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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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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...

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Modern slavery in NSW: New laws set to commence in 2022

On 17 November 2021 the NSW Parliament passed the Modern Slavery Amendment Act 2021 (NSW) (2021 MS Act) making miscellaneous amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (2018 MS Act) as...

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December Australian Energy & Resources Market Update

Our update covers mining, oil and gas, electricity and renewable energy.

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COVID Vaccination Mandates: Consultation is key in BHP Case

On 3 December 2021, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission handed down its long-awaited decision about whether BHP’s Site Access Requirement, as implemented by a member of the BHP Group, Mt...

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Disclaimer Denied: liquidators personally liable for clean up costs

The Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision in The Australian Sawmilling Co Pty Ltd (in liq) v Environment Protection Authority [2021] VSCA 294 casts significant doubt on liquidators’ capacity to rely...

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Global trends in competition law regulation of mergers and acquisitions

There is no doubt that the international competition law landscape is changing. While calls for increased regulation of ‘big tech’ frequently make headlines, there is a broader shift in competition...