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We work collaboratively with our clients to build strong, sustainable relationships. Our team is committed to delivering consistent high standards of service, and we understand the importance of accessibility. Working with us, you'll enjoy open communication, meaning well scoped, properly resourced and effectively managed matters.

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Latest Case

Assisting on whole of government technology agreements November 2, 2017

Maddocks advised the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) on its whole of government purchasing agreement with SAP. The DTA was set up in 2015 to assist government departments and agencies with digital transformation and … Continued

Latest News

Winner of the first William Ah Ket Scholarship announced November 21, 2017

Tuesday 21 November 2017 A solicitor in a Victorian government agency is the first winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship, a $5,000 prize named after the first barrister of Chinese heritage in Australia. K … Continued

Latest Article

Encouraging positive and masking negative reviews – Lessons from ACCC v Meriton November 24, 2017

Following our report from November last year, The Federal Court has found that Meriton Serviced Apartments (Meriton) engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in circumstances where it adopted a scheme preventing unfavourable reviews for its properties … Continued

Caroline Atkins Partner

Caroline is a Partner in Maddocks Canberra office.

Caroline is a leading technology and IP lawyer renowned for her experience in Australian Government procurement and contracting. Caroline has developed many widely-used RFT and contract precedents, and is a highly effective procurement strategist and negotiator. In recent major projects for the Commonwealth she has participated in strategy development, and has led a team of lawyers dealing with drafting, tender compliance assessment, negotiation and the provision of ongoing advice. She has also advised on significant grant programs in the Health and Communications portfolios.

Advising on a broad range of technology procurements and outsourcing over the last 25 years, Caroline was involved in developing the original GITC (she wrote the systems integration module) and has advised on a very broad range of technology market testing processes involving in-sourced and outsourced options, outcomes based contracting, technical service levels approaches and all forms of technology, including hardware, software, cloud, telecommunications, ICT services, and public key infrastructure.

Caroline has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading Government lawyers in the Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers reports from 2008 to 2017, and is described as a ‘leading lawyer’ in the field of outsourcing by PLC Which Lawyer? In 2014 Caroline was named as ACT lawyer of the year in the area of ICT (in Best Lawyers). She is recognised as ‘leading’ for Canberra Corporate, Commercial & Procurement law for 2017. She is nominated as a ‘recommended’ Intellectual Property lawyer in the ACT in Doyle’s Guide to Intellectual Property and ‘highly recommended’ for technology law by Australasian Legal Business. Caroline was ranked in the authoritative Chambers Guide (Australian and International editions) for her IT and IP work. Caroline was also recently ranked in Media Law International 2016.

In 2016 Caroline was named in the Australian Lawyer Hot List of Lawyers for 2016.

Legal expertise

  • Government.
  • Corporate, governance and commercial.
  • Probity, procurement and grant programs.
  • Intellectual Law
  • Information Technology

Relevant experience

  • Finance – advising on the establishment of a range of whole-of-government ICT panel agreements for desktop, telecommunications, related services, data centre-as-a-service (low value), mobile services, telecommunications and cloud services. This included legal risk assessments and tender compliance reports for multiple tenderers, and negotiating with a range of Tier 1 and other vendors.
  • Finance – advising on whole-of-government agreements with Microsoft, IBM and SAP.
  • Finance – advising on its Commonwealth Budget System Replacement Project – a multi-stage procurement of a configured software system and associated systems integration services (separate contacts).
  • DHS – advising on a range of ICT contracts and procurements, including a major software enterprise licence and cognitive computing system trials.
  • Future Fund – advising on a range of ICT contracts, including telecommunications services and software contracts.
  • Health and ADHA– advising on a range of e-health contracts (including the My Health Record System development and operation agreements with Accenture).
  • Health – advising on its ICT outsourcing contracts with IBM and then Datacom.
  • IP Australia – advising on a range of ICT procurements, including re-negotiating cloud services and software contracts.
  • NHMRC – advising on replacement of its grants management system with a cloud-based solution accessible by all Commonwealth agencies.
  • TGA – advising on ICT procurements and access conditions for its public database material.
  • Defence – advising on JP2096, a major project to procure a sophisticated data access and research system for use by Defence forces globally.
  • Defence – advising on several DMO acquisition projects, including on the interpretation of contracts and contract management issues.
  • Defence CIO Group – advising on a range of ICT matters including a whole-of-Government supply arrangement with IBM and a variety of software licence disputes and renegotiations on expiry. Advice included specific and detailed advice on licence conditions.  The templates developed for this project are now widely used in the Commonwealth’s major vendor agreements.
  • Defence CIO Group – advising on its major desktop reform project, involving 5 systems integrators. This project involved negotiating a separate collaboration agreement between all integrators.
  • PM&C and other agencies – advising on establishing a gateway services agreement with PM&C as the managing agency, and MOUs between PM&C and other agencies.
  • Senate – advising on payroll and HR contracts.
  • Medicare, the ATO and non-Government entities – advising on Public Key Infrastructure Gatekeeper compliance (Caroline is a registered legal evaluator for Gatekeeper PKI).
  • National Blood Authority – advising on its major blood product supply contract with the Red Cross – this is a very complex and high value deed, that is regularly re-negotiated and which contains very specific and unusual risk protection mechanisms.
  • ACCC – advising on establishing a piggy-backing ICT outsourcing contract using the Department of SEWPAC contact.
  • ADFA – advising on procurement law and policy relevant to decisions about the future of its major academic services agreement.
  • Clean Energy Regulator – advising on procurement of an auction system for carbon units and on the provision of operation and settlement services, and on renegotiating an existing software contract for managing the distribution of carbon units. Advising on and drafting a ‘mothballs’ agreement to reflect a change in Government policy.
  • Environment – advising on its major ICT outsourcing project, including leading negotiations on legal and commercial terms, reviewing and advising on technical service descriptions and assisting in the conduct of risk assessments