Communications Lawyers

“We are lawyers with a passion for Communications Law”

Experience that counts

Established in 2000, Nicholls Legal is a law firm located in South Melbourne, Australia.  Our general areas of practice include Technology, Communications, Intellectual Property, Defamation, Commercial Law and Disputes – including specific expertise as Communications Lawyers.

As one of the most experienced Communications Lawyers in Australia, Matthew Nicholls has acted on numerous commercial, regulatory and contentious Communications Law matters.  Typical Communications Law matters that we have worked on include:

Commercial

  • Providing the lead legal and regulatory advice to TransACT in relation to its formal tender for the $4.7 billion NBN.
  • Acting for the vendor in the sale of a mid-sized telecommunications provider in New South Wales.
  • Acting for the vendor in the sale of a telecommunications fibre-to-the-home network in Western Australia.
  • Acting for the vendor in the sale of a telecommunications company in New Zealand.
  • Advising a State water authority on contract provisions for a telecommunications tender.
  • Acting for the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in preparing model non-price terms and conditions for access to core telecommunications services.
  • Acting for various building owners in relation to site access agreements for communications facility installation.
  • Negotiating and drafting all forms of Communications agreements, including business/major asset sale and acquisition, supply, distribution, agency, joint venture, telehousing, interconnect, technology development and exploitation, technology assignments and transfers, outsourcing, facilities management and confidentiality agreements.
  • Acting for numerous clients in negotiating telecommunications access and interconnection agreements.
  • Advising in relation to preparing and maintaining standard forms of agreement pursuant to Part 23 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth).
  • Providing legal advice and content for Digital River’s Digital Building Telecommunications Access Guideline.
  • Advising a major telecommunications equipment supplier in relation to emerging regulation of Voice over IP-capable devices.

Regulatory

  • The full range of ACCC, ACMA and telecommunications self-regulatory issues. Matthew Nicholls served two years on the board of directors of ACIF Limited (now Communications Alliance), the Australian telecommunications industry’s self-regulatory vehicle.
  • Providing the lead external legal and regulatory advice to the Commonwealth Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts in relation to its review of telecommunications regulation in Australia, having regard to next generation networks.
  • Preparing a substantive submission on behalf of TransACT in relation to the ACCC’s merger enquiry into Telstra’s proposed acquisition of Austar.
  • Providing the lead legal and regulatory advice to TransACT in relation to its submission to the Government in relation to regulatory issues regarding the NBN.
  • Preparing the regulatory submissions in relation to the NBN on behalf of Acacia Australia and TransACT (two of the tenderers for the Government’s NBN tender).
  • Providing legal advice to industry organizations such as the Competitive Carriers’ Coalition, in relation to the NBN.
  • Incorporating and providing regulatory advice to the Competitive Carriers’ Coalition, Inc.
  • Assisting in the preparation of a submission to the ACCC in relation to Telstra’s pay TV third line forcing notifications.
  • Advising various clients in relation to obtaining telecommunications carrier licences and assisting in obtaining a trial certificate.
  • Advising local government on “undergrounding” of telecommunications facilities.
  • Advising in relation to the requirements for obtaining a broadcasting licence pursuant to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth).
  • Assisting in the preparation of a submission to the ACCC in relation the ACCC’s Dispute Resolution Guidelines.
  • Providing advice in relation to securing access to the Integrated Public Number Database.

Disputes 

  • Acting for four defendants in Telstra’s High Court challenge to the constitutional validity of telecommunications-specific provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).
  • Representing multiple defendants in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to two administrative law challenges brought by Telstra.
  • Acting for numerous parties in the Australian Competition Tribunal (Federal Court jurisdiction) review of ACCC access decisions relating to PSTN, Unconditioned Local Loop Services, Line Sharing Services and Mobile Terminating Access Services.
  • Acting for numerous parties in various ACCC access arbitrations, including in relation to PSTN, PSTN termination, GSM, LCS, LSS, ULLS and MTAS.
  • Advising and obtaining advice from senior counsel in relation to claims of anti-competitive conduct pursuant to Part XIB of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).
  • Providing an expert determination in relation to a freephone and local rate number portability dispute.

We have successfully represented parties in litigation at all Australian Superior Court levels, including the Victorian Supreme Court, the Victorian Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia.

In addition to our expertise as Communications Lawyers, we also specialize in Cloud Law, Commercial & Business LawCompetition & Consumer Law, Defamation & Media Law, Information Security & Privacy Law, Intellectual Property Law, Internet Law and Technology & IT Law.

