Restraint of trade clauses in commercial contracts

A restraint of trade occurs where one party (Covenantor) agrees with another party (Covenantee) to restrict their liberty in the future to carry on trade with other persons who are not parties to the contract see: Petrofina (Gt Britain) Ltd v Martin [1966] Ch 146 at 180.

Restraints of trade clauses are prima facie void, however, the presumption can be rebutted if the restraint is justified because it is reasonable in the circumstances.    Note that there is a significant divide between restraints in commercial contracts and those in employment contract with the latter being widely accepted as only being enforceable for a far shorter period of time. [Read more…]

The legal relationship of agency

The importance of establishing whether a legal relationship of agency exists, and if so, to what extent, can be critical when ascertaining whether a person had authority to enter into an agreement on behalf of another person or entity.  The precise legal nature of the relationship may be important to the parties if either are attempting to enforce their rights under an agreement between them. [Read more…]

What is a Franchise Agreement?

A franchise agreement (Franchise Agreement) is defined in clause 5(1) of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code), located in Schedule 1 of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes–Franchising) Regulation 2014 – as:

  • a written, oral or implied agreement;
  • in which a person (Franchisor) grants to another person (Franchisee) the right to carry on the business of offering, supplying or distributing goods or services in Australia under a system or marketing plan substantially determined, controlled or suggested by the Franchisor; and
  • under which the business will be substantially or materially associated with a trade mark, advertising or a commercial symbol that is owned, used, licensed or specified by the Franchisor or an associate of the franchisor; and
  • under which, before starting or continuing the business, the Franchisee must pay or agree to pay to the Franchisor or their associate an amount; for example, an initial capital investment fee or a payment for goods or services.

[Read more…]

Convertible Notes

While convertible notes (Convertible Notes) may in a lot of cases provide considerable benefits for the issuer they may also create a significant burdens.  This article attempts to explain what can be a complex financial instrument by examining some of the key features of Convertible Notes and some of the more common legal issues associated with their use. [Read more…]

Criminal liability shifts away from company officers

The Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Act 2012 (PLCFRA), assented to on 10 December 2012, was implemented in an effort to ensure that personal criminal liability for corporate fault is imposed in accordance with the principles of good corporate governance.

Prior to the PLCFRA, company secretaries and directors were made criminally liable for the acts of the corporation in which they served.

[Read more…]

How will the new Privacy laws affect your organisation?

What are the changes?

Legislative changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) will come into effect on 12 March 2014.  The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) (Amendments) amends the Privacy Act by introducing:

  • a new definition of Personal Information;
  • the Australian Privacy Principles (APP);
  • a more comprehensive credit reporting system;
  • new provisions on privacy and credit reporting codes; and
  • new powers for the Privacy Commissioner

[Read more…]

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