Ongoing compliance

Commercial

At Moulis Legal, our commercial expertise is both broad and commercially focused.  We understand that each commercial transaction entered into by our clients is important to them and that the ramifications of not getting it right can have both legal and commercial consequences.  Drawing on our commercial legal advisory service + international expertise, we take the time to understand the underlying objectives of each commercial matter and ensure negotiations are tailored, and agreements are structured, to achieve those objectives.  We have in-depth knowledge in a multitude of sectors and work closely with clients including not-for-profits, start-ups, SMEs, national and international organisations, and local, state and federal governments.

In addition to our broader commercial experience, we also have significant expertise advising on state and federal procurement matters for both government and the private sector and regularly assist clients to navigate the complex tender process from bid design, compliance and negotiations to contract stage, through to administration, management and rights enforcement post contract.  Our team includes lawyers who have been in-house legal counsel at government departments or agencies, including a lawyer with almost a decade of experience with information and communications technology procurement for a large government corporation.

We also have unparalleled expertise in sports and events law and a number of our partners hold board positions in prominent Australian sporting institutions.  Our team understand the intricacies of working with sporting organisations and the unique challenges and regulations that they face.  Through this insight, we provide tailored assistance, helping our clients successfully manage and operate their events.  We also regularly advise our clients on governance, IP protection, discipline and media related matters.

Business and commercial advisory

Moulis Legal’s commercial + international expertise is underpinned by our business and commercial advisory services. Our business and commercial advisory team acts for start-up business ventures, not-for-profit entities, small to medium enterprises and publicly listed corporations.

The Moulis Legal business and commercial advisory services generally fall into one of three categories – transactional, service related or regulatory. Our transactional and service related offering includes drafting and negotiating a range of agreements to meet the requirements of the relevant transaction or service, including preparing term sheets, conducting due diligence and preparing and reviewing documents ranging from asset and business acquisitions, standard contractual terms, service agreements, supply agreements, franchise and distribution agreements and employment related documents.  Our business and commercial advisory team works closely with our international trade team and our IP lawyers when working on larger scale international transactions such as international joint venture, supply or distribution arrangements.

Our regulatory services include advice and services to clients in regulated industries including broadcasting, telecommunications, utilities, online gaming and aviation. In addition to industry specific regulations, the Moulis Legal team advises on compliance with regulatory laws which affect a number of business transactions, such as competition, privacy, consumer contracts and trade-related issues and we can also coordinate any international advice required via our extensive relationships with advisers around the world.

The Moulis Legal business and commercial advisory lawyers service clients in a range of industries including energy, resources, manufacturing, telecommunications, utilities, retail, information and communications technology, broadcasting, media, creative agencies, health, sport, events and wine.

From start-up contracts to large scale multi-national arrangements, the Moulis Legal team is here to assist.

Government procurement

Government is a special customer. Its purchases are typically very expensive; it uses taxpayers’ money; it sells public assets. Government procedures and decisions face scrutiny before, during and after contracts have been signed. For officials more than just commerce is relevant. At the highest level, national security and the economy can benefit from good decisions, or be compromised by poor decisions.

Private companies who seek out these business opportunities must recognise and accommodate these factors in their approach to tendering and contracting. They need to traverse a complex array of procurement regulations and guidelines. Our job at Moulis Legal is to assist our clients with bid design, compliance and negotiations up to contract stage, and with administration, management and rights enforcement post contract.

Moulis Legal’s government procurement team is based in Canberra, the home of most Australian government departments and agencies. Moulis Legal is a legal service provider on the Australian Government legal services multi-use list.

Our team includes lawyers who have been in-house legal counsel at government departments or agencies, including a lawyer with almost a decade experience with information and communications technology procurement for a large government corporation.

Government contracting requires lawyers who understand the application of Commonwealth Procurement Rules. The Moulis Legal team have experience developing contracts for a wide range of minor and major procurement activities for government. For private companies responding to a government tender, we can assist with preparing tender responses and negotiation of arrangements.

Whether you are a government department or agency requiring lawyers with Commonwealth procurement expertise or private entities responding to government tenders, the Moulis Legal team is here to assist.

Sport and events

Sport and events are now big business. Moulis Legal understands this, just as we understand sport and events. Our experience and expertise in sports law covers professional football codes, Olympic sports and international sporting events.

Principal partner and founder of Moulis Legal, Daniel Moulis has more than twenty years sports law experience. Daniel was a Socceroo in the 1980s and has been a Director of Football Federation Australia since 2015. He was a member of the Disciplinary & Appeals Committee at Football Federation Australia for 7 years, chairman of Canberra Cosmos Football Club in 2000 and 2001 and director at Johnny Warren Football Foundation from 2012 to 2014.

