vLex Australia

  • COVID-19 Return to Work Employer Toolkit

    The COVID-19 Return to Work Employer Toolkit has been developed to help our Australian clients with some of the employment law issues they may face as states and businesses begin to reopen and get back to work following restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see full toolkit below for more information. (See Article)

    Jul 9, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Lapsing periods - a summary of the COVID-19 Environmental Planning and Assessments Act amendments

    Recent legislation has changed some lapsing periods, appeal periods and existing use rights lapsing periods. For your convenience, we have created a ready reckoner summary table of the time limit and other amendments made by the COVID-19 Legislative Amendments (Emergency Measures – Miscellaneous) Act 2020. Please see full summary below for more information. (See Article)

    Jul 8, 2020 10:33 AM

  • No right of appeal for development application rejection

    In Johnson Property Group Pty Limited v Lake Macquarie City Council (No 2) [2020] NSWLEC 42, the Land and Environment Court recently confirmed that there is no right of appeal from a consent authority’s decision to reject a DA (within 14 days of lodgement), or similarly from its review of that decision. This includes where the development application is rejected for lack of owner’s consent. (See Article)

    Jul 8, 2020 8:32 AM

  • New Global Legal Tech Report Charts State of Legal Tech Across Asia-Pacific Region

    In April I reported on the release by the Global Legal Tech Report of its report on Australia, the first in a planned series of regional reports on legal tech worldwide, which will culminate in a global report in November. Now, the GLTR has released reports covering Asia and New Zealand. When considered alongside the... (See Article)

    Jul 3, 2020 8:34 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): Much Has Happened on the Employment Front During COVID-19

    *This information is accurate as of 4.00 pm Tuesday 30 June 2020 and is subject to change as this situation evolves. For many of our clients the past three months passed by in a blur as they attempted to get their head around unprecedented issues facing their business including staff working from home, stand down, lock down, JobKeeper, restructures and now staff returning to work and their workplaces. (See Article)

    Jul 3, 2020 8:32 AM

  • You don’t need it until you need it – the role of the Board in takeover defence readiness

    As the business landscape continues to be affected by the uncertainties of COVID-19, directors of ASX-listed companies have plenty to consider. An approach by a potential bidder may be a welcome opportunity for shareholders to liquidate their holding but the prevailing financial uncertainty may allow the bidder to obtain a bargain in the process. By being prepared, a board can respond to a bid with due care and skill, so as to support the best interests of shareholders. (See Article)

    Jun 30, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Salmonella illnesses linked to backyard chickens in Australia

    Authorities in an Australian state are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella linked to contact with or consumption of eggs from backyard chickens. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is looking into nine cases of gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella Enteritidis. People became sick between late April and the end of May. Professor Brett Sutton,... (See Article)

    Jun 29, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Pharmacists subject to complaints.

    Pharmacists subject to complaints: a national study of pharmacists reported to health regulators in Australia, by Taouk, Bismark & Hattingh, builds up earlier work done through the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne in health & legal profession complaints analysis. This study noted that fewer than 1% of pharmacists were the subject... (See Article)

    Jun 29, 2020 6:34 AM

  • NSW Building Industry Reforms

    The NSW Government has passed legislation to further regulate the design and construction of residential buildings. These measures respond to the loss of public confidence resulting from high profile design and building quality issues. (See Article)

    Jun 29, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Mental health awareness and innovation – a silver lining?

    The novel coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the mental health of workers. The crisis posed immediate and acute challenges for organisations and workers. In an extremely short period of time, we have all had to navigate periods of isolation and loss of social interactions, new ways of working, constantly changing health messages and much more. The situation is unprecedented in our lifetime. One “silver lining” of the crisis, however, seems to be an uptick in awareness about and action taken in relation to mental health in the workplace. (See Article)

    Jun 29, 2020 6:33 AM

  • COVID-19: Retail and Commercial Leasing Matrix

    The COVID-19 Retail and Commercial Leasing Matrix (Matrix) provides landlords and tenants with an overview of the COVID-19 response measures which have been enacted in each Australian State and Territory following the release of the National Cabinet's Mandatory Code of Conduct: SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 (Code) on 7 April 2020. The Code embodied a set of good faith leasing principles to apply to certain commercial tenancies experiencing financial stress or hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Jun 26, 2020 6:32 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): ASX Class Waiver to Give Effect to ASIC Reporting Relief

