Mark McCowan

Partner. Melbourne.

+61 3 9672 3335 |   |  vCard

Mark is a lateral and strategic thinker who guides clients through their most complex regulatory problems.

He specialises in competition and consumer protection law – in transactional, litigious and advisory matters and across a wide range of industries.

Mark has a track record of securing merger clearances for difficult transactions for clients including Johnson & Johnson, BP and Staples.

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Mark is a lateral and strategic thinker who guides clients through their most complex regulatory problems.

He specialises in competition and consumer protection law – in transactional, litigious and advisory matters and across a wide range of industries.

Mark has a track record of securing merger clearances for difficult transactions for clients including Johnson & Johnson, BP and Staples.

He also has particular expertise in handling major regulatory investigations and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) prosecutions in concentrated industries including oil and gas, brewing, grocery retailing, infrastructure and healthcare. He regularly represents clients in cartel immunity applications and investigations and in seeking other clearances and authorisations from the ACCC.

Mark has considerable experience in multi-jurisdictional matters and has worked in a leading antitrust practice in Washington DC.

“Efficient and decisive” Asia Pacific Legal 500
Mark McCowan

Mark's Expertise

  • Staples Inc.’s proposed global acquisition of Office Depot, Inc (trading in Australia as OfficeMax) Acting for Staples Inc. on the successful application for ACCC clearance of its global proposed acquisition of Office Depot, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s global acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business Acting for Johnson & Johnson in obtaining ACCC clearance for its global acquisition of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business - which established Johnson & Johnson as the world’s largest consumer healthcare business - and its proposed acquisition of Guidant Corporation.
  • BP Australia’s acquisition of Reliance Petroleum Acting for BP Australia in obtaining unconditional clearance from the ACCC for its acquisition of Reliance Petroleum. This deal was the first major retail petroleum transaction to be reviewed by the ACCC since it blocked Caltex’s acquisition of Mobil’s retail network.
  • Primo Smallgoods acquisition of Hans Smallgoods Acting for Primo Smallgoods in obtaining ACCC clearance for its acquisition of Hans Continental Smallgoods. The transaction was approved on the basis of a "failing firm" argument, which was the first time the argument had been accepted by the ACCC in many years.
  • The Boeing Company’s global acquisition of Insitu Inc Acting for Boeing in obtaining ACCC clearance for its global acquisition of Insitu Inc, a leading global developer of unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Confidential disputes and ACCC investigations Acting on confidential disputes and ACCC investigations for clients in industries including resources, aviation, paper products, container shipping, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer electronics.

Mark's Leadership

  • Law Council of Australia Competition and Consumer Committee Member
  • American Bar Association Member and Newsletter Editor, International Antitrust Committee
  • Australian American Leadership Dialogue Participant

What others say

  • “Mark's timeliness, proactivity and really high-quality work are highlighted by sources. Clients say: He knows our business and picks up on the nuances.” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2015
  • “Leading Lawyer - Competition/Antitrust” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2012-2015
  • “Clients identify Mark as a 'very smart' lawyer who 'knows the law yet is also practical'” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2014
  • “Thinks very well and concisely about the issues” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2013
  • “Efficient and decisive” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2010/11
  • “Mark McCowan is quick in terms of understanding facts - he articulates issues in such a way that they are absorbed quickly” Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2011
  • “'2010 Legal A-team' - one of 109 best Australian lawyers nominated by leading general counsel in a 2010 survey” Commissioned by the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and published in The Australian newspaper

Mark's Thinking