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Corporate and Commercial

Commercial Team of the Year 2020

Get access to experienced legal experts at irresistible value for your transactional and business as usual legal needs.

Awarded "Commercial Team of the Year" at the 2020 Australian Law Awards and finalist in 2019, 2018 and 2017, you can rest assured your matter is in expert hands. The group has specialist expertise in:

Corporate and commercial matters


Helping clients both large and small to grow and expand their business is our passion. This help comes at all stages of the business life cycle, from incorporation, incubation and start-up, through to development and expansion activities, right the way through to exit by way of trade sale or initial public offering and beyond.  We help business owners set up a structure with appropriate legal documents that will protect their hard work, assets and personal liability.

Business owners and directors are often so busy managing the daily operations that they neglect the crucial step of securing and protecting the future success of the business. Whether it is setting up a Shareholders' or Partnership Agreement, advising on buying or selling a business, joint ventures, corporate re-structuring, stock exchange listing requirements or governance arrangements, we have extensive experience in compliance advice and providing strategic input on dealings with regulators.

A major focus for business is Board and Director Duties, with increasing pressure from regulators and increased penalities. Understanding the obligations as a director or officer is imperative and managing Board meetings and AGMs requires comprehensive processes and documentation.  ABLA has created Board and AGM Packs that meet the Company or Association obligations governed by the relevant legislation. 

We have a pragmatic and commercial approach with a view to ensuring that the desired outcome of our clients is paramount. We focus on informed legal and commercial judgment, flexible thinking and achieving good business outcomes.


Our team deliver a broad suite of commercial legal services to clients both large and small.

With experience across many industry sectors, the team provide our clients with business friendly, accessible lawyers with both technical expertise and a commercial approach. Our lawyers have both domestic and international experience and are adept at helping clients navigate the challenges of legal, jurisdictional and cultural issues.

We prepare a wide variety of quality commercial agreements to suit a range of client needs, including agreements for ‘business-as-usual’ needs, as well as tailored documents for complex or unique matters.

No matter what stage of the business lifecycle you're in, the team can help you navigate the governance requirements, Director responsibilties, partnership structures, supplier contracts, and the world of cyber security, data protection and privacy that threaten to comprimise businesses every day.

We assist in intellectual property protection, exploitation and licensing.

With the regulators watching businesses closely, and penalties for individuals and corporations being imposed for breaches, our team can advise on the regulatory environment and assist clients with their dealings with regulators.

As businesses embrace the global opportunities that technology enables, the team at ABLA have noted specialist expertise in technology contracting and generally across the communications, media and technology industry sectors.

Our commercial team is complimented by the other areas of practice in the firm, such as corporate transactional, disputes, competition, property, and workplace relations.

Contact Suzie Leask for further information on 1300 565 846 or +61 2 9458 7005.


The team at ABLA has a long-standing reputation for excellence and expertise in the provision of services for clients active in the digital, communications, media and information technology industry sectors, as well as generally across the digital economy. Our expertise is both domestic and international, with relevance in the context of the globalisation of the market place.  We appreciate the need to be up-to-speed on international developments and best practice.

We offer our services to a wide range of clients active in these sectors, including corporate groups of all sizes, start-ups and entrepreneurs, vendors, customers, service providers, carriers, mobile operators, hosts, resellers, wholesalers and retailers, as well as other players in the market.

Our team structures, negotiates and executes a wide variety of corporate transactions, including M&A, financings, joint ventures, partnerships and collaborations. We also assist our clients with respect to regulatory issues, statutory and other legal obligations, compliance and governance.

We are skilled across a variety of technology platforms, distribution channels and paths to market. Our work consists of both business-as-usual commercial law, and complex contracting including procurement, maintenance and support, outsourcing, system implementations, support, managed services, supply, licensing and distribution arrangements.

Our team also includes leading cyber security and data privacy experts, who regularly advise on cyber security and data privacy breaches and notification obligations, as well as best practice privacy law compliance, policies, contracting and comprehensive cyber security and data privacy audits.  Our team work closely with businesses and utilise a seamless, multi-disciplinary approach to cover all aspects of cyber security, data breach and privacy, with legal experts in information technology, risk, intellectual property, cloud services, workplace relations, privacy and corporate laws.  We assist businesses with best practice protection, compliance and response, including investigation to implementation of incident response strategies, dealing with regulators and managing remedial obligations. 

