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Zaven  Mardirossian

About Zaven

Zaven Mardirossian practises in competition and intellectual property, and is the founder and head of the firm’s competition practice. He draws on years of experience as a litigator in managing disputes, and has earned a reputation for successfully representing clients facing some of the toughest Australian & Competition Commission (ACCC) investigations and prosecutions in the country.

‘Highly knowledgeable, understands his clients, provides really sound commercial advice and is a really strategic litigator.’

Client quote, Chambers Asia Pacific

A partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler for more than 15 years, his clients include national leaders in manufacturing, retailing, wholesale, on-line and construction. He advises on a wide range of competition and consumer law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, cartel and other anti-competitive conduct, misleading or deceptive conduct, and unfair and unconscionable business practices.

Described as a “master tactician” by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Zaven works closely with clients to develop and maintain effective marketing initiatives, including advertising and promotional campaigns across all media platforms, increasingly with on-line media. His intellectual property experience includes defending local and international clients, and associated iconic brands, in protecting their property rights from third party infringement. He also supports clients to commercialise their intellectual property in global markets. Zaven is also recognised by Best Lawyers® International  in the area of intellectual property law.

He regularly presents to universities on competition and consumer law issues, and assists some of Australia’s largest companies to develop and hone their training and compliance programmes.

Zaven graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Laws with honours and a Bachelor of Arts. He has published chapters on national and international antitrust and competition policy and issues, including for Oxford University Press, Berkeley University and Thomson Reuters.

Practice focus

Zaven’s practice focuses on the following areas:

  • competition and consumer law, including defending cartel proceedings, mergers and acquisitions, consumer protection, product liability, unconscionable conduct and the development of compliance programmes;
  • intellectual property dispute resolution;
  • ACCC and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigations and prosecutions; and
  • media, advertising, on-line marketing the brand protection.

Directorships & memberships

Zaven is a member of the Business Law section (Competition and Consumer Committee) of The Law Council of Australia.

Experience

Zaven acts for clients on a wide variety of matters, including:

  • Towers Watson Superannuation Pty Ltd: in relation to proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against IBM Superlife Services Pty Limited and Link Super Pty Limited. The proceedings relate to a series of thefts, totalling approximately A$4 million, from a superannuation fund. TWS is the trustee of the fund. The case involved complex apportionment issues;
  • One of Australia's leading online businesses: in relation to an arrangement with a major media organisation.  Our role includes advising on the competition law aspects of the transaction, including the drafting of the relevant agreement;
  • A global technology and manufacturing company based in Israel: on global distribution arrangements with other large players in its industry;
  • ACCC investigations and white-collar crime prosecutions;
  • ACCC investigations into several industries including agriculture, petroleum, transport, chemical and retail (including online services);
  • JB Hi-Fi Limited: in an ACCC investigation alleging a market-sharing agreement with a potential competitor in connection with JB Hi-Fi’s expansion into a new geographic market;
  • A large Australian construction company: in a cartel investigation into allegations made against the company by one of its competitors;
  • Liberty Oil, the then largest independent fuel retailer and distributor in Australia: in proceedings commenced by the ACCC against numerous petroleum retailers for alleged price fixing;
  • Mitre 10 Australia: in Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC for alleged misleading or deceptive TV, radio and print advertising;
  • An international franchisor: in an ACCC investigation concerning alleged unconscionable conduct and misleading or deceptive conduct towards franchisees;
  • The administrators of Ansett Airlines in a number of ACCC matters, including the sale of major assets and disputes with airport tenants and travel agents, as well as acting for the administrators in several Federal Court applications which created new insolvency law in Australia; and
  • Visy Group: in relation to proceedings brought by the ACCC in respect of an alleged cartel in the cardboard box industry.

