vLex Australia

  • Blockchain Week in Review: Week of November 13, 2020

    Weekly Focus: DOJ Seizes More Than $1 Billion in Cryptocurrency from Silk Road Hacker CFTC Announces Charges Against Digital Asset Ponzi Scheme SEC’s Enforcement Division Collected $4.68 Billion in 2020 Vortex Blockchain Technologies Settles with the SEC Blockchain Industry Speculates on Regulation in a Biden Administration LabCFTC Announces Agenda for Empower Innovation 2020 Cred Inc.... (See Article)

    Nov 25, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Conduct: Plagiarism by medical practitioner.

    The Barnold Law blog has drawn attention to a decision from last year, Medical Board of Australia v Soh (Review and Regulation) [2019] VCAT 1549 (available on AUSTLII). Based on agreed facts, the Tribunal found that the doctor’s conduct breached principles of the Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia March 2014 (clause... (See Article)

    Nov 23, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Landmark Settlement of Lawsuit Against Australian Superannuation Fund Over Climate Change Risks

    A major superannuation fund has promised to enhance its management of climate change risks, disclose to members how those risks are addressed and align its investment portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050. In mid-2018, Mark McVeigh brought a suit in the Federal Court of Australia against Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited ("REST"). (See Article)

    Nov 23, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Public Consultation Underway for Consumer Credit Reforms

    On 25 September 2020, the Australian Government announced multiple reforms to consumer responsible lending laws, with the intention to stimulate the economy by reducing the cost and time for consumers and businesses to access credit. On 12 October 2020, we reported on the policy and context behind this development. (See Article)

    Nov 20, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Preparing to Reopen: How to Adapt and Seize Opportunities from COVID-19

    For the most part of early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic meant near all-encompassing shutdowns, dramatically affecting many, varied businesses across a wide section of the market. Now, as the initial health fears begin to subside and forced shutdowns and isolation measures are relaxing across most states, businesses have started reopening. This comes with considerations including dealing with the remaining restrictions, adapting to the changed landscape and ideally, if possible, seizing opportunities that may present in the near term. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Nov 19, 2020 7:31 PM

  • Australian Company & Securities Update | Issue One

    KEY LEGAL AND REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Legislative and Regulatory Reform - Permanent reforms in respect of virtual meetings and electronic execution - On 19 October, the Federal Government released for consultation exposure draft legislation that makes permanent changes to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ("Corporations Act") in relation to virtual meetings and electronic document execution. The reforms make permanent the temporary relief, which allows companies to hold meetings virtually, send meeting-related materials electronically and validly execute documents electronically. In response to stakeholder feedback, the reforms also propose additional enhancements to ensure corporate accountability and transparency... (See Article)

    Nov 19, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Foreign direct investment reviews 2020: A global perspective - Australia

    Australia requires a wide variety of investments by foreign businesses to be reviewed and approved before completion - The decision to approve or deny a foreign investment application is ultimately made by the Treasurer of Australia, based on an assessment of whether the investment would be contrary to the national interest. When making its decision, the Treasurer is advised by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which examines foreign investment proposals, consults with other relevant Australian Government agencies as required and advises on the national interest implications. Australia's foreign investment policy framework comprises the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 ("the Act"), the Act's related regulations, Australia's Foreign Investment Policy ("the Policy") and a number of guidance notes. (See Article)

    Nov 18, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Court Appointed Insolvency Referees Gain Further Momentum in Australia

    This year has introduced many a “new normal”.   In Australia there has been an increasing move by the Australian Federal Court to embrace references as a means of determining key contentious issues before trial – for example what is the date of insolvency.  This is particularly critical in the course of antecedent transaction proceedings, particularly... (See Article)

    Nov 17, 2020 7:33 AM

  • On LawNext: Stevie Ghiassi, Founder of Legaler, Legaler Aid and the Global Legal Tech Report

    To say that Stevie Ghiassi is a busy man is an understatement. In addition to founding Legaler, a secure video meeting platform for lawyers,the Australia-born entrepreneur is the founder of the recently launched Legaler Aid, a charity to support social justice legal cases worldwide, and founder of the Global Legal Tech Report, which will release... (See Article)

    Nov 17, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Compulsory Share Transfers under Deeds of Company Arrangement – updated ASIC policy

