More of the same: ACCC priorities for 2022

Yesterday, the ACCC announced its compliance and enforcement priorities for 2022.

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Incoming changes to the NSW environment protection scheme

The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 has now been passed by both houses of the NSW parliament and is awaiting assent. The Bill amends several pieces of environmental legislation...

Australia’s Digital Commerce Reforms Continue

On 17 February 2022, the Federal Government introduced into Parliament the next tranche of legislation to modernise business communications within the Treasury portfolio – the aptly named Treasury...

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Corporate Collective Investment Vehicles - new regime now live

The Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Framework and Other Measures Bill 2021 (Cth) (CCIV Bill) received Royal Assent on 22 February 2022. The CCIV Bill sets out the regulatory and tax...

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Tax litigation to watch in 2022

The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) stated approach to tax disputes is to seek to prevent them where appropriate.

ESG ahoy: unpacking recent trends in modern slavery, human rights and energy

Companies are taking steps in the right direction when it comes to tackling governance and human rights issues in Australia through increased regulation in the modern slavery space, greater...

High Court significantly expands the use of examination summonses

In a significant decision delivered on 16 February 2022, the High Court in Walton [1] overturned the NSW Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside an examination summons issued by Arrium’s...

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Australia’s first group costs order explained

Allen v G8 Education Ltd [2022] VSC 32. The group costs order (GCO) regime allows law firms in class actions to recover legal fees and expenses as a percentage of any award or settlement. The...

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Proposed reforms give the unfair contract terms regime much sharper teeth

What is happening? A 2018 federal review of the current unfair contract terms (or UCT) protections concluded that the regime was ‘ineffective in both operation and effect’, including in terms of...

Contractors and labour-hire – High Court reinforces importance of written contract, with some twists

The High Court has reinforced the primacy of written agreements in its important and long awaited judgments (delivered on 9 February 2022) in Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy...

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Australia makes it to the 21st Century – permanent corporate digital measures passed by the senate

On 10 February 2022, the Australian Senate finally passed the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill.

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The latest word on continuous disclosure

On 7 February 2022, the Federal Court handed down the latest Australian first instance decision on continuous disclosure, this time dealing with production guidance provided by Iluka in 2012 – some...

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Matters of Interest – Departing from the default

Most Australian superior and intermediate courts have the power to award successful litigants interest on monetary judgments for the period between their claim arising and judgment being given by...

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A controversial boost for restructuring promoters: Court limits security interest vesting rule

In his recent decision in Antqip Hire, Brereton JA of the Supreme Court of New South Wales concluded that section 588FL of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) does not operate to result in the vesting...

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Commissioner of Taxation’s access powers

The Commissioner of Taxation has broad powers to obtain information and documents for the purposes of his administration of Australia’s tax laws.

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Shareholder oppression: careful, unfairness adds up

When business partners fall out with each other, disagree as to the direction of a company, or simply face circumstances that leave a minority shareholder feeling harshly dealt with, threats of an...

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Federal Court agrees that deductions should be denied for interest on financing

On 17 December 2021, the Federal Court of Australia published the decision of Justice Moshinsky in Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 1597.

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Treasury consults on exposure draft legislation on foreign financial service provider exemptions

On 20 December 2021, the Department of the Treasury of the Australian Government released the Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Bill 2021.

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Section 553C set-off of unfair preference claims - Full Federal Court says no!

In a resounding judgment delivered last week, the Full Federal Court has confirmed that a statutory set-off under section 533C is not available to a defendant in unfair preference proceedings.

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AusNet Services Limited in the Takeovers Panel: “Hard” Exclusivity and Deal Protection Lore Reform

The Takeovers Panel’s decision in AusNet Services Limited 01 [2021] ATP 9 has drawn comment from a number of quarters. In essence, in AusNet the Panel decided that an eight week exclusivity...

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An Australian “Magnitsky Act”: Blunt Sword or Robust Shield?

Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian tax accountant. In 2008, while working with Bill Browder and his Hermitage Capital investment fund, he accused Russian tax officials and Russian law enforcement of a...

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Australia’s first Group Costs Order opens the door for greater certainty and transparency

The first ‘group costs order’ (GCO) has been made in the Supreme Court of Victoria, one year and five months after the regime came into effect. It was granted by the Honourable Justice Nichols in...

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Gas Industry – Voluntary Code of Conduct

On 1 December 2021, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) announced the finalisation of the Voluntary Code of Conduct for the negotiation and development of Gas...

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The new OECD Anti-Bribery Convention Recommendation – An Australian perspective

On 26 November 2021, the OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB) adopted a revised Recommendation of the Council for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business...