Allens

International Business Obligations

Our experienced International Business Obligations 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 International Business Obligations. If you'd like to be notified when we add new International Business Obligations 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.

International Business Obligations Publications

  • Focus: Senate calls for rewards and increased protections for whistleblowers

    3 October 2017

    A broadened definition of 'whistleblower', reforms to establish greater protections for whistleblowers and increased sanctions for retaliatory conduct are some of the recommendations by a Senate committee looking into whistleblower protections in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sector. We expect new laws to be introduced that will result in more corporate whistleblowing and companies should start preparing now. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, and Lawyers Zainab Mahmood and Sarah Lunny report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Supply chains and modern slavery: reporting on the rise

    18 September 2017

    The release of the Attorney-General's consultation paper on modern slavery in supply chains and the recent interim inquiry report on establishing an Australian Modern Slavery Act reflect how international standards around corporate respect for human rights are becoming enshrined in law. Australian companies, and companies operating in Australia, are likely to see increased supply chain reporting requirements in relation to modern slavery as early as next year. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam report.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Australian Government proposes new foreign bribery offences

    7 August 2017

    Australia's lack of enforcement of foreign bribery legislation has attracted increasing criticism in recent years, but the Federal Government is expected to soon table legislation proposing wide-ranging reforms. We look at two key proposed changes for Australian companies.

    Read More
  • Focus: Human rights: The questions your board and executives should be asking

    21 June 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues such as bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the last of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Christopher Holland, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Sarah Rennie look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about human rights.

    Read More
  • Focus: Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing: Key questions for boards and executives in 2017

    16 May 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the fourth of a five-part series, Partner Peter Haig and Associates Andrew Shetliffe and Glyn Ayres look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in 2017.

    Read More
  • Focus: Anti-bribery laws and deferred prosecution agreements

    20 April 2017

    The Australian Government is, via two new consultations, proposing wide-ranging reforms to tackle the challenges that it faces in detecting, and prosecuting, serious corporate crime. Through proposed amendments to foreign bribery laws and the introduction of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime, the Federal Government is seeking to remove obstacles to prosecuting foreign bribery and increase the incentives for companies to self-report this and other misconduct. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associates Christopher Kerrigan and James Campbell, and Lawyer Malak Johnson report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Business risk in international trade and investment

    31 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including legal, commercial, political and reputational risk issues. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the third of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Chris Holland and Associate Freya Dinshaw look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about the security of their foreign investments in 2017.

    Read More
  • Focus: Sanctions: The 5 questions your board and executives should be asking in 2017

    16 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the second of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Christopher Holland and Lawyer Malak Johnson look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking themselves about sanctions in 2017.

    Read More
  • Focus: Anti-bribery & corruption: Key questions for boards and executives

    6 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the first of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Tim Farhall and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking themselves about anti-bribery regulation and compliance practice in 2017.

    Read More
  • Focus: Supply chains in the spotlight: Establishing an Australian Modern Slavery Act

    21 February 2017

    The Australian Government has announced the launch of a broad inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. The inquiry will consider whether the introduction of anti-slavery legislation would strengthen and improve Australia's current regime to combat slavery. If introduced, a Modern Slavery Act would have significant implications for Australian businesses and their suppliers abroad. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam report.

    Read More
  • Focus: The Rolls-Royce bribery case and its implications in Australia

    30 January 2017

    A Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the United Kingdom, which will see the Rolls-Royce company pay more than £500 million to settle charges of foreign bribery, is the most significant UK DPA to date. It is likely to influence the approach and expectations of the Australian Government and law enforcement agencies, which are considering a suite of measures aimed at facilitating a more effective response to corporate crime, particularly those that encourage self-reporting of foreign bribery. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate James Campbell and Lawyer Malak Johnson report.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: A cross-border guide to starting a business

    23 December 2016

    Our global alliance partner Linklaters has compiled a guide for foreign investors who are looking to start a business in selected jurisdictions.

    Read More
  • Focus: Increased whistleblower protections, and more to come...