The other partner in the Moulis Legal Canberra office, Shaun Creighton, represented Australia in track and field from 1988 to 2002, competing in two Olympic Games, four Commonwealth Games and a number of other championships. In 1996 he broke Ron Clarke’s 31 year old Australian 10,000m record, and still holds the Australian 3,000m steeplechase record. Shaun acts for a number of sporting organisations and event organisers. His sport and events legal experience extends to in-house counsel roles at the Australian Sports Commission, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation and Melbourne Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. Shaun was a director of Athletics Australia from 1994 to 1998, president of the ACT Olympians Club from 2008 to 2012 and has been a national selector for track and field since 2012.

The breadth of the Moulis Legal sport and event services is as you would expect from a team with such extensive sports law experience. Our sport and event law services extends to IP protection, drafting a range of commercial agreements, broadcasting and media, sport governance and disciplinary matters (including anti-doping).

Energy and resources

Fluctuating demand; legislative and regulatory change; international investment; rising costs and shifting prices. The energy and resources sector is dynamic and increasingly internationally focused.

Australia’s energy and resources sector has experienced unprecedented growth in the past decade on the back of strong demand for Australian coal, iron ore and liquefied natural gas from China and elsewhere in Asia. The energy and resources sector has become increasingly complex, with new national, state and territory regulations affecting every facet of energy and resources from investment to exploration to production to sales. Renewable energy has become increasingly important – and controversial. The new and unique challenges that it poses for governments, the industry itself, and its consumers call for absolutely razor-sharp risk assessment and clear and calm legal thinking.

Our experienced energy and resources team provides commercially focused advice to industry leading companies across the energy and resources sector, including conventional and unconventional gas, utilities, oil, mining, resources and renewable energy. We advise and represent clients throughout the project lifecycle: from inception through to realisation, including investment, financing, exploration, commercialisation, production and sale. We help our energy and resources sector clients to trade and invest in resource commodities, and to protect and exploit their technologies and processes.

Projects and investment

Infrastructure, construction, resources and development projects & investment require experienced legal advisors who understand the legal and regulatory requirements, and also the commercial drivers behind the success, of each project.

Our skilled team of commercial lawyers are experienced in the various legal elements of project management, from finance structuring, to contracting and due diligence, through to dispute management and negotiation.

Understanding and managing the various risks and opportunities of the investment environment is critical to the success of infrastructure, construction, resources and development projects in Australia and globally.  The commercial and international focus of Moulis Legal provides our clients with the means to navigate the regulatory requirements and to document the commercial deals that necessarily underpin successful investment.

Moulis Legal’s diverse team is focused on guiding our clients through each stage of project planning, development and completion, and providing commercially focused legal advice that contributes to the success of your businesses’ project.

Downstream petroleum

Moulis Legal has developed a specialised practice advising the downstream petroleum industry, which operates within its own unique commercial environment. We are familiar with the business of fuel sale and distribution and its commercial conventions, such as volume off-take, pricing methodology, transport and importation, terminal and depot acquisition and operation, and all of the associated environmental and safety considerations.

Moulis Legal represents businesses across the downstream petroleum industry, including fuel technology businesses, national fuel distributors, importers, and refiners of fuel products. Our cross-discipline team of commercial, trade, intellectual property, project and dispute resolution lawyers provide our clients in the downstream petroleum industry with specialised and industry targeted advice.

Businesses operating in the downstream petroleum industry are especially affected by contaminated land issues. The storage, handling and distribution of fuel products exposes petroleum businesses to potential contamination and environmental management issues. Moulis Legal has developed comprehensive guides (available for download below) for the management of land contamination issues in each Australian State and Territory.

Corporate

The acquisition or disposal of a business, or entering into a new joint venture or corporate tie-up, is an important and strategic milestone for any company or organisation. At Moulis Legal we take the time to understand the business rationale for the corporate transactions that are brought to us. Then we implement the solution that best achieves our client’s desired outcomes. Our focus is to make it happen in a way that secures the best value, and that minimises ongoing risk.

We have extensive experience working on corporate transactions, nationally and internationally. Our clients value our willingness to think creatively and to provide pragmatic individualised advice, suited to their industry and objectives. Our goals are to deliver great results in an efficient manner, to do the very best for our client as it goes into a transaction and to build strong and lasting relationships allowing us to continue to provide support as their business grows end evolves.

The Moulis Legal corporate team has wide experience. We have advised clients in various sectors, including resources, energy, media and technology, retail, brands, shipping, transport and distribution, and infrastructure. The transactional work of our lawyers has included advising on:

  • high profile joint ventures in Central Asia, in the uranium mining and nuclear infrastructure sectors;
  • Bulk Fuel Australia’s acquisition of Liberty Express from Liberty Petroleum Corporation;
  • corporate establishment and structuring for Fuel Importers Australia and Fuel N Go;
  • corporate structuring issues for Data Governance Australia;
  • Athletics Australia and IMG Sports Technology sports event joint venture;
  • Direct Group’s participation in Globalgig Australia’s mobile broadband joint venture;
  • various IT/ICT mergers and acquisitions, involving start-ups through to established international players; and
  • corporate acquisition and disposal of real estate assets in Cyprus and Eastern Europe.

