Corporate Law

Can email trackers be submitted as evidence?

Whether email trackers, read receipts and similar indicators that show an email has been received and, ostensibly, read can be submitted as evidence has not been substantially considered in standing jurisprudence.  This article briefly considers whether, in light of existing case law, email trackers can be submitted as evidence. [Read more…]

International companies can be bound by Australian privacy laws

The recent determination by the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angele Falk, (Commissioner) in Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Uber Technologies, Inc. & Uber B.V. (Privacy) [2021] AICmr 34 (Uber) provides further guidance on the extraterritorial connection of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) though the ‘Australian link’ set out in subsections 5B(2)-(3) (Australian Link).  This article discusses how the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC) will assess whether an entity has an Australian Link to legally bind international entities to the Act. [Read more…]

COVID imposed document e-signing to remain

Temporary measures were introduced under the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No 3) (Determination) to exempt certain persons from the operation of provisions interfering with their ability to manage their business through the impacts of COVID-19.  Section 6(3) of the Determination did away with standard requirements for signing requirements.  The measures expired as of 21 March 2021.  In light of continued impact of the pandemic both Houses of Parliament have passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 (Bill) on 10 August 2021, which provides for electronic:

  • document execution;
  • notice of meetings;
  • electronic keeping of minutes; and
  • virtually held meetings.

[Read more…]

What is an exclusive supply contract?

An exclusive supply contract (Exclusive Supply Contract), also known as Exclusive Dealing, occurs when one party trading with another imposes some form of restriction on the other’s freedom to choose with whom, in what, or where they deal.  Some examples of Exclusive Dealing may include:

  • the supplier being restricted to supplying the goods in a specific geographical area, or through a particular channel; or
  • restricting a purchaser from buying the same or similar goods from other suppliers.

This article outlines what an Exclusive Supply Contract or Exclusive Dealing is and when it may not be legal. [Read more…]

Software royalties and income tax

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently released a draft Taxation Ruling (TR) 2021/D4 (Draft Ruling) which considers whether certain software related royalties may be taxable.  In short, the Draft Ruling provides a much needed, and quite broad, scope for when consideration of computer software will be a royalty for income tax purposes.  This article discusses this broadened scope. [Read more…]

Non-fungible tokens – the new way to own IP?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been making headlines recently for being sold at auction for enormous sums of money.  Business school drop-out turned American DJ, 3LAU, apparently sold his NFT collection just over a month ago for $11.6 million USD ($15 million AUD).[1]  Grimes, otherwise known as Claire Boucher, a prominent musician and partner to Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, sold multiple digital artworks amounting to a total of $6 million USD ($7.79 million AUD).[2]

So what are NFTs and how can they help you protect your intellectual property (IP)? [Read more…]

Shareholder oppression in equal ownership situations

When a company with two (2) or more directors who are equal shareholders with equal voting rights have a dispute, it often leaves the company in a deadlock.  It is common in these situations for one (1) director to attempt to assert that the other director has engaged in oppressive conduct under section 232 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).  This article discusses shareholder oppression when both directors own equal share portions. [Read more…]

Deal fatigue in commercial contracts

Deal fatigue is surprisingly very common in commercial transactions in Australia because of the complexity of the law and the sheer volume of documentation that’s often required.  An unfortunate consequence can be that benefit of entering into the deal in the first place can be watered down to the extent that the deal becomes unpalatable.   This article will discuss the symptoms of deal fatigue and offer some tips on avoiding it.  This video offers a definition of precisely what deal fatigue is, how to recognise it and how you can try to avoid it.

Shareholder oppression – the early warning signs

Some of the early warning signs

  • The entity and its structure
  • Relationship with accountants and lawyers
  • Related contracts
  • Skills acquisition that causes redundancy
  • Exclusion from management
  • Access to information
  • Non-flexible negotiator

Shareholder oppression – a taxonomy of corporate wrongs

Shareholder oppression (Oppression) is the business battleground where equity holders fight for their share of the business’ equity value.  Unfortunately, it is all too common.  Oppressive conduct (Conduct) is broadly defined in section 232 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) as when: [Read more…]

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