    24 November 2016

    The Federal Parliament has passed an industrial relations bill that includes significant increases to the whistleblower protections applicable to unions and employer organisations. In what would be a comprehensive overhaul of Australia's whistleblower laws, the Federal Government has separately agreed to support the introduction of equivalent (or better) whistleblower protections in the public and private sectors. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Chris Holland and Lawyer Karina Plain report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Road map to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing reform

    4 November 2016

    The Federal Attorney-General's Department has released its draft Project Plan for the implementation of the wide-ranging recommendations arising from the recent statutory review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime. Partner Peter Haig, Associate Andrew Shetliffe and Lawyer Russ Marshall report.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: Corporate Criminal Liability report

    4 October 2016

    As pressure from prosecution authorities increases, it is becoming ever more important for international companies to be aware of the potential impact of criminal conduct committed by their executives and employees and the risks and liability the company may face as a result – not least in order to be able to fine-tune and reinforce their compliance programs. Our global alliance partner Linklaters, with input from Allens, has reviewed the risk companies face in 24 jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: Investing in Europe: What do Europe's new market abuse rules mean for investors?

    9 August 2016

    If you have investments in European listed companies, you should be aware of the EU’s new Market Abuse Regulation and how it may impact you, wherever in the world you are based.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: Business Crime Quarterly

    3 August 2016

    In the latest edition of Business Crime Quarterly, our global alliance partner Linklaters, with input from Allens, looks at issues including the release of the Australian Government's long-awaited report on the statutory review of the Anti-money Laundering and Counter-terrorism Financial Act; a number of convictions for fraud and corruption, particularly in the UK; the Libor prosecutions that are set to take place in the US; the EU's enhanced package to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing; and financial crime on the increase in Australia.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: The end of the AML/CTF regime as we know it?

    2 June 2016

    The past year or so has been an action-packed one for devotees of anti-money laundering policy and the recent release of the Report on the Statutory Review of the AML/CTF Act 2006 may herald the most significant changes to our regime since it was introduced a decade ago.

    Read More
  • Focus: Anti-bribery and corruption regulation developments in 2016

    16 March 2016

    2016 looks to be a busy year for directors, executives and legal and compliance teams who need to be aware of developments in Australian anti-bribery law and compliance practice. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Tom Bland report.

    Read More
  • Audio: Anti-bribery developments in 2016 - what to know to avoid being exposed

    9 March 2016

    The forecast for the year ahead for Australian anti-bribery laws and compliance is a busy one, with a Senate inquiry, new laws and a continued focus on suspected foreign bribery offences.

    Read More
  • Focus: New legislation introduces criminal offences for false accounting

    23 February 2016

    The Federal Government has proposed new legislation that introduces two new criminal offences for false accounting into the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The proposed false accounting offences are designed to help Australia comply with the OECD's Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Senior Associate James Campbell look at the relevance of these developments to your business.

    Read More
  • Focus: Australia has lifted certain sanctions on Iran

    18 February 2016

    In response to recent confirmation that Iran has met its international nuclear commitments, the Australian Government has lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against that country. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Sarah Jenkins report on what has changed and the potential opportunities for Australian businesses.

    Read More
  • Focus: The investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    14 December 2015

    The release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has renewed the debate about the ability of foreign investors to sue governments under investor-State dispute settlement mechanisms which are commonly part of international trade agreements or investment treaties between States. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Chris Holland report on the investment protections available in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and how the parties have attempted to strike a balance between a State's right to regulate and the rights of foreign investors.

    Read More
  • Focus: Senate inquiry on foreign bribery - corporate culture to take centre stage

    25 June 2015

    The Senate has this week referred a broad-ranging inquiry into foreign bribery to the Senate Economic References Committee. The terms of the reference provide for a substantial review of Australia's foreign bribery laws and enforcement regime, with a particular focus on corporate culture issues and facilitating enforcement outcomes. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Associate James Campbell report.

    Read More
  • Focus: What next after FATF's mixed review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime?

