Law Firm Freehills has snapped up one of the year’s most coveted deals, the scoping study that may lead to the final sale of Telstra.
The firm will provide legal advice on all issues surrounding the scoping study and processes relating to the possible sale of the Australian Government’s remaining shareholding in the company. The Department of Finance and Administration has an option to continue using Freehills as legal adviser if the Government decides to sell.
Freehills, which has a strong capital markets practice, previously advised the Government in both the T1 and T2 sales. Four other firms lodged tenders for the legal adviser role after the request for expressions of interest was advertised nationally.
Minister for Finance and Administration, Senator Nick Minchin announced the appointment last week, along with the appointment of the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) as in-house counsel to the Department. The AGS will provide contractual legal advice and legal support from a Government perspective, as part of the Government’s measures to ensure best practice.
A spokesperson for Communications adviser, Gavin Anderson and Company, said Freehills had been part of a competitive process prior to its selection, and ended up being the successful tender. “Here on in they will be providing legal advice on all aspects of the scoping study”, he said.
“They’ll be advising the government on how to structure the possible sale. They will be examining legal structures and regulatory requirements, and looking at the possibility of foreign investment,” the spokesperson said.
Other advisers appointed to the study to date include probity adviser Sparke Helmore, communications advisor Gavin Anderson and Company and business advisers UBS and Caliburn Partnership.