vLex Australia

  • COVID-19: (Australia) Pressing Issues Facing Employers

    Should I be standing my employees down or issuing a JobKeeper direction When this all started in March, many employers had never contemplated a stand down and most had not heard of Section 524 of the Fair Work Act. (See Article)

    Aug 7, 2020 6:31 AM

  • Restructuring Insights: May 2020 - initial impacts of COVID-19 on Australian external administrations

    FTI Consulting's restructuring experts have analysed the FY20 YTD Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Insolvency Statistics. Here they highlight the Australian industries showing the most signs of distress, key trends amongst appointment types, and their COVID-19 predictions. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Aug 6, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australia-based InfoTrack Acquires Majority Stake in Court Calendaring Company LawToolBox Inc.

    The Australia-based legal technology company InfoTrack, which also operates in the United States, has acquired a majority interest in LawToolBox, a Denver, Colo., company founded in 1998 that provides legal calendaring and deadline management software. Although declining to disclose terms of the deal, the husband-and-wife owners of LawToolBox, CEO Jack Grow and VP of Marketing... (See Article)

    Aug 4, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Sexual misconduct by health professionals in Australia.

    Published with open accesss in the Medical Journal of Australia on 27 July 2020: Sexual misconduct by health professionals in Australia, 2011–2016: a retrospective analysis of notifications to health regulators, by Marie Bismark & others assesses the numbers of notifications to health regulators alleging sexual misconduct by registered health practitioners in Australia, by health care... (See Article)

    Aug 3, 2020 6:33 AM

  • NSW: Duty & Land Tax Incentives for Build-to-Rent Properties

    OVERVIEW - The New South Wales government today introduced a bill which, if enacted, will provide new duty and land tax incentives for certain build-to-rent projects. (See Article)

    Jul 30, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Priority of lease liabilities – the PAS Group decision

    On 21 July 2020, Justice O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia handed down the decision of Ford (Administrator), in the matter of The PAS Group Limited (Administrators Appointed) v Scentre Management Limited [2020] FCA 1023. (See Article)

    Jul 27, 2020 12:32 PM

  • COVID-19: Retail and Commercial Leasing Matrix (Updated)

    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)

    Jul 24, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Commissioner of Patents Applies to Appeal Aristocrat Ruling

    In a development that should surprise nobody – least of all readers of this blog, where I have foreshadowed it twice – on 20 July 2020 the Commissioner of Patents filed an application for leave to appeal the decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited v Commissioner of Patents [2020] FCA 778 to a Full... (See Article)

    Jul 23, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Clickbait or technological innovation? Full Federal Court clarifies the patentability of computer implemented methods

    The Commissioner of Patents has successfully appealed a decision of the Federal Court of Australia where the judge at first instance had found that a digital advertising system was a patentable invention because it involved a manner of manufacture within the meaning of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth). In the appeal, the Court found that the invention claimed in Rokt’s application was not a manner of manufacture because it was a computerised marketing concept that only required the use of generic computer technology. The decision in Rokt comes in the wake of a series of cases which have considered the patentability of computer implemented inventions under Australian law. The decision clarifies aspects of these authorities and builds on the Full Federal Court’s reasoning in Encompass. (See Article)

    Jul 22, 2020 8:32 AM

  • What is a Child Support Agreement?

    Agreements in relation to child support can be formal or informal. Some parents prefer to have an informal child support agreement between themselves rather than having Services Australia (formerly the Child Support Agency) collect the child support on their behalf. In this case, they can still have a child support assessment in place but opt... (See Article)

    Jul 21, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Global Law and Business Podcast: Simon Lacey (Australia and China)

    Listen above or stream on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher! The large-scale shift to telework brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting businesses around the world to explore new avenues to engage with clients and friends. Harris Bricken is no exception, and we are proud to announce our new podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by... (See Article)

    Jul 20, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Caution for Employers Regarding Redundancy Entitlement

