The principal and sole legal practitioner of Carwardine Legal is Austin Carwardine, a lawyer with over 25 years' experience practising law as a solicitor in top-tier national and international law firms and in-house at large corporations including at General Counsel level. Importantly, Austin has many years' experience as a purchaser of legal services.
Prior to establishing Carwardine Legal, Austin was General Counsel and Company Secretary of AAPT. Earlier, Austin was Senior Associate in the Singapore office of Ashurst (previously Ashurst Morris Crisp), Senior Associate at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, and Corporate Counsel and Regulatory Advisor at Telstra. He has also been a director of Communications Alliance Limited.
Before qualifying in law, Austin was a communications and software engineer.
Austin holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical/Communications) (Honours), and is a member of the Law Society of New South Wales and of Communications Alliance. He is admitted to practise as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.
Notable transactions, matters and projects on which Austin has worked include:
Instructing solicitor for Communications Alliance, the leading industry body, in its successful application for leave to intervene as amicus curiae in the High Court proceedings of Roadshow Films & others (AFACT) v iiNet, the seminal case as to the question of whether ISPs can be taken to have authorised instances of copyright infringement by their customers, and in its making of written and oral submissions to that Court (to which the judgment of Gummow and Hayne JJ referred).
Advisor to the Government of Samoa in relation to the Samoa Connectivity Project: establishing Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited with equity and debt funding, and entering into supply contracts for the construction and operation of Tui-Samoa Cable, an optical fibre submarine cable from Samoa to Fiji (with onward connections); thence advisor to Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited upon its establishment.
Advisor to the Cook Islands Government in relation to the Pacific Connectivity Project (Manatua consortium cable project).
Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Nauru and Nauru Fibre Cable Corporation in relation to the East Micronesia Cable project.
Advisor to Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company Ltd in relation to the Coral Sea Cable project.
Project lawyer for Trident Subsea Cable, a private submarine cable venture which sought to construct and operate an optical fibre submarine cable linking Perth to Jakarta and Singapore.
The acquisition by Tel.Pacific of Gotalk (by purchase of shares).
The acquisition by Telecom New Zealand of PowerTel Limited (by purchase of shares) and the merger of its operations and management with the operations and management of AAPT Limited.
The sale to iiNet of AAPT’s Consumer/residential business including 200,000 customers, employees, systems and other assets.
Gen-i Australia's telecommunications outsourcing agreements with CBA and Lion Nathan, including extension of contract term, negotiation of schedules/variations for new services and projects, and handling transition issues and disputes.
A range of major corporate and government customer contracts for the supply of a range of telecommunications and IT services, negotiating and drafting those contracts; standard consumer (mass market and SFOA) terms and conditions, advertising and promotions, and compliance with consumer, credit and privacy regulations; and major carrier, supplier and vendor contracts for the acquisition of a range of services and products, and negotiating and drafting those contracts.
The acquisition by AAPT from Bendigo Bank of a 50% interest in Community Telco Australia, conducting due diligence on CTA, and negotiating the joint venture shareholders agreement and supply arrangements. Advising in relation to subsequent share placements.
The sale of AAPT’s Electronic Commerce (electronic data interchange) business, including drafting and negotiating the sale of business (sale of assets) agreement.
The acquisition by SK Telecom (Korea) of an ownership interest from MBCO/Toshiba (Japan) in the MB-SAT broadcasting satellite, including drafting and negotiation of a co-ownership agreement which encompassed US export approval issues, joint operation and maintenance, failure event procedures, title and ownership matters, satellite and ground station procurement, etc.
The Virgin Mobile (Asia) joint venture between the Virgin Group and SingTel, and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) arrangements between the joint venture company and SingTel, and ongoing assistance to the joint venture company during its start-up phase in Singapore including systems procurement contracts and content agreements.
The Australia-Japan Cable (AJC) project, as lead lawyer on the shareholders agreement, cable system supply contract, landing party agreements and capacity sales agreements, and other submarine cable projects including Southern Cross Cable Network in relation to C&MAs, IRU agreements, CUAs and other agreements.