    ASIC has provided long-awaited confirmation of its policy position with regard to applications for relief from the operation of the takeover restrictions in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ("Act") in relation to compulsory transfers of shares under a deed of company arrangement ("DOCA"). (See Article)

    Nov 17, 2020 7:32 AM

  • NSW Government Making 2020 Great Again – The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap

    2020 has been tough. But, this week it feels like something has shifted. Maybe you've noticed it too? People are happier, brighter, and hopeful. The heavy weight of 2020 on our collective shoulders feels lighter. (See Article)

    Nov 16, 2020 7:31 PM

  • Class Action Suit Filed in Australia Opposes Coal Expansion Project on Behalf of Global Youth

    On September 8, 2020, the law firm Equity Generation Lawyers filed a class action on behalf of young people globally, seeking an injunction to restrain the Australian Government's Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, from giving approval to the Vickery Extension Project. The Vickery Extension Project is an AUD $700 million proposal by Whitehaven Coal Limited to construct an open-cut coal mine and associated on-site infrastructure near Gunnedah, New South Wales, which Whitehaven estimates will provide a net economic benefit to New South Wales of AUD $1.2 billion and create 950 jobs during the construction and operation of the mine. The injunction was filed in the Federal Court of Australi (See Article)

    Nov 16, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Australian High Court Finds that Sale of a Patented Product Exhausts Patentee’s Rights

    In a significant judgment, the High Court of Australia has changed an aspect of patent law in Australia, ruling by a 4-3 majority that the first sale of a patented product exhausts the patentee’s exclusive rights in that product: Calidad Pty Ltd v Seiko Epson Corporation [2020] HCA 41.  For over a century, an alternative... (See Article)

    Nov 13, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Food law under review in Australia, New Zealand is first in decades

    A review of food regulations in Australia and New Zealand is in progress to prepare for the future. The reform includes amending parts of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 for the first time in almost 30 years. New Zealand and Australia have a shared regulatory system that sees joint development of food composition... (See Article)

    Nov 13, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Suppliers, Are You Prepared? Consumer Guarantees to Apply to More Goods and Services from July 2021

    IN BRIEF - The Treasury Laws Amendment (Acquisition as Consumer—Financial Thresholds) Regulations 2020 (Cth) (Regulations) broaden the applicability of the Consumer Guarantees regime under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). (See Article)

    Nov 13, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Amendments to Queensland Security of Payment Legislation

    The security of payment regime in Queensland has undergone significant reform in recent years. Since the introduction of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld), the regime has remained the subject of scrutiny and review, resulting in the recent passage of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (Qld) ("BIFOLA Act"). The BIFOLA Act introduces significant changes such as the replacement of Project Bank Accounts with a new Project Trust Account framework and new protections for claimants where the respondent has failed to pay an adjudicated amount. Under the reforms, head contractors will no longer be exempt f (See Article)

    Nov 10, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Insolvency practitioners: When is it reasonable to continue litigation?

    A recent judgment of the South Australian Supreme Court offers some guidance for insolvency practitioners considering whether to commence or continue litigation in their role as external administrators, particularly in circumstances where a defendant resists recovery proceedings in a manner calculated to cause maximum expense and delay. (See Article)

    Nov 9, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Social Divide 2020: FTI Consulting’s ASX 100 Social Media Performance Index

    The 9th edition of our Social Divide Index revealed that ASX 100 companies are posting less on social media to communicate their company’s financial results this year yet audiences are engaging more. Both retail and institutional investors are an integral audience for any listed company and the ability to connect with this audience across multiple platforms and channels extends the reach of your company’s story. Companies not willing to engage on social media may inadvertently damage corporate reputation by not adapting to stakeholder expectations. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Nov 5, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Owner's consent requirements - changes and issues

    Changes to the rules that apply to owner’s consent for a development application (DA) came into effect earlier this year. The rules set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 are now to the effect that: A development application may be made by someone who is not the owner of the land only if that person has the consent of the owner of the land. This preserves the general requirement for owner’s consent. (See Article)

    Nov 4, 2020 7:32 AM

  • New Australian laws target illegal phoenix activity

    Illegal phoenix activity has long been on the radar of regulators in Australia. The impact of this activity has been particularly severe on owners of negligently built properties and, in particular, apartment developments. In response, the government has now moved to tighten up the rules around illegal phoenix activity.  In particular, the new rules will... (See Article)

    Nov 2, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Games — Now Less Patentable than Ever in Australia

    In a recent decision, a Hearing Officer within the Australian Patent Office rejected Australian patent application no. 2018219972, in the name of casino operator Crown Melbourne Ltd, relating to a modified roulette table layout.  In particular, the claimed invention was designed to provide a ‘double zero’ roulette game having similar visual appearance and betting options... (See Article)

    Nov 2, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Using a GoFundMe Campaign to Donate Money? More Complicated Than You Think.

