foreign owned subsidiaries

Foreign Owned Subsidiaries make up a substantial part of the Australian economy, with around a third of Australia’s top 2000 companies foreign owned. While Australia may be a relatively small market, its stable political environment and rule of law make it an attractive platform to base operations throughout the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. But operating in Australia also means working in a highly regulated market. It can be a surprise to multinationals moving to Australia to learn the compliance requirements, meaning balancing the demands of overseas management and complying with local regulations is needed.

We work with more than 150 Foreign Owned Subsidiaries across all industry sectors, assisting them with everything they need to successfully run their business in Australia – from workplace health and safety laws to intellectual property and taxation. We’ve been doing it for more than 30 years and understand the relationships between the overseas head office and the Australian subsidiary, as well as the importance of ensuring the parent is satisfied all local compliance issues are in safe hands.


We advise foreign owned subidiaries clients across all areas of expertise, in particular:

  • Adaptation of policies and parent requests to Australian market
  • ATO concerns, particularly transfer pricing
  • Australian employment standards
  • Directors liability and insurance
  • IP registration and protection
  • Migration

what our clients say

"Our company is a subsidiary of a US Listed Corporation, and employs over 300 people here in Melbourne. Macpherson Kelley were one of our law firms we used at the time I joined the company, and we have subsequently moved to a position where Macpherson Kelley are our sole provider of legal services in Australia. The success is based on not only meeting my entire portfolio of legal needs, but ensuring in-house Corporate Counsel in the US is equally satisfied. They have truly become our business partners and are completely integrated with our leadership team and staff. I cannot recommend the firm more highly.” Carl Bizon Former President and Managing Director Trimas Corporation
“We were introduced to Macpherson Kelley over 15 years ago…Since then, we have dealt with them on acquisitions, breach of trademark, litigation, leasing, a whole range of employment issues from contracts to terminations and everything in between. It’s great to have a bunch of lawyers who you feel entirely comfortable picking up the phone and asking any business related question. There always seems to be someone within Macpherson Kelley who can help guide us.” John Toouli Former Managing Director Bolle Australia

recent experience

  • a centrepiece operation

    We assisted the Australian subsidiary of a global automotive component manufacturer with its acquisition strategy in Australia and overseas. The company grew so much the Australian subsidiary became the centrepiece of the international operation. We helped the company with all of its acquisitions as well as its supply agreements, employee issues and IP registrations. We continue to act for the company in all of its Australian matters.

  • open for business

    We work with the Australian subsidiary of a manufacturer of access automation control systems, handling all their general business needs, including commercial agreements, disputes, contracts, employment, migration and safety. We have worked for the company since the local business was acquired by a multinational. We then advised the group on its acquisition strategy in Australia. It has since merged again with another multinational and Macpherson Kelley continues to work with the new Australian operations.

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