JAMES JOHNSON – SOLICITOR & BARRISTER OF THE HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA
[1990 – ] Legal Practitioner, Legal and Media Consultant, Australian Solicitor and Barrister
[2001 – 2007] Senior Legal Counsel with *%^&* *%^&* *%^&* Corporation and *%^&* *%^&* *%^&* TV
[1999 – 2007] General Counsel with $%^&* Authority
[1994 – 1999] Senior Associate and then Special Counsel with Minter Ellison
[1989 – 1994] Articled Clerk, Solicitor and then Senior Associate with Corrs Chambers Westgarth
[1987 – 1988] Economist (Tutor and Relieving Lecturer), Dept. of Economics at Monash University
Other Professional Roles
[1998 – 2003] Author, monthly column on Tax Issues for the Victorian Law Institute Journal
[1999 – 2001] Member, Legal Practitioners Liability Committee’s GST Panel
[1999 – 2000] Member, Victorian State Revenue Office’s State Taxes Liaison Committee
[1999 – 2000] Chairman, Law Institute of Victoria’s State Taxes Committee
[1998 – 2000] Chairman, Law Institute of Victoria’s GST Taskforce
[May 1990] Admitted to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Courts of Australia and the High Court of Australia . Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria
[May 1989] Graduated LL.B, Monash University
[April 1986] Graduated B.Ec (Class 2A Hons), Monash University
Government – Constitutional Law – International Law – Human Rights – Civil and Political Rights – Major Projects – International and Australian, Project, Structured and Corporate Finance – Property Construction – Aged Care and Retirement Villages Regulation and Development – Power & Gas – Transport – Water Regulation and Development – Public Finance and Administration – Taxation – Information – Media – Communications – Technology
During a 20 plus year legal career James has provided top-tier legals and advisory services to hundreds of major Australian and International Corporations, and worked with all tiers of government in Australia. These include 19 of Australia’s top 20 (and 48 of the top 54) most profitable ASX listed Companies.
(source: based on Business Review Weekly’s Top 1000 Corporate Money Earners for 2010).
James is the author of more than 100 substantial published papers, seminar presentations, government and client training manuals on legal and commercial issues as diverse as GST, stamp duties, banking law, project finance, structured finance, privacy laws, constitutional laws and human rights laws. Full Publications List is available on request.
James’ recent works include the plays (screen play adaptions pending) Soylent Green and Gold  and The (Family Court) Crucible . James latest works,the book and short film Solving Debtocracy: Getting the World Back on a Path to Democracy, Human Rights and a Rule of Law” are scheduled for release on 1 December 2011.
Over 20 Years of Australian and International Transaction Experience – 1990 to 2011
Energy, Infrastructure, Transport, Water and Government Projects
Advising on industry, regulatory, acquisition and financing aspects of Victorian electricity privatizations 1996 to 1998 including: (1) the Electricite de France – AGL A$1 billion bid for United Energy; (2) the AGL – GPU consortium’s A$950 million acquisition of Solaris Power; (3) Westpac and Bank of America syndicated funding of Texas Utility’s A$2 billion acquisition of Eastern Energy; (4) the PowerGen plc – Itochu – AMP Society – Hastings consortium’s A$2.4 billion acquisition of Yallourn Energy; (5) The National Grid Group plc – Itochu consortium’s bid for PowerNet Victoria.
Advising Commonwealth Government Owned ANL Limited through a 1995, 3 month, secondment from on legal due diligence and tender sale process, on general banking facilities and the workout of leveraged charterparty lease facilities.
Advising ANZ Bank on, and documenting the A$500 million issue of tax-enhanced infrastructure bonds as part of the A$1.8 billion plus financing of the Melbourne City Link Project (1995).
Advising various Government and non-Government stake-holders on water, sewerage, recycled water, wind, hydro, solar and other green energy projects.
Corporate, Commercial and Trade
Advising on domestic and international supply contracts for commodities, goods, services, intellectual property and technology rights, including assistance documenting and negotiating transactions.
Advising on banking, trading and commercial contracts, mergers, disposals and acquisitions of businesses.
Advising domestic and international clients on Australian commercial, trade practices, foreign investment and privacy laws.
Advising Fosters Brewing Group Limited (then Elders IXL) on the operations and trade sale of a number of Agribusiness Divisions, including Elders Meat, Brewing Materials and Elders Pastoral, via secondment (1990 – 1991).
Advising Italian textiles and technology company Naco SpA on the A$100 million plus supply of paper processing plant and technology to an Australian public company Arissa Limited (1999).
Property, Construction and Development
Front and back-end advice on various construction projects, including civil construction works (such as water treatment and reclamation plants, dual reticulation schemes, agricultural recycled water projects, biosolids projects), residential projects (including resort style and retirement living facilities) and on commercial, retail and industrial projects.
Advising on bricks and mortar mortgages, corporate loans, construction loans, project financings, joint venture and profit share arrangements for residential, commercial and retail construction projects.
Advising Primelife Corporation Limited / Babcock & Brown Communities, Australia’s largest ASX-listed developer and manager of resort style retirement villages and premier aged care hostels through a 3 year general retainer for property, commercial, finance, regulatory and taxation matters (2001 – 2007).
Advising Hudson Conway Limited on property transactions with a combined value in excess of A$1 Billion, including acquisitions, sales, restructurings, financings, securitisations and public and private securities offers for landmark properties including suburban and regional shopping centres, CBD Office Towers, Luxury Hotels (1989 – 1994).
Advising ANZ Bank on the A$280 million plus structured sale and partial leaseback of the landmark Melbourne Stock Exchange Building, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne (1992).
Advising the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance on various privatizations and industry reforms, including legislative requirements and establishment of corporations law entities for industry ownership restructuring of the A$400 million Construction Industry Long Service Leave Fund (1996).
Advising the City of Maribyrnong on the A$23 Million workout of a major property development, including a major lease renegotiation and the then largest, structured debt raising by a Victorian municipal corporation (1998).
Finance and Taxation
Structuring and documenting structured lease facilities (including leveraged, financial and operating leases) for aircraft and ships and other tax effective financial structures.
Structuring, documenting and negotiating corporate banking and treasury facilities, including secured, unsecured, and subordinated debt arrangements.
Advising, structuring and documenting mortgage, lease and other receivables-backed securitisation programs for arrangers (including ANZ Bank and Merrill Lynch) and for ratings agencies (Standard & Poors) (1994 – 1999).
Advising Goldman Sachs J B Were on documentation and issue of exchangeable unsecured notes products, including for ASX-listed securities issued by Djerriwarrh, National Australia Bank and Fosters Brewing Group (1996 – 1999).