    Crowdfunding – a mechanism which connects people in need directly to those who are able to provide support – has completely revolutionised the traditional fundraising landscape. But it can come at a cost if the fundraising is not structured appropriately. In Australia, we have seen some of the hurdles associated with these crowdfunding platforms, such as GoFundMe (GFM) campaigns, in two high profile cases, namely Celeste Barber and Quaden Bayles. (See Article)

    Nov 2, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Triumph over Trolls: Combatting Online Abuse and Lessons from Going 'Viral'

    Quaden Bayles is a nine-year-old Indigenous Australian who suffers from a rare case of dwarfism as well as other significant health issues. Quaden's story became topical globally following the release of a video filmed by Quaden's mother, Yarraka Bayles, of a distressed Quaden following experiences of extensive bullying and harassment. You can read more on ABC news. (See Article)

    Oct 30, 2020 7:31 PM

  • Ninth Circuit: Likelihood of Confusion Required to Sustain TM Counterfeiting Claim

    Arcona Inc. and Farmacy Beauty, LLC both sell beauty and skincare products, including eye creams.  Both companies use the mark EYE DEW for their respective eye creams.  Arcona sells its EYE DEW products primarily at Nordstrom in the U.S., and at Sephora in Australia and Asia.  Arcona’s EYE DEW eye cream comes in a tall,... (See Article)

    Oct 30, 2020 7:33 AM

  • High Court appointments: Australia.

    The Federal Government has announced Jacqueline Gleeson and Simon Steward will become the High Court’s newest justices, ahead of the retirement of two sitting justices in the coming months. Justice Gleeson is currently in the Federal Court in Sydney, while Justice Steward is on the Federal Court bench in Melbourne. ABC News. (See Article)

    Oct 29, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Rare Australia Securities Class Action Trial Results in First-Ever Defense Verdict

    Securities litigation observers know that class action securities lawsuit in the U.S. rarely go to trial. The same is true in Australia as well. However, in a recent ruling in only the second-ever securities lawsuit to go to trial in Australia, a Federal Court Justice has ruled in favor of the defendant company, the first... (See Article)

    Oct 28, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Post-Albrecht Preemption Pervasively Pummels Pradaxa Plaintiffs

    This year has seen a lot – and most of it would not fall into the positive category.  The pandemic; severe wildfires in the U.S. and Australia; record setting tropical storms in the Atlantic; social unrest over police brutality; explosion in Beirut.  Unfortunately, we could go on.  Even more unfortunate is the fact that all... (See Article)

    Oct 28, 2020 7:33 AM

  • COVID Update – Surprise Surge in September Patent Filings

    Defying the trend of almost every prior month this year, Australian standard patent filings in September were up by 8.1% on the same period in 2019.  This is the largest positive change for any month in 2020, beating pre-COVID January during which standard applications bested the previous year by 7.7%.  The September surge was driven... (See Article)

    Oct 26, 2020 7:33 AM

  • ACCC Brings Resale Price Maintenance Enforcement Action

    A new ACCC resale price maintenance case provides a timely reminder that manufacturers and suppliers must tread carefully with distribution arrangements related to price in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") has commenced proceedings against FE Sports, alleging it engaged in Resale Price Maintenance ("RPM"). The ACCC is seeking injunctions, penalties, a compliance program and costs... (See Article)

    Oct 26, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Essential commercial leasing update: Extension of COVID-19 Emergency Response protections for South Australian commercial lessees

    The COVID-19 Emergency Response (Commercial Leases No.2) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) in South Australia have recently been extended to apply for an additional period commencing on 1 October 2020 and expiring on 3 January 2021. (See Article)

    Oct 23, 2020 8:32 AM