Baker McKenzie recently won "Property, Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year" at the Australasian Law Awards 2019, in recognition for its role in representing the ASC Group in the transfer of its subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding to BAE Systems Australia and also the construction of nine future frigates. BAE Systems was selected as the base design for Australia’s new fleet of Hunter Class Frigates, and the fleet will be built by ASC Shipping as a subsidiary of BAE Systems.
The award was shared with the other firms acting on the transaction- Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, and Allens.
The Baker McKenzie team was led by Geoff Wood (Of Counsel, Construction Practice in Sydney) and Chris Saxon, (Partner, Energy, Mining & Infrastructure practice) and assisted by a cross-practice team comprising: Sean Duffy and Lydia Turman (Energy, Mining & Infrastructure practice), Adrian Lawrence, Sally Pierce, Allison Manvell and Caitlin Whale (Technology, Media & Communications Practice), Spiro Mellos, Maria Hurley-Smith, Lucienne Gleeson and Bianca Dearing (Employment Practice), Byron Angelopulo and Aparna Watal (IP practice), Daniel McGuiness, Lawrence Mendes, Helena Lau, Jo Grange and Michaela Grima (Corporate Practice), Linda Hamilton (Insurance Practice) and Ilona Millar (Environment & Climate Change Practice).
Commenting on the deal, Geoff said, "We are delighted to have acted for our long-standing client, ASC Group, on one of the largest naval shipbuilding projects ever undertaken in Australia. This transaction amply demonstrates our strengths in assisting corporations to deal with multi-faceted issues in complex defence industry infrastructure projects."
This transaction was the second phase of a major restructure of the ASC Group undertaken by the Australian government since 2016, on which Baker McKenzie has acted for ASC throughout the restructure process. The Firm has also represented ASC since 2009 on a long list of deals, including:
ASC Shipbuilding's joint venture with Forgacs Marine & Defence, in a bid to land the USD 3 billion first phase of the Department of Defence’s Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) program (SEA 1180)
ASC OPV Shipbuilder Pty Ltd subcontracting with Luerssen to construct the first two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) in the ASC shipyard in Adelaide, as part of the Australian government's AUD 90 billion naval shipbuilding program
ASC's involvement in the Australian Government's AUD 50 billion 'Attack Class' Future Submarines program (SEA 1000)
ASC's involvement in the c.$8 billion alliance constructing three Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers for the Australian Navy (SEA 4000)
Re-negotiation of ASC's Through-life Support Agreement with the Department of Defence for the maintenance of the Australian Navy's 6 Collins Class Submarines