Practice areas

Policy development

We provide policy advice, particularly on utility sector economic reforms. Drawing on our commercial and public policy experience, we ensure the right focus and balance of change.  One key focus area is the implications of market and regulatory evolution arising from emerging energy technologies and changes in regulatory practice.

Project governance and management

We manage large complex projects with divergent stakeholder positions, and coordinate diverse professional input—legal, regulatory, economic, financial, accounting, engineering and technical—in constrained timeframes. We assist in establishing appropriate governance arrangements, specifying work required, managing expert input and ensuring delivery to required timeframes and outcomes.

Regulatory support

We provide strategic, practical and expert economic regulatory advice and assistance to regulated businesses and new entrants operating in traditionally regulated markets.  We offer specialist governance and project management support for pricing and other economic regulatory submissions.

We provide independent expert economic opinions; practical assistance in preparing documentation; training on writing and modelling for regulatory proposals; strategic advice on approaches to determining the cost of capital, incentive scheme design, pricing and customer engagement; and assistance to develop and implement stakeholder engagement strategies.

Regulatory frameworks

We advise governments and businesses on designing, implementing and adapting regulatory frameworks to achieve desired outcomes. We also help businesses and regulatory bodies to understand the practical effects of regulation, and how market and technological changes affect regulatory and commercial strategies.

Specialist transaction support

For utility business investors and vendors, we provide specialist transaction support including due diligence on regulatory frameworks. We describe current regulatory arrangements, and the potential future outlook for regulation focusing on matters with material value implications.

Business decision making

We support businesses to make the right decisions in response to evolving markets and regulation. We make sure decisions are made with full regard to context, clear objectives and trade-offs, and are supported by robust analysis and governance arrangements.

Risk review

We identify risks and help develop risk mitigation strategies for regulatory, strategic and policy initiatives.  We apply well-accepted risk evaluation approaches, and bring valuable insights on the potential impacts of government policies.

Modelling

We assist clients to apply a range of quantitative tools including financial, regulatory and economic models. We look for innovative solutions to complex problems, ensuring that these are user friendly and accurate, and follow best practice. We have a deep understanding of regulatory modelling, the applicable rules and precedents, and the value levers these offer to infrastructure service providers.

Instrument drafting

We provide advice on development and drafting of legal instruments (such as rules, procedures, guidelines and licences) to give effect to policy and regulatory decisions.  We have experience working in a range of sectors including, but not limited to, the utility sector.

Dispute resolution, expert advice and testimony

Our consultants act as members of dispute resolution panels, prepare independent expert reports, and provide expert witness testimony to court proceedings and contract arbitrations.

Working groups and committees

Our consultants act as chairs, facilitators, independent members and advisers to various government and industry committees and working groups.

Strategic planning and staff development

We provide independent input to strategic planning activities for policy, regulatory and commercial organisations. Farrierswier staff regularly facilitate workshops, provide project secretariat services, and manage paper development and coordination for project steering committees and executive strategy groups. We often work alongside our clients’ staff to provide targeted staff mentoring and up-skilling in relation to sector policy and regulation. We also provide education sessions to train our clients’ staff in regulatory theory and Australian regulatory practice.

Regulated rate of return strategy

Rate of return estimation is a complex – and regularly disputed – area of regulatory practice that is often in need of clear, targeted and evidence-based thinking. Our people help clients navigate this complexity by articulating objectives, summarising theoretical and empirical analysis, scoping areas for further investigation, estimating rates of return, drafting submissions, and managing stakeholder engagement.