Our competition, IP, property, energy and resources, international trade and regulatory compliance lawyers provide essential support to our corporate team. We advise on international and national mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, joint ventures, shareholder agreements and early stage and later stage funding. We formulate and respond to the often complex arrangements that are needed to express our clients’ commercial objectives, so that they comply with the law, extract the best value, and protect investors. We work closely with our clients’ other advisers – in finance, accounting, and business – to ensure the best team outcomes.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Mergers and acquisitions

The key to a successful merger or acquisition, whether a disposal or purchase, is having advisers that take the time to understand your business and objectives.  At Moulis Legal, our in-depth sector knowledge and market understanding allows us to quickly identify and mitigate risk in a diligent and cost-effective manner.

We have advised clients ranging from family businesses through to large multi-nationals. We understand the complexities of M&A transactions. We proactively manage and drive projects forward to ensure that they are efficiently executed with the least amount of risk and disruption.

Our M&A team advises clients on all aspects of their M&A transactions, from the initial offer through to execution and post-completion implementation. We work closely with our clients’ financial and other advisers.  We manage international aspects of transactions via our extensive relationships with advisers around the world.

Joint ventures

It is often said that the best type of joint venture or shareholders’ agreement is one that sits in the bottom drawer for the entire relationship and hardly ever sees the light of day.  When parties take the time, at the beginning of a joint venture or partnership, to clearly and concisely set out their obligations and rights, how the venture will be funded and what happens when the venture ceases, this is much more likely to be the case.

At Moulis Legal we have extensive experience advising on both incorporated and unincorporated joint ventures and alliances. We draft bespoke agreements tailored to the needs of the venture and the sector in which it will operate.  We guide our clients through the entire joint venture process, advising on the most appropriate structure and creating agreements that reflect the parties’ wishes and that deal with the kind of issues that arise in the relevant sector and more generally.

We have advised on joint ventures in sectors including energy, resources, infrastructure, media and tech, and real estate. Our partners are experienced in local, international and cross-border deals. We understand that not all joint ventures are the same, and neither are the JV agreements that hold them together.

Capital raisings

Raising capital is a necessary part of every business, and can be a time consuming and complex task.  Moulis Legal understands this, and we actively work with our clients to help streamline this process.

Equity fundraising

Moulis Legal has extensive experience advising on the issue of all types of securities and options over securities, from ordinary and preferred shares through to warrants and bonds. We have advised on matters ranging from multi-million dollar bond issues for infrastructure projects, preferred and convertible private equity investments and series and preferred investments into start-ups as well as more traditional ordinary share issues.

We are familiar with the risks, benefits and common pitfalls associated with raising capital via equity and regularly guide our clients, both issuers and investors, to help achieve the best possible terms.

Debt fundraising

Moulis Legal also advises on all forms of traditional (and non-traditional) debt finance from term sheet level through to execution.  The team has particular experience advising clients in the real estate and natural resource sectors.

Corporate

As businesses grow, so do the rules and regulations that apply to them.  The team at Moulis Legal advises clients on all aspects of corporate governance and compliance, whether it be directors’ duties, compliance with data protection and privacy rules or relevant stock-exchange rules and regulations and investor communications.  Where necessary, we can also help identify where businesses may be subject to foreign regulations and can coordinate international advice via our extensive relationships with corporate advisory around the world.

Good corporate governance is particularly important for listed entities. Our team helps corporates meet all governance requirements and also advises on best practice where appropriate. We regularly work closely with boards to deliver best practice and policy solutions tailored to the individual entity.

Our team also offers training on corporate advisory and governance issues for in-house legal counsel and company secretaries.

International

Almost every modern business interacts with the international business community and foreign legal systems in some way, whether through importing products; selling goods and services overseas; investing into a new market; or seeking capital from foreign investors.

Businesses must search for ways to maximise the opportunities presented by the internationalisation of business whilst minimizing the risks of cross-border commerce created by different regulatory environments and unfamiliar laws.

Moulis Legal is a truly internationally law firm that advises and represents businesses from Australia, Asia and globally on a range of cross-border commercial matters. Our lawyers have extensive experience and training in various legal jurisdictions and understand the unique challenges faced by businesses engaging in transactions, disputes, and investments in foreign countries.

We have a particular focus on China. We have long standing expertise and a strong track record in handling China-related work over more than a decade. Our people have knowledge, skills, qualifications and experiences in Australia and China at a truly bi-lingual, bi-cultural and bi-jurisdictional level.

China investment service

Establishing a commercially successful and legally compliant business in China takes more than an internet search. Foreign businesses operating in China that are not structured properly face significant risks – from increased taxation burdens and the inability to transfer profits; to critical delays in company registration and failing to protect intellectual property.

Moulis Legal advises Australian businesses on the structure and risk management strategies for investment into China, giving businesses a roadmap for the structure and steps for their investment. Our detailed and specific advice provides the answers sought by directors and management needing to understand the process and risks of their Chinese business investment.

The below brochure provides businesses with further detail on our China investment service.

Investment and cross-border

Business growth, accessing new markets and securing supply motivate companies throughout the world to invest their capital, expertise and personnel across borders and oceans.

