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- APRA v. IOOF—Key Issues for Australian Directors and Management
On 20 September 2019, the Federal Court of Australia delivered its much-anticipated judgment in the highly publicised proceedings brought by APRA against IOOF's Chairman, Managing Director, three senior executives and two trustee entities for alleged breaches of the SIS Act. Jones Day acted for the former Chairman, Mr George Venardos.
- Whistleblower Protection Program: New Legislative Changes – What You Need to Know
In response to long-running campaigns and public pressure, the Australian Government has amended the Corporations Act 2001 to significantly increase the protections available to corporate whistleblowers. This now provides for criminal offences and civil penalties for a person causing, or threatening, detriment to a whistleblower or breaching a whistleblower’s confidentiality, including during an investigation into the whistleblower’s concerns. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Recent medicinal cannabis developments in Australia
There have recently been a series of developments advancing the Australian medicinal cannabis industry.
- Independence Day: Australian Court Refuses to Remove Liquidators
The Situation: Should liquidators be removed under section 90-15 of the Insolvency Practice Schedule (Corporations) in circumstances where they engaged in preappointment discussions with a secured creditor, allegedly failed to investigate the company's affairs promptly, and retained the company's preappointment solicitors?
- Second Circuit Breathes New Life Into Conduct And Effects Test
The Situation: Since the Supreme Court decided Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. ("Morrison") in 2010 and rejected the Second Circuit's "conduct and effects test," the Second Circuit has grappled with the issue of whether securities and commodities transactions are sufficiently "domestic" for the federal securities and commodities laws to apply. The Result: On August 29, 2019, the Second Circuit concluded in Prime International Trading, Ltd. v. BP P.L.C. ("Brent Crude") that the Commodity Exchange Act ("CEA") could not be applied to certain derivatives transactions on the New York Mercantile Exchange ("NYMEX") because all of the allegedly manipulative conduct in the underlying spot market occurred abroad.
- Access denied: Lessons from Australia’s site-blocking regime
A host of relevant issues - Since the introduction of the remedy in 2015, site-blocking orders have prevented a range of pirated copyright materials, including films, television programs and musical works, from being accessed online. In Australia, site-blocking orders typically require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the relevant domain name, URL or IP address, and to redirect users to a webpage that informs them that access to the online location has been disabled.
- Double Trouble: Court Advises Liquidators to Reject $905 Million Proofs of Debt
The Situation: A liquidator can reject a "double proof" for what is, in substance, the same debt as another accepted proof of debt. The Question: When are liquidators justified in rejecting what could arguably be a double proof?
- New rules for websites targeting the European Union
On 1 October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the chief judicial authority of the European Union) ruled that websites must allow users to actively choose to allow cookies. Dentons Australia privacy lead, Robyn Chatwood, analyses the case and its impact for Australian businesses.
- Australian IPOs and Takeovers: Liability Has Increased, Defences Are Eroded - Civil penalty liability now affects prospectuses and takeover documents, and the existing criminal and civil liability regimes for these documents have defences to liability.
Liability for companies launching an Australian IPO or takeover changed significantly this year—with not so much as a murmur of protest from the market. Due diligence just got more important, but the reason may surprise you. Liability Has Increased - Civil penalty liability now affects prospectuses and takeover documents. That means substantial fines, which are now...
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Half-Year Review of Public M&A Activities: Trends, Issues and Reminders
The Situation: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") recently released its report on its corporate finance regulatory activities for the first half of 2019. The Result: While ASIC's report makes clear that the number of control transactions decreased on the previous period, consistent with the previous period, ASIC's numbers show that foreign acquirers led the charge, accounting for around 70% of deal value and that schemes of arrangement remained the preferred means to execute large deals.
- Divide by three - APRA turns twelve prudential standards into four
Following its December 2010 consultation package, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released four prudential standards, intended to consolidate 12 existing standards across the authorised deposit-taking, general insurance and life insurance industries. Th...
- Tax credits for fuel and transport emissions: The sting in the carbon price tail
The ‘500 polluters’ tagline has proved popular amongst the commentariat for explaining the reduced coverage of the Gillard Government’s carbon price mechanism, however, this is only part of the story. An ‘equivalent carbon price’ will also be placed on many transport fuels via...
- Complex Financial Products – International Support for yet More Investor Protection
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has recently released its final report on "Suitability Requirements with respect to the Distribution of Complex Financial Products" (Report), which outlines the key principles in respect of the distribution of such products...
- News from Abroad: Lilly Successfully Defends Zyprexa Compound Patent In Australia
Originally published in Wrays on March 27, 2013. On 15 March 2013, the Australian Federal Court upheld Eli Lilly's patent for the active compound in their highly successful product ZYPREXA®. Lilly successfully defended the validity of the patent against a wide-ranging attack ...
- NSW State Government Introduces New Legislation for Public Sector Employment
Australia's largest employer is the State Government of New South Wales and its agencies. It represents AUD60 billion of the economy in New South Wales. Any reform in the public sector is, therefore, important to us all. On 23 May 2013, the NSW State Premier Barry O'Farrell introduced...
- ASIC Enforces its Newly Implemented Guidance on Rights Offerings
Following the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) recent overhaul of its regulatory guidance on takeovers, ASIC has demonstrated its commitment to enforcing its takeovers policy and maintaining market integrity by intervening in two separate corporate transactions involving...
- Proposed Amendments to the Corporate Governance Principles
In August last year, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Council (Council) undertook a review of the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (Recommendations) in response to the corporate governance failures that emerged in the aftermath of the Global Financial ...
- End of Year Checklist
As 2013 comes to an end, it's time for Australian employers start actioning their end of year employment checklist. 1. Annual Shutdowns - Many Modern Awards require employers to provide a minimum of four weeks' notice of an annual shutdown. Notice must...
- Australian New Energy White Paper Process Commences
The Australian Federal Government (Government) has taken its first step towards creating a new national energy policy by releasing an Energy Policy Issues Paper (Issues Paper) seeking stakeholder input on a range of priority areas. As signalled by the Coalition in its...
- Bank Late Payment Fees Held to be Penalties – Class Action Risk for Other Industries
Paciocco v ANZ  FCA 35 - The Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) has held that late payment fees charged by a bank to its credit card customers were unlawful penalties. Paciocco v ANZ  FCA 35 is the first case to be decided following ...