Competition law, including merger advice

  • Major companies, including Gunnersens-Timbermark and Housewares-Breville: in preparing submissions to the ACCC for authorisation of mergers;
  • Allen & Co, Carlson Capital, Churchill Capital, Davidson Kempner, Farallon Capital and Pentwater Capital: in relation to Glencore’s acquisition of Viterra, APA’s acquisition of Hastings, Foxtel’s acquisition of Austar, Google’s acquisition of Motorola, Seven’s proposed acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings and Archer Daniels Midland’s proposed acquisition of GrainCorp;
  • QIW Ltd: in the takeover disputes between Davids Ltd and QIW Ltd. The proceedings led to a seminal decision on market definition;
  • Barro: in relation to Federal Court proceedings regarding the proposed takeover of Adelaide Brighton by Boral;
  • Nufarm Limited: in disputes between Futuris and Wesfarmers in the takeover of IAMA;
  • A major supplier of health and organic products to a major supermarket chain: in relation to alleged misuse of market power and unconscionable conduct, including by forcing suppliers to agree to disadvantageous terms of trade, unilaterally deducting amounts from payments due to suppliers, and refusing to allow suppliers to increase prices;
  • Australian Constructors Association: whose member companies collectively generate a combined annual revenue in excess of $50 billion and employ more than 100,000 people in their Australian and international operations, regarding a range of competition law matters, including compliance training and advice in relation to submissions to government on industry-wide issues;
  • As a panel member of the Gerson Lehrmann Group’s legal, economic and regulatory affairs practice; and
  • Kawasaki: in Federal Court trade practices disputes with a major Victorian distributor.

Intellectual property, advertising and brand protection

  • Industry Fund Services: in relation to all of its advertising campaigns including the iconic Compare the Pair campaign;
  • Breville Group (previously Housewares International Ltd): in Federal Court proceedings commenced by Peter Bodum A/S and others, for alleged passing off and misleading or deceptive conduct, as well as in relation to a range of misleading and deceptive representations by competitors, for example, Sunbeam, in its packaging, point of sale material and television and internet advertisements for its Café Series EM700 Espresso Machine and NutriBullet;
  • Probiotec Limited: in relation to various agreements, including sponsorship, licensing and intellectual property agreements;
  • Just Group: in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct and intellectual property claims brought by and against Just retail subsidiaries, including Just Jeans, Smiggle, Peter Alexander and Dotti;
  • A foreign religious organisation: in relation to a dispute with its Australian affiliate regarding ownership of intellectual property;
  • Numerous significant Australian organisations, including SEEK, Barro, Carsales, Leighton, John Holland and the Australian Constructors Association: in relation to the delivery of customised compliance seminars on the CCA for clients to complement their risk management and corporate governance strategies; amd
  • Sportsgirl, Decjuba, Ice Jewellery and other fashion brands: on IP infringement actions.

Other major litigation and dispute resolution matters

  • Nufarm Australian Limited: in its defence of a shareholder class action alleging excessively positive, and therefore misleading, 2010 profit forecasts;
  • Telstra Corporation: in relation to numerous disputes with suppliers and consumers, including against members of 'CoTs', as well as defending alleged breaches by Telstra of obligations to retail customers, including in relation to servicing rural Australia;
  • Mirvac Group, MAB Corporation, Becton Group and other property developers: in proceedings alleging misrepresentation regarding off-the-plan apartment sales;
  • Challenger Limited: in relation to the defence of a class action for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to a Challenger prospectus;
  • Leighton Group: in relation to its dispute with the Victorian Government concerning alleged misleading and deceptive conduct by the Government, regarding the tender for construction of Spencer Street railway station;
  • Sherritt International and Dynatec Corporation: in defending a $1.5 billion claim for misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to a nickel mine in Western Australia. The claim was discontinued in its entirety; and
  • TPI Enterprises: in the successful defence of Supreme Court litigation commenced by GlaxoSmithKline against Jarrod Ritchie and TPI Enterprises, for alleged breaches of confidence and fiduciary duty.

Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing Zaven Mardirossian .