Australia has a long history as a destination for international investment. Australia’s stable political and economic environment and strong rule of law, its valuable physical and intellectual resources, its business potential across a range of industries, its position at the base of Asia and its lifestyle appeal make it an attractive place for foreign businesses to invest.

Cross-border investment is not a one way street. In recent years, Australian businesses have increasingly looked overseas, and especially into Asia and Africa, for investment opportunities. Australian expertise, goods and services are highly sought after across the world, particularly in the dynamic and growing economies of Asia.

International investment – whether into Australia, or from Australia – requires strategic thinking, understanding of different jurisdictions, collaboration and contacts, and artful negotiation. We provide international investors with advice and representation on regulatory compliance, government policies and investment approvals in multiple countries and jurisdictions. We also provide specialised advice and representation for all kinds of international business transactions and activities – from business establishment and financing arrangements to commercial contracting and international dispute resolution.

Trade regulation / commerce

Our key practice areas are in regulatory advice, subsidies and countervailing, anti-dumping, safeguard measures and quarantine. The depth of our experience is evident from the steady and continuous representation of clients in trade matters by our principal Daniel Moulis over three decades of practice.

Our clients are major Australian companies and NGOs, large multinationals, foreign exporters and foreign governments and their agencies. We have handled court and administrative review procedures not only in Australia but also in Argentina, Brazil, Luxembourg, the European Union, the United States and China.

Dispute resolution

Disputes are a part of doing business. All industries and commercial endeavours are vulnerable to disputes that can harm business and damage valuable relationships and opportunities.

Disputes must be managed in a way that is commercially focused and business-centric. The careful and efficient management of disputes is critical to overcoming adversity and allowing a business to move forward.

At Moulis Legal, we guide businesses across Australia and Asia in the management and resolution of cross-border and domestic commercial disputes. We resolve disputes for our clients in many ways – through negotiation and compromise, through successful Court decisions, and by developing extra-legal solutions relevant to our clients’ needs.

Our dispute resolution team is experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, from domestic mediation and litigation through to international commercial arbitration and investor state dispute settlement (ISDS). Christopher Hewitt is a nationally accredited mediator experienced in successfully conducting mediations which achieve real and practical commercial solutions.

Moulis Legal manages the resolution of commercial and regulatory disputes across Australia, Asia and globally.

We appear before various Courts and specialist tribunals on behalf of our clients in a range of matters including contractual disputes, intellectual property rights, town planning decisions and Australian Customs classification and valuation decisions. We also respond to and manage regulatory investigations on behalf of clients involving product safety, consumer protection and competition issues. Representation of our international clients has taken us to the European Court of Justice and the US Court of International Trade.

Wherever possible, we help businesses avoid disputes by ensuring compliance and due diligence in commercial dealings. When disputes cannot be avoided, we use our strengths in strategic thinking, prospect evaluation, procedural accuracy and commercial awareness to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently.

Our dispute resolution team advises and represents clients in a wide range of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on cross-border disputes, business defence and competition and consumer protection.

Our strong focus on excellence, good client communication and well-informed cost control makes Moulis Legal an agile market leader in dispute resolution services. This approach, combined with our commercial awareness, allows our clients to achieve better outcomes in resolving their commercial disputes both in Australia and abroad.

Business defense

Businesses can sometimes feel ‘under fire’ on multiple fronts because of the actions by their competitors, consumers, and even the operation of government policies and regulations.  Whether it is a dispute with a supplier or manufacturer; unfair or anti-competitive conduct by other industry participants; or adverse decisions made by regulators or government authorities, these actions can all adversely affect or hinder the growth and operations of a business defense.

Being able to respond quickly and effectively to commercially damaging circumstances is critical to limiting the risks, costs and negative impacts on your business. Effective risk management and mitigation sometimes requires taking active steps to defend and protect a business’s commercial interests.

At Moulis Legal, we work closely with our clients to identify solutions and commercial outcomes and implement a targeted strategy to overcome challenges and protect the rights of their business. Through the use of informal and formal dispute resolution mechanisms, our lawyers are able to assist businesses to defend or prosecute their commercial interests in an efficient, commercially focused and cost effective way.

We have experience with pro-actively agitating for changes to government policy, responding to regulatory investigations, conducting high-level commercial negotiations, and bringing formal legal proceedings to advocate for our clients’ interests.

Cross-border

International business is especially susceptible to commercial disputes as businesses reach across borders to find new business partners, operate in different regulatory environments and are subject to unfamiliar laws.

Cross border disputes involve unique challenges that requires special commercial and legal strategies. Complex issues of jurisdiction, conflicting rules of procedure and evidence, and even which laws will apply to a dispute must be carefully considered and managed.

Our dispute resolution team regularly advises businesses from Australia, across Asia and globally on the management of commercial disputes across borders. Our lawyers have experience in Courts, tribunals, arbitrations, mediations and other forums in various countries, and have been successful in achieving commercial results for clients in multiple cross border disputes.