Competitive Fees

We offer very competitive fees including a free initial consultation.  Please contact Matthew Nicholls (ph: +61 3 8376 7131) to discuss your Communications Law requirements.

Our latest Communications Law & NBN eNews items are below:

  • Roaming charges to be abolished in Europe in 2014- From TechWeek Europe and the Daily Telegraph:  The European Commission has voted to end the practice of imposing mobile roaming charges when travelling to different countries in Europe, beginning in July next year. Europe’s 27 commissioners followed a recommendation from vice president Neelie Kroes, and voted last week to abolish roaming charges in Europe.  The […]
  • Utel Networks pays infringement notices for misleading consumers- From the ACCC:  Utel Networks Pty Ltd has paid three infringement notices, totalling $19,800, and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the Australian Competition and Conmsumer Commission (ACCC) for misrepresentations made by them to customers through their telemarketing activities. Utel Networks provides a number of telecommunications services, and markets these services through a Phillipines-based subsidiary. […]
  • TIO Complaint Statistics for January to March 2013- From the TIO:  The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has released complaints statistics for the first three months of 2013. The TIO’s summary of the statistics is as follows: The TIO received 40,021 new complaints between January and March 2013, an increase of 4.5 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, and a 23.3 per […]
  • IACCM publishes 20 critical information security controls- From the IACCM:  The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) has published a useful checklist for businesses seeking a guide to information security controls. Based on the SANS Institute’s ‘Top 20 Critical Controls’ document, the guidance is useful for businesses to prioritise and fund information security initiatives.  The top 20 tips are Inventory […]
  • Vodafone warned by ACMA over advertising- From the ACMA:  The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a formal warning to Vodafone Pty Ltd for a breach of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code).  The warning relates to a failure by Vodafone to prominently display its standard charges for a mobile phone offer, as required by clause 4.2.6 of […]
  • ACCC finalises wholesale prices for broadband services on Telstra’s copper network- From the ACCC:  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it has completed its inquiry to set terms and conditions for the wholesale ADSL service and published a Final Access Determination (FAD). Retailers utilise Telstra’s copper network to provide ADSL broadband internet to customers.  The FAD lays out the price and non-price […]
  • ACCC announces inquiry into access to mobile networks- From the ACCC:  The ACCC has announced a public inquiry into whether it would be preferable to extend, vary or revoke the domestic mobile terminating access service (MTAS) declaration, or whether to make a new declaration. The MTAS is a service offered between competitors so that calls on different mobile networks can be connected.  Mobile […]
  • ACMA warns AAPT about privacy- From the ACMA:  The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned AAPT Limited (AAPT) regarding its to protect the privacy of its customers’ personal information as required by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code). The ACMA initiated an investigation into AAPT following media reports that some of AAPT’s customer data had been […]
  • OAIC investigating Telstra data breach- From the OAIC:  The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has opened an investigation into a data breach that resulted in the publication of Telstra customer’s private information online. Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim issued the following statement: “Telstra has briefed our office about this incident and advised that the documents are no longer […]
  • OAIC: Australian Privacy Principles guidance- From the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:  The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released a pair of guidances comparing the proposed new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) with Australia’s current National Privacy Principles (NPPs) and the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs). The APPs are found in the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act […]
  • ACCC Chairman Rod Sims: ACCC well placed to deal with communications revolution- From the ACCC:  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims, speaking at the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Brisbane, has said that the ACCC is is well placed to deal with the many issues flowing from the continuing communications industry revolution. Mr Sims spoke of the benefits of a combined competition, consumer […]
  • ACMA Contemporary community safeguards inquiry- From the ACMA:  The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the commencement of the ‘Contemporary community safeguards inquiry’. The inquiry will focus on the need for broadcasting standards to remain in line with changing community expectations.  The ACMA is seeking to to explore and establish the core principles that should guide the content […]
  • ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman: Telco and media reforms continue- From the ACMA:  Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Chairman Chris Chapman has delivered a speech outlining the current work and priorities of the ACMA at the Communications Day Summit. Among the ACMA initiatives and priorities highlighted were the following: A spectrum plan which portended a $30 smart phone handset and potential economic benefits to […]
  • ACCC draft decision on NBN Co Special Access Undertaking- From the ACCC, the DBCDE and the Australian Financial Review:   The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued its draft decision on the the revised Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co.  The SAU is to form a key part of the framework to determine the cost and other terms under which NBN […]
  • Key EU nations take legal action against Google- From TechNewsWorld:  6 key EU nations have joined forces to take legal action against Google over the privacy protections of its user data. France, Spain, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany have announced that they will take joint legal action against Google over its privacy policies.  The action will include investigations, and possible fines.  […]