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Bradley Aburn

Partner

Competition and Antitrust

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Profile

Bradley specialises in competition, consumer and regulatory law, and litigation in Russell McVeagh's Competition, Regulatory and Public law practice.

He has extensive experience in advising clients on matters relating to mergers/acquisitions, competition law investigations, Commerce Commission market studies, joint ventures and collaborative activities, competitor collaborations and partnering arrangements, syndication, internal competition and consumer law compliance programmes and other regulatory issues (including electricity regulation).

He returned to Russell McVeagh in 2019 following over five years with Slaughter and May in its London and Brussels offices advising on the full gambit of European competition law issues and coordinating merger control filings in multiple jurisdictions on large global transactions. Bradley draws on this international experience to provide a unique perspective on New Zealand issues where there may be a lack of domestic precedent.       

 
Client feedback demonstrates Bradley's strong standing in the industry:
  • "Bradley is top notch. Technically excellent, he always gives sound and practical advice. He also has a client-friendly easy-going and approachable manner and turns things round on a dime."
  • “Our experience with Brad has been fantastic, and he gets full marks in every important category: (i) legal knowledge; (ii) practical and pragmatic advice; (iii) solution-oriented approach; and (iv) responsiveness. He has provided a steady hand on what has been a very unsteady and challenging project.

Experience

Bradley's recent experience includes advising:

  • Microsoft on its acquisition of a cloud-based speech recognition and artificial intelligence software company, Nuance. 

  • ​Several clients opposing clearance applications submitted by third parties.

  • On Commerce Commission antitrust investigations in relation to a range of issues including cartel conduct, anticompetitive agreements, resale price maintenance.

  • On undertaking competition law audits and implementing competition law compliance programmes for a range of clients.

  • Meridian Energy on investigations and market reviews undertaken by the New Zealand Electricity Authority;

  • Willis Towers Watson on its New Zealand clearance application in relation to the global acquisition by Aon.

  • Turners & Growers Fresh Limited on its successful 2020 clearance application to acquire Freshmax NZ Limited.

  • Cengage Learning Holdings II, Inc on its successful 2020 clearance to merge with Mc-Graw-Hill Education, Inc.

  • Smartpay on the successful 2020 clearance application for it to be acquired by Verifone New Zealand.

  • Industry participants on both the Commerce Commission's 2019 market study into the retail fuel industry, and the Commission's 2020/21 market study into the grocery industry.


​Bradley's international experience includes:

  • Advising purchasers, targets and complainants on the competition law aspects of large multinational mergers including acting for:

    • Ball Corporation on its US$6.1 billion acquisition of Rexam plc; 

    • Thermo Fisher on its US$13.6 billion acquisition of Life Sciences; 

    • CSR plc in relation to Qualcomm Inc's US$2.4 billion takeover of CSR; and  

    • Stanley Black and Decker on its US$1.96 billion acquisition of Newell Brand Inc's tool business.

  • Conducting competition law audits into the policies, protocols, practices and procedures of businesses;

  • Advising a UK electricity generator on the application of the UK Electricity Capacity Market Rules and Regulations;

  • Advising a major health equipment manufacturer on structuring a financing JV with competitors;

  • Advising a leading accessories manufacturer and a leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer on their respective distribution and online sales strategy;

  • Advising a major mining company on comments made about pricing expectations by its CEO at an industry event;

  • Successfully preparing a defence strategy based on a competition assessment to prevent a hostile takeover; 

  • Advising a major semiconductor manufacturer in relation to an abuse of dominance claim;

Credentials

MA (EU Competition Law), King's College London 
LLB (Hons) / BCom, University of Auckland

Professional

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (2012)
Admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales (2017) (non-practising)
Board member Competition Law & Policy Institute of New Zealand (CLPINZ)

Bradley is recognised as a Rising Star in New Zealand Competition Law by the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific Guide 2022.

Bradley is a regular contributor to thought leadership for some of the most reputable publishers in the industry, most recently co-authoring the New Zealand chapters for The Legal 500 Cartels country comparative guide, 2nd Edition; Lexology's GTDT Merger Control Guide; and Mergerfilers Global Legal Guide on Merger Control.

Bradley is also regularly asked to present at conferences on competition and consumer law issues including speaking on:

  • New Zealand Competition and Consumer Law: Upcoming changes and how to prepare at the 2021 Legalwise In-House Counsel Conference;

  • Competition and Consumer Law Update for Directors and Officers at the 2021 Legalwise Directors and Officers Summit;

  • Competition Law: What you need to know at the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association New Zealand 2021 Annual Seminar;

  • Competitor Collaborations at the 2020 CLPINZ workshop;

  • Unconscionable conduct and unfair contract terms at the 2020 Legalwise seminar on Hot Contract Issues: Mistakes, Termination and Unfair Provisions.

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