Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that Ridgeway had been appointed to the competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, for a term of five years.
Ridgeway spent 10 years at the Australian Government Solicitor where he acted as a senior legal adviser to the ACCC, and moved into commercial practice in 1998, becoming a partner at Blake Dawson before moving to King & Wood Mallesons’ competition and regulatory unit.
He was National Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Business Law Sections’ Competition and Consumer Committee during 2011 and 2012, and was an executive member of the Business Law Section at the Law Council of Australia from 2016 to 2018.
Welcoming his appointment, ACCC chair Rod Sims said Ridgeway brought extensive experience as a leading lawyer specialising in competition and consumer law, including in large-scale litigation, merger review and infrastructure access matters.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone of Stephen’s calibre joining the Commission, and we are looking forward to drawing on his impressive legal expertise in our competition work in particular.
“Stephen is a leading expert on competition law issues in Australia, and has made many outstanding contributions to law reform discussions in this area.”
Ridgeway replaces Roger Featherston, who stepped down this month after five years at the ACCC.
Featherston was chair of the ACCC’s Mergers and Adjudication committees, and also served on the Enforcement and Communications committees.
Sims said Featherston had made significant contributions to some of the major inquiries conducted by the ACCC in recent years, including the East Coast Gas Inquiry. the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry, the Digital Platforms Inquiry, and the Mobile Roaming Inquiry and the Communications Sector Market Study.
“Roger’s knowledge, experience and wise counsel have been invaluable to this agency. His contributions have helped improve competition in Australia and have helped deliver many important outcomes for Australian consumers,” Sims said.
“His involvement in the ACCC’s mergers work has been particularly notable, but his insights and advice have influenced our work in so many areas.”