    11 May 2015

    The Financial Action Task Force has released its report on the effectiveness of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, focusing on the extent to which it complies with international standards. The report's findings and recommendations come at a key stage in the evolution of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework, and are likely to guide future developments. Partner Peter Haig, Senior Associate Edward Martin, Associate Andrew Shetliffe and Lawyer Glyn Ayres consider the potential impact of the report on the regulatory and enforcement landscape.

    Read More
  • Focus: OECD releases report on Australia's anti-bribery enforcement

    28 April 2015

    The OECD Working Group on Bribery has issued a follow-up report on the extent to which Australia is meeting its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The OECD has recommended further law reform and other measures to boost enforcement of foreign bribery offences. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Tessa Meyrick and Lawyer Chadwick Wong discuss the implications of the report.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • Focus: Australia implements expanded sanctions against Russia

    2 April 2015

    Australia has imposed sector-wide prohibitions on a range of imports to, exports from and commercial activities with Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Andrew Wilcock and Law Graduate Alice Crawford report on how these sanctions will impact on companies engaged in business in these regions.

    Read More
  • Focus: The changing landscape of international investment agreements

    3 March 2015

    A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report identifies recent trends in international investment agreements and investor-state dispute settlement - among them, a rise in the integration of sustainable development objectives, including via more careful regulation by states of investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Anna McMahon report.

    Read More
  • Focus: The year to come for Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regime

    27 February 2015

    Having recently acquired a new CEO and a significant funding boost, AUSTRAC is being closely watched by reporting entities for an indication of its future direction and priorities, both at the policy and the enforcement level. In light of this, and with major review reports pending, 2015 promises to be a significant year for Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regime. Partner Peter Haig, Senior Associate Edward Martin and Associate Andrew Shetliffe consider the year ahead.

    Read More
  • Focus: Investor-state dispute settlement and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

    21 November 2014

    The Australian and Chinese governments have concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement that will reduce tariff barriers on the majority of Australian exports to China. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that the treaty will include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Anna McMahon report.

    Read More
  • Focus: A new tool in the fraud and anti-corruption kit

    19 August 2014

    The Federal Government has established a new Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre to deal with allegations of white-collar crime. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Tessa Meyrick and Associate Freya Dinshaw consider the impact of the new federal body and the changing enforcement landscape in Australia.

    Read More
  • Focus: UN resolution could be the start of a binding treaty on business and human rights

    13 August 2014

    The UN Human Rights Council has recently passed resolutions that provide for the establishment of a working group to develop an international legally binding human rights instrument for transnational corporations, as well as commissioning a report on the pros and cons of this approach. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Associate Freya Dinshaw consider the implications of a new binding treaty for business and human rights.

    Read More
  • Focus: Russia imposes sanctions against Australia

    11 August 2014

    Russia has imposed sanctions against Australia and certain other countries (including EU member states and the US) prohibiting certain food imports, and may impose further sanctions restricting access to its airspace. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Associates Andrew Wilcock and Freya Dinshaw report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Anti-corruption reforms: a view from the B20 Australia

    25 July 2014

    Anti-corruption was high on the agenda at the B20 Australia summit recently held in Sydney. Allens Partner Rachel Nicolson, a director of the UN Global Compact Network Australia and convenor of its Anti-Corruption Leadership Group, attended the summit and provides an overview of the issues discussed.

    Read More
  • Focus: Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement: strengthening cross-border investment

    23 April 2014

    The landmark Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement is expected to further strengthen the established complementary economic relationship between the two countries, and to provide new opportunities for cross-border investment and trade. Partner David Wenger and Senior Associate John Koshy from Allens and Partner Stephen Le Vesconte and Managing Associate Joo Hee Lee from Linklaters report on the Agreement and its implications for both Australian and Korean industry sectors.

