The UK and Australia have signed a trade agreement in principle, with the deal being touted as an important win for both sides.
The agreement in itself is historic in that it is the first major free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated from scratch by the UK Government since Brexit. It recognises the already strong relationship between our two countries and opens doors for businesses to trade without unnecessary red tape.
Significantly, the agreement is viewed as a stepping stone toward UK membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which includes 11 Pacific markets worth £9 trillion GDP.
Blake Morgan works with numerous UK organisations conducting business in Australia, which are now seeing the considerable potential for growth in the Australian market.
UK organisations looking to do business, or expand their existing business interests, in Australia, or Australian organisations/firms/corporations looking to do the same here in the UK, will need to align themselves with partners that can provide effective and seamless advice in both jurisdictions in order to maximise the opportunities for growth and mitigate any potential risks.
Blake Morgan has a long-standing relationship with like-minded Australian law firm, Piper Alderman. The established partnership developed through both firms’ membership of the TAGLaw network, enables seamless specialist advice in connection with UK/Australian matters.
Blake Morgan Partner Jill Bainbridge, said:
Blake Morgan has a long standing relationship with Piper Alderman having worked together on a variety of projects and meeting regularly. Piper Alderman are a natural extension to our team when needed, with similar values, they are responsive, proactive and have the same pragmatic, commercial approach. Collaboratively we are able to achieve excellent results for our clients across the two jurisdictions.
Piper Alderman Partner Simon Venus, said: “While the finer detail of the FTA is still to be seen, we are working with clients who are positioning themselves for the benefits. Australian businesses (particularly commodity and FMCG producers) have focused on the UK consumer market to fill a void lost from tariff hikes imposed by China.
“On the in-bound front, Australia is welcoming of foreign investment and so we see ourselves uniquely positioned as a familiar place for UK businesses to access our consumers and to base themselves and reach out into Asian markets. In the reverse, the UK provides an excellent platform to reach European markets.
“Our relationship with Blake Morgan is important to us as we look to offer seamless cross-border legal services for our respective clients.”
Piper Alderman’s longstanding client, Accolade Wines (owners of Hardy’s, Echo Falls, Kumala and most recently, Lambrini) is specifically mentioned in the International Trade summary of key benefits (the full document can be found here). Their products, along with other Australian favourites such as Jacob’s Creek, Tim Tams and Vegemite, will be sold at a cheaper price due to the deal, expected to save households collectively up to £34 million a year.
Caroline Thompson-Hill, Managing Director – Europe, Accolade Wines said: “The UK is Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner and in 2019, UK businesses traded £18.1 billion in goods and services with Australia.
“Securing a mutually beneficial deal between the UK and Australia will offer consumers even greater choice of Australian wines – from full-bodied reds to a range of fruity whites.
“The removal of tariffs on Australian wine, signalled in the recent Agreement in Principle is a central part of freer trade. Accolade Wines looks forward to the final agreement in the coming months and to working with partners to support the work of the UK joining the multilateral CPTPP in the months ahead.”
How we can support
There are key areas where tailored advice may be needed to facilitate any change in commercial interests between the UK and Australia. These may include:
- Corporate structuring
- Data protection
- Intellectual property
- Investment & Banking
- Commercial contracts/agreements
Our experts can support in all key areas as well as advising generally on commercial considerations when operating between the two countries and overseas. Every business is unique and to ensure that all necessarily regulations are followed in expanding your business interests overseas, a highly skilled partner with established international relationships in place is imperative to mitigating risks.
Looking to the future
As well as partnerships with Australian law firms, Blake Morgan has established ties with firms across the world and in many of the key marketplaces that form the CPTPP including:
- Australia (Piper Alderman)
- New Zealand (Avid.legal)
- Canada (Blaney McMurtry)
- Chile (Guerrero Olivos)
- Japan (South Toranomon Law Offices)
- Mexico (Kuri Brena, Sanchez Ugarte and Aznar)
- Peru (DHC – De Bracamonte, Haaker & Castellares Abogados)
- Singapore (Sim Mong Teck & Partners)
- Viet Nam (Rissin & Vecchi)
The important step that the UK is taking, potentially toward membership of the CPTPP alliance in the future, could open up the golden gates, pending the neutralisation of some key issues likely to be sticking points (such as data privacy and the European Patents Convention). As founding members of the TAGLaw network, Blake Morgan can provide specialist legal support to international businesses looking to trade in the UK, or local clients hoping to expand in to other markets.
If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about any issues with conducting business in Australia or the UK, please get in touch.
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