SPAM should only be found on the Supermarket shelves – not in my inbox!

A recent case in which Woolworths Group Limited (Woolworths) was fined $1,003,800 by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for over five million breaches of the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (the Spam Act) is a stark reminder of the importance of establishing and maintaining rigorous controls to ensure that commercial electronic messages are only […]

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Unfair contract terms and the burden of knowledge…

On 28 May 2020, the first case on unfair contract terms for bank contracts was handed down by the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2020] FCA 716 (ASIC v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited). The court found certain clauses in the contract’s terms and […]

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COVID-19 | The Banking Code of Practice – COVID-19: Special Note

In these uncertain times, the financial services industry is experiencing unprecedented levels of customer queries and financial hardship requests. As a result of the high volume of customers in distressed circumstances, on 25 June 2020 ASIC approved temporary changes to the Banking Code of Practice (the Code) so that Banks can continue to provide suitable […]

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NSW Parliament Introduces a Statutory Duty of Care for Residential Building Work

In Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corporation Strata Plan 61288 (2014) 313 ALR 408, the High Court found that a builder did not owe a common law duty of care to the developer of residential apartment buildings or its successors in title (including an owners corporation) for economic loss caused by defective work. The High […]

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Does property held by a bankrupt on trust for another vest in the bankruptcy trustee?

On 13 December 2019, in Franz Boensch as Trustee of the Boensch Trust v Scott Darren Pascoe[1] the High Court unanimously dismissed an appeal from a judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, in which the appellant sought compensation from his former trustee in bankruptcy pursuant to section 74P of the Real Property Act […]

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Can a “Gentleman’s Agreement” not to enforce a guarantee be relied upon?

In Harburg Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Deen,[1] the Supreme Court of Queensland considered whether an oral “gentleman’s agreement”, that is the oral representations made, meant that the guarantees were unenforceable. The facts As at May 2015, Harburg Nominees Pty Ltd (Harburg) had, over time, advanced approximately $18.5 million to Warapar Resources Pty Ltd (Warapar) for […]

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Major Trade Promotion Changes in NSW

Major changes to trade promotions regulations in New South Wales take effect tomorrow (1 July 2020). The key change implemented by the Community Gaming Regulation 2020 is that a permit will no longer be required for a trade promotion with a total prize pool worth $10,000 or less. This is a significant change that will […]

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NSW Court of Appeal casts a shadow over voting rights

Whilst the power of a chairperson to exercise a casting vote at creditors’ meetings is a useful mechanism to resolve a deadlock in voting, it does not confer unconstrained discretion. The recent Glenfyne Appeal[1] provides valuable guidance as to the appropriate exercise of a casting vote and also serves as a reminder of the Court’s […]

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The Residential Apartment Buildings Act: 5 Things You Need to Know

Recent reports of structural defects in high-rise apartments including the Opal tower and Mascot tower have undermined public confidence in the quality of construction work carried out in New South Wales. It has also raised questions as to avenues open to property owners to seek redress for defective work and the enforcement powers available to […]

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Owners Corporation Fees – How to recover when the lot owner fails to pay

In the current economic climate many lot owners may find it financially challenging to pay owners corporation fees. This can be problematic for an Owners Corporation where cash flow is crucial in order to fund the ongoing cost of maintaining the common property. Initiating the fee recovery process The Owners Corporation Act 2006 (Vic) (the […]

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ASIC’s guidance to mortgage brokers on their ‘best interests’ duty – time to act!

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has just released RG 273, which sets out its view on how mortgage brokers may comply with their ‘best interests’ obligations which commence in January 2021. The guidance follows the passing, on 6 February 2020, of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Customers (2019 […]

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Google’s purchase of Fitbit raises anti-competitive concerns

On 18 June 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Statement of Issues detailing its preliminary concerns with Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit. The ACCC has raised concerns with the proposed acquisition on the basis that it may provide Google with access to large volumes of consumer health data (in addition to […]

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