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‘’Near enough notice is not good enough notice” – requirements for strict compliance with contractual notice provisions only get stricter. - May 2019

We recently considered the decision in Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, that a failure to include the words of a particular form rendered a call on a bank guarantee invalid. At the time, we suggested that “parties would be wise to consider the risk that such a principle may be extended to documents to which they are a party”.  In JPA Finance Pty Ltd v Gordon Nominees Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of Victoria has now held in a similar way, relating to notice provisions in a Call Option Deed.

Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate consider the decision.  

Climate Change – the gathering legal and policy storm in Australia and its impact on the energy and resources sector - Apr 2019

Recent developments suggest that the law in Australia is shifting inevitably towards a more climate change conscious approach for business. Developments include changes in the way energy and resources projects may be assessed and approved based on their carbon emissions; and the disclosures companies may have to make in relation to climate change risks.

Sarah Clarke, Partner, and Nikita Siouzev, law clerk, investigate these changes in law and policy and suggest some solutions on how companies may mitigate their risks.

Climate risk mitigation and adaptation a key focus for the Environmental Sustainability Victoria: State of the Environment report 2018 - Mar 2019

The impacts of population growth on climate risks is a key take away from the report. Only 18 of the 169 measured indicators have been identified as improving and it remains to be seen how policy will respond to the recommendations. 

Kathryn Walker, Partner, discusses the key points of the Environmental Sustainability Victoria: State of the Environment report 2018.

Major Reforms for Natural Resources Proposed Under the New 'Landscape South Australia Bill 2019' - Mar 2019

Landscape South Australia Bill 2019 to repeal the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

The Bill aims for greater community involvement in natural resource management and the recognition of climate change impacts on the environment.

Kathryn Walker, Partner, and Kerri Hooper, Law Graduate, discuss the key points of the Landscape South Australia Bill 2019.

$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.    

New Directors’ and Officers’ exposure to personal liability under Security of Payment Legislation in NSW - Dec 2018

Last week the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2018 (Amending Act) was passed by both houses of NSW Parliament. The suite of changes cover many aspects of payment behaviour on construction and related procurements in the Premier State. Partner, Robert Riddell and lawyer, Brianna Smith consider the new exposure this presents to Directors and Officers of construction companies.

Grappling with Good Faith - Nov 2018

The recent New South Wales Court of Appeal decision of Goodwin Street Developments Pty Ltd v DSD Buildings Pty Ltd has clarified that the statutory obligation of adjudicators to apply good faith in making their determinations is distinct from a failure to consider the mandatory matters that must be considered by an adjudicator. Good faith is satisfied by an absence of “bad faith” in the decision making process.  Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate and Denise Burloff, Lawyer discuss the decision.

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:

Access to information in joint ventures: the dangers of being kept in the dark - Apr 2017

Anne Freeman, Partner presented at the 2016 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration (APPEA) Conference on access to information issues in the context of joint ventures. A summary of the paper is below. If you would like to receive a full copy, please email:

Bill introduced in Federal Parliament to address recent Federal Court decision on ILUAs - Feb 2017

On 15 February 2017, the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017 was introduced into Federal Parliament in order to reverse the effect of the recent decision of the Full Federal Court of Australia in McGlade v Native Title Registrar [2017] FCAFC 10 regarding who must be a party to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) under the Native Title Act 1993.  The Bill’s introduction followed a moratorium implemented by the National Native Title Tribunal on the registration of ILUAs which may have been affected by the McGlade decision. 

The decision and resulting Bill are of particular relevance to the energy and resources sector where ILUAs are routinely made to ensure the grant of tenements and other interests are valid for native title purposes.  Ashley Watson, Partner and Kelly Scott, Senior Associate, provide an overview of the decision and the proposed amendments to the Act and discuss their implications for native title agreements.


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