Anti-phoenixing legislation finally passes through Parliament

After having been introduced to the Commonwealth Parliament on 13 February 2019, then re-introduced on 4 July 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 finally passed through both Houses on 5 February 2020. As its name suggests, the Bill introduces a number of new measures aimed at combating illegal phoenix activity in Australia. Illegal […]

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An overview of the changes to the witnessing requirements for Queensland Land Registry forms

The Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Qld) introduced additional requirements for witnessing documents including: requiring the witness to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of an individual and to ensure the individual is the person entitled to sign the document; requiring the witness to keep a written record of the steps they took […]

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To carry out no or little investigation and to say nothing is not an option – a warning to insolvency practitioners

The Federal Court has issued a warning to insolvency practitioners, involved in voluntary administrations, to ensure adequate investigation and reporting occurs of matters that have the potential to materially affect the outcome of the administration. In Adelaide Brighton Cement Limited, in the matter of Concrete Supply Pty Ltd v Concrete Supply Pty Ltd (Subject  to Deed […]

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COVID-19 | Verification of identity – the need to go digital

All of the states (but not the territories) require mortgagees to undertake reasonable steps to verify the identities of mortgagors, commonly through a framework called the “Verification of Identity Standard” (VOI Standard) undertaken by specialised “Identity Agents” e.g. lawyers or other agents with professional indemnity insurance. Where they do not, and the mortgage instrument is […]

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COVID-19 | Regulatory wave needs to crash against COVID-19 wall

With the recent coronavirus pandemic, the current regulatory wave may see unique changes, with lawyers and GCs needing to prepare as uncertainty sweeps through businesses. It is no secret that the financial services industry entered this year riding a regulatory wave in the wake of the Hayne royal commission’s findings of widespread misconduct. There has […]

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COVID-19 | Emergency Amendments to Insolvency Laws

Government moves to amend insolvency laws The Commonwealth Government announced a range of temporary amendments to certain insolvency laws as part of its economic response to COVID-19. The amendments will temporarily affect insolvency laws, corporate governance, and directors’ duties. The purpose of the amendments is to support otherwise viable businesses which will temporarily suffer financial […]

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What is good for the goose…climate change disclosure and the public sector

Introduction Australia’s peak regulators, including the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Accounting Standards Review Board and the Reserve Bank of Australia, are exerting increasing pressure on private companies to report on climate change risk in accordance with guidelines issued by the Financial […]

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Responding to a subpoena – is it always necessary to lay everything bare?

In Harvard Nominees Pty Ltd v Tiller,[1] the Federal Court of Australia was tasked with considering the grounds on which a subpoena to produce may be set aside.  Interestingly, the subpoenas in question were made for third parties (which were related to the respondents) to produce financial records and other documents to the Court in the context […]

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Earth to the Mothership: a reminder to liquidators bringing group unfair preference claims to follow the rules

Recently, some liquidators appear to prefer to commence unfair preference claims against multiple defendants within a single proceeding, rather than multiple separate proceedings. Proceedings commenced in this way are often referred to as ‘mothership proceedings’. The appeal of ‘mothership proceedings’ from the liquidators’ point of view is obvious. Justice Brereton in Re Bias Boating Pty Ltd[1]  […]

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Gadens Connect | 2020 Edition One

Welcome to Gadens Connect – a newsletter to share insights, trends and opportunities for our clients in the financial services industry. In this edition we share some key performance insights from 2019 and provide an overview of topics including updates to our GPSR platform (automation and integration solutions), MIP sale obligations and updates to the […]

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Responsible lending – updated guidance and practical considerations

Lenders’ responsible lending obligations have been a fluid topic in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission’s final report in February 2019. In that report, Commissioner Hayne said that he was ultimately not persuaded that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP) needed to change in that aspect. His view was that the […]

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Mortgagees and verifying mortgagors’ identities – a time of change

On 18 December 2019, the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) released a consultation draft of version 6 of its Model Participation Rules. It pertains to Mortgagees’ “Verification of Identity” (VOI Draft) requirements when registering mortgage securities, which are separate to AML / CTF KYC requirements. The VOI Draft – which contains one very […]

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