In our extensive experience many cross border disputes are resolvable on commercial terms provided the parties have legal representatives that can understand and articulate the various applicable international and domestic legal principles. We regularly work closely with a client’s commercial managers to identify and implement commercial solutions to cross border disputes.

Moulis Legal and its lawyers are active members of a number of international business and law organisations, such as LawAsia, the International Bar Association and international arbitration and mediation forums.

Competition and consumer protection

Operating in a modern and competitive marketplace can be challenging and requires businesses to navigate a maze of laws, regulations and government policies.

The highly charged environment of modern business means that every competitor is searching for an advantage and this can manifest itself in attacks on your business. These attacks may take the form of public accusations of non-compliance with standards, regulations and codes of conduct; anti-competitive behaviour; misleading representations to industry from a competitor; or the initiation of government investigations, especially in relation to consumer protection.

Government regulators – such as, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – have extensive and far-reaching powers to investigate and prosecute businesses for apparent regulatory breaches. It is easy for even the most diligent business to find itself subject to a regulator investigation, public inquiry or customer compliant that may result in potential penalties, costs and reputational damage.

Businesses which do not fall foul of the rules can still experience the effects of anti-competitive behaviour, or consumer protection issues and need to be ready to respond in order to protect their business.

Moulis Legal guides our clients through the complex maze of laws and regulations that apply to their business, including obligations to consumers and competitors. We expertly help our clients to manage and respond to regulators, consumer protection agencies and legal proceedings initiated by consumers.

Our lawyers are well-equipped to assist clients in all stages of a regulatory investigation from advising on responding to an initial inquiry and requests for information, through to formally representing clients and responding to notices of infringement or prosecution proceedings.

IP and commercialisation

Intellectual property (“IP”) is a collective term which refers to those proprietary rights granted under copyright, trade mark, patent, design and similar legislation. IP is often considered together with related rights such as those afforded to the use and protection of confidential information, trade secrets and know-how.

IP and related rights are an important consideration for transactions in a range of industries and in a range of circumstances. For a start-up business, identification and early protection of relevant IP can be critical. Companies expanding operations internationally may require IP availability and infringement advice ahead of their launch in specific jurisdictions, and thereafter during their operational phase.

At Moulis Legal we assist our clients in the identification and protection of their valuable IP rights in Australia and in other jurisdictions of interest. This includes IP audit and strategy services, and the full range of trade mark services from pre-filing advice, to filing applications, overcoming examiner objections and conducting opposition hearings.

Our dispute resolution team complements our commercial IP services by taking forward the enforcement, defence and recovery of IP rights.

Commercialisation and brands

It has been estimated that more than half the capitalisation of the ASX 200 companies is made up of the value of their intangible assets such as brand names, licences, patents and research and development. IP commercialisation is the exploitation of these IP assets.

At Moulis Legal, our IP commercialisation services focus on maximising commercial return on valuable IP assets and contractually managing any associated commercial risk. The types of contractual arrangements used to commercialise IP vary on a case-by-case basis. They include strategic alliances, joint ventures, distribution agreements, sale and hire contracts, franchising deals, licensing arrangements, and internet terms and conditions.

As part of the IP commercialisation process, we also advise our clients on the full raft of regulatory considerations, covering such things as competition, privacy, consumer contracts and trade-related issues.

Registration and defence

Intellectual property (“IP”) is a collective term which refers to those proprietary rights granted under copyright, trade mark, patent, design and similar legislation. IP is often considered together with related rights such as those afforded to the use and protection of confidential information, trade secrets and know-how.

IP and related rights are an important consideration for transactions in a range of industries and in a range of circumstances. For a start-up business, identification and early protection of relevant IP can be critical. Companies expanding operations internationally may require IP availability and infringement advice ahead of their launch in specific jurisdictions, and thereafter during their operational phase.

At Moulis Legal we assist our clients in the identification and protection of their valuable IP rights in Australia and in other jurisdictions of interest. This includes IP audit and strategy services, and the full range of trade mark services from pre-filing advice, to filing applications, prosecuting examiner objections and conducting opposition hearings.

Our dispute resolution team complements our commercial IP services by taking forward the enforcement, defence and recovery of IP rights.

Brands, licensing and distribution

It has been estimated that more than half the capitalisation of the ASX 200 companies is made up of the value of their intangible assets such as brand names, licences, patents and research and development. IP commercialisation is the exploitation of these IP assets.

At Moulis Legal, our IP commercialisation services focus on maximising commercial return on valuable IP assets and contractually managing any associated commercial risk. The types of contractual arrangements used to commercialise IP vary on a case-by-case basis. They include strategic alliances, joint ventures, supply and distribution agreements, sale and hire contracts, franchising deals, licensing arrangements, and internet terms and conditions.

Moulis Legal’s franchise law specialists have acted for franchisors and franchisees in industries including retail, pharmacy, restaurants, real estate, bakeries and personal training. Our franchise lawyers draw on the expertise of our IP, commercial, property and international trade lawyers (and when necessary, dispute resolution lawyers) to provide a full suite of services.

