Ipso facto clauses lose effectiveness post 1 July 2018

Standard form termination clauses such as “ipso facto clauses” (Ipso Facto Clauses) will need to be drafted with greater care in commercial contracts entered into after 1 July 2018.  The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No 2) Act 2017 (Amending Act) was passed amending the effectiveness of Ipso Facto Clauses that are “self-executing provisions” (Self-executing Provisions).

This legislation also enacted the “safe harbour provisions” (Safe Harbour Provisions), which generally attempts to provide directors with some protection against liability for insolvent trading in certain situations if they are attempting to restructure the business.

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Interlocutory injunctions in patent disputes

An injunction is a Court order directing a person or entity to do a specific thing or refrain from doing something.  Whilst an injunction in itself can amount to final relief in litigious matters, it can also be sought on an interlocutory or temporary basis (Interlocutory Injunction).  This applies where a temporary remedy is sought to maintain the status quo until the larger legal issues can be heard at trial.

In matters relating to the infringement of a patent, an injunction may be sought by the patent owner (Applicant) to stop a defendant (Respondent) from doing the acts the patent owner alleges infringe the patent, until the Court has had the opportunity to determine whether or not the patent has been infringed.  In this article we consider Interlocutory Injunctions in patent matters and how the tests differ from non-patent matters. [Read more…]

Directors personal liability – misleading & deceptive conduct

Despite the corporate veil, there are many ways in which a director can be personally liable for activities the company which they direct.   One such ground is misleading and deceptive conduct pursuant to section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (Cth)(ACL).  This question of personal liability is of concern to conservative and risk averse directors who attempt to strike the delicate balance between governance and entrepreneurialism.  Misleading and deceptive conduct can occur in a variety of circumstances in business dealings.  From misleading advertising, inaccurate projections to contractual dealings between parties.  It could be as simple as making misstatement regarding a profit forecast or embellishing the outcome of a contract. [Read more…]

Do beneficiaries have a right to the trust deed?

In Queensland, the statutory rights and obligations of Trustees are contained in the Trusts Act 1973 (Qld)(Trust Act).  The role of the Trustee is fiduciary in nature and as such, there is a duty to act in accordance with both the terms of the deed of trust (Trust Deed) and the common law and statutory duties.  However, the Trust Act does not contain an express provision for a Trustee of a trust to provide a Trust Deed to beneficiaries. As a result, common law provides beneficiaries the right to make such requests to the Trustee.  This article will discuss the common law right of beneficiaries to access a Trust Deed upon request to the Trustee. [Read more…]

What is security for costs?

The reality of any litigious proceedings is that they cost money (sometimes, lots of money).  Where a party is successful in the proceeding; whether that be successfully proving the claim (Plaintiff) or defending it (Defendant), that party will generally be entitled to their ‘costs’.  Costs refers to the legal expenses incurred by the successful party in prosecuting or defending the claim (as the case may be).  Where a Defendant successfully defends a claim, they may be placed in the frustrating circumstance of facing a Plaintiff who does not have sufficient money to pay the Defendant’s costs.  In this article we consider a Court order designed to alleviate this problem – a security for costs order. [Read more…]

Domain name disputes – the case of eazyjet.com

The right to register and hold a domain name rests in the law of contract and essentially works as a limited licence to use it.  The terms of that contract are determined by the oversight body.  Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) include .com, .edu and .gov while country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) include .au and .nz.

While Courts have jurisdiction to hear disputes regarding domain names, referring a matter to the court is rarely the best course of action.  The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDPR) is mandated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and enables alternate dispute resolution providers such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to hear disputes and provide remedies. [Read more…]

Counterclaiming in legal proceedings in Queensland

It is not uncommon for parties to a dispute to each believe that an action lies against the other arising from the same facts.  Where this occurs, and one party (Plaintiff) has commenced proceedings against the other party (Defendant) in Queensland, the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (UCPR) allows the Defendant to commence their own proceeding against the Plaintiff within the original proceeding, rather than requiring the Defendant to commence a separate legal action.  This is known as a counterclaim.   In this article we consider the nature of a counterclaim and the rules and circumstances that govern its use in proceedings in Queensland Courts. [Read more…]

EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – How to comply

If you are an Australian entity and want to inquire about compliance with the GDPR click here.

Similar to the Australian Privacy Principles (APP) as set out in the Australian Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ‘lays down rules relating to the protection of natural persons and the processing of their personal data.’  The GDPR came into force on 24 May 2016 and became binding on all European Union (EU) member states on 25 May 2018. [Read more…]

What is a term sheet?

A term sheet (Term Sheet) is a document that sets out the basic terms and conditions on which parties intend to enter into a commercial agreement.  Term Sheets are generally not intended to create legal relations between the parties but rather to form the basis of further discussions, which may be exclusive for a period of time and on a strictly confidential basis.  Once parties reach consensus on the commercial terms of a Term Sheet, a legally binding contract is then drawn up.

 

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Top 7 common mistakes in commercial contracts

When negotiating the terms of commercial contracts there are many pitfalls even for those of us with significant experience in these matters.  For this reason, we’ve put together what we consider to be the ‘Top 7 common mistakes” we see in commercial contracts. [Read more…]

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