With more than two decades of experience guiding some of the agribusiness industry’s leading organisations, our team is well placed to help you overcome the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by this sector. We advise those who assist with the production, selling and financing of primary produce, as well as primary producers themselves.

Our team advises on matters including:

  • business transactions: buying, selling, setting up, running and winding down businesses
  • finance transactions: advising on most types of lending, including syndicated and bilateral loan facilities, traditional and non-traditional security such as stock mortgages, crop liens and real property mortgages, and structuring, establishing and operating listed and unlisted retail and wholesale funds
  • commercialising and managing intellectual property rights: IP commercialisation including licensing, commercialisation structures, strategic brand protection advice, trade mark availability, infringement and registrability advice, trade mark prosecution and portfolio management, IP infringement and enforcement strategies
  • managing employees: employment law advice, such as contracts of employment, employee entitlements, and workplace agreements and policies
  • commodity transactions: funding arrangements for commodities marketers, including inventory finance and other facilities, and commercial contracts and Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) implications for the purchase, marketing and sale of wheat, barley and other commodities
  • equipment and other asset transactions: buying, selling and leasing a broad range of assets such as machinery, vehicles, aircraft and rolling stock
  • land transactions and leasing: acquisitions and disposals of agricultural, commercial and industrial property, and advice on property rights, property disputes and planning, environment and construction law matters
  • commercial contracts: advising on third party agreements, including service, agency, sales and supply agreements
  • dispute resolution: assisting with contractual disputes, negotiations, recovery proceedings, litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings, and advising on marketing and distribution practices, unfair practices, product labelling, country and region of origin and other consumer protection issues under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Business transactions

  • Acting for HarvestCo in company incorporations, drafting of shareholders, agreements and joint venture agreements.
  • Advising an Australian supplier of agricultural products and services on completing due diligence in business purchases.
  • Negotiating and implementing an enterprise agreement, and advising on compliance with consultation and notification obligations arising out of a major transfer of business.

Finance transactions

  • Advising Rabobank Australia on its rural lending business in Victoria, including documenting farm lending transactions and related security.
  • Acting for a responsible entity of a number of registered and unregistered agricultural managed investment schemes in the drafting of operations agreements with rural management partners in respect of beef cattle projects and operations agreements for cattle, lamb, forestry, tomato and cropping projects.
  • Advising an international grains commodity manager on commodity inventory finance facilities totalling $290 million with major Australian and overseas banks.
  • Advising on a new non-pooled warehouse finance product to be offered to growers after delivery into the Australian bulk handling system.
  • Developing a pre-harvest loan product for growers.

Commercialising and managing intellectual property rights

  • Advising an Australian grains commodity manager on licensing of new grain and wheat varieties and brand protection matters.
  • Drafting and advising on numerous Plant Breeder Rights licences.
  • Acting for a peak industry body in relation to commercialising and protecting its well-known trade mark, including drafting and negotiating trade mark licences in various foreign markets such as Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, the EU, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and others.
  • Setting up and managing a New Zealand joint venture, involving commercialising new varieties of apples and pears and related intellectual property rights.
  • Acting for a multi-national agrichemical company in relation to numerous disputes concerning issues such as labelling, supply, product quality, exclusivity and patents.

Managing employees

  • Advising Dairy Australia and its predecessors for more than 10 years on a number of matters, including contracts of employment and independent contractor agreements, employee entitlements, redundancy and termination of employees, workplace policies, compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009, and various dispute resolution matters including an employee bully claim and the defence of a discrimination claim brought in the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria.
  • Acting for a market leader in the agribusiness industry with regard to the employment aspects of a commercial transaction involving the sale of assets worth $2.7 billion.
  • Advising an international grains commodity manager on employment contract reviews and employee incentive/bonus arrangements.

Commodity transactions

  • Advising an international grains commodity manager on derivative issues (requiring an Australian Financial Services Licence under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act), commodity swap facilities, contracts governing the pooling of wheat and barley and various grower payment options, and documentary credits, such as letters of credit to secure obligations of overseas off-takers.
  • Advising an Australian grains commodity manager on a master repurchase transaction agreement with RMB Australia.

Equipment and other asset transactions

  • Advising an international grains commodity manager on an operating lease finance transaction for locomotives and wagons with a major Australian bank.
  • Acting for a subsidiary of Plantmark in the negotiation of leases and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Acting for an independent milk supplier in acquisition of dairy farming assets.
  • Advising Caterpillar on recovery of assets under a cross-border leasing arrangement.

Land transactions and leasing

  • Acting for an independent milk supplier on the acquisition of agricultural holdings, and providing tax advice on relevant stamp duty exemptions.

Commercial contracts

  • Acting for HarvestCo in the drafting and review of forestry services agreements.
  • Acting for a subsidiary of Plantmark Pty Ltd in the preparation of an agency agreement relating to the distribution of a microbial soil rebuilder.
  • Advising an Australian supplier of agricultural products and services on terms and conditions of sale of goods and arrangements with suppliers, review of livestock and wool agency agreements, PPSA compliance for the retention of title, sale of agriproducts, stock leasing and other securities, enterprise agreement negotiations and implementation, and independent contractor agreements.
  • Acting for an independent milk supplier in joint venture and supply arrangements with a multi-national food manufacturer.

Dispute resolution

  • Acting for a multi-national agrichemical company in relation to numerous disputes concerning issues such as labelling, supply, product quality, exclusivity and patents.
  • Advising on issues relating to the Competition and Consumer Act, and delivering training for numerous clients including Dairy Australia, Bayer, Metricon, Kincrome Australia, Caltex Australia, Vitalgas, Loscam and Sipcam Australia.