Student Spotlight: Using knowledge from the CommLaw3 subject to identify potential issues in a client’s merger



CommLaw3 Student Spotlight



This month with chatted to Albert Meintjes, Senior Manager at RSM and dux of CommLaw 3 for Study Period 2 2021. He discusses key learnings from the CommLaw 3 subject, and how he was able to apply his acquired knowledge to a recent merger he was advising on.

Please tell us a bit about your tax career.

I started my career in 2008 as an auditor at KPMG and transferred to KPMG's Corporate Finance division three years later. I have been working in Corporate Finance since, specialising in company valuations and providing transaction advice. Before moving to Australia in 2017, I worked in the Deloitte Corporate Finance team in Johannesburg. 

I joined RSM in 2021 after four years at Pitcher Partners. Over the past five years, I have been involved in various company and asset valuations for Australian tax purposes, typically resulting from corporate transactions and restructures.  I am a Chartered Accountant (CAANZ member) and I have B.Com and B.Com Honours degrees in accounting from the University of Johannesburg.

Why did you choose to study the CommLaw 3 subject? 

I selected Commercial Law 3 as an elective subject as part of the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law program. Working in Corporate Finance, this subject was of particular interest to me as it deals with the types of property (tangible assets, intellectual property, personal property) that can be dealt with in commercial transactions.

What have you learned from the subject, and have you applied this to your role?

One of the key takeaways from the subject was gaining a more in-depth understanding of the law surrounding intellectual property and competition & consumer law. This has been particularly useful when providing transaction advice to my clients. Specifically, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), Copyright Act 1968, Trademarks Act 1995, Patents Act 1990 and Designs Act 2003 (Cth).

I used my knowledge from the subject recently on a merger I was advising on. We identified potential contraventions of s 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Identifying potential issues early in the transaction process gave our client sufficient time to obtain legal advice and allowed us to develop an appropriate strategy for the transaction. 

How did you juggle study, work and other commitments and perform so well?

I wouldn't have been able to juggle all my commitments without my wife's love and support. She also had to make sacrifices because of my studies, and it really has been a team effort. Having her support made this much easier for me and allowed me to dedicate enough time to my studies. 

I allocated 10 to 14 hours of study to each subject per week and tried to leave one day free over weekends to rest and spend time with family and friends. Admittedly, finding time for studies proved much easier during COVID-19 lockdowns.        

Where to now for you when it comes to continuing tax education?

Now that I’ve completed my Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law, my focus will be on attending regular tax updates and staying up to date with developments as part of my continuing professional development.

What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Program?

Involve your support network in your studies from the start. Whether it be your family, friends, manager at work, or a combination of all three, these are people who want to see you succeed, and who will support you in achieving your goals. 

The CommLaw subjects are a part of the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law  Program, which provides individuals of all levels - from recent graduates to experienced tax and financial specialists - with the expertise to provide superior professional tax advice, and undertake highly-skilled tax work across a range of contexts. 

Ready to continue your education in tax?