Keeping you up-to-date with business
and corporate risk management issues
Ashley & Martin prosecuted for alleged unfair contract terms
16 January 2018
In November 2017, the hair loss treatment company, Ashley & Martin, had proceedings commenced it in the Federal Court by the ACCC.
Here comes Amazon
19 December 2017
Myer is closing more stores and expects to have another difficult year after its profit for the last financial year decreased by 80%. Myer's problems have to be seen in light of the launch of Amazon's Australian online store.
Binding contracts in the electronic age
13 December 2017
The vast majority of business communications are now carried out electronically. Whilst this is convenient and expedient, it also means disputes involving email negotiations between parties are becoming more common.
Forming a contract: Don't do it by accident
28 November 2017
Anybody in business should be aware of the legal requirements for forming a contract. This is particularly the case where contracts can be formed quickly, and often before obtaining legal advice, via the exchange of emails.
Electronic signatures: As good as wet ink?
14 November 2017
Increasingly, commercial parties are finding it more practical for the parties to sign and exchange documents electronically, rather than exchange a paper contract and have wet ink signatures applied. It is therefore important to understand when and how an electronic signature will be binding.
Marketing and selling practices: Compliance checklist
31 October 2017
Tips for ensuring your business complies with its obligations around the selling and marketing of goods and services.
Dealing with your competitors: Are you complying with the market conduct rules?
24 October 2017
The market conduct rules in the Competition and Consumer Act regulate the way a business must behave in relation to its competitors. They're aimed at preventing anti-competitive behaviour.
Prohibited selling practices
17 October 2017
All businesses that provide goods and services to consumers need to be aware of the way in which the Australian Consumer Law regulates selling practices.
10 October 2017
Businesses sometimes attempt to encourage consumers to shop with them by sending out samples of their products and then asking the consumer to pay for them. This conduct is regulated under the Australian Consumer Law.
Unsolicited consumer agreements
26 September 2017
Any business that employs salespeople who make unsolicited contact with consumers in order to sell them goods or services should ensure they comply with the Australian Consumer Law and other pieces of legislation that govern their conduct.
Unfair contract terms in bank documents
29 August 2017
The Australian Consumer Law provides that unfair terms in standard form consumer contracts are void, and this protection has been extended to small businesses from 10 November 2016. ASIC announced recently that the big four banks have reviewed their small business loan contracts and made specific changes to eliminate any unfair terms from their contracts.
9 August 2017
The Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017 has recently come into operation, replacing the Telemarketing and Research Industry Standard 2007.
The Do Not Call Register
2 August 2017
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Do Not Call Register (established by the Do Not Call Register Act), as well as national standards for minimum levels of conduct by telemarketers.
Complying with the Privacy Act
26 July 2017
The Privacy Act has a significant impact on the way a business collects, holds, uses, corrects, discloses and transfers information about its customers and requires a business to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles.
18 July 2017
In certain circumstances, the law will protect a party from unconscionable conduct by another party. That protection is available under the common law (or judge-made law) and the Australian Consumer Law.
False and misleading representations
11 July 2017
It is unlawful for a business to make false or misleading representations about goods or services when supplying, offering to supply, or promoting those goods or services (section 29 of the Australian Consumer Law). Whether a representation is false or misleading will depend on the circumstances.
Unfair terms in contracts: Protection for consumers and small businesses
27 June 2017
The Australian Consumer Law provides that unfair terms in standard form consumer contracts are void (section 23). From 10 November 2016, that protection has been extended to small businesses.
20 June 2017
If you operate a business that provides goods or services to consumers, then you need to be aware of the consumer guarantees contained in the Australian Consumer Law. Those guarantees provide consumers with a comprehensive, non-negotiable set of rights in relation to the goods and services they acquire.
Insolvent trading partner:
What happens now?
13 June 2017
Business owners should understand the basic concepts of corporate insolvency in order to respond effectively, should a trading partner become insolvent or the business itself is no longer able to pay its debts as and when they fall due.
Is your trading partner insolvent or just avoiding you?
30 May 2017
Even with a robust system in place for managing the collection of debts, sometimes a business will have to deal with a situation where a trading partner or customer simply won’t pay. If that situation arises, you may need to decide whether or not it's worthwhile trying to pursue the debt further.
