Lawyers for the manufacturing sector. Acting for some of Australia's most leading edge manufacturers and brands, we have in-depth experience helping manufacturers navigate change.

Advanced manufacturing accounts for around half of Australia’s A$100 billion plus annual manufacturing output and is one of the fastest growing export sectors.

Our firm is part of this success by helping business to commercialise R&D, exploit intellectual property, and support digital manufacturing and the growing use of data analytics, sensors, and robots now fashionably called Industry 4.0.

Why choose Nicholas Weston?

We have helped businesses in:

  • food processing and manufacturing
  • beverages, including bottled fruit drinks
  • textiles, leather, clothing, footwear and accessories from jewellery to buttons
  • wood products
  • pulp and paper products
  • printing at scale
  • chemical manufacturing and processing including pharmaceutical (small molecule and large molecule), medicine, cleaning products, cosmetics, and biofuels
  • plastics and composites manufacturing
  • bike and bicycle parts manufacturing
  • furniture manufacturing
  • household goods manufacture
  • UAV manufacturing
  • boat manufacturing
  • toy manufacturing

We are familiar with the key legislation and regulations that govern Australian manufacturing, including:

  • Competition and Consumer Act 2010
  • Corporations Act 2001
  • Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
  • Anti-dumping laws
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
  • Food Standards
  • Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  • National trade measurement legislation
  • Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989
  • Motor Vehicle Standards Act
  • Motor Vehicle Australian Design Rule

Some of our work

  • Engaged by AusIndustry (then Department of Industry) to co-author R&D Tax Incentive Guidance Product for Life Sciences manufacturing sector
  •  Advised food manufacturer on product liability issue and obtained favourable settlement
  • Advised an importer of ingredients on product standards and labelling including country of origin requirements following transformation of inputs through manufacturing
  • Advised boat manufacturer on product liability issue
  • Advised toy manufacturer on design and trade marks registrations
  • Litigated on behalf of manufacturer of gift with toy to stop copyright infringement and breach of licence agreement
  • Acted for vendor of outdoor products manufacturing business through successful M&A transaction
  • Advised UAV manufacturer on corporate finance issues including successful funding round, corporate structuring, governance, employment, intellectual property, data and commercial issues
  • Advised listed life sciences manufacturer on transactional and corporate issues
  • Advised fashion manufacturer on Incoterms
  • Advised fabric manufacturer on ACL promotional claims
  • Litigated on behalf of manufacturer of industrial scale bins, hoppers and chutes against sub-contractor for breach of contract and negligence resulting in successful recovery of significant damages

How do we do it?

The firm’s Principal, Nick Weston, has worked as an executive of an ASX listed company as well as having 25 years experience as a lawyer. He understands business from an operational rather than just an advisory point of view.
Nick is passionate about going the extra mile to give clear, timely advice and solve other challenges that are faced by manufacturers navigating the current changing environment. 

Before he gives advice, Nick aims to understand your objectives and the context of a particular issue or relationship with your distributor, customer, licensee, landlord, tenant, shareholder, investor, buyer, partner, supplier or other service provider as well as any deal breakers, data transfers, IP rights in play, proposed restraints or other concerns. If, for example, you require a contract to be reviewed, we draft written advice specifically to make sure the agreement chimes with your commercial objectives or specific concerns as communicated and check it for commercial and legal reasonableness. We also mark up the proposed amendments that we recommend for you, and the other parties to consider. Specific terms we review typically include:

  • Payment terms (including how much is to be paid, when it has to be paid and any clawback or refund obligations)

  • Scope of the agreement

  • Term of the contract and renewal

  • Delivery, installation and acceptance

  • Any applicable performance indicators or service levels and service credits payable

  • Any additional costs payable (such as indexation or expenses)

  • Data protection

  • Grants of rights relating to intellectual property

  • Insurances

  • Title & risk (where applicable)

  • Limitations of liability

  • Warranties

  • Indemnities

  • Termination rights and obligations

  • Additional policies (if any)

  • Diversion from boilerplate machinery clauses

We invite you to discuss our recommendations and fee estimates for any work required is communicated in advance.  Where the matter involves a dispute, we aim to settle it amicably and with the relationship intact, where possible, before resorting to litigation. If litigation is required, we ascertain the correctness of your position in an intellectually rigorous way before proceedings are issued. That correctness, and a clear understanding of the commercial drivers, usually results in a favourable outcome for our clients.

What can we do for you?

Like most M&A lawyers, we offer technical competence in M&A. We combine this with decades of experience on-the-tools, gained working inside and acting for mid-market tech companies (listed, unlisted and owner operated), giving us an ability to anticipate menaces to navigation and guide you through the options on the path to closing, as we have for others, many, many times previously.