    Read More
  • Focus: The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

    15 April 2014

    Australia and Japan have recently concluded negotiations on an economic agreement which will reduce tariff barriers on the majority of Australian exports to Japan. In contrast to the recently concluded Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, it does not include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Recent anti-corruption developments in Papua New Guinea

    8 April 2014

    The Papua New Guinean Government has continued to take significant steps in progressing its anti-corruption agenda in the first quarter of 2014. Partner Allan Mana, Senior Associates Sarah Kuman and Michael Gomm and Lawyer Anthony Graham report on recent developments in Papua New Guinea and their implications.

    Read More
  • Focus: Investor-State dispute settlement under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

    6 March 2014

    In a shift from the previous Australian Government's position, a free trade agreement between Korea and Australia, which was recently concluded by the new Coalition Government will include investor-state dispute settlement clauses. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Corporate responsibility and anti-corruption legislation in India

    10 February 2014

    In the past 12 months, the Indian Parliament has passed two important pieces of legislation relating to corporate social responsibility and the investigation of allegations of corruption made against public servants. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Harini Amarasinghe report.

    Read More
  • Focus: More certainty for foreign corporations under Alien Tort Claims Act

    28 January 2014

    Since a landmark decision has narrowed available claims against defendants under the Alien Tort Claims Act for alleged violations of customary international law, US courts have sought to clarify exactly what geographical connection is required to justify a claim against corporate defendants. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw look at a recent US Supreme Court decision that tests the waters of the new framework.

    Read More
  • Focus: Anti-money laundering laws review announced

    8 January 2014

    A review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws will determine whether Australia can and should strengthen its response to money laundering and terrorism financing. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Andrew Wilcock and Arlou Arteta report.

    Read More
  • Focus: New oversight mechanism for private military and security companies

    17 October 2013

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of private military and security companies by corporations that have operations in conflict affected areas. Recently, the first multi-stakeholder initiative has been established to provide an oversight mechanism for the compliance of private military and security companies with international law and industry standards. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Alyse Richmond report.

    Read More
  • Focus: UK the first to release a 'Good Business' plan

    23 September 2013

    In a world first, the UK Government has released a comprehensive national action plan for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which sets a new benchmark for the implementation of the Guiding Principles at the domestic level and is likely to serve as a model for other governments developing similar national plans. The plan makes clear the Government's expectation that UK businesses respect human rights in their operations, both in the UK and abroad, and outlines the measures it is proposing to take to support businesses to meet those expectations. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Tessa Meyrick and Freya Dinshaw report.

    Read More
  • Focus: A different roadmap for investor-state dispute settlement?

    23 July 2013

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has identified key shortcomings of the current system of investor-state dispute settlement, and has outlined five broad paths for reform in a recent report. The negotiation and implementation of these reforms will affect foreign investors and policymakers globally. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Laura Bellamy report.

    Read More
  • Focus: New whistleblower legislation

    15 July 2013

    Federal legislation providing protection for 'public officials' making public interest disclosures, and placing obligations on persons, companies and public agencies who receive public interest disclosures, has been passed, and can also extend to disclosures made in relation to conduct occurring outside Australia. Persons making and receiving public interest disclosures need to be aware of these protections and obligations, as Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Joel Phibbs and Lawyer Corin Morcom report.

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: Financial Crime Update

    3 July 2013

    The importance of separating the investigation and prosecution of anti-corruption and criminal offences from the enforcement of other administrative procedures is emphasised in this month's Financial Crime Update.

    Read More
  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

    Read More
  • Focus: US Supreme Court reins in scope of Alien Tort Claims Act

    19 April 2013

    In the much-awaited decision of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Alien Tort Claims Act cannot be used to bring claims for alleged violations of customary international law where the relevant conduct occurs outside the US. The court remained silent on the question of whether corporations can be held liable for breaches of customary international law under the statute. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report. 

    Read More
  • Linklaters Insights: The evolution and current state of play for the definition of 'US person' for purposes of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act

    30 January 2013

    As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators have worked to implement Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, uncertainty has arisen with respect to the extraterritorial scope of Title VII and its application to cross-border derivatives transactions and international market participants.

    Read More