Allens Accelerate

Our experienced Allens Accelerate legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues affecting Startups. If you'd like to be notified when we add new Allens Accelerate publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about Allens' track record in this dynamic area.

Allens Accelerate Publications

  • Pulse: Cyber security

    21 February 2018

    In this bulletin, we shine a light on the incoming Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme. We assume that with the scheme taking effect this week, you're now across the basics (if not, you can read about them here and here). So, this issue highlights the things you didn't know that you need to know, how to deal with data breaches involving multiple organisations, the key takeaways from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's just-published Data breach preparation and response guide and our quick reference guides to preparing a data breach response plan, determining when you've suffered an eligible data breach and how to notify when you have.

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  • Pulse: Cyber security

    22 January 2018

    When it comes to cyber security it can be hard to separate the important from the sensational. Through regular bulletins, we do the hard yards so that you can keep your finger on the pulse with the latest cyber security trends, incidents, legal issues and regulatory activity. Plus, we'll make sure that you have a good cyber story to tell at your next dinner party.

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  • Pulse: Cyber security

    16 October 2017

    In this issue we look at how to create a cyber resilient supply chain, ASIC's renewed focus on cyber resilience, how the incoming GDPR could affect you, medical device cyber security and patient safety, lessons learnt from Yahoo's data breach disaster and Australia and the EU's new cyber security plans.

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  • Client Update: Blockchain reaction update - ASIC joins chorus on ICO regulation

    3 October 2017

    While ASIC has published information on the issue of coins or tokens in initial coin offerings, other regulators around the world have also been issuing guidance, with some taking a much more restrictive approach. Although Australia remains a relatively friendly regulatory environment for such offerings, there are a number of potential regulatory traps, both here and overseas, that issuers should carefully consider before launch. Managing Associate Simun Soljo, Senior Associate David Rountree and Lawyer Chris Walsh report.

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  • Pulse: Cyber security

    5 September 2017

    In our first issue we look at the outcome of the OAIC's investigation into the Australian Red Cross data breach, lessons learnt from one of the largest cyber attacks in history, directors' liability in relation to cyber resilience, the incoming mandatory data breach notification regime, the NSW Government's recent $11.4 million investment to help tackle critical technology challenges including cyber security, and the Federal Government's new mission to decode cyber vernacular

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  • Client Update: Excessive payment surcharging reforms

    11 July 2017

    As of 1 September 2017, merchants will be prohibited from charging excessive payment surcharges for certain payment methods. Under the new rules, businesses can only pass on to customers what it costs them to process a payment. The Allens Competition team have put together a brief overview of the changes and what businesses should do to prepare for the new regime.

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  • Focus: Crowd sourced equity funding to gain traction with new legislation

    23 March 2017

    After a difficult journey, both Houses have passed the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016 - introducing a new funding avenue for Australian startups and an opportunity for retail investors to access equity in emerging companies. Managing Associate Valeska Bloch, Senior Associate Tom Griffin, Summer Clerk Katherine Tsatsaklas and Applied Legal Technology Head Paralegal Hope Williams report.

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  • Client Update: Mandatory data breach notification scheme passed

    13 February 2017

    The Federal Parliament has today passed the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 which will amend the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme.

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  • Client Update: ASIC announces fintech licensing exemptions

    19 December 2016

    As part of its implementation of the 'regulatory sandbox' for fintech companies, ASIC is providing relief for certain fintech businesses from the obligation to hold an Australian financial services or Australian credit licence. Relief may be available for up to 12 months and may be useful to businesses in what ASIC refers to as the 'testing' stage of their development. ASIC has also made some changes to the responsible manager requirements for licensees, which may be particularly useful to 'robo advice' providers. Managing Associate Simun Soljo and Associate Jonathan Gardner report.

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  • Focus: Predictive coding gets green light from an Australian court

    9 December 2016

    The Victorian Supreme Court recently handed down the first decision of an Australian court to specifically consider and approve the use of predictive coding technology in a large-scale discovery exercise. Partner Nick Rudge, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Applied Legal Technology Manager Lisa Kozaris consider the decision and its implications.

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  • Focus: Landmark Productivity Commission report on data availability and use

    24 November 2016

    The Productivity Commission has released a landmark draft report on the ability of individuals, businesses and government to access and use data in Australia. The report criticises Australia's historically conservative approach to data use and proposes a 'fundamental and systematic change' to the way that data is made available and linked. Partner Gavin Smith, Managing Associate Valeska Bloch, Associate Tom Griffin and Lawyer Claudia Hall report.

