SBL Shmith

International Lawyers - Melbourne, Australia

Justin Shmith


Justin is Principal of SBL Shmith, a leading Australian corporate and commercial practice which works in alliance with Withers SBL to offer sophisticated private client services to its Australian clients.



Justin practises in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and general commercial law. He has a particular focus on the resources, transport, gaming, agribusiness, family business and infrastructure sectors.  Justin is recognised for his skills and experience in cross border transactions and has extensive experience in Asia.  He was the Regional Practice Leader for a leading law firm and spent three years as its managing partner in Shanghai.

Justin’s familiarity with and knowledge of the foreign investment approvals process in Australia is regarded highly by overseas clients. He has also advised many clients on outbound investments in Asia and clients value his judgement and experience in this area. Justin also has advised leading Indian companies on their investments in Australia in the IT and pharmaceutical sectors.

Justin was described as “prompt, commercial and constructive” in The Legal 500-Asia Pacific 2011 and is recognised in the inaugural Euromoney Guide to Leading Practitioners on China. He is a former member of the China Working Group of the International Legal Services Australia Commission and former Honorary Member of the Australian Institute of Foreign Affairs. Justin is recognised in the 2011 to 2015 editions of Best Lawyers.

Recognised in the 2011-2015 editions of Best Lawyers...


...and in Chambers Global 2014 for M&A involving China

Experience highlights

Acting as team leader on each of the following matters:

  • Acting for PetroChina on its joint venture acquisition with Shell of Arrow Energy (valued at A$3.5 billion) (Asia Counsel Deal of the Year 2010)
  • Acting for China Minmetals on the foreign approvals for its acquisition of OZ Minerals (valued at A$1.4 billion) (Asia Counsel Deal of the Year 2009)
  • Acting for Jiangsu Shagang (a leading Chinese private company) on its acquisition of the Savage River mine
  • Acting for Keolis SA and Downer EDI on their successful bid for a Victorian tram franchise
  • Acting for National Express and the Victorian Government in relation the Victorian franchising and rolling stock arrangements
  • Acting for Lupin in relation to its acquisition of the minority shareholding in a pharmaceutical company in Australia
  • Acting for Jack Barclay in relation to the private acquisition of a meat processing facility in Victoria and his subsequent divestment of his interests
  • Acting for a Canadian private equity company in relation to the acquisition of a major medical equipment manufacturing business in Australia
  • Acting for Ladbrokes in relation to its acquisition of the on-line gaming business in Australia


  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • AsiaLink

Publications/speaking engagements

  • LAWASIA-Hong Kong- 2007-Keynote address on Outward Investment by Chinese Companies
  • Australian Legal Services Seminar in Shanghai in 2006 on Key Legal and Regulatory Issues for Investments in Australia
  • ALB Masterclass-Melbourne and Brisbane-2011-Impact of Australia’s foreign investment laws on M&A-some recent directions
  • ACLA Corporate Counsel Conference 2012 on Doing Business in Asia-Tricks and Traps
  • Justin has also made an appearance on Sky Business News on foreign investment issues.


Justin is a keen cyclist especially in places where a fine wine is able to be enjoyed afterwards. He is also an Australian Rules football tragic.