Managing your cash flow
23 May 2017
Effectively managing the collection of money owing is an essential business tool.
A business with poor cash flow often has large and old receivables. A few simple steps can ensure payment of your accounts is prioritised over other creditors.
The psychology of litigation
16 May 2017
There are a number of basic psychological concepts that are helpful to consider when you're involved in litigation.
What drives litigation?
9 May 2017
There are lots of reasons to avoid getting into disputes with other people: it’s expensive, it’s risky and it’s time consuming. Litigation is a very backward looking exercise and, litigators aside, very few people enjoy it. Most find it very stressful.
Why you need employment contracts
26 April 2017
Written employment contracts are not required to form an employer/employee relationship. However, particularly with more senior or key employees, it is a good idea to have a written contract.
Ten tips to avoid being misleading and deceptive
18 April 2017
The Australian Consumer Law prohibits businesses from engaging in conduct that misleads or deceives or is likely to mislead or deceive consumers or other businesses. The prohibition applies to conduct towards a person or company, whether or not they are consumers, in the course of activities which are of a trading or commercial character.
Protecting your confidential information
11 April 2017
Employees are arguably the most valuable asset of a business, however, they're also a clear source of risk once they get to know your secrets and your customers.
Nine reasons to have a shareholders' agreement
4 April 2017
Companies that have two or more shareholders should consider having a written shareholders’ agreement to regulate the affairs of the company.
Sign on the dotted line – formalities of signing contracts
28 March 2017
Business owners often ask us about the technical requirements for signing and dating contracts.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way (of avoiding estate disputes)
21 March 2017
For most of us, the idea of our family members having a dispute over their entitlements under our Will is distressing.
Ten tips for directors
14 March 2017
This article discusses the requirements on directors.
Avoiding contract disputes: What to do if a dispute arises
7 March 2017
Litigators typically see clients when the dispute has already escalated to the point where the parties want to sue each other. At that stage, the chances of avoiding litigation and the options for resolving it are limited.
Avoiding contract disputes: How to manage your contracts
28 February 2017
Once you have entered into a contract with another party, there are steps that you can take during the life of the contract which will minimise your chances of getting into a dispute.
Avoiding contract disputes: Steps to take before you enter a contract
21 February 2017
We hear a lot in the financial press about the risks involved in failing to comply with the raft of legislation that currently regulates businesses.
Don't spam your customers
14 February 2017
Businesses that use electronic forms of communication to market to their customers should be careful they don’t fall foul of the Spam Act.
Managed investment schemes – high standards imposed on responsible entities
7 February 2017
There have been some interesting cases decided that are relevant for both investors in, and directors of, managed investment schemes.
Directors' duties – 101
31 January 2017
It is essential that directors are familiar with the legal framework in which they are operating.
Nine tips for Board minutes
24 January 2017
Minutes of directors' meetings are critical in protecting the directors and managers of a company from claims that they have not properly discharged their duties.
Who is liable for company decisions?
17 January 2017
Section 9 of the Corporations Act provides that the definition of a director also includes a person who is not validly elected as a director if one of the following applies…
Sustainable business in a global age
10 January 2017
While there are no specific laws mandating corporate social responsibility reporting in Australia, there are nevertheless good risk mitigation reasons for businesses to adopt it.
Managing risks through insurance: Ten things you should consider
20 December 2016
Managing risk is an important part of prudently operating a business. An effective risk management system will enable the business to identify, assess, monitor and manage risks.
Land resumption claims in Queensland
14 December 2016
Getting a notice of intention to resume your land from a government authority can be a very distressing event for a property owner, particularly if the Notice relates to a family home or business premises.
Shareholders’ rights to inspect the books of the company
7 September 2016
Shareholders do not generally have the right to intervene in the management of the company or to have their views considered in relation to the conduct of the company’s business.
A culture of compliance
15 August 2016
Businesses have an obligation to comply with numerous pieces of legislation, and this can certainly prove challenging. But the importance of putting in place a proper process for requiring and monitoring compliance cannot be underestimated.
Corporate social responsibility
1 July 2016
There are some who argue that the only way to survive the next wave of innovation will be to better understand and engage with our natural, social and financial resources.