    On 16 June, ASX released a class waiver decision (Class Waiver) in order to give effect to ASIC Corporations (Extended Reporting and Lodgement Deadlines - Listed Entities) Instrument 2020/451 (ASIC Relief), providing additional time for ASX listed entities to comply with their reporting and lodgement obligations under the ASX Listing Rules (Listing Rules). (See Article)

    Jun 25, 2020 8:32 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): Temporary Relaxation of Continuous Disclosure Requirements – What Does It Mean?

    SNAPSHOT - In response to the uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 crisis, the Australian Federal Government (Government) has modified the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) tempering the continuous disclosure obligations of listed and disclosing entities. (See Article)

    Jun 25, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Modern slavery reporting requirements in Australia and the impact of COVID-19: What you need to know

    The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (Act) requires large Australian entities and foreign entities carrying on business in Australia to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains and the actions taken to address those risks. In recognition of the significant impact of COVID-19 on company operations and supply chains, the Australian Border Force has recently provided further guidance to reporting entities and the Commonwealth Government has extended the deadlines for submission of modern slavery statements. Companies should take steps now to ensure that they are well placed to comply with their reporting obligations under the Act. (See Article)

    Jun 24, 2020 6:33 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): Western Australia Regulations for Commercial Leases

    *This information is accurate as of 5.00 pm on 19 June 2020 and is subject to change as this situation evolves. The Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 (WA) (Act) came into effect on 23 April 2020. (See Article)

    Jun 24, 2020 6:33 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): ASIC Provides Interim Guidance on Board Oversight of Executive Variable Pay Decisions During COVID-19

    On 12 June, ASIC released Information sheet 245: Board oversight of executive variable pay decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic (INFO 245). INFO 245 provides high-level guidance for the boards of listed companies in navigating decisions on executive variable pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. INFO 245 is informed by ASIC's review of 21 ASX 100 companies in 2019, with a more detailed report of ASIC's findings expected later this year. (See Article)

    Jun 23, 2020 6:32 AM

  • COVID-19 commercial lease summary – state comparison

    As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government announced on 7 April 2020 the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles (Code of Conduct). The function of the Code of Conduct is to provide a framework to guide landlords and tenants in working out arrangements under their leases during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Code of Conduct is premised on principles of good faith, working together, and proportionate loss sharing; recognising that landlords and tenants share a common interest in maintaining leasing arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic and through to the recovery. Please see full summary below for more information. (See Article)

    Jun 22, 2020 8:32 AM

  • U.S. Air Force Explores Blockchain, Global Blockchain Survey Published, Crypto Debit Card Launches, Compliance Initiatives Announced, Quadriga CX Report Published

    In this issue: • U.S. and Australia Explore Blockchain Solutions, Global Blockchain Survey Published • U.S. Cryptocurrency Debit Card Launches, Gaming Firm Announces Token Initiative • SEC and Industry Promote Regulatory Compliance Solutions for Blockchain Market • OSC Issues Report Finding QuadrigaCX Operated Like a Ponzi Scheme U.S. and Australia Explore Blockchain Solutions, Global Blockchain... (See Article)

    Jun 22, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Australian Merger Control: SLC v Industry Engineering or Economic Theory – Takeaways From Vodafone/TPG & Pacific National

    IN BRIEF - Two recent contested merger cases, the Vodafone/TPG merger and Pacific National's (PN) acquisition of Aurizon's Acacia Ridge Terminal (ART) (PN acquisition), have provided valuable guidance for the appropriate application of merger law in future mergers in Australia. (See Article)

    Jun 22, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Major proposed changes to Australia's foreign investment regime announced by the federal government

