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$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.


Extending the reach of environmental protection in QLD - What the ‘Chain of Responsibility’ means for your project - Jun 2016

The recent introduction of the Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Act 2016 (Qld) (the Chain of Responsibility Act) in Queensland has widened the potential liability for environmental harm and substantially increased the powers of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) to issue environmental protection orders (EPO) and require and/ or reassess financial assurance provided pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (Environmental Protection Act). Senior Associate, Josh Steele and Associate, Rachel Austin explore further.

Metgasco’s success against NSW Minister for Resources and Energy: ensuring those in power act within power - Apr 2015

Last week’s decision of Justice Button of the NSW Supreme Court, which quashed two decisions made by the Minister’s delegate relating to the suspension of operations by Metgasco under its Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL), and which may set up a claim by Metgasco for compensation, serves as a lesson to holders of licences to carefully scrutinise actions taken in relation to them by the Minister or his representatives to ensure that rights are not interfered with invalidly. Partner, Anne Freeman, looks at the decision.

Continuous disclosure and Newcrest Mining - Mar 2015

ASX is reviewing Guidance Note 8 on Continuous Disclosure, prompted by confusion over “earnings surprises” and disclosure obligations. A consultation paper was released on 6 March 2015 and the ASX has called for feedback by 24 April 2015. The ASX is expecting that it will have the updated guidance note in place by 1 July 2015. Partner, David Cornwell and Law Clerk, Stephaine Skevington review the proposed update.

Resources Update - Mar 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of Resources Update, Piper Alderman's publication designed to keep you up to date with legal developments that affect the Energy and Resources sectors in Australia.

In the March 2015 edition:

  • NSW mining projects - recent legislation
  • South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission
  • In conversation with John Cotter, Chairman of the Gasfields Commission Queensland
  • and more!
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