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Rubbing salt into the wound of an applicant in unfair dismissal proceedings - Nov 2018

An applicant whose claim was “doomed to fail”, and was pursued by her to inflict as much damage as possible on her former employer, has led to severe consequences when the Fair Work Commission ordered her to pay indemnity costs to her former employer.

Partner, David Ey and Senior Associate, Gemma Twemlow review the decision.  

Dark clouds loom over common fund orders - Oct 2018

A shadow has been cast over the seemingly well-accepted ability of courts to make common fund orders in third-party funded representative proceedings.  The New South Wales Court of Appeal is to determine whether the Supreme Court has the power to make such orders. This determination coincides with a challenge by Westpac in its application for leave to appeal Justice Lee’s decision in Lenthall v Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited [2018] FCA 1422.

Partner, Anne Freeman, Special Counsel, Susanna Khouri and Law Clerk, Amir Chowdhury provide an update.

AFCA: Paving the way for complaints in the financial system - Oct 2018

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a new external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme that has been formed to deal with complaints from consumers against an AFCA member. AFCA replaces the existing EDR schemes, being the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). Access to AFCA will be free to consumers and it has the following characteristics:

  • it is a single forum for EDR services;
  • it allows higher monetary limits on the amounts that may be awarded by AFCA for complaints other than superannuation complaints;
  • it provides greater accountability to users, including the appointment by the AFCA Board of an independent assessor whose purpose will be to consider whether AFCA provides an appropriate standard of service; and
  • it is governed by the AFCA Complaint Resolution Scheme Rules (Rules) which are the terms of reference outlining the rules and processes applicable to all complaints submitted to AFCA, to support its dispute resolution functions and legislation relating to superannuation disputes.

Florian Ammer, Partner, Elaine Cheung, Senior Associate and James Poulos, Law Clerk, provide an overview of the new Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

Ramping up subcontractor protection – Retention and now ‘Deemed’ Statutory Trusts - Oct 2018

Poor payment practices in the construction industry have faced increasing scrutiny by legislators, culminating in a series of amendments (and proposed amendments) to the security of payment regime.

Partner, Robert Riddell, and lawyer, Brianna Smith, step you through the introduction of retention trusts and the telegraphed statutory trust accounts, explaining how they work and what they mean for you.

Preparing for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety - Sep 2018

On 16 September 2018 the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Government’s decision to hold a royal commission into the aged care sector.

The purpose of this article is to:

  1. Assist you with understanding the process of a Royal Commission;
  2. Outline the steps you and your organisation can start taking now in order to prepare for the Royal Commission; and
  3. Consider how you can best position yourself to deal with the potential fallout from the Royal Commission.

We explore these questions further below.

Royal Commission Interim Report – What to Expect - Sep 2018

Commissioner Hayne’s Interim Report in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Superannuation and Financial Services industries is expected to be provided to the Federal Government by the end of the week.

Is my claim for the debt statute-barred? - Jun 2018

Is my claim for the debt statute-barred? The answer depends on the nature of the agreement under which the debt arises, as discussed by Florian Ammer, Partner and Brendan May, Associate.

Contracting with small businesses: include unfair terms in your standard form contracts at your peril - May 2018

Partners, Anne Freeman and Tom Griffith, presented at the 2018 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration (APPEA) Conference on the business to business unfair contracts regime. A summary of the paper is below. If you would like to receive a full copy, please email:

Subpoenas – what you need to know - Mar 2018

Have you been served with a subpoena? Are you considering serving one yourself? 

Florian Ammer, Partner and Brendan May, Associate, provide an overview of the key things you need to know about subpoenas in NSW and how they work.

Director penalty notices - Dec 2017

Given the Government’s recent consultations regarding a possible extension of the Director Penalty Regime to make directors personally liable for unremitted GST, and the increasing activity of the ATO in utilising these provisions, now is an appropriate time for all directors to ensure that they (and their advisers) have a clear understanding of when they may become personally liable for the taxation debts of their company, what they need to do to best protect themselves against such liability and what they should do upon receipt of a director penalty notice. Senior Associate, James Nunn provides an easily digestible summary addressing these matters.

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