    Major proposed changes to Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) regime have been announced by the federal government. It is important that these changes be seen in perspective. So, although the announcement heralds a best practice modernisation of those areas of the legislation focused on breach detection and penalty enforcement, this is consistent with a growing global trend. The announcement does not pose a threat to investment in projects consistent with the national interest and which do not intrude on telecoms or other critical infrastructure. Moreover, the changes leave existing gateways for investment largely untouched. But for temporary COVID-19 related screening adjustments little has changed for key investment sectors such as mining, residential, industrial and commercial real estate and agribusiness land and enterprises. (See Article)

    Jun 22, 2020 6:33 AM

  • BIS Adds Australia Group Decisions to Commerce Control List

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule in the Federal Register effective June 17, 2020, amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the decisions made at the February 2020 Australia Group Intersessional Implementation Meeting, and those subsequently  adopted pursuant to the group’s procedures. The Australia Group is a multilateral forum... (See Article)

    Jun 19, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Insurance renewal not concluded by emails in the absence of clear acceptance (Aus)

    When a fire and other perils policy came up for renewal on 24 August 2018, the insurer and the insured’s broker exchanged emails regarding renewal terms and hold-covered arrangements. The Victoria Supreme Court in Australia found that cover had not been renewed nor extended because the insured had not unequivocally accepted the renewal terms nor... (See Article)

    Jun 18, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Westpac’s Alleged AML Failures Back in the News

    Internal Investigation Report Stresses Lack of Intentional Misconduct – But the Investigation May Broaden - Westpac Banking Corporation (“Westpac”), Australia’s second largest retail bank, has been besieged by serious allegations of violating Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (“CTF”) Act. (See Article)

    Jun 16, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australia – Managing Commercial Relationships in Distressed Circumstances

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are often asked what clients should do if a business counterparty (such as a vendor, customer or other contract counterparty) is suffering distresses and may be contemplating, or be at risk of, falling into external administration. It is impossible to anticipate every potential scenario, but our note... (See Article)

    Jun 15, 2020 8:33 AM

  • Damages assessment: Ear surgery

    In the matter of Vlaming v von Marburg [2020] VSC 340 (available on JADE), damages were assessed in an action claiming medical negligence in the performance of ear surgery. The defendant did not take part in the hearing, perhaps as the Court had received an email from  RSM Australia Partners who advised that the defendant... (See Article)

    Jun 12, 2020 8:33 AM

  • Significant update to Australia's foreign investment framework

    On 5 June 2020, the Treasurer of Australia announced reforms to Australia's foreign investment framework. The key focus of the reforms is national security risks to deal with the current environment, including rapid technological change. The new reforms will give the Australian Government increased screening, information gathering and enforcement powers. Other amendments have also been flagged, including reforms aimed at remedying the current anomalous treatment of private equity investors as foreign government investors ("FGIs"). (See Article)

    Jun 12, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Talks with TLS: Thoughts from an International Cybersecurity Expert

    TLS’s very own Tom Balmer from our Sydney office jumped on a Zoom call with Ed Osbourne from Sparke Helmore. They discussed global privacy, technology and moustaches over virtual coffee. Ed started his career in Sydney before working in London and then New York. (See Article)

    Jun 12, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Australia sees decline in Campylobacter and Salmonella

    Rates of Campylobacter and Salmonella infections in Australia have almost halved since the lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic that began in March. The Food Safety Information Council revealed that since the COVID-19 shutdown started, reported rates of these infections per 100,000 people have declined compared to the past two years. This shows the effectiveness... (See Article)

    Jun 10, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Federal Court Finds Computer-Implemented Gaming Machine Patent-Eligible in Australia

    On appeal from a decision of a delegate of the Commissioner of Patents, a single judge (Justice Burley) of the Federal Court of Australia has found that the claims of a number of innovation patents owned by Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd, directed to electronic gaming machines (EGMs), are directed to patent-eligible subject matter: Aristocrat... (See Article)

    Jun 9, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Clarity for Consumer Data Right Participants on Regulatory Obligations: Is Your Business Ready?

    In Brief - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Office of the Australian Information Commission (OAIC) have issued a joint Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Consumer Data Right (CDR) (CDR Policy) to assist consumers and CDR participants to understand the approach the regulators will adopt to encourage compliance and prevent breaches of the CDR regulatory framework Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Consumer Data Right. (See Article)

    Jun 9, 2020 6:32 AM