A snapshot of the work being done by AGS offices around the country reveals a large and varied range of significant matters.
We include here a sample of matters largely worked on by AGS offices in the State and Territory capitals in 2014–15.
SEA 1000 Future Submarines Project Lawyers from our Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide offices are working together to provide probity advice to the Department of Defence's Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group on the SEA 1000 Future Submarine Program and specifically the Competitive Evaluation Process to select an international partner to develop a future submarine that meets Australia's naval capability requirements.
Air Warfare Destroyer
Lawyers from our Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra offices provided probity advice to Department of Defence's Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group on aspects of the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer Project.
Western Sydney Airport
A team of AGS lawyers drawn from our Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra offices, and across our Commercial, Dispute Resolution and Office of General Counsel practices, advised on a range of issues associated with the Western Sydney Airport project being run by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, including site, planning, tenancy and environmental considerations, regulatory, procurement and process issues, as well as broader strategic issues for the project.
Medibank Private Initial Public Offer (IPO) AGS acted as the Commonwealth's probity advisers on the Medibank Private IPO. Our team was led from our Melbourne office, with significant contributions also made by our Sydney and Canberra offices. See page 13.
Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (ASADA) v Essendon
AGS's work for ASADA in relation to Essendon Football Club is covered in detail on page 16. AGS lawyers who worked on these matters were drawn from our Melbourne and Canberra offices.
AGS lawyers in Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide are acting for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in the Informed Sources matter – a case dealing with an information-sharing service that major petrol retailers subscribe to. The ACCC alleges that the use of the service has the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in the Melbourne petrol market.
DHA documents and guidelines
Our Darwin and Perth offices worked together on a suite of documents and guidelines to be used by Defence Housing Australia's national development team for development land acquisitions. Our Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney offices provided jurisdiction-specific input.
A team of AGS Commercial lawyers from Darwin, Perth and Adelaide dealt with more than 550 new acquisition, sale and leaseback, leasing and disposal matters, and managed the issue of contracts and settlements for 200 lots of land sold for Defence Housing Australia as part of the Muirhead Project in the Northern Territory.
Rockingham and Seaward Village redevelopments
Our Darwin and Perth offices advised Defence Housing Australia on issues associated with the redevelopment of residential caravan parks in Rockingham, Western Australia.
Tobacco plain packaging
Work on tobacco plain packaging continued in the international arena during 2014–15. AGS staff from our Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane offices worked on hearings relating to international challenges to plain packaging measures.
ACMA v Today FM
Lawyers from our Sydney office worked on the successful High Court appeal in the matter of Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd (Today FM), covered in detail on page 9.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
An AGS team on long-term outpost as the Solicitor Assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse included lawyers from our Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide offices.
Lindt CafÃ© Siege Coronial Inquest
AGS acted for a range of Commonwealth agencies - including Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police, Department of Defence and Attorney-General's Department – in the coronial inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindt CafÃ© siege. Our national team consisted of lawyers from our Sydney and Canberra offices.
Shen Neng 1
AGS advised on a civil claim in the Federal Court for damages arising from the largest ship ever to ground on the Great Barrier Reef – Shen Neng 1. Our team on this matter was drawn from our Brisbane office.
Live cattle exports
AGS acted for the Commonwealth and former Minister Ludwig in representative proceedings arising from the suspension of live cattle exports in June 2011. The AGS team on this matter included lawyers from Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide.
False imprisonment claim
Our Perth office advised on a matter for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, in which the Commonwealth was successful in its argument that the applicant should only be awarded nominal damages for his false imprisonment. That decision was appealed by the applicant and the Full Court of the Federal Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the Commonwealth's appeal in relation to an award of exemplary damages. Note – special leave to appeal has been granted in relation to this matter.
Nauru and Papua New Guinea regional processing centres
AGS lawyers in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra acted in matters relating to a challenge to the validity of the regional processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, as well as managing claims for damages for persons transferred to those centres in a variety of State and federal courts.
This is an extract from the 2014–15 AGS annual report