Diana Chang, senior partner of Sydney firm Chang, Pistilli & Simmons, is one of five new appointments to the Takeovers Panel.
The panel, established under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act, is the main forum for resolving takeover bid disputes while the bid period is still active. It is a peer review panel, with part-time members appointed from Australia’s takeovers and business communities.
A commercial litigation specialist, Chang is one of the founding partners of Chang, Pistilli & Simmons, which was established a little less than two years ago.
Chang has a particular connection to the Takeovers Panel, having recently acted for gas pipeline owner APA Group in a recent Federal Court case in which Alinta Ltd challenged the Takeover Panel’s power on constitutional grounds. Chang acted for APA, who, along with the Attorney General, argued against Alinta’s challenge. Though Alinta succeeded in the Federal Court, the decision was ultimately overturned by the High Court this year on an appeal brought by the Attorney General.
“It was a very importance case,” Chang said. “It was only the second case which considers a challenge to the scope of the panel’s powers and they upheld the scope of the panel’s powers as the panel has understood them and had been operating prior to that time.”
Chang said she will be called throughout her tenure on to sit on panels of three to hear and determine disputes relating to takeovers and the control of Australian companies.