When necessary, we take a pragmatic and commercial approach to dispute resolution, seeking commercially sensible outcomes for our clients, but always fighting to protect their interests and objectives.

Contact Suzie Leask for expert advice on 1300 565 846 or +61 2 9458 7005.

Intellectual property

The ABLA Intellectual Property team has expertise in all fields of registered and unregistered rights, including copyright, trade marks and design rights.  

We have advised clients across a range of industries, including information technology, entertainment, multinational wholesale and retail organisations, international software houses, manufacturing, importing and distribution. Our advice is commercial and strategic.

Our team understands that intellectual property is a core asset of business today.  We assist clients to first develop and then protect and exploit their intellectual property assets. We have experience in the identification, registration and renewal of intellectual property rights and assist clients to prepare, review and negotiate agreements to license, sell and otherwise commercialise and protect intellectual property and confidential information.

We also assist clients to enforce their intellectual property rights against others, including by negotiation and by acting in court proceedings in relation to copyright and trade mark infringements, domain name recovery, passing-off and other disputes.

We offer focused advice on brand protection strategies, pre-registration strategies, and searches. Our team is experienced in providing evidence and persuasive representations to successfully support applications both domestically and internationally. We also lodge and contest oppositions to trade mark applications, and conduct actions to remove competing registrations.

Prevention is better than cure, and our team assists clients with intellectual property audits, preparing businesses for sale, the due diligence process, and ongoing intellectual property management.

Get ABLA involved from the start, take up one of the product offerings and talk to us about:

Call 1300 565 846 or +61 2 9458 7005 and speak to Suzie Leask today for a complimentary consultation to review your IP needs or email

Property law

The ABLA Property team delivers expert legal advice and assistance with commercial property transactions Australia-wide. With decades of experience, our Property team understands how to deliver comprehensive and relevant advice in a broad range of property transactions, including:
  • commercial, retail and industrial leasing
  • sales and acquisitions of commercial property
  • commercial conveyancing
  • owners corporation and strata law
  • the creation of interests in land
  • land development
  • environmental and planning matters
  • property due diligence
  • property financing
  • the property related components of insolvency
  • the regulatory environment around interests in or dealings with property and
  • estate and business succession planning
Our Property team has experience in hospitality law, in particular with sales and acquisitions of hotels, liquor stores, nightclubs and restaurants (incorporating sale or acquisition of freehold or both freehold and business), and sales and acquisitions of gaming machine entitlements.                                               

Call 1300 565 846 or +61 2 9458 7005. 

Members of the Property Council of Australia 

Workplace and Employment

Voted #1 Workplace and Employment Team of the Year 2021 / 2019 / 2018 / 2016

The workplace and employment team at ABLA are recognised by peers and industry as leaders in the field.  

Recently recognised by peers in two prestigious awards, the team have gained an enviable reputation for success, claiming the following awards;

  • Workplace Relations and Employment Team of the Year, Australian Law Awards 2021, 2019, 2018, 2016
  • 5 Star Employment Law Firm, HRD Magazine 2021
  • Labour & Employment, Legal 500 Recommended Law Firm 2020
  • Labour and Employment Law, Best Lawyers 2020, 2019
  • Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year, Australasian Law Awards 2018

The team of experts work with customers to find commercial solutions and manage risk in the following practice areas: 

Employment law

As leaders in employment law, ABLA can assist your business in running the entire gamut of employee requirements, from recruitment and on-boarding, to dismissal or retirement.  Our experts provide service and advice of the highest standard, whether it’s a quick HR query or assistance with an entire corporate restructure. 

ABLA can simplify your dealings with your employees, from contractors to directors, offering practical legal advice and solutions designed to keep your business compliant and productive at all times. 

Our team can help you with a wide range of employment and workplace law topics, including:

  • award servicing and interpretation
  • discrimination 
  • terminations, dismissals and redundancies 
  • enforcement of restraints 
  • employment contract preparation
  • performance management cycle
  • enterprise agreements and bargaining
  • work, health and safety 
  • workplace audits and investigations.
As a legal service provider servicing businesses only, ABLA specialises in employment law from an employer’s viewpoint, giving you an important edge when bringing the matter to ABLA.  

