Competition, Anti-trust and Trade Practices

Wilson Harle's lawyers are experienced in competition, anti-trust and trade practices issues. The firm has represented numerous companies and individuals in investigations and proceedings by the Commerce Commission for suspected breaches of the Commerce Act, Fair Trading Act, and Credit Contracts & Consumer Finance Act, as well as regulatory processes in the telecommunications and electricity/gas industries.  We have also acted in numerous trade practices disputes between private litigants. 

Lawyers in the firm also have considerable experience in assisting clients with commercial compliance, risk assessment, and contract structuring.  We also represent those who wish to apply for clearance or authorisation of an acquisition or arrangement from the Commerce Commission including acting for third parties who may be affected by such applications. 

The firm is experienced in providing advice and assistance to clients on trade practices issues in proposed advertising, marketing and consumer promotions. 

Examples of cases in which lawyers of the firm have acted include:

  • Acted for defendants in air cargo price fixing proceedings brought by the Commerce Commission.
  • Acted for senior managers of Carter Holt Harvey in relation to a Fair Trading Act prosecution by the Commerce Commission, and managed other Fair Trading investigations to a successful resolution with the Commission. 
  • Represented Vector in Commerce Commission's gas pipeline price control inquiry and subsequent judicial review. 
  • Pursued damages or compensation on behalf of affected parties for breach of competition law provisions.
  • Advised Vodafone on various telecommunications regulatory and competition issues.
  • Obtained authorisation of a restrictive trade practice for gas joint venture. 
  • Acted in merger clearance applications in industries as diverse as petrol, car-parking, cinema, insurance, duty-free goods, telecommunications, healthcare, food, liquor and plastics markets, or advised on significant transactions where clearance was not sought (eg Procter & Gamble/Gillette). 
  • Acted for finance companies in investigations and prosecutions by the Commerce Commission under the CCCFA and FTA, including in relation to compulsory insurance, fees, repossession of security and disclosure issues.  Also acted investigators where the provision of consumer credit was only an incident of the primary business or it was unclear if the CCCFA applied.
  • Acted for a manufacturer in defending a Fair Trading Act prosecution for marketing statements relating to the environmental friendliness of its oxo-degradable plastic bags.
  • Acted for a supplier of consumer goods in relation to charges alleging misleading country of origin claims.
  • Acted for Vodafone in defending prosecutions brought by the Commerce Commission for breaches of the Fair Trading Act.