Charles Coorey is recommended by sources across the Asia-Pacific market for his "sound knowledge of competition laws" and dedicated approach: "He knows our business better than any other external lawyer," says one client.
Charles is recognised as a leading competition lawyer in Australia by surveys including Best Lawyers, WWL and The Legal 500. He is described by clients in publications as “excellent” having “phenomenal client service ethics” and “the ability to see the commercial drivers very quickly and clearly apply them to the law”.
Charles won the award for Global Competition Review’s 2014 Merger Control Matter of the Year (Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa) for Virgin Australia’s acquisition of Tiger Airways. He was nominated for the award again in 2016, following his work for television station Ten Network Holdings Limited in relation to its strategic arrangements with monopoly subscription TV provider Foxtel.
Charles stands apart from other practitioners because of his very deep expertise across three major areas of competition practice: restrictive trade practices (including merger clearances, cartels and misuse of market power); consumer law; and access to infrastructure.
His restrictive trade practices work includes advising fuel giant Viva Energy in the restructuring of its retail fuel arrangements with major supermarket chain Coles, a deal with considerable complexity given that the arrangements involved over 700 sites nationally and two court-enforceable undertakings given by Coles to the ACCC regarding pricing practices at those sites. He has also acted for number of private equity firms on major acquisitions, including the US$1 billion sale of Allied Milles by Pacific Equity Partners. He also successfully sought obtained immunity for a client in a multi-jurisdictional cartel matter, which arose out of an initial investigation into a misuse of market power; and he is currently acting for Australia’s largest wine maker, Accolade Wines, in response to the ACCC’s market study into the treatment of wine grape growers in Australia.
In matters of Australian Consumer Law, Charles is currently advising Virgin Australia and Tigerair on their court-enforceable undertaking compliance obligations; a major online health industry booking platform in relation to reviews used on its website and the sharing of patient data with third parties; and a global accommodation booking platform in response to a significant consumer complaint.
In access-to-infrastructure work, Charles is acting for Virgin Australia Group in relation to its participation in the Productivity Commission’s review of the economic regulation of airports in Australia.
Charles’ expertise across these three major areas makes him a “one-stop shop” for clients such as Virgin Australia who need representation on matters of competition law, the Australian Consumer Law and access to infrastructure.
Charles has over 11 years’ experience in advising clients on competition and regulatory issues in the digital economy. Charles’ standing with clients is reflected in the fact that he is the Gilbert + Tobin client relationship partner for key clients such as Virgin Australia, Tesla, DHL, Accolade Wines, Audi, eBay, PayPal, ResMed and Brookfield Property Partners. He is also the lead competition law adviser to a range of clients including Viva Energy, Intuit, Cisco, Veolia, Continental Tyres and the Fitness and Lifestyle Group (a private equity owned-group that includes Fitness First, Goodlife and Jetts).
Charles is the chair of the International Bar Association’s data working group; and co-author of the Australia and New Zealand chapter of the American Bar Association’s International Development Summaries for consumer protection law.