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  • Allens Accelerate: Customer Contracts: How to seal the deal without compromising your interests

    22 November 2016

    The lifecycle of a startup includes many milestones – the first strategy meeting, the first investment round and, at some point, the first customer to take a chance on your product or services.

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  • Unravelled: Blockchain and why smart contracts still need smart lawyers

    6 July 2016

    There has been so much talk about blockchain and distributed ledger technology recently, especially in financial services, that you might be forgiven for thinking it might be more hype than substance. But we think it could be very important technology.

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  • Focus: Predictive coding endorsed again by English High Court

    29 June 2016

    In its second decision on predictive coding this year, the English High Court has again accepted the use of this innovative technology in discovery, this time in a contested application. Partner Duncan Travis, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Law Graduate Yi-Ling Ng examine the case and its implications.

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  • Special Report: Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain

    17 June 2016

    Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.

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  • Allens Accelerate: FAQs: Shareholders agreements

    15 June 2016

    Together with your company's constitution, a shareholders agreement provides the foundation for the corporate governance of your startup and outlines what a shareholder can and can't do. It also sets out the shareholders' rights and obligations and their role in the management of the company.

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  • Client Update: ASIC releases consultation paper on regulatory sandbox exemption for startups

    9 June 2016

    ASIC has released a consultation paper on proposals to facilitate innovation in the financial services sector. The proposals include details of the long-awaited 'regulatory sandbox'. It will be of interest to both emerging companies who may rely on the relief, as well as investors in this space. Senior Associate Simun Soljo and Law Graduate Antonia Ross look at what the paper proposes.

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  • Allens Accelerate: Preparing for investment

    8 June 2016

    As a startup looking to raise capital, you'll most likely spend a fair bit of time thinking about your pitch to potential investors and, if you're lucky, the terms of any investment.

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  • Focus: Australia and Singapore enter into Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

    17 May 2016

    The Australian and Singaporean governments have recently concluded discussions on a landmark agreement that will see the two countries cooperating across a range of strategic initiatives, including in the areas of trade and economics, innovation, education, people and defence. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership builds on the already strong relations between Australia and Singapore and is expected to provide new cross-border investment opportunities through enhanced bilateral relations. Singapore-based Managing Associate, Jessica Choong, reports.

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  • Allens Accelerate: 2016 Budget summary: startup hits and misses

    6 May 2016

    Allens has looked at the Budget handed down by the Turnbull Government this week and identified the hits and misses for Australian startups. Overall, the measures targeted at the startup and innovation sector have mostly been amendments and improvements to existing legislation and previously announced initiatives. Many of the improvements on tax incentives and wins for small and medium businesses build on the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2015-16 measures handed down six months earlier as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

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  • Client Update: Bankruptcy and insolvency law reforms and the innovation agenda

    3 May 2016

    The Federal Government has released a Proposals Paper on possible changes to bankruptcy and insolvency laws that will form part of its broader National Innovation and Science Agenda. Reform to bankruptcy and insolvency law has been identified as an area that could contribute to changing 'the culture in our economy'. Partner Chris Prestwich, Managing Associate Valeska Bloch and Lawyer Tim Chiang look at the main aspects of the reforms.

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  • Client Update: Government and ASIC announcements for FinTech sector

    23 March 2016

    There were three announcements this week that will serve to bolster the emerging Australian FinTech sector. The Government released a statement in support of FinTech as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda, while ASIC issued two sets of guidance: an information sheet for providers of marketplace lending products, and draft guidance to providers of digital financial product advice. Partner Gavin Smith, Managing Associate Valeska Bloch, Senior Associate Simun Soljo and Senior Paralegal Connie Ye report.

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  • Allens Accelerate: The startup investor tax concessions - what you need to know

    22 March 2016

    The Federal Government has introduced a Bill detailing tax concessions to incentivise investment into Australian startups.

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  • Fact sheet: Show me the money: Tax reforms to encourage investment in startups

    10 December 2015

    The Ideas Boom has arrived with the Federal Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda. Central to the new agenda are a raft of tax and regulatory measures designed to encourage greater investment in startups to help them both get off the ground and to survive the ‘valley of death’ with greater access to Series A capital.