As part of the IP commercialisation process, we also advise our clients on the full raft of regulatory considerations, covering such things as competition, privacy, consumer contracts and trade-related issues.

ICT contracting

A core component of ICT products and systems is IP. Moulis Legal has developed a specialised practice in working with a range of ICT service providers. These services are complemented by our IP protection services and government contracting services.

Our specialist ICT lawyers have experience providing legal services on large scale government projects requiring the development, licensing, implementation, integration, support and maintenance of ICT systems. We understand that such arrangements will require a case by case consideration of IP and data ownership, licensing of third party materials, privacy and security, service levels and risk apportionment.

Moulis Legal acts for start-up developers looking to protect and commercialise the IP in their products, apps or services. Our lawyers are aware of the legal pitfalls developers need to avoid, especially when engaging third parties to develop components.

For medium sized enterprises, Moulis Legal puts in place suitable contract mechanisms to provide ICT services including software as a service, or expand operations through teaming and re-seller arrangements.  When contracting or teaming with large multi-national ICT companies, these entities may insist on using their contract terms. Here, our ICT lawyers can assist in negotiating terms and conditions to reflect a more suitable apportionment of risk.

Larger scale ICT contracts increasingly require commercial lawyers who understand IP, contracts, regulatory requirements and international considerations. Moulis Legal’s commercial + international expertise make us well placed to assist.

Property

We service national-level organisations who seek secure income streams from landmark properties, or who are rolling out their property development or investment models, in both the national capital and Queensland. We have also represented key tenants who deliver those income streams and who need appropriate protection from the risks and costs associated with property ownership, and financiers who look for safe returns that are properly investigated and properly documented.

Our aim is to be intuitive, commercial, and responsible. We make a point of learning about our client’s objectives. We have the commercial experience to drive a deal in the right direction. We consider it to be our responsibility to make concise assessments, and to give clear suggestions, about how our clients should proceed.

We strive to be more than a “law firm” by delivering more than a typical level of service.

 

Acquisition and divestment

Our experience covers the acquisition and sale of commercial property, major leases, development approvals, construction contracts and their negotiation, and ownership structures. Our clients have come from all sides of major property matters.

Some of our key projects have included major town centre redevelopments, joint public/private venture development rights, major acquisitions and divestments of Commonwealth tenanted assets in the Federal Capital, industrial property sales, aged care facility developments, divestments of Commonwealth owned properties, property ownership by trust funds, the take-out of contract rights for solar energy facilities, property ownership aspects of utility corridors, and the acquisition and operation of fuel depots.

Moulis Legal has advised on acquisitions, divestments, financing and major leasing concerning the following landmark properties:

Belconnen Town Centre
Westfield Belconnen

Woden Town Centre
Westfield Woden

10 and 12 Mort Street, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Employment

62 Northbourne Ave, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Genge St, Canberra City
Australian Taxation Office

Sturt St, Townsville
Suncorp Building

Edmund Barton Building, Barton
Australian Federal Police Headquarters

Jerrabomberra Ave and Hindmarsh Drive, Symonston
Geoscience Australia

Industry House, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Industry and Science

255 London Cct, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (previously AusAID)

New Acton East, Acton
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

38 Sydney Ave, Barton
Australian Government Department of Communications

Reed St, Tuggeranong
Medicare Australia Building

Brisbane Avenue, Barton
Australian Federal Police College

Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City
Myuna Development Project

Rudd St, Canberra City
CPA Australia Building

London Circuit, Canberra City
National ICT Australia Building

London Circuit, Canberra City
ME Bank Building

Queen Street, Berry
Berry Service Station

Bli Bli and Cooney Roads, Nambour
Bulk Fuel Australia Depot

Sawmill Circuit, Hume
Investec/Toll Transport

National Circuit, Barton
Hotel Kurrajong

Giles St, Kingston
Medina Classic Apartments

Fremantle Drive, Stirling
Bupa Aged Care

Easty St, Woden
Avoca Residential Apartments

337 Canberra Ave, Fyshwick
DFO Canberra

Not for publication
SunEdison Solar Project

Charnwood, Curtin, Fyshwick, Hawker, Kaleen, Kambah, Mawson, Wanniassa, and Weston
All Tabcorp outlets (previously ACTTAB)

Bunda St, Canberra City
Big W

Fyshwick, Belconnen and Kambah
Storage King

Cooleman Court, Weston
Target

Williamsdale
OneSun Solar Project

Northbourne Avenue
Capital Metro Light Rail

London Circuit, Canberra City
ACT Government Office Block

Development and leasing

Our experience covers the acquisition and sale of commercial property, major leases, development approvals, construction contracts and their negotiation, and ownership structures. Our clients have come from all sides of major property matters.

Some of our key projects have included major town centre redevelopments, joint public/private venture development rights, major acquisitions and divestments of Commonwealth tenanted assets in the Federal Capital, industrial property sales, aged care facility developments, divestments of Commonwealth owned properties, property ownership by trust funds, the take-out of contract rights for solar energy facilities, property ownership aspects of utility corridors, and the acquisition and operation of fuel depots.