Our experts can offer customers a wealth of experience and insights, policies and procedures when managing tricky issues such as paid parental leave, social media policies and flexible work arrangements, all from the perspective of an employer.
ABLA can also help customers avert a problem before it becomes serious. Contact us for advice as early as you can, and we’ll coach you on how to manage the situation and limit your exposure. If the situation does progress,  the team will help ease the load, assisting you with issues relating to unfair dismissal, unlawful termination and breach of contract.  

Visit our Resources page for more insights on employment and workplace matters.  Sign up below and get invitations to webcast events where you and the team can upskill at the comfort of your desk. 

Contact Luis Izzo, Dianne Hollyoak or Kyle Scott on 1300 565 846 and let ABLA help you succeed in business.

Industrial relations

ABLA is uniquely placed to assist you with industrial relations issues. Our team has substantial experience advising employers to resist unlawful industrial action through proceedings in courts and tribunals. Our broad experience as both lawyers and industrial relations advisers across many industries allows us to obtain commercially prudent resolutions to industrial problems – a strategic advantage when we are part of your team.

Our work in maintaining around 70 awards on behalf of the members of BusinessNSW (formely NSW Business Chamber) means  we  provide you with a comprehensive service. 

Enterprise bargaining

We assist clients with enterprise bargaining through:

  • development of enterprise agreement goals
  • formulation of negotiation plans
  • negotiation of agreements
  • handling of disputation during negotiations
  • drafting of enterprise agreements
  • registration of agreements.
Download interest-based bargaining e-guide

Employment relations planning services

We will help establish and implement an employee relations plan to  manage the employment relations challenges for new businesses or businesses undergoing substantial change.  We provide assistance to in-house human resource and employment relations specialists to maintain and revise employment relations strategies, policies and procedures.

We  offer workplace audits, which provide a valuable diagnostic tool to human resource managers and employment relations specialists.

Underpayment and award compliance issues

ABLA has substantial experience assessing and defending allegations by employees and trade unions of the underpayment of employment entitlements. Our experience allows us to respond in a cost effective manner to underpayment claims.

Our services in this area include:
  • determining the application of awards and agreements to particular businesses/workplaces
  • undertaking workplace audits to determine whether time and wage systems comply with legal requirements
  • advising on allegations of underpayment, including determining assessments of potential liability towards employees
  • appearing in industrial tribunals in response to allegations of underpayment of entitlements
  • assisting employers to defend proceedings for the recovery of alleged underpayments.

Industrial disputes

Disputes arise in a range of circumstances, whether it be in the course of enterprise bargaining negotiations, or otherwise. Our significant experience in this area enables us to assist you to resolve disputes by negotiation, conciliation and, if necessary, arbitration.

To discuss your industrial relations concerns, call Luis Izzo, Dianne Hollyoak or Kyle Scott on 1300 565 846 today.

HR Consulting

Human Resources management (HRM) has a critical role to play in any organisation and ABLA has the enviable access to capability across the employment and workplace functions that can support this vital part of your business to thrive.  

The role of HR has significantly evolved from its inception in the 1960s and is now recognised as a critical piece in building a positive and productive workplace culture.  HRM covers a wide range of capabilities including:
  • recruitment, staffing and promotion
  • compensation, remuneration, benefits and wellness programs
  • training, development and succession planning
  • policy and procedure development, communication and enforcement
  • workplace and employment relations
  • organisational growth, change management and development
  • grievance and complaint management and investigations
Australia's workplace laws are some of the most complex in the world.  Support your HR staff by providing them with the latest training as developed by the leading Workplace and Employment Law Team and give them the tools to excel in their roles. 

The people involved in this aspect of your business must understand and speak the language that business leaders operate in. They must align with business objectives and focus their daily operations with the strategic goals of the organisation.  Our experienced HR Principal, Michelle Charnock, can help your business unlock the potential of human capital managment through strategic advice and planning, organisational change management or training.  

