Maddocks has updated its Doing Business in Australia publication, which is a straightforward and informative guide that outlines the main legal and commercial issues that you need to be aware of when investing in Australia.

 While the global economic impact of COVID-19 is significant and still unfolding, we continue to see a steady stream of interest and investment into Australia across energy and resources, property and development, agribusiness, health and education services, professional services, and major infrastructure projects.

 Our partners regularly work with lawyers around the world on cross-border transactions and disputes and are well attuned to working co-operatively and cohesively in such situations. In addition, many of our lawyers have off-shore legal experience.

 You can download a copy of Doing Business of Australia from the Maddocks website.


 Australia’s Foreign Investment Laws - Major reforms in early 2021

 In January 2021, we saw major reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework.

 In response to growing national security risks due to factors including technological advancement and international security tensions, changes have been introduced to strengthen and safeguard Australia’s national security and critical infrastructure.

 Developers need be aware of these important changes to Australia’s foreign investment regime:

  • a new mandatory notification and prior Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval requirement for certain investments including in ‘national security land’
  • new ‘call in’ and ‘last resort’ powers
  • a new fee framework and significantly higher penalties for contraventions of the FIRB regime.

 Significantly for developers, there is a new mandatory notification and FIRB approval requirement where there is a proposal to acquire an interest in ‘national security land’.

 The Treasurer has also been granted a new ‘call in’ power to review particular actions they consider may pose a national security concern, including proposals to acquire an interest of any percentage in Australian land.

 Additionally, where exceptional circumstances arise, the Treasurer has been granted a ‘new last’ resort power to review an action which has previously been given a ‘no objection notification’ or an ‘exemption certificate’.

 Significantly higher penalties have been imposed for non-compliance by individuals and corporations with the FIRB regime.


Maddocks advises eCommerce company on sale to Amazon

 Maddocks has advised the shareholders of Australian eCommerce platform Pty Ltd on its sale to global online marketplace giant Amazon.

 Selz was founded in 2014 and provides technology for small businesses to operate eCommerce platforms and process online payments. Maddocks has advised Selz through the early stages of funding and partnerships through to the exit in the sale to Amazon.

 The financial terms of the deal are confidential.

 The Maddocks team on the matter was led by partner Catherine Merity and senior associate Suzette Caldaroni.

 This transaction is reflective of the considerable activity in the e-commerce industry which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and one of a number of matters that Maddocks has advised on in the last few months, including Australian eCommerce company’s successful IPO and ASX listing.