develop a detailed understanding of criminal liability in the area of cartels.
  • understand the new section 46 and the basic economics of abuse of dominance.
  • enhance compliance capability.
  • develop competition law networks within Brisbane and Queensland.

Upcoming sessions

19 October 2018 9:00am5:00pm
Dr Barbora Jedlickova, Mr Randal Dennings, Dr Richard Scheelings , Mr Paul Burton, Mr Rohan Jeffs