Charles is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Competition + Regulation group. Charles has extensive experience in advising on:
- competition law matters including merger clearances, joint ventures, misuse of market power matters and cartel matters;
- the Australian Consumer Law including misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, the consumer guarantees and product liability issues; and
- access to infrastructure under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act including declaration applications and access undertakings.
Charles advises clients in a broad range of industries, but is a specialist in matters in:
- the digital economy and innovation – Charles has over a decade’s experience in advising on the regulation of online peer-to-peer platforms, comparator websites, digital disruption, the use of big data and competition and consumer issues arising from online and mobile sales and distribution models;
- aviation – Charles has led teams in a number of the largest and most complex matters in the Australian aviation industry including mergers, joint ventures, alliance authorisations, cartel matters, Australian Consumer Law proceedings and multiple airport access disputes; and
- energy and resources – Charles has played a key role in numerous authorisation applications relating to capacity arrangements at coal export terminals in New South Wales and Queensland; acted for access seekers responding to access undertakings proposed by monopoly service providers and advised on declaration applications, mergers, joint ventures and procurement arrangements involving iron ore, coal and aluminium.
Charles is recognised as a leading competition lawyer in Australia by external peer and client surveys. Charles has been listed as a “Future Leader” in Who’s Who Legal: Competition 2018. He is described as “excellent” and “an incredibly dedicated lawyer” who is appreciated for his “practical advice that is easy for commercial managers to digest”. Charles was also listed in 2017 where recognised as "always accessible and provides clear and succinct advice, as well has having up-to-date knowledge of the various issues". Charles is also listed in The Legal500 2018 which says Charles has 'phenomenal client service ethics’ and ‘the ability to see the commercial drivers very quickly and clearly apply them to the law’. Best Lawyers 2018 and 2019 recognises Charles in the Competition Law category.
Charles won the Global Competition Review’s 2014 Merger Control Matter of the Year – Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa for Virgin Australia’s acquisition of a 60% interest in Tiger Airways Australia and the creation of an Australian joint venture. Charles was a finalist for the same award in 2016, following his work in the media industry for Ten Network Holdings Limited in relation to its strategic arrangements with Foxtel.
Charles’ expertise in the digital economy, innovation and digital disruption has seen him present on these topics at major conferences including the GCR Live Singapore Annual Asia-Pacific Law Leaders Forum 2018, the Australian Financial Review National Innovation Summit, the Australian Competition Policy Summit, the Inaugural Consumer Law Conference, the Sunrise as part of the Vivid Festival, the GC Summit and the Law Society of NSW’s Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Law and Innovation. Charles was on the advisory committee for the inaugural Australian Legal Innovation & Techfest.
Charles also co-authors the Australia and New Zealand chapter of the American Bar Association’s International Development Summaries for consumer protection law.