For a confidential discussion about your HR consulting needs, contact Michelle Charnock on 1300 565 846.

Whistleblower Service

Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations represent a significant risk and liability to your organisation if not carried out the right way. One of the common mistakes employers make is not getting a third party involved from the beginning.  The team at ABLA have the experience required in handling these sensitive incidents, providing advice, facilitation or mediation. 

ABLA works with employers to prevent and minimise the impact that a workplace investigation can bring to a business.  Our team knows the importance of a fair investigation that will hold up in court, and as a mission based organisation, ABLA focusses on the best outcome for your business at all times.

ABLA can offer you:

Workplace Investigations

  • Scope analysis – what needs investigating
  • Interviews – independent and insightful
  • Evidence – gather, review and assess
  • Analyse – identify missing pieces
  • Report – concise findings and recommendations
  • Review – HR processes

Workplace Procedures Reviews

  • Audit on workplace procedures to align with compliance obligations
  • Post-incident strategic review

Workplace Investigations Training

  • Inhouse training for HR professionals, business owners and senior managers
  • Induction training for senior managers
Engaging ABLA in an investigation will provide peace of mind around impartiality and give you confidence the case will hold up in court. 

Learn more and listen to this one hour webinar on best practice for Workplace Investigations.

Download the Workplace Investigations flyer

Call today for a complimentary workplace investigations consultation - speak to Luis Izzo, Dianne Hollyoak or Kyle Scott on 1300 565 846.

Work Health and Safety

ABLA has a leading Work Health and Safety (WHS) legal team. The team has extensive experience in acting for both private and public sector clients in WHS compliance matters, regulatory investigations, coronial inquests and prosecutions by regulators across NSW and Australia.

All business owners have responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace, not just for employees but also for customers and the public. Governments take work health and safety (WHS) legislation extremely seriously and are quick to enforce health and safety breaches and prosecute non-compliance.

The most effective way to avoid costly and damaging incidents is to ensure risk is properly managed and all legal requirements are met. That includes planning and producing tailored health and safety guidelines for your business and regular training to ensure all employees are aware of their rights, responsibilities, duties and obligations.

Alan also regularly conducts training courses and webcasts covering WHS which you can view here

Whatever business you're in, creating a safe work environment is the most important investment you can make. 

Our experts in WHS law can guide you through some simple steps that will allow you to concentrate your efforts as well as help your business to be prepared in all situations.

  • How will you meet your most basic WHS obligations to provide safe premises, machinery, equipment and systems of work?
  • How do you establish these systems and ensure that all employees are fully trained and regularly updated?
  • Can you be sure that proper supervision is in place at all times?
  • What do you do when new staff commence? Is induction adequate?
  • Are all facilities and working environments up to expected safety standards?
  • What rights do union officials and workplace inspectors have?

We help businesses across a diverse range of industry sectors answer these questions every day. Our WHS lawyers have decades of experience and in-depth knowledge in workplace health and safety and are recognised nationally as among the best in the field.  Listen to the top tips in this one hour webinar.

Responding quickly to workplace incidents to protect your business

Our experts in WHS law can also guide you in the event of a serious workplace incident.  We can help you focus on the things that really matter, so that your business can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Who should you notify following a workplace incident?
  • What are your rights when you are being interviewed by government investigators?
  • How should you conduct your own investigation?
  • What do you need to do to ensure that any failings you find remain confidential?
  • What do you do if you are charged?
  • What can you do to support injured workers or their families without getting into trouble?

We regularly help businesses get back into production following workplace incidents.  Our WHS lawyers are experienced in rapidly investigating, managing regulators and achieving resolutions. 
 We advise business, often at short notice, to resolve disputes and protect their business interests. We defend urgent applications, conduct workplace investigations, attend critical incidents and deal with industrial action as a corporate ‘first responder.’

Our experience tells us - a safe workplace is productive and prosperous.  

Download the Work Health and Safety flyer

Minimise risk and review your WHS obligations today - call 1300 565 846.

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Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA) (ACN 146 318 783) is the Trustee of Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors Trust (ABN 76 008 556 595). Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.  Legal practitioners employed by or directors of Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors Pty Limited are members of the scheme.

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