Allens

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

  • 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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  • Unravelled: Bank technology failures: A new frontier for regulatory intervention?

    3 December 2014

    The UK's regulatory authorities have imposed the largest ever fines in Europe for technology failures in the financial services industry following a serious IT incident affecting more than 6.5 million customers in the UK. It should serve as a cautionary tale for Australian financial institutions.

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  • Unravelled: Fighting to protect Fintech innovations

    3 December 2014

    The growth of financial services technology, or Fintech as it is now called, has exploded in recent years, yet many of its creators don't realise that their innovations are patentable.

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  • Client Update: ASIC seeking feedback on electronic disclosure proposals

    17 November 2014

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is seeking feedback on proposals to help facilitate the increased use of electronic means of providing disclosure for financial products and services. The proposals include new class order relief to facilitate the increased use of multimedia product disclosure statements, and revised guidance in Regulatory Guide 221. Partner Marc Kemp and Associate Simun Soljo report.

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  • Unravelled: Big Data v 'personal advice' - an unequal contest?

    5 November 2014

    There is a contest underway between two heavyweights. In one corner of the ring we have Big Data. In the other corner we have the definition of 'personal advice' in section 766B(3) of the Corporations Act.

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  • Unravelled: The 'Internet of Things' meets financial advice

    5 November 2014

    With financial services providers already taking advantage of the possibilities created by a new tide of internet meta data, we need regulators and a regulatory regime that see the opportunities implicit in the change, and not only the risks.

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  • Focus: ALRC Final Report: 'Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era'

    10 September 2014

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has released its long-anticipated final report on serious invasions of privacy. The report proposes that a new statutory cause of action be implemented in a new stand-alone Commonwealth Act. If adopted, the proposal would have far reaching ramifications for investigative journalism in Australia and could also raise the spectre of class actions being brought against companies that have deliberately or recklessly mishandled their customers' personal information. Partner Gavin Smith, and Lawyers William Coote and Brydon Wang assess the proposal and its consequences.

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  • Focus: ATO rules on Bitcoin - not enough purchase to be money

    28 August 2014

    The Australian Tax Office has released draft rulings stating their view that the digital currency, Bitcoin, is property and not money. Partner Gavin Smith, Associate David Rountree and Associate Tom Tian consider the potential consequences for Australian businesses using Bitcoin.

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  • Unravelled: Why CAMAC's final report might kickstart equity crowdfunding

    8 July 2014

    As you read this, the Melbourne-based makers of 'LazerBlade: the affordable laser cutter / engraver' are probably exchanging high-fives. Their Kickstarter project, seeking $45,000, has raised almost ten times that much. Soon, the project's backers hope to receive their LazerBlades – their pledges were effectively a pre-purchase of the product itself, a common model on crowdfunding platforms.

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  • Focus: TGA confirms its approach to disclosure of commercially confidential information

    21 May 2014

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released the final version of a document outlining its approach to the disclosure of commercially confidential information, including information provided by medicine sponsors. This follows the release of a draft version in June 2013 and a period of public and industry consultation. Partner Sarah Matheson and Senior Associate Alison Beaumer report.

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  • Focus: Seeing red over yellow

    5 May 2014

    The difficulty of registering a colour mark or word mark denoting a colour (that include issues of market place recognition) was highlighted by a recent set of appeals revolving around the use of the word 'Yellow' in a tussle between various business directory goods and service providers. Partner Sarah Matheson and Lawyer Tracy Lu report on a decision that provides some useful clarification on this complex issue.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Social media and the law: a handbook for UK companies

    17 February 2014

    Social media has become an established part of our personal and, increasingly, professional and corporate lives. However, the reach and permanence of social media communications have generated a number of novel legal issues.

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  • Allens insights: An emerging markets bonanza for Australian IT

    30 August 2013

    Much has been written about - indeed entire election campaigns have been based on - how the mining boom is coming to an end, and the imperative for Australia to diversify its economy into other sectors. The debate has focused on a predicted decline in demand for our natural resources from emerging economies such as China and India.

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  • Focus: Serving a response - just press send?