    The Federal Court of Australia (FCA) recently considered this issue in Broadlex Services Pty Ltd v United Workers’ Union [2020] FCA 867,[1] holding that an employee who was required to transfer her full-time employment to part-time was entitled to redundancy pay, because the employer no longer required the full-time job to be performed by anyone.... (See Article)

    Jul 20, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Australian Securities Exchange extends temporary emergency capital raising relief until 30 November 2020

    From 31 March 2020, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has implemented temporary emergency capital raising measures (temporary relief) under two class order waivers (class waivers) in order to assist entities listed on the ASX to raise emergency capital during the COVID-19 pandemic, as discussed in our article “The Australian Securities Exchange provides a number of measures for temporary emergency capital raising relief until 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19”. The ASX further clarified the temporary relief on 22 April 2020, as set out in our article “Australian Securities Exchange clarifies certain temporary emergency capital raising measures”. (See Article)

    Jul 17, 2020 8:32 AM

  • COVID-19: (Australia) Amendments to NSW Regulations for Commercial Leases

    *This information is accurate as of 5.00pm on Friday 10 July and is subject to change as this situation evolves. In a previous alert, we addressed the National Code of Conduct. On 24 April 2020, the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (NSW) (Regulation) commenced, giving effect to the Code in New South Wales. (See Article)

    Jul 15, 2020 6:32 PM

  • Actions Trump Intentions in Determining Infringement of ‘Swiss’ Claims in Australia

    In what might well be the final word on the scope and effect of so-called ‘Swiss type’ claims in Australia – at least for the foreseeable future – an enlarged panel of five judges of the Federal Court has clarified what is required for infringement of this form of claim: Mylan Health Pty Ltd v... (See Article)

    Jul 15, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Cooperation in Securities Market Regulation: Perspectives from Australia

    The global financial crisis highlighted the interconnectedness of international financial markets and the risk of contagion it posed. The crisis also emphasized the importance of supranational regulation and regulatory cooperation to help address and ameliorate that risk. Yet, although capital flows are global, securities regulation is not. As a 2019 report by the International Organization... (See Article)

    Jul 14, 2020 6:34 AM

  • How Many Patents Are There?

    A question that I see asked from time-to-time is: ‘how many granted, enforceable patents actually exist?’ The answer obviously changes almost every day, as old patents cease or expire, and new patents are granted. That being said, as of 6 July 2020 there were, according to IP Australia’s records, 160,822 standard patents in force in... (See Article)

    Jul 13, 2020 8:34 AM

  • The Potential for COVID-19-Related Securities Class Actions in Australia

    As regular readers know, over the last few months, I have been closely following the rise of coronavirus outbreak-related securities class action lawsuits. To date, though the pandemic is a global health and economic phenomenon, the pandemic-related securities litigation activity has been limited to the United States. In the following guest post, Jason Symons, Persia... (See Article)

    Jul 13, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Costs Award Discounted for ‘Over-Egged’ Evidence in Aristocrat Case

    In a postscript to last month’s decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited v Commissioner of Patents [2020] FCA 778 (see Federal Court Finds Computer-Implemented Gaming Machine Patent-Eligible in Australia), the court has now ruled that the Commissioner of Patents should pay only 50% of Aristocrat’s costs associated with its expert evidence.  Under the usual... (See Article)

    Jul 13, 2020 6:34 AM

  • Affordable Housing SEPP and Growth Centres SEPP – when two SEPPs clash on lot size does one prevail?

    Secondary dwelling applications commonly rely on the Affordable Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) clauses which direct that the consent authority “must not refuse” a development application (DA) “on the basis of site area”. A recent Court of Appeal judgment has found this clause does not override the minimum lot size requirements in the Growth Centres SEPP. Although the judgment applies to the Blacktown Precinct, (Appendix 12) it has implications for secondary dwelling applications in all precincts under the Growth Centres SEPP. (See Article)

    Jul 10, 2020 6:33 AM

  • 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