A balanced approach to legal practice.

Prior to commencing work in his own firm, Rod was a member of the Corporate & Commercial Team at Sparke Helmore Lawyers from 2006 until 2011.

Prior to joining Sparke Helmore, Rod worked in-house for Lion Nathan practicing in the area of General Corporate Commercial Law and at the Crown Solicitor’s Office, practicing in the area of Civil Litigation.

Now in sole practice, Rod provides advice to clients in a range of industries including IT, marketing, tourism, manufacturing, wholesale trade, construction, property, business services and government.

Rod’s experience encompasses a range of commercial contracting and compliance issues including:

  • Advising on Shareholder’s Agreements and the establishment of proprietary companies;
  • Advising on procurement of raw inputs for manufacturers, procurement of equipment and procurement of relevant services such as maintenance services, cleaning services, security services and research and development;
  • Preparing Consultancy Agreements in a range of industries including software development and maintenance, development of smart phone applications and social networking media activation;
  • Preparing and advising on standard website user terms, online purchase terms and conditions, EFT security and compliance with privacy and spam legislation;
  • Advising on marketing materials, ensuring compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and advising on the provisions of the Australian Consumer Law generally;
  • Advising on packaging initiatives, ensuring compliance with the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 (Cth) and the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code enforced by ANZFA;
  • Advising on national on-pack, on-premise, on-line and ‘instant win’ consumer promotions; and
  • Preparing Sponsorship Agreements in relation to key sponsorship properties for large FMCG clients, teams participating in the NRL and A-League and a team participating in the Australian Netball League.

Rod has an established client base in the marketing and information technology sector and has provided legal services in relation to the following:

  • Advising in relation to commercialisation of intellectual property, in particular advising (and preparing documentation for) musicians and filmmakers to assist them with commercial risk management and IP protection;
  • Producing brand clearance reports and other marketing law advice on key competition law risks;
  • Searching the Australian and New Zealand Trade Mark Registers and registering trade marks in those jurisdictions;
  • Preparing Intellectual Property Licence Agreements and assignment of Intellectual Property as part of transactions;
  • Preparing Co-Existence Agreements and settling trade mark disputes via other means;
  • Preparing Standard Terms for provision of web design, app design and social networking media activation;
  • Preparing standard agreements for IT system design and system maintenance; and
  • Preparing software development and licence agreements.

Rod has also acted for a number of government agencies in relation to procurement, compliance and property management:

  • Advising in relation to leases and other property related contractual arrangements;
  • Assisting in relation to commercial disputes over the provision of services and IP ownership; and
  • Negotiating and preparing agreements for the procurement of technical services in connection with military aircraft and components of military aircraft.

In 2009, Rod was part of a team preparing a report to Treasury in relation to the Sale of Goods legislation in each State and Territory and undertaking a cross-jurisdictional analysis of the Sale of Goods legislation and consumer laws in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Japan. This process contributed to the formulation of the Australian Consumer Law.

Rod assisted in the establishment of Renew Newcastle Limited and is currently Chairperson of Renew Newcastle.

The principal purpose of Renew Newcastle is to find short and medium term creative uses for buildings in Newcastle's CBD currently vacant, disused or awaiting redevelopment. Renew Newcastle aims to find artists, cultural projects and community groups to use and maintain buildings until they are leased on commercial terms or redeveloped.

Rod is also a volunteer lawyer for the Arts Law Centre of Australia.

Outside of the law, Rod is a keen musician, a founding member of Firekites. Having parted ways with Firekites, Rod is now fronting a new band North Arm. Having released an EP "Thought Lines" in April 2013, North Arm are gearing up for the release of their debut self-titled LP.

Rod also dabbles in the visual arts working with oil, acrylic and mixed media.