    5 June 2013

    A recent decision by the Supreme Court of WA not to quash an adjudication determination, even though the adjudicator's findings may have been wrong, revolves around issues of sending responses to an adjudication electronically. Partner Michael Hollingdale reports on a case that has broad implications for service under WA's electronic transactions legislation.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    17 May 2013

    We report on union eligibility rules; what constitutes an offer of acceptable alternative employment; the consequences of an employee's refusal of a settlement offer; an ATO ruling on ordinary hours of work; and whether a complaint about employment made to an employer can constitute a 'workplace right'.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    19 April 2013

    We report on the clarification of when an 'arrangement' could meet the transfer of business test; changes to the Fair Work legislation; under what circumstances a termination payment is a genuine redundancy payment; issues when seeking to stay a reinstatement order; and policy requirements for avoiding vicarious liability for an employee's unlawful sexual harassment.

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  • Focus: Regulating interactive gambling

    2 April 2013

    In response to a final report into Australia's interactive gambling legislation, the Federal Government has pinpointed harm minimisation and consumer protection as a necessary first step before further reforms can be considered. Partner Ian McGill, Senior Associate Robert Munoz and Lawyer Matthew Tracey examine the scope of the report's recommendations.

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  • Focus: Full Court clarifies online content delivery

    28 March 2013

    A unanimous decision of the Full Federal Court means that online simulcasts of radio programs are not 'broadcasts', meaning traditional radio broadcasters will need to obtain separate licences from, and pay additional royalties to, copyright owners to transmit radio programs on the internet. Partners Ian McGill and Miriam Stiel and Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd report on the case and its ramifications.

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  • Client Update: New generic Top Level Domains to go live shortly - be prepared!

    15 March 2013

    The first of the new generic Top-Level Domain extensions will soon go live, and now is the time for brand owners to implement their brand protection strategies. There have been almost 2000 applications for new TLDs and it is expected that hundreds of new TLD registries will be open by the end of the year. Partner Tim Golder and Senior Associate Mark Williams explain why it is of paramount importance that brand owners take steps to ensure the protection of their brands at the second level of the new domains and what those steps should be.

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  • Allens insights: Using customers as marketing intermediaries - the legal risks of indirect messaging and third-party Facebook posts

    1 March 2013

    Companies are increasingly using indirect email messaging and Facebook to support extensive marketing strategies. However, two recent incidents provide some examples of the types of legal risks involved when engaging the participation of customers and third parties in these platforms.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    20 February 2013

    We look at a case that points to greater shareholder power to scrutinise executives' termination pay; the limits on the operation of restraint of trade clauses; difficulties faced by employers relying on abandonment of employment as a basis for termination; and the importance of strict compliance with prescribed legislative steps when negotiating an enterprise agreement.

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  • Client Update: Australia's new cyber security initiative

    11 February 2013

    The Federal Government plans to establish a cyber security centre by the end of 2013, with the aim of assessing, detecting, preventing and responding to cyber security threats that may affect the Australian Government or industries of national significance. Partner Niranjan Arasaratnam, Senior Associate Michael Morris and Lawyer Andy Gian report.

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  • Focus: Technology triumphs: Google not responsible for misleading and deceptive ads

    7 February 2013

    The long-running battle with the ACCC over Google's AdWords service has been decided in Google's favour. The High Court unanimously held that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct by displaying advertisements in the form of 'sponsored links'. Partner Carolyn Oddie and Special Counsel Rebecca Sadleir report on the case, which is positive news for companies involved in the dissemination of information on the internet.

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  • Focus: The good oil on new food regulations

    29 January 2013

    The new, long-awaited standard regulating nutrition and health claims has commenced, with food businesses given three years to transition to compliance with the new comprehensive regime. Partners Richard Hamer and Andrew Wiseman, Senior Associate Ric Morgan and Lawyer Claire Agius report on the new standard.

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  • Focus: When is a Facebook comment misleading or deceptive conduct?

    21 January 2013

    The Federal Court has found that a Facebook user's posts constituted misleading or deceptive conduct, highlighting the need for businesses to exercise significant caution regarding any social media communications, even when the author has considered them to be personal. Partner Miriam Stiel and Lawyer Tracy Lu report.

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