About Caroline

Caroline is a leading procurement, technology and intellectual property lawyer renowned for her experience and expertise working with the Commonwealth Government. Caroline is a highly effective procurement strategist and negotiator, having advised on a wide range of major Commonwealth projects and led teams of lawyers dealing with drafting, tender compliance assessment, negotiation and the provision of ongoing advice. It is why she is considered a ‘go to’ lawyer for projects requiring in-depth Commonwealth experience.

Caroline has been the lead lawyer for whole-of-government agreements with major vendors and whole-of-government technology panels established by the Digital Transformation Agency (for example the whole of government agreements with SAP, IBM and Microsoft and various panels and marketplaces). She has negotiated with many of the major suppliers to the Commonwealth and knows their negotiating positions and tactics.

Caroline has been recognised as one of Australia's leading Government lawyers Best Lawyers from 2008 to 2019, and is described as a 'leading lawyer' in the field of outsourcing by PLC Which Lawyer? She has been nominated as a ‘leading’ Intellectual Property lawyer in the ACT in Doyle's Guide to Intellectual Property and 'highly recommended' for technology law by Australasian Legal Business.

Caroline is ranked in the authoritative Chambers Guide (Australian and International editions) for her IT and IP work.

Caroline is ranked in the Chambers Asia Pacific 2023 guide for Government and TMT: Information Technology. She is also ranked in the Hall of Fame by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023 guide for her work in IT & Telecommunications.


  • Commonwealth Department of Finance

    Advising on the establishment of a range of whole-of-government ICT panel agreements for desktop, data centre-as-a-service, mobile services, telecommunications, cloud services and drupal services. This includes legal risk assessments and tender compliance reports for multiple tenderers, and negotiating with a range of Tier 1 and other vendors.

  • Commonwealth Department of Finance and the Digital Transformation Agency

    Advising on whole-of-government agreements with Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Concur, Amazon Web Services and Oracle. This included preparing and negotiating whole-of-government agreements including specific software, hardware, leasing, support, cloud, systems integration and other modules. Identifying risk areas and proactively offering and developing contractual solutions. Assisting Finance and the Digital Transformation Agency in negotiating all terms including specific licensing and commercial terms. Assisting in the negotiation of specific contracts, e.g. a whole of government contract for SAP software and support.

  • Commonwealth Department of Health

    Advising the Department on establishing a new contract for the provision, development and operation of the Pharmaceutical Consolidated Information System (PharmCIS). PharmCIS is used to record and report on the PBS, including changes to it. We advised and assisted with drafting a bespoke IT contract, reviewing the request for tender documentation and assisted in conducting negotiations and updating the contract for final execution. We also assisted Health in reviewing the legal risks relevant to the ongoing operation of PharmCIS, and provided real time ad-hoc advice as required by Health.

  • National Health and Medical Research Council

    Advising NHMRC on the procurement of a grants management system. An important feature of this procurement is NHMRC’s objective to ensure that its purchased solution can be made available to other Commonwealth entities and to support grants programs generally. For this objective, we designed a contract providing for clarity in all aspects of the IP rights associated with any offered solution, and providing an IP rights regime that achieves the NHMRC’s objectives. Providing ongoing advice on defective performance and IP rights (including an IP dispute).

  • Commonwealth Department of Finance

    Advising on its Commonwealth Budget System Replacement Project – a multi-stage procurement of a configured software system and associated systems integration services (separate contracts).

  • "Caroline Atkins goes above and beyond to deliver innovative solutions and outcomes and is a key member of our negotiation team, often contributing to multiple complex negotiations at once."

    Client feedback, The Legal 500, Asia Pacific, 2022

  • "Very responsive and knowledgeable, a good communicator and a pleasure to deal with."

    Chambers Asia Pacific

  • "She is exceptional. Her ability to talk the language of her clients is exceptional."

    Chambers Asia Pacific

  • "My go-to lawyer for IT procurement for government"

    Client feedback to Chambers Asia Pacific

  • "She has a huge amount of background in procurements done with major IT vendors."

    Chambers Asia Pacific

  • "She is always available, even at unreasonable notice from us, and invests her own time in getting up to speed"

    Chambers Asia Pacific

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