Allens

All recent publications

Our experienced legal team regularly publishes articles and updates on a wide range of legal topics - you'll see the most recent publications listed below.

If you would like to read back issues, please go to the 'Publications' menu in the top right-hand corner of this page and use the drop-down menu to select your preference (or use the list in the grey box at the bottom of this page). If you'd like to be notified when we add new publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feeds.

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  • Video Update: Inclusion & Diversity: Interview with Diane Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at BHP

    15 August 2018

    Allens knows diversity makes businesses more innovative. We talk to Diane Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at BHP, about the role that inclusion and diversity play in innovation and transformation, leading to greater productivity and real business value.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee moves to the next stage

    15 August 2018

    The COAG Energy Council has voted to progress the development of the National Energy Guarantee by approving the release of the draft National Electricity Law amendments. Partners Anna Collyer and Kate Axup and Managing Associate Karla Drinkwater discuss what has been approved, the details still to be clarified and the next steps towards implementation of the National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Proposed changes to the Australian Patents Act, and how they will affect you

    15 August 2018

    We discuss draft legislation proposing further changes to the Australian Patents Act in response to the Productivity Commission's recent inquiry into Australia's IP arrangements, and how you can have your say. Key changes include raising the threshold for inventive step (yet again), abolition of the innovation patent system, insertion of an objects clause into the Act, and amendments to the Crown use and compulsory licensing provisions.

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  • Client Update: Allens' submission to ALRC Class Actions Inquiry - time to revisit the checks and balances

    14 August 2018

    The Australian Law Reform Commission's Inquiry into Class Actions and Third Party Litigation Funders provides an important (and timely) opportunity to reflect on the operation of our class actions regime. We have made a detailed submission to the ALRC's Inquiry, in which we advocated for a renewed focus on balancing the interests of claimants and defendants and more robust processes for ensuring that the class actions regime is not compromised by unfettered commercialisation. Partners Jenny Campbell and Kate Austin report.

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  • Focus: Corporate governance beyond shareholder interests

    14 August 2018

    The proposed 4th edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles & Recommendations includes substantial changes to Principle 3 (Instil the desired culture) to focus squarely on social licence to operate, with stronger reference to stakeholders beyond shareholders, and specific recommendations on whistleblowing and anti-bribery and corruption. While the proposed amendments to Principle 3 have led to heated debate in the press, the proposal reflects the trend in Australia, and internationally, towards embedding corporate social responsibility within company culture, and of regulators' broadening expectations of companies' governance, risk and compliance practices. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Associate Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • Client Update: ASIC's allocations project - guidance from abroad

    13 August 2018

    ASIC is examining the allocations process in capital raising transactions. We report on ASIC's allocations project and the influences that the regulators in the UK and in Europe may have on the project.

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  • Allens insights: Key trends in the Australian products liability space - 2018

    10 August 2018

    We have seen in recent years an increasing level of activity in the Australian regulatory landscape. The current Banking Royal Commission is just one example of many dominating boardrooms and newsfeeds. Regulators are taking action more often, are seeking higher penalties and are seeking to expand the scope of their supervisory and enforcement powers. In addition to penalties that hurt the bottom line, regulators are increasingly focusing on early intervention and organisational culture, putting compliance and risk functions under the spotlight.

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  • Nucleus: corporate law developments

    8 August 2018

    Welcome to our monthly snapshot of regulatory updates and other developments in corporate law. We know you are busy, so our focus is on capturing key issues.

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  • Report: Summary of the ACCC's Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report

    7 August 2018

    In this publication We unpack some of the key issues raised by the ACCC in its recent Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report. We look at the ACCC's findings across the electricity supply chain relating to input gas prices, wholesale markets, network costs, retail prices and consumers switching behaviours.

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  • Report: National Electricity & Gas Rules Update: July 2018

    6 August 2018

    Tis update examines the Rule changes during July and, in particular, the final AEMC report on the Reliability Frameworks Review.

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  • Client Update: ACCC brings first 'excessive surcharge' proceedings

    1 August 2018

    he ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Europcar for allegedly imposing excessive payment surcharges on customers. This is the first court proceeding commenced by the ACCC under the new prohibition, and serves as a reminder to businesses that card payment surcharges must be limited to the amount that it costs them to process that type of payment. This is a priority area for the ACCC, and follows a string of recent enforcement actions. 

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  • Focus: Employment & Safety

    31 July 2018

    In this issue we look at the proposed superannuation guarantee amnesty; the new modern slavery legislation; a case that highlights the importance of procedure when dismissing an employee; the new labour hire licensing regime; the AHRC inquiry into workplace sexual harassment; minimum pay changes that came into effect on 1 July 2018 and WA's progress on WHS reforms.

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  • Client Update: A new framework for transmission network connections

    30 July 2018

    Connecting to the network is a fundamental part of getting any new renewable energy development off the ground. The rules governing arrangements for connection to the transmission network changed on 1 July 2018, and are designed to increase transparency and contestability in the connection process and decrease the costs of connection. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Angela Lu and Law Graduate Katy Milne consider some of the key ways in which the new rules will affect developers of new renewable energy facilities.

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  • Client Update: Design and distribution of financial products - regulating 'retail product distribution conduct'

    30 July 2018

    The revised exposure draft Bill concerning design and distribution obligations for issuers and distributors of financial products, and new intervention powers for ASIC, includes some modest, yet mostly welcome, changes to the December 2017 exposure draft. Senior Regulatory Counsel Michael Mathieson reports.

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  • Linklaters Insights: A Cross-Border Guide to Joint Ventures

    27 July 2018

    This Cross-Border Guide considers questions that commonly arise on joint venture deals and how they can be resolved in 26 jurisdictions. While, no two joint venture deals are the same, we hope this is a useful guide to some of the main features of doing cross-border deals.

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  • Video Update: Startup funding, exits and investment: insights from Jon Medved, Founder and CEO, OurCrowd

    26 July 2018

    Access to funding has long been the missing link in the development of startups in Australia. The Australian startup industry has grown significantly over the past few years as capital has become more available. Alternative funding options, including crowdfunding, give startups more options than ever before. While this presents significant opportunities for startups, the complex funding environment can be difficult to navigate.

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  • Report: An update on our predictions for the year ahead across the private equity market

    25 July 2018

    The first half of 2018 has seen a flurry of public-to-private activity that should continue to keep dealmakers busy for the remainder of the calendar year. However, the mountain of dry powder competing for limited quality investment opportunities remains an issue that has prompted a diversification in the capital-deployment strategies for Australian-focused managers.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    23 July 2018

    In this edition: why it’s vital to pay close attention to get-up; how digital platforms are disrupting the food and beverage industry; the latest on what it means to be ‘natural’; and why NZ cracking down on high-calorie advertising to youth affects more than just New Zealanders.

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  • Focus: US court holds foreign corporations not liable for human rights harms under Alien Tort Statute

    20 July 2018

    In a decision on human rights litigation that has important consequences for business, a divided US Supreme Court has held that foreign corporations will not be held liable in suits brought under the Alien Tort Statute. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Shamistha Selvaratnam and Graduate Calypso Strauