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Practice Spotlight: Competition and Consumer Law

Practice Spotlight: Competition and Consumer Law

By Jessica Jane

Young Lawyers 

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Practice Spotlight: Competition and Consumer Law

This month, the Young Lawyers blog is focusing on the practice area of competition and consumer law. Competition law aims to prohibit businesses from engaging in conduct that will distort or harm competition. Consumer law complements competition law, in that it aims to provide protection to Australian consumers even when the market is competitive. This practice group typically works closely with the mergers & acquisitions and dispute resolution practice groups and involves regular dealings with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In practice with Natasha Dixon, senior associate in the competition, consumer and regulatory team at Allens

How did you come into this role?

I completed my degree at the University of Adelaide and was lucky enough to start as a graduate at Allens. Having completed my first rotation, I rotated into the competition and consumer law team. I quickly fell in love with the fast pace and variety of competition law and haven’t left. It helps that the team is made up of people who are not only some of the best competition law practitioners in Australia, but also genuinely lovely people.

What does a standard day in your role look like?

There isn’t really a standard day in the world of competition law. My day can involve anything from advising clients on the competition law risks associated with a new business strategy, preparing a merger submission, researching criminal law, conducting a deep dive into a niche market or being in court. The fact that the work is so varied is one of the many perks of being a competition lawyer.

Do you have any advice for any law students or young lawyers wanting to get into this area?

Be curious. A huge part of our job is to really understand the markets in which our clients operate. We also need to stay abreast of regulatory trends both here and overseas. If you have a thirst for knowledge and a genuine love of learning, competition law is an area you should consider.

Tip of the month

For law students or graduates just starting out in your career, I will give you some advice that my dad gave me when I was admitted as a lawyer: Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value. Do that and you really can't go wrong.

That and never forget that the legal profession is very small. Be polite and courteous to everyone you meet, because one day they may be your client (or boss).

Jessica Jane is an associate in the competition, consumer and regulatory team at Allens in Melbourne.


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