Plant Extracts Pty Ltd & Ross Macdougald admit misleading conduct – ordered to publish corrective notices

On 23 October 2023, in the matter of Native Extracts Pty Ltd v Plant Extracts Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1265 Justice Downes issued an initial judgement and made orders for declaratory relief and the publication of eight (8) corrective notices by Plant Extracts Pty Ltd ACN 613 551 349 (Plant Extracts) and skincare brand Bilogi Pty Ltd ACN 618 697 297 (Biologi).   Dundas Lawyers proudly acted for Native Extracts and the other applicants in these proceedings.  The Court also issued permanent injunctions against Mr Ross Macdougald and made various declarations that representations made by both Plant Extracts and Biologi in relation to their botanical plant extracts and skincare products published on their own websites and replicated on various third party websites amounted to misleading and deceptive conduct and were in fact, false and misleading. [Read more…]

Misleading and deceptive conduct – Invisalign v SmileDirectClub

The case of Invisalign Australia Pty Limited v SmileDirectClub LLC [2023] FCA 395 (Invisalign v SDC) involved two (2) companies that offer what’s referred to as the “clear aligner teeth straightening treatment” (Clear Aligner).  On 23 December 2021, Invisalign Australia Pty Limited (Invisalign) commenced proceedings against SmileDirectClub Australia Pty Ltd and its US parent company (together, SDC) in the Federal Court of Australia.  It was alleged that SDC had engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to representations made in promoting the Clear Aligner.

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Directors absolute right to access company’s financial records

A director of a company has both a common law and statutory right to access all “financial records” “at all reasonable times” in order to discharge their fiduciary duties.  The law is clear the right is absolute and unequivocal. [Read more…]

Is a proposed settlement fair and reasonable – what will the Federal Court consider?

Class action lawsuits commonly resolve in a settlement between the members of a class and the respondents to a claim.  However, there are strict requirements to proposed settlements, including that they are ‘fair and reasonable’, which will be subject to judicial oversight.

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Legal costs – discontinuing by consent in the Federal Court

Discontinuing proceedings as a litigant in the Federal Court of Australia can be a costly decision.  Where an applicant has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court and then seeks to discontinue, the default position is that a respondent is awarded its costs, and in some circumstances may be awarded indemnity costs.

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What is standard discovery in the federal court?

In the Federal Court of Australia, a party may be ordered to provide “standard discovery”.   Orders of this nature imposes a broad obligation on a litigant to disclose documents which are relevant to issues raised in the dispute.

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Inspection of documents in the Federal Court

In civil litigation before the Federal Court of Australia there is a process through which parties “may inspect documents” that are discovered in the proceedings, subject to very few exceptions.  Non-parties who for whatever reason are interested in inspecting documents relevant to a proceeding before the Federal Court also enjoy a limited right to inspect them.

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Can a party seek oppression when a company is in liquidation?

Shareholders have a variety of remedies available to them in instances where directors or shareholders abuse their positions or breach their duties.  This generally known as shareholder oppression.  This article discusses how the Courts approach a shareholder oppression relief claim where a company is in liquidation, with particular reference to the case of Aqua Botanical Beverages (Australia) Pty Ltd v Botanical Water Technologies Pty Ltd [2022] NSWSC 435.

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Essentials for proving service in the Federal Court

When commencing proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia (Court), the applicant (Applicant) (or plaintiff), (the party who commences the proceedings) is required to serve the documents filed in the Court on all respondents (Respondents) or defendants (the party the proceedings are brought against) personally in accordance with the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (FC Rules).

In circumstances where a Respondent evades service, the Applicant will need to do everything in their power to prove to the Court that the other party has been served and made aware of the proceedings. [Read more…]

Class actions in the Federal Court – what’s required?

Class actions, (Class Actions) as the name suggests, allow a group of people in their capacity as members of a certain class of persons to commence legal proceedings as joint claimants against a respondent.  In the Federal Court of Australia, Class Actions are also referred to as Representative Proceedings.  Not all members of the class need participate in the proceedings, but they may benefit from the outcome of the proceeding. [Read more…]

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