International Trade

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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.  

$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.    

Fast tracking evidence for foreign proceedings - Dec 2018

Obtaining evidence from persons residing in Australia for use in foreign proceedings can be complicated and time consuming. McKenzie Moore, Special Counsel and Natalie Miller, Lawyer, share their experience of using unconventional channels to fast-track the process.

Companies take note - Australia raises its Anti-Bribery Compliance & Enforcement Game - Mar 2016

After broad international and domestic criticism of its efforts, the Australian Government is now showing an appetite for significant reform in the area of foreign bribery. The recent resignation of ASX Chief Executive Elmer Funke Kupper highlights reputational risks arising from allegations of questionable transactions off-shore. With proposed changes to the law the subject of a discussion paper issued by Justice Minister Keenan last week, those risks look set to escalate. Partner, Ted Williams discusses.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: What does it mean for Professionals and Services? - Oct 2015

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) concluded on 6th October 2015 after the 12 country partners reached agreement on the final draft of the TPP. The 12 country partners – Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada and the US – make up 40% of the world’s economy and the agreement is expected to have a wide impact on trade and cross-border business.

The TPP is still subject to domestic ratification by each of the partners however the TPP’s outcomes are likely to be advantageous beyond the obvious trade sectors such as agriculture and goods exports. Domestic regulations across different countries complicate the ability of professionals to offer their services internationally. The TPP offers a liberalisation of restrictions on cross-border interactions and creates new opportunities which will provide significant openings for Australian sectors to prosper including, significantly, the legal and financial sectors.

Partners, Gordon Grieve and David Cornwell explore some of the likely outcomes of the TPP as well as opportunities the TPP will provide in services.

Guide to Doing Business in Australia - Oct 2015

Our experience in providing cross-border legal services to international enterprises means that we understand the issues faced when entering the Australian market. We can advise on the best way to establish new operations in Australia as well as how to ensure businesses prosper.

Changing foreign investment framework in Australia - Jul 2015

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, issued a media release on 11 February 2015 which outlined that the Government was in the process of better scrutinising our foreign investment laws and was considering changes to the foreign investment processes in Australia. Since then a number of events have occurred, some changes have become effective and future changes would seem imminent. It is now more important than ever for foreign investors in Australia to be aware of these changes. Senior Associate, Kara Pennisi takes a look.

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Signed - Jun 2015

After more than a decade of negotiations, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed in Canberra on Wednesday, 17 June 2015. ChAFTA is expected to have a significant impact on Australian businesses and consumers given China is Australia’s largest trading partner, with almost a quarter of Australia’s total trade. Partners, Esteban Gomez and Ted Williams discuss.

Agribusiness Alert - Tighter rules for foreign purchases of agricultural land - Feb 2015

Long mooted and important changes directed at foreign investment in Australian farming land will soon be made to Australia's Foreign Investment Policy. In this alert, our Agribusiness team discusses the changes and what they mean for foreign investors in Australia.

China outbound investment regulations and requirements - Nov 2014

China's overseas investment has rapidly increased over the last few years as Chinese companies expanded into new markets, seeking to develop advanced technology and acquiring energy and resources and brand names. Investment into the agribusiness sector from China is no exception as international investment focus turns to food security and food safety. Piper Alderman has acted on acquisition and joint venture investment transactions for both Chinese and domestic clients, most recently for Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Algae Industry Group Co., Ltd from Shandong Province on its acquisition of Australian Kelp products, and Peloris Global Sourcing on its collaboration with Chinese authorities and industry body Dairy Connect in developing and implementing a streamlined cold chain solution for Australian fresh milk imports to China. Potential Australian joint venture partners and vendors should be aware of the regulation which applies in China to capital coming out of that country because it can affect deal timeframes and deal logistics. Lawyer, Shao Ma gives an overview of the regulations around Chinese investment.

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