Unfair contract terms – big changes mean big risk for businesses

Many businesses will be familiar with the existing ‘unfair contract terms’ regime in the Australian Consumer Law (the ACL). Draft legislation has been circulated which will implement big changes, including potential penalties of $10 million or more. Businesses will likely need to review many of their contract terms, as the new regime will be much […]

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The expansion of statutory unconscionable conduct risk in commercial transactions

Where a statute proscribes unconscionable conduct in business, a company can be liable whether or not the person to whom the allegedly unconscionable conduct is directed is vulnerable or at a special disadvantage. In ACCC v Quantum Housing Group Pty Ltd, handed down on 19 March 2021, the Full Federal Court placed the focus in […]

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ASIC’s new approach to regulatory investigations: the challenges and opportunities presented by Express Investigations

Under the banner of ‘when pilots become enduring practice’, ASIC Deputy Chair Karen Chester has announced that ASIC will supplement its traditional investigations processes with ‘Express Investigations’ (EI), ASIC’s new and preferred approach to enforcement. Corporate regulatory investigations are often legally and factually complex, high-stakes and process-heavy. Mountains of documents and witness evidence are commonplace. […]

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Immunity for serious financial misconduct – ASIC’s new policy

Overview ASIC has just announced a new policy that allows individuals who think they might have been involved in market manipulation, insider trading, dishonest conduct or other contraventions of Part 7.10 of the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act) to apply for immunity from civil penalty or criminal proceedings. This policy expands ASIC’s ability to identify […]

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ACCC seeks ban on unfair trading practices

On 10 December 2020 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) released its Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry Report (the Report). Purpose of the inquiry The ACCC’s inquiry into markets for the supply of perishable agricultural goods was conducted at the direction of the Commonwealth Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP. The ACCC conducted a […]

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FSR Wrap | November 2020

As we approach the end of the year, Gadens’ FSR Team presents an update for the financial services regulatory market. This edition of FSR Wrap provides a focus on ‘business as usual’ regulations of importance to Australian financial services companies. As we look to 2021 and the introduction of a raft of legislation that has […]

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The penalty for a cause marketing misstep: Oscar Wylee update

The market for socially-conscious consumers who are looking to use their buying power ethically and in support of socially responsible causes is growing rapidly. This presents opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers in new ways. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is well aware and is looking closely at potentially misleading […]

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FMCG Express | October Edition

2020 continues to be an interesting year with COVID-19 still impacting our lives and businesses, although we are cautiously optimistic that we may be turning a corner here in Australia. In this edition of FMCG Express, we bring you some useful COVID-19 reading as we grapple with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and look […]

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Guidance and government power

Regulatory guidance usually has little legal status, but sometimes legislation mandates it. However, a recent UK Supreme Court decision [1] on ethical investments demonstrates that, when laws and policies are confused and agencies stray outside their lanes, even legislatively supported guidance has limits. The Court ruled that local government pension schemes can divest from or boycott […]

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FSR Wrap | July 2020

Gadens has launched a new financial services regulatory update publication to keep the market informed of the latest developments – welcome to FSR Wrap. Gadens has extensive knowledge and expertise across the financial services sector. In the July 2020 edition of FSR Wrap, Edward Martin, Liam Hennessy, Glenn McGowan QC, Dudley Kneller and Gadens’ FSR […]

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The DIN is coming in! Australia’s introduction of a Director Identification Number (DIN) regime

Scrutiny of corporate governance and the role of directors is set to continue throughout 2020 and into 2021 as the aftermath of the Banking Royal Commission and economic impact of COVID-19 play out. Against that background, Australian directors and corporations now face a significant new administrative burden as the long-time-coming registry modernisation legislation passed without […]

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The Impending General Prohibition of Hawking Financial Products and what this will mean for Financial Service Providers

The Federal Government is preparing to introduce the ‘Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Protecting Consumers (2020 Measures)) Bill 2020: Hawking of financial products‘ (the Bill) in response to the recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry that all hawking of insurance and superannuation products should […]

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