2 July 2010

The Trade Practices Act (TPA) has recently been amended and company officers can now be jailed for breaching its cartel provisions.

These new amendments and provisions will be the focus of a four-day intensive UQ course - Competition Law - taking place in Brisbane from August 5 to 8.

The TC Beirne School of Law course will be presented by three leading Australian TPA and compliance law experts:

• Randal Dennings (TC Beirne School of Law Adjunct Professor and lead partner of Clayton Utz's national Governance and Compliance division);

• Rohan Jeffs (TC Beirne School of Law Adjunct Professor and current Chair of the Audit and Risk and Compliance Committee of REST superannuation fund, as well as former Woolworths General Counsel and Head of Compliance); and

• Richard Scheelings (recent economic consultant to the Australian Competition Tribunal of the Federal Court of Australia).

Guy Launder (Assistant Director, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Brisbane) will be a special guest presenter for a half-day update on the ACCC's perspective.

Adjunct Professor Mr Rohan Jeffs said the course would focus on the current key issues in competition law and examine practical compliance strategies for dealing with the new legal risks involved for Australian corporations, their directors and advisers.

“It’s vital for any specialist commercial legal practitioner, whether private or corporate, to be aware of and to understand the practical implications of the recent changes to cartel conduct under the TPA.

“This is even more critical where the criminal sanctions may involve their most senior executives and directors who may have endorsed commercial activities that, in the past, were acceptable practice but may now be considered by the ACCC and DPP to be illegitimate,” Mr Jeffs said.

Adjunct Professor Mr Randal Dennings said practitioners needed to understand the new laws, how they worked and the new powers the ACCC has to enforce them.

“Critically it is also important to understand how to put in place robust compliance arrangements to minimise the risk that corporations and their officers will breach the Trade Practices Act.

“This course will be of interest not only to external commercial lawyers but also to in-house counsel, governance risk and compliance (GRC) professionals and those interested in government policy and regulatory development.

“It is aimed primarily at legal and GRC practitioners working in the TPA area who are interested in a practical refresher and will include a significant amount of interactive coursework.

"We’ll examine case studies from the retail and other environments and part of the assessment will involve working through real life scenarios and developing practical solutions.”

Competition Law (LAWS7930) is offered as part of the TC Beirne School of Law Master of Laws program and also as a Continuing Professional Development course. For further information visit www.law.uq.edu.au/laws7930-competition-law

Media: UQ Adjunct Professor Mr Randal Dennings, 07 3292 7017, 0408 878 711, rdennings@claytonutz.com

Lynda Flower, School of Law Marketing, 07 3365 2523, l.flower@law.uq.edu.au