Webinar | The ethics of public sector decision-making

This session refreshes and updates our popular 2018 presentation, focusing on the unique ethical duties of government lawyers that transcend model litigant obligations and the duties of private sector lawyers. These duties go to the heart of the rule of law and arise from the exercise of public power. You can view the full session […]

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Webinar | Contracts in an online world

The societal shift to electronic contracts and automated contract performance was well underway before the COVID-19 led overnight to adoption of electronic contracting as the new normal for most businesses. This session examines key legal issues contracting parties should keep front of mind when transitioning from paper to an online environment. You can view the […]

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Webinar | The Ten Cases

A survey of 10 important cases over the last year, covering constitutional, administrative, private law, governance and enforcement issues, and what they mean for government You can view the full session here: The Ten Cases Presented by: Andrew Mackenzie, Senior Associate Claudia Dennison, Senior Associate Christina Martin, Associate Christina Venardos, Associate Mitchell Byram, Associate Sarah […]

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Webinar | Misleading regulatory guidance – can (or must) I rely on what you tell me?

We live in the age of statutes. The increasing volume and complexity of rules makes compliance challenging. Governments frequently offer guidance to help citizens understand their obligations and to aid fair administration, particularly as policies change. What happens when governments get it wrong? You can view the full session here: Misleading regulatory guidance – can […]

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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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Litigation funders’ new regulatory requirements – practical issues and the impact on class actions

Changing times The Federal Treasurer has announced that all litigation funders will soon be required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), which will dramatically increase the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulatory oversight over those funders who do not already hold an AFSL. The announcement follows the Federal Attorney General’s referral to […]

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COVID-19 | ‘Business days’ when business has changed

The ‘business day’ in a new light As at 29 March 2020, the Morrison Government had announced sweeping shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Pubs and gyms are among those deemed ‘non-essential’ businesses and required to shut down.  Businesses which do not fall under this qualification, including banks, remain open.  Australians are being advised […]

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The approvals climate is changing

In proceedings[1] brought by environmental groups, councils and the Mayor of London, the English Court of Appeal has ruled unlawful a decision, to allow the expansion of Heathrow Airport by the construction of a third runway, because it did not take the United Kingdom government’s policy and commitments on climate change into account. Background For many […]

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High Court confirms who is an “officer”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today succeeded in a major High Court decision[1] on who is a company “officer” potentially liable for penalties under the Corporations Act. The High Court unanimously held that the definition of “officer” is not limited to those who hold or occupy a named office in a corporation or […]

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The Brexit case – implications for Australia

Amidst the Brexit debacle, the UK Supreme Court[1] has invented a brand-new rule limiting executive power. Yet, the core legal principles supporting this politically controversial development are thoroughly orthodox and, despite different constitutional arrangements, may strongly influence how executive power is exercised under Australian law. Context The Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the […]

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Doing Business in Australia

The Australian Government welcomes foreign investment. With well-developed infrastructure, a stable political environment, robust economy and easy access to Asia Pacific, Australia is an ideal investment location for foreign companies looking to grow internationally. There are important considerations for foreign investors to make when deciding on how to enter the Australian market. Whether it’s the […]

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Government contracts and future discretions

People rightly expect freely negotiated contracts to be honoured. When a contract is with government, the expectation is not lessened. Indeed, it is accompanied by the reasonable expectation (if not the obligation) that the agreement will be administered fairly and according to law. The government’s failure to meet these expectations creates a form of sovereign […]

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