Mandatory sustainability reporting regime: An update – Second reading debate completed

In the March 2024 edition of Gadens’ FMCG Express, we discussed the exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2024: Climate-related financial disclosure (Draft Legislation), which outlined a proposal for the implementation of a mandatory climate-related financial disclosure regime based on existing international frameworks and standards. On 27 March 2024, the Treasury Laws Amendment […]

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ASIC issues infringement notices to an auditor for failing to comply with independence standards

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has, for the first time, issued infringement notices pursuant to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act) alleging that an auditor failed to comply with his audit rotation obligations. Allegations Following a voluntary disclosure to ASIC by the auditor pursuant to section 311 of the Act, ASIC stated […]

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ASIC secures victory against Vanguard Investments for ‘ethically conscious’ greenwashing conduct

Last year, we reported on the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC) commencement of proceedings against Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (Vanguard) alleging that Vanguard engaged in misleading conduct in breach of the ASIC Act by making false or misleading claims about the ESG criteria applied to an investment fund it offered to potential investors. On […]

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Defamation – what is required to establish ‘serious harm’?

The Federal Court of Australia recently handed down a decision in Selkirk v Hocking (No 2)[1] shedding light on the serious harm element of the cause of action for defamation. Background In November 2019, Ms Selkirk was convicted of multiple counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception by using falsified receipts to return goods […]

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ASIC commences proceedings against Vanguard Investments

Further to our series of articles on ESG, on 24 July 2023 ASIC commenced proceedings seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties and adverse publicity orders against Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (Vanguard) alleging misleading conduct in relation to claims about the applicability of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria applied to investments in an investment fund offered by […]

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Regulatory action for greenwashing is upon us

Last week, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commenced civil penalty proceedings for alleged greenwashing against Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (Mercer). This is in addition to ASIC having issued penalty notices to at least four companies for alleged greenwashing, since October 2022. Last year, ASIC identified investigating greenwashing and taking enforcement action where greenwashing […]

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ASIC provides ‘no action’ relief for conducting virtual meetings and delayed AGMs

After the Federal Government’s proposed legislation to extend the temporary relief for corporations to conduct virtual meetings stalled in the Parliament, we speculated in our recent update as to whether ASIC would issue a ‘no action’ position, electing not to take regulatory action against companies conducting virtual meetings despite requirements to do so in the […]

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Is it all in the name? Fundraising with SAFE notes

A relatively recent development in the world of fundraising for start-ups has been the use of “SAFE” (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) instruments. Y-Combinator, a seed funding platform based in Silicon Valley, claims to have developed it as a (potentially) standardised instrument and as an alternative to convertible notes, which can save companies and investors […]

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