Moulis Legal has advised on acquisitions, divestments, financing and major leasing concerning the following landmark properties:

10 and 12 Mort Street, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Employment

62 Northbourne Ave, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Genge St, Canberra City
Australian Taxation Office

Sturt St, Townsville
Suncorp Building

Edmund Barton Building, Barton
Australian Federal Police Headquarters

Jerrabomberra Ave and Hindmarsh Drive, Symonston
Geoscience Australia

Industry House, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Industry and Science

255 London Cct, Canberra City
Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (previously AusAID)

New Acton East, Acton
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

38 Sydney Ave, Barton
Australian Government Department of Communications

Reed St, Tuggeranong
Medicare Australia Building

Brisbane Avenue, Barton
Australian Federal Police College

Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City
Myuna Development Project

Rudd St, Canberra City
CPA Australia Building

London Circuit, Canberra City
National ICT Australia Building

London Circuit, Canberra City
ME Bank Building

Queen Street, Berry
Berry Service Station

Bli Bli and Cooney Roads, Nambour
Bulk Fuel Australia Depot

Sawmill Circuit, Hume
Investec/Toll Transport

National Circuit, Barton
Hotel Kurrajong

Giles St, Kingston
Medina Classic Apartments

Fremantle Drive, Stirling
Bupa Aged Care

Easty St, Woden
Avoca Residential Apartments

337 Canberra Ave, Fyshwick
DFO Canberra

Not for publication
SunEdison Solar Project

Charnwood, Curtin, Fyshwick, Hawker, Kaleen, Kambah, Mawson, Wanniassa, and Weston
All Tabcorp outlets (previously ACTTAB)

Bunda St, Canberra City
Big W

Fyshwick, Belconnen and Kambah
Storage King

Cooleman Court, Weston
Target

Williamsdale
OneSun Solar Project

Northbourne Avenue
Capital Metro Light Rail

London Circuit, Canberra City
ACT Government Office Block

Start-ups

At Moulis Legal, we are genuinely passionate about start-ups. We began our business as a start-up over 10 years ago, so we understand how much energy and commitment it takes to develop your great idea into a successful business. We know that setting up and running a start-up is both exciting and daunting in equal measures, but when it comes to getting the legal stuff right, there is support at hand.

Whether you are a one-man-band or a small team, it is important to have a good legal framework in place from the outset. This should cover areas like how the business is structured and financed, who owns the assets and intellectual property, and what rights and obligations your employees and investors have.

At Moulis Legal, we can help guide you through your structuring process and all the other legal hurdles along the way. We do not provide one-size solutions and instead offer tailored advice that suits your particular business and needs. We like to keep things clear and concise and provide advice that is commercial, relevant and timely.

For more information on start-ups and setting up a business in Australia, see our Start-up kit and Establishing your business downloads, or get in touch with the people set out below.

Structuring and raising capital

Setting up your legal structure

For most start-ups, incorporating a company is the first formal step in establishing your business, but you should not stop there.  To ensure your business runs smoothly it is important to put in place the right documents and processes to govern the relationship between the company, the founders and any initial investors. This includes thinking about the best share structure, how decisions are made at both the board and shareholder level, what happens if a dispute arises, and what rights and obligations investors have if a buyer or key investor is identified.

While it may be difficult to justify spending money on preparing for potential issues upfront, this is almost always cheaper than resolving them after a dispute arises. Having your house in order from a legal perspective also ensures greater operating efficiency, better relationships with shareholders and a more attractive platform for future investors.  At Moulis Legal, we can help you properly structure your start-up in a manner that allows it to continue to grow and prosper without the need for continuous changes to its legal structure.

Accessing and raising capital

Being able to fund your start-up can make or break your business. To make sure you can access or raise venture capital funding when you are ready, it is important to get the right advice from the outset.

There are many ways that a business can raise money and an equal number of restrictions and regulations around raising funds. Whether you are raising money from friends and family, crowdfunding, signing up to first round venture capital money or entering into a joint venture project with a major private equity player, the right advice upfront will ensure your business and interests remain protected. Getting the terms wrong in early funding rounds can have significant consequences further down the track.

IP and data protection

Protecting your intellectual property

Intellectual property is fundamental for any start-up – whether it is your brand, logo, invention, design or the practical application of your brilliant idea. These valuable assets will be looked at closely by potential investors and often challenged by your competitors. It is therefore key that you take measures to document and protect your intellectual property.

Before you even start your business, you should think about what type of intellectual property your business is likely to create and who will be creating it. This will enable you to take better steps to protect your intellectual property, bolster your brand protection in the future and have a much better chance of defending your intellectual property if challenged by a third party.

Intellectual property protection can be a complex area. For example, whilst you can easily register a trade mark in Australia or overseas, you may also need additional protection, for example if you intend to manufacture or supply in China. You should also ensure that any intellectual property developed by consultants or under joint arrangements is owned or licensed by the right party.  At Moulis Legal, we are experts in protecting, registering and defending intellectual property.

Privacy and data management

For many start-ups, storing, managing and analysing large amounts of data will be a core part of your business. There is a complicated legal framework governing personal data and it is important to ensure that you understand the pitfalls and compliance risks associated with data management. This includes establishing privacy policies and procedures that regulate how personal information is used, and setting up IT usage and security protocols to secure data internally, externally, and in the cloud. If you send data offshore or collect personal information from foreign nationals, there are also various Australian and international law requirements that you must consider.

Ongoing compliance

Getting ready to launch

Before you launch your product or service, it is good business practice to have standard agreements in place that cover your terms and conditions. Similarly, if you are agreeing terms with a supplier or manufacturer, or negotiating a distribution relationship, getting legal advice upfront can reduce issues further down the line.

When entering into any agreement, it is important to set limits on your liability and protect your business from losses caused by the actions of others. Agreements should also protect your intellectual property and set out what should happen if things are not working out as planned.

Hiring and retaining talent

Finding and retaining the right people is vital to operating and growing your start-up. Hiring top talent is more than just finding someone with the right “culture-fit”. It is about finding someone whose talent is also compatible with your business aspirations. Once you find the right person, you want to make sure that they remain committed to the business as it continues to grow.

Regardless of how small your start-up is, you must be aware of your employment regulatory obligations. Building a solid start-up team also requires you to put in place agreements to engage employees, contractors and interns and outline the terms of directors’ services. You also need to consider strategies to incentivise and retain top talent – whether by cash or non-cash incentive schemes. As your business grows, you will need appropriate policies and procedures to govern how staff and the business interact. These will also help you manage employment related claims and disputes.

Dealing with competition and customers

When you finally launch, it is important to ensure your business is set up to comply with the various competition and consumer laws in Australia. One wrong move can potentially open your business up to liability, or make you an easy target for competitors who want to shut down or damage your business.

To avoid this, you should ensure your standard agreements are enforceable under Australian laws and your advertising and promotional activities are compliant. It is imperative that you also know your rights and obligations when dealing with customer related disputes.  At Moulis Legal we have vast expertise in preparing standard form documents that are concise, user friendly, and fully compliant with Australian law.

Patents, trade marks, designs

Patents, trade marks and designs are forms of intellectual property (IP). Legal services in these areas need to be performed by lawyers and attorneys with specific subject matter expertise, in the form of specialist IP lawyers and patent and trade mark attorneys. We have this expertise. Consistent with our commercial + international focus, our IP team is ideally equipped to protect, commercialise and enforce your valuable IP in Australia and internationally.

Patents

Patents protect inventions. They preserve and advance your competitive edge in the marketplace. Patent owners have the right to stop others from exploiting inventions without patent-holder permission. Moreover, strategic patent protection locks in investors and licensees. Whether you are a start-up, engaged in R&D, a large business looking to secure rights in your novel processes, or you just have a great idea, let us help you make the most of it.

Our patent services include:

  • Novelty and freedom-to-operate searching and advice
  • Patentability advice
  • Drafting and filing patent applications in Australia and overseas
  • Filing international (PCT) applications
  • Prosecuting patent applications, including responding to examination reports
  • Patent infringement and validity opinions
  • Conducting oppositions
  • Enforcement, licensing and commercialisation

 

Trade marks

Trade marks help brands distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace. These marks of trade can be in the form of words, logos, shapes, colours and even scents and sounds. Trade marks provide the exclusive rights to use, license and sell marks. A well-chosen mark is an extremely valuable business asset.

Our trade mark services include:

  • Trade mark availability and infringement advice
  • Drafting and filing Australian trade mark applications
  • Filing international (Madrid Protocol) applications
  • Prosecuting applications, including responding to examination reports
  • Conducting oppositions
  • Enforcement, licensing and commercialisation

 

Designs

Design registrations protect the overall appearance of a product, including shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation. A design registration is a complementary and component part of an overall IP protection strategy. Design protection can be an effective alternative if patent protection is not available or, in the case of a 3D drawing, if copyright protection is not available. Almost any manufactured product can be protected by a design registration, whether it is a drink bottle or a luxury yacht.

Our design services include:

  • Freedom-to-operate searching and advice
  • Pre-filing validity advice, considering whether a design meets thresholds of new and distinctive
  • Preparing and filing design applications in Australia and overseas
  • Prosecuting design applications, including responding to examination reports
  • Design registration infringement and validity opinions
  • Enforcement, licensing and commercialisation

IP audits are an effective way to identify existing, dormant and future IP rights, so that an appropriate protection and commercialisation strategy can be implemented. The Moulis Legal IP team works closely with clients to both identify IP and develop a custom-fit strategies reflecting current and future business goals. Our IP strategies include the implementation of practices and processes to capture, protect and manage IP rights. Our IP team works closely with our corporate team to recommend and establish suitable corporate structures to hold and licence valuable IP rights.