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Repeal of s51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth): It might be time to think about your competition - May 2019

On and from 12 September 2019, businesses that license or assign IP rights will be subject to the full application of anti-competition provisions under the Competition and Consumer Act regardless of whether those arrangements were entered into before or after that date.

Partner, Tim Clark, Associate, Philip Chow and Lawyer, Jamin Li, explain why businesses involved in the conditional licensing or assignment of IP rights should consider reviewing their current arrangements.

Significantly higher penalties for corporate misconduct in effect - Apr 2019

Recently passed legislation significantly increased the penalties applicable to wrongdoing in relation to consumer credit, financial services and general insurance. On the whole, penalties are increased and new methods of determining penalties are introduced. Partner, Andrea Beatty, provides and overview of the new penalties.

Design and distribution obligations and product intervention power finally legislated - Apr 2019

Legislation for the long awaited financial product design and distribution obligations and ASIC product intervention power has finally been passed by the federal Parliament. Partner, Andrea Beatty, and lawyer, Gabor Papdi, provide an overview of the new legislation.

Draft legislation to end grandfathered conflicted remuneration for financial advisers - Apr 2019

Recommendation 2.4 of the Royal Commission in Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) provided that the grandfathering arrangements for conflicted remuneration in relation to financial advice provided to retail clients to be removed as soon as practicable. Conflicted remuneration was prohibited by amendments to the Corporations Act that commenced on 1 July 2013, but pre-existing arrangements were allowed to continue in place. The Royal Commission found that conflicted remuneration did not die off as pre-2013 arrangements came to an end, and so recommended law reform to end such grandfathered arrangements as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Government announces increased penalties for Privacy Act breaches - Apr 2019

On 24 March 2019, the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Minister for Communications and the Arts announced the federal government’s intention to legislate to strengthen penalties under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and other reforms to target major social media companies’ conduct in relation to personal information.

Small amount credit contract and consumer lease reforms likely to again die - Apr 2019

With the final sitting days of the federal Parliament before the upcoming election likely to have occurred, the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2018 and National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2019 – both substantially identical Private Member’s Bills introducing long-discussed consumer-friendly changes to the provisions of the NCCP Act governing small amount credit contracts and consumer leases – have not been passed into law. At the time of writing, the Bills had not progressed past the first reading stage in the House of Representatives, and will lapse when the House is dissolved in anticipation of the upcoming election. It will then be up to members of the next Parliament to reintroduce the Bills if they wish to.

What will a tougher Unfair Contracts Regime mean for Suppliers? Emerging Trends in Interpretation of Standard Form Contract Protections for Small Business - Mar 2019

In light of growing calls for the introduction of penalties for the unfair terms in standard form contracts.

Partner, Sarah Johnson, examines emerging themes in the consideration of unfair contract terms

ACCC 2019 Compliance and Enforcement Policy - Mar 2019

On 26 February 2019, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims outlined the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Priorities for 2019.

Tom Griffith, partner, Tania Maystrenko, associate and Meshal Althobaiti, lawyer, provide a summary of the key focus areas and sectors being targeted.

$55M demand scuppered in battle of form over substance. (Very) strict compliance is required when it comes to calls on performance security. - Feb 2019

In the recent decision of Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, the Queensland Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a failure to include the words “authorised signatory of Santos Limited” meant that a demand made upon a bank guarantee was invalid.  Given the principle of ‘’strict compliance’’, the employee’s signature and position description did not amount to a representation that he was an authorised representative of Santos Limited.  Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate, discuss what the decision means for parties when notices under contracts.    

Big stick for electricity providers: Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct Bill 2018 (Cth) - Feb 2019

On 5 December 2018, the Australian Federal Government tabled in the House of Representatives the Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018 (Bill) which aims to implement the so-called “big stick” energy reforms.

Partner, Tom Griffith and Lawyer, Daniel Owen review the proposed amendments.

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