We represent overseas clients trading or investing in Australia as well as Australian businesses operating and seeking to expand internationally.

Any activities that cross country borders have a raft of special challenges and requirements. With expertise across trade, international financing and investment, commercial, property, workforce and migration, we consider your specific situation from all viewpoints and provide you with holistic procedural and legal advice.

Investing in or starting a business in Australia

Mergers and acquisitions

Are you acquiring or buying into an existing Australian business or entity? Our M&A team can help you with:

  • carrying out due diligence on an Australian target and identifying key acquisition risks
  • foreign-investment approvals
  • negotiating and documenting the terms of the deal
  • attending to all transaction completion matters
  • preparing and negotiating shareholder and unitholder agreements where you are buying into an existing Australian structure

Learn more about our mergers and acquisitions services >>

Tax structuring

Considering your international tax position and any potential triggers prior to trading is crucial to avoiding tax pitfalls and penalties. Make sure you understand your liabilities and capitalise on any potential exceptions.

We can provide you with expert tax advice, structuring and any required documentation across all aspects of Australian tax law.

Learn more about our tax services >>

Business migration and visas

If you are starting or expanding a business in Australia, you may be considering sending your skilled staff to Australia to setup or operate your business. Once here, you may find that you need to employ a skill set not available in the local market or as a business owners, you may wish for you family to migrate to Australia with you.

Whatever your situation, business migration into Australia can be unexpectedly complex and requires specialist advice. We can guide you through the legal minefield of entering into Australia.

Learn more about our migration services >>

Local employment law

Employment laws in Australia are strictly enforced by a combination of state and federal laws. Putting in place employment contracts and polices tailored to address Australia’s industrial relations system is essential, as is understanding the legal distinction between contractors and employees. The Fair Work Ombudsman and safety regulators are vigilant in prosecuting Australian employers when wrongdoing takes place to ensure compliance with their statutory obligations.

It is also necessary to consider supply chain risk in relation to occupational health and safety, as in some circumstances, the blame could lead back to your company or you personally.

Learn more about our employment law services >>

Trading goods or services in Australia

You have decided to introduce your goods and services to the Australian market or set up a commercial presence in Australia. It is an exciting time for your business but it is critical to understand how Australian law applies to your business from the beginning.

Commercial contracts

Do not assume your home country’s contracts will be enforceable in Australia. Ensure your contracts comply with Australian laws and are appropriately drafted in accordance with the Australian Consumer Law and Unfair Contracts Acts regime.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in all types of commercial contracts in a broad range of industries including property development, hotels and accommodation, transport and logistics, manufacturing, health and aged care, hospitality and tourism, liquor and gaming, and IT.

Learn more about our corporate and commercial services >>

Personal Property Securities Act

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) applies to security interests in personal property located in Australia. If you have a security interest and it is not registered properly, you risk losing your security and in some cases, title to your own goods.

In certain circumstances, a lessor or hirer of goods has a registrable security interest and if it is not registered properly, you can lose title to leased or hired goods if the lessee is placed into insolvency.

Learn more about our PPSA services >>

Intellectual property and privacy law

Intellectual property (IP) assets are critical to the value of your enterprise and need to be identified, registered (where applicable) and protected in accordance with Australian law. If your name, logo or other IP assets enjoy protection in foreign countries you must ensure you procure appropriate protections in Australia before you start marketing your goods, services or presence.

Learn more about our IP services >>

Competition and consumer law

The Competition and Consumer Law 2010 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) regulate competition and consumer law in Australia. The ACL contains a number of consumer protections which will affect the way you market and sell your goods to Australians and the terms of your contracts with Australian partners and consumers.

The ACL implies a number of conditions and warranties into contracts, even where the goods or services originate overseas. In some cases, attempts to exclude, restrict or modify the protections afforded by the ACL will be void.

Learn more about our consumer law services >>

Customs and trade

We assist both public and private sectors including importers, exporters, licensed customs brokers, freight forwarders, shippers, marine insurers, trade financiers, government agencies and other industry parties.

With expertise across trade, international financing and investment, commercial, property, workforce and migration, we consider your specific situation from all viewpoints and provide you with holistic procedural and legal advice.

Learn more about our customs and trade services >>

Purchasing or developing property in Australia

Property development or investment in Australia is governed by localised regulatory and compliance environments. Rigby Cooke advisers understand the investment lifecycle and the unique challenges presented by local property investment, including ownership and tenancy issues.

Rigby Cooke draws upon the skills of our multi-disciplined team to provide you with a solution that covers complete end-to-end property services, including property investment and development, project financing, asset protection, planning, construction, cross-border tax and foreign investment, conveyancing and business migration, enabling us to support international investors as they enter the Australian property market.

Learn more about our property development services >>

Exporting Australian goods or services oversea

International trade

Government negotiations on multilateral, regional or bilateral trade agreements can dramatically impact the operating environment for import/export clients, as well as logistics services. Companies need to ensure they stay compliant with trade agreements and sanctions and ensure they are conducting their business in accordance with the laws of the countries or regions they are trading in.

We assist our clients throughout their full export journey, from major international companies with long histories in shipping and logistics through to manufacturers who are exploring export markets for the first time.

Learn more about our international trade services >>

Growing a business beyond Australia

If you are a local client with global interests, we can provide you with access to international legal support through our Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW) alliance. Through LAW, we have access to a trusted network of more than 4000 lawyers globally through a network of independent law firms in nearly 50 countries.

Contact us for a referral to an international lawyer >>


From Litigation through to Workplace Relations, Rigby Cooke is the ‘smart’ choice for companies requiring cost effective top tier legal representation. Their consistent ‘can do’ culture and the urgency with which all matters are addressed gives us the confidence to turn to this firm for sound legal advice in all matters be they local or International.

Stephen Jeffery, chief executive officer of Advanced Hair Studio Pty Ltd

Relationships are the lifeblood of our business and we very much appreciate you connecting us with your high profile clients. The partnership approach you take with us is hugely appreciated.

Without the support, guidance and assistance of the Rigby Cooke team, I have no doubt our business would be a significantly different operation. Thank you for your unwavering support and friendship.

Hamish de Crespigny, executive director of Vantage Property Investments

We have used Rigby Cooke for all our legal needs. The service is great and when we have had major commercial issues to deal with they are very responsive.

Jody Freestone, general manager of Freestone’s Transport