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  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!

    8 December 2015

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.

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  • Fact sheet: Starting-up smart: How to get the most out of your lawyer, for less

    19 October 2015

    If you’re focused on testing your idea, developing your product and scraping together enough funds to talk to foundation customers, engaging a lawyer could be the last thing on your mind.

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  • Fact sheet: Crowd-sourced equity funding – can you access it?

    6 October 2015

    The new Turnbull Cabinet has made clear its intention to support innovation, so that Australia can have a thriving economy. The Treasury has already done some work in this area, releasing a consultation paper on crowd-sourcing equity funding (CSEF) for startups and small business.

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  • Fact sheet: The term sheet decoded

    24 September 2015

    The term sheet is the key document that determines the basis on which VCs and other investors will invest in your startup. This means that it's crucial to get the basics right from the outset.

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  • Fact sheet: Growing your team: working with interns in your startup

    28 July 2015

    Many startups look to grow their team by engaging interns, work experience students and other unpaid workers.

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  • Fact sheet: Queensland now the 'Startup state'

    16 July 2015

    The Palaszczuk Government's first state Budget has announced a suite of new initiatives to attract new startups and support existing enterprises. The Government has declared it wants Queensland to become a 'global innovation hub' and a 'smarter state', by supporting emerging talent and nurturing innovative businesses.

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  • Paper: Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper - key proposals for agribusiness investors

    14 July 2015

    The Federal Government's Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is focused on increasing the attractiveness of Australia's agribusiness sector as an investment destination. The White Paper contains significant proposals of relevance to both domestic and international agribusiness investors. Of most interest are proposals relating to increasing farm gate returns, the building of key water infrastructure, research and development into agribusiness technology, and improving access to premium markets.

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  • Fact sheet: What's mine is mine - protecting your million-dollar idea

    8 July 2015

    At the core of many successful startups is a simple but brilliant idea.

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  • Fact sheet: What price to pay for social media in the workplace?

    24 June 2015

    There's an assumption that everyone is on social media these days, even when they're at work – and they probably are. Many startups embrace social media, but, as an employer, you will need to understand and manage the risks that come with the use of social media in the workplace.

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  • Fact sheet: Sharing is caring - but it may also be taxable!

    10 June 2015

    A current trend in our society is our willingness to share, whether it be our home, office, or our time. This 'sharing economy' is set to grow, and with that growth comes increased ATO scrutiny.

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  • Fact sheet: Reap the benefits from your R&D investment

    2 June 2015

    Grasping tax in the early days of your business is essential – you want to ensure you are keeping everything above board, while not paying unnecessary tax or, importantly, missing opportunities to apply tax offset mechanisms to your business.

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  • Client Update: Federal Budget 2015: Start-ups in the spotlight

    13 May 2015

    With a $5.5 billion 'Jobs and Small Business Package', Treasurer Joe Hockey placed start-ups and small businesses front-and-centre of the Australian Federal Government’s 2015-16 Budget. Partner Gavin Smith, Senior Associates Valeska Bloch and Shaun Cartoon and Associate Tom Griffin look at the key elements affecting start-ups.

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  • Focus: Your 'Metadata' as Personal Information

    7 May 2015

    In a decision published this week, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has clarified that 'metadata' may be personal information, when an organisation has the capacity and resources to link that information to an individual. Partner Michael Pattison, Associate Priyanka Nair and Law Graduate Leah Wickman report on the Commissioner's determination, which found that Telstra breached the Privacy Act by failing to provide an individual with access to his metadata.

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  • Unravelled: Review of Card Payments Regulation

    6 May 2015

    The level of public interest and popular support for regulation targeting excessive surcharging makes card payment regulation likely to be one of the first areas of reform following the publication of the Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry (the FSI Report).

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  • Unravelled: The rise of 'robo advice'

    6 May 2015

    'Robo advice' is another one of these phrases that we are suddenly seeing everywhere. The idea offers some exciting opportunities for advice providers. What are the regulatory issues? And how can lawyers help?

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  • Focus: Update strengthens legal avenues for online copyright rights holders

    24 April 2015

    Telecommunications industry body the Communications Alliance has submitted an updated Copyright Notice Scheme to allow rights holders to better use existing legal avenues to defend their rights. The updated Notice Scheme resolves a number of issues that were left open when the first draft of the Notice Scheme was published in February. Partner Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Ben Murphy report.

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  • Focus: United States implements novel sanctions regime to combat cyber threats

    22 April 2015

    President Barack Obama has issued an Executive Order enabling the US Department of Treasury to implement targeted sanctions against foreign individuals or entities whose cyber-enabled activities result in significant threats to the national security, foreign policy, economic health or financial stability of the US, irrespective of their nationality. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Gavin Smith, Associate Andrew Wilcock and Law Graduate Alice Crawford report on the possible implications of this novel measure.

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  • Focus: Website-blocking injunctions to prevent online piracy

    14 April 2015

    In an effort to reduce the rate of online copyright infringement, the Australian Government has introduced a Bill that will allow copyright owners to apply for an injunction requiring internet service providers to take steps to block piracy websites from their users. Senior Associate Jonathan Adamopoulos and Lawyer William Coote report on the features and implications of the Bill.

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  • Focus: Federal Government passes wide-ranging data retention laws

    8 April 2015

    Telecommunications and internet service providers will incur significant new compliance costs under the Federal Government's controversial new data retention laws. Following a wave of criticism of the Government's original proposals, a number of important changes were made to the original Bill during its passage through Parliament, including the introduction of safeguards on access to the retained data by government agencies and concessions made to protect journalists' confidential sources. Partner Gavin Smith, Lawyer Brydon Wang, and Law Graduate Leah Wickman report on what the new regime means for the telecommunications industry.

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  • Focus: Start-ups rev your engines: proposed ESS tax concessions to benefit the start-up sector

    2 April 2015

    New tax legislation has been introduced to Parliament that contains tax concessions for employees of small start-up companies who are granted employee shares and options. Partner Sarah Bernhardt and Senior Associate Shaun Cartoon, members of Allens' Accelerate team, report.

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  • Unravelled: The fintech phenomenon - risks and opportunities

    1 April 2015

    Everyone is talking about fintech. What is it? And what does it mean for the financial services industry and for regulation?

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  • Focus: Sensible changes proposed to the Australian taxation of ESS interests

    27 March 2015

    Improvements to the Australian taxation of employee share schemes (ESS) have been proposed in new tax legislation before Parliament. One of the important changes is that Australia will be moving back to rights to acquire shares generally being taxed on exercise of those rights. Partner Sarah Bernhardt and Senior Associate Shaun Cartoon, members of Allens' Head Office & Governance team, report on the proposed ESS tax changes and how they may potentially impact on the design of employee share plans from 1 July 2015.

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  • Unravelled: MySuper and promoting the financial interests of MySuper beneficiaries

    5 March 2015

    An examination of a trustee's duty to promote the financial interests of its MySuper beneficiaries: is it outcomes-based or process-based?

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  • Client Update: Data deal - mandatory data breach notification laws to be introduced as trade-off for controversial metadata retention regime

    5 March 2015

    The Federal Government, in a surprising and highly significant move for companies in Australia, has committed to enacting a mandatory data breach notification scheme before the end of 2015, which will apply to all Australian companies currently subject to the Privacy Act. The proposal is not limited to telecommunications service providers and will represent a significant new compliance burden and increase the overall cost to companies of handling data security incidents. Partner Gavin Smith, Senior Associate Valeska Bloch and Lawyer Isabelle Guyot report.

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  • Unravelled: A new dawn for crowd sourced equity funding?

    5 February 2015

    CAMAC and the FSI have acknowledged that the current Australian regulatory settings are hostile to crowd sourced equity funding. A recently released Treasury Discussion Paper has considered three options for law reform and what each might mean for the development of this innovative form of capital raising.

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  • Client Update: Peer-to-peer lending - a disruptive threat to banks?

    5 December 2014

    One of the things we are very interested in at the moment is how peer-to-peer lending will develop in Australia, and how it could be a disruptive threat to banks. We're not the only people who are interested though. On 4 December, it was announced that a powerful consortium comprising James Packer, News Corporation and Kerry Stokes had struck a deal to take a 25 per cent stake in SocietyOne. SocietyOne was launched in 2012 as Australia's first peer-to-peer lending platform and also counts Westpac as one of its early stage investors. Partner Gavin Smith, Senior Associates Matt Vitins and Andrew Edington and Lawyer Michael Beaconsfield report on peer-to-peer lending, and how it is regulated in Australia.

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