Recent news & publications
Date: 14 Feb 2018
In early 2017, the Federal Government announced in the 2017-2018 Budget a comprehensive package of reforms to strengthen accountability and competition in the banking sector.
Date: 06 Feb 2018
The recently enacted safe harbour legislation provides protection to company directors and officers from a claim for insolvent trading where they develop a course of action that is reasonably likely to result in a 'better outcome' for a company.
Date: 01 Feb 2018
On 14 December 2017, the Governor General established the Royal Commission by finalising its Terms of Reference and appointing former High Court Justice Kenneth Hayne as Commissioner. The pre-disclosure reports from larger organisations in the banking, superannuation and financial services sector were submitted on 29 January 2018. The Royal Commission will convene its first initial public hearing on 12 February 2018.
Date: 30 Jan 2018
The January 2018 edition of the Australian Banking & Finance Law Bulletin (a LexisNexis publication) contains an article by Scott Guthrie entitled ‘PPSA - what difference does it make? (Part 2)'.
Date: 18 Jan 2018
The December 2017 edition of the In House Counsel Newsletter (a LexisNexis publication) contains an article by Maree Skinner entitled ‘Considerations for employers in the "gig economy" era'.
Date: 16 Jan 2018
On 2 January, whilst many us were all contemplating ways to use up the very last of the Christmas ham, the directors of the Belmont Sportmans Club Co-operative Ltd (Club) were asking Justice Black of the NSW Supreme Court to appoint John Morgan and Geoff Davis as voluntary administrators to the Club.
Date: 12 Dec 2017
In this video interview, Scott Guthrie speaks about the potential risk of a turnaround professional being considered a director of the company they have been appointed to assist in a safe harbour scenario, which could expose them to a later claim for insolvent trading if the company goes into liquidation and the safe harbour defence fails.
Date: 06 Dec 2017
The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth) applies to government agencies, private sector organisations with annual turnovers over $3m, and all organisations handling health information or involved in credit reporting.
Date: 30 Nov 2017
Consider the position of the buyer of a business, entering into a sale agreement with the seller. The seller will make various representations about the business that will be underpinned with warranties and indemnities, all for the purpose of giving the buyer comfort about what they are purchasing.
Date: 29 Nov 2017
The newly enacted Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No.2) Act (Cth) 2017 (Safe Harbour Legislation) is primarily concerned with giving company directors breathing space in circumstances where a restructure is being pursued.
Date: 16 Nov 2017
The October 2017 edition of the Australian Banking & Finance Law Bulletin (a LexisNexis publication) contains an article by Ben Shaw and Morgan Stack entitled ‘Charging clauses: is near enough still good enough?'
Date: 09 Nov 2017
The October 2017 edition of the Australian Banking & Finance Law Bulletin (a LexisNexis publication) contains an article by Scott Guthrie entitled ‘PPSA - what difference does it make?'
Date: 26 Oct 2017
A central theme in Australia’s safe harbour legislation is a “better outcome for the company”. Achieving a “better outcome” is the ultimate aim of the course of action to be taken by directors to enliven the protection afforded by the safe harbour regime. Conversely, directors will be outside safe harbour once that course of action ceases to be reasonably likely to achieve that “better outcome”.
Date: 20 Oct 2017
Earlier this year, the Federal Government announced that it would introduce a new external dispute resolution framework for the banking and finance sector through the establishment of a 'one-stop shop' for all financial complaints, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
Date: 18 Oct 2017
The sole shareholder of two companies has failed in attempting to challenge the validity of the appointment of administrators to those companies.
Date: 03 Oct 2017
In our Safe Harbour Wheelhouse publication series we will consider how the new laws are likely to play out and impact key stakeholders once companies begin relying on the new provisions in months and years to come. In this first update, we look at some of the issues that directors and unsecured creditors will need to consider given the Corporations Act’s silence about whether or not a restructure plan should be disclosed to creditors.
Date: 14 Sep 2017
When shareholders in a company fall out, they sometimes allege that the company’s affairs have been managed in an unfair or oppressive way. Parties to a joint venture gone sour, warring directors, or families mired in disputes over the direction, management, succession and future control of a business are the typical parties to a shareholder dispute, commonly known as an ‘oppression proceeding’.
Date: 08 Sep 2017
All businesses should be reviewing the way they manage the risk of underpayment and worker exploitation as the Federal Government’s reforms to protect vulnerable workers are about to take effect.
Date: 25 Aug 2017
In November 2014, Mr Nyoni commenced an application in the Federal Court of Australia seeking compensation and injunctive relief on the basis of the alleged conduct of the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Respondents).
Insolvent trading - safe harbour is on the way but what should directors do today if faced with financial difficulty?
Date: 09 Aug 2017
The July 2017 edition of the Financial Services Newsletter (a LexisNexis publication) contains an article by John Stragalinos entitled ‘Insolvent trading – safe harbour is on the way but what should directors do today if faced with financial difficulty?’
Date: 08 Aug 2017
Electronic conveyancing commenced in NSW in 2013, allowing (but not requiring) lenders to electronically lodge mortgages and discharges of mortgages through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).
Date: 24 Jul 2017
The concept of ‘board evaluation’ covers everything from a director having a quiet chat with the Chairman to detailed questionnaires and interviews with an external facilitator. Some boards and directors shy away from it, or only undertake it at a surface level. But when handled in the right way, board evaluation is an important piece of ‘kit’ in an organisation’s strategic tool bag.
Casual conversion to permanent employment: what does the Fair Work Commission’s decision really mean?
Date: 13 Jul 2017
As part of its four year review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has decided to insert a ‘casual conversion’ clause into most modern awards that do not already have conversion clauses in place.
Date: 06 Jul 2017
The Maviglia case involved property in New South Wales where the registered proprietor was a trustee company in liquidation. The mortgagee, Perpetual Limited, had taken possession of the property after exercising its right to self-help.
Date: 30 Jun 2017
Key changes affecting Australian workplaces are about to take effect, impacting minimum wages, unfair dismissal, penalties for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act) and superannuation contributions.
Date: 16 Jun 2017
A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia provides a window into the figurative mind of the court when considering whether to approve an application to convene a shareholders meeting to approve a Scheme of Arrangement.
Date: 08 Jun 2017
There are numerous examples of the unquestionable value that can come from developing and protecting a brand with a well-thought-out brand strategy – just think of what Nike has achieved with its iconic ‘swoosh’, or McDonalds with its famous ‘golden arches’.
Date: 07 Jun 2017
The employer involved in this case had commenced a misconduct investigation focusing on one of its workers. After that investigation was commenced, the worker filed a ‘stop bullying’ application under section 798FC of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).