find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Top-tier firms join Big Tobacco fight

Top-tier firms join Big Tobacco fight

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is the firm acting for British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) in the fight against the Federal Government's proposed plain packaging legislation for cigarettes.While…

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is the firm acting for British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) in the fight against the Federal Government's proposed plain packaging legislation for cigarettes.

While confirming with Lawyers Weekly that the firm is acting for the Australian arm of the tobacco company, Corrs was unable to disclose further details regarding its legal advice to BATA.

Also representing an Australian tobacco company in the legal stoush against Labor's reforms is Allens Arthur Robinson, which confirmed its representation of Philip Morris Australia.

If passed, the government's Plain Tobacco Packaging (Removing Branding from Cigarette Packs) Bill will amend product information standards to remove brands, trademarks and logos from tobacco packaging.

In the latest development in the battle against plain packaging, BATA has launched proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia to appeal against the Government's refusal to publicly disclose its legal advice regarding its plain packaging scheme.

On 31 May 2011, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon signed the Gillard Government's Plain Packaging Pledge in support of the proposed plain packaging legislation.

"The Gillard Government is leading the world with this legislation. We can see the long-term benefits and have the political will to see this through," said Roxon.

To be heard by a full bench of the Federal Court, BATA is seeking the release of the Government's legal advice under freedom of information (FOI) laws.

"BATA suspects that Minister Roxon hasn't released the legal advice because it's likely to demonstrate her plain packaging laws are flawed," BATA claimed in a statement released on 31 May.

"Documents already obtained through the FOI process show IP Australia advised the Government that plain packaging will impinge on the rights of trademark owners. Another document shows the Government is planning to spend $10 million-plus in legal fees on plain packaging."

BATA spokesperson Scott McIntyre said that as well as having no proof that plain packaging will reduce smoking rates, the Gillard Government has refused to guarantee that billions of taxpayer dollars will not be wasted in compensation to the tobacco industry.

"If the Government is so confident it can push ahead with this untested legislation, even though they've not done a regulatory impact statement or have any proof it will work, why don't they make public their legal advice?" said McIntyre.

Last month the Coalition announced its support for the Government's new laws. Opposition leader Tony Abbott claimed the Coalition would not oppose the legislation but would put forward a number of amendments.

Lawyers Weekly contacted Philip Morris for comment, but had not provided a response at the time of writing.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Top-tier firms join Big Tobacco fight
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Applauds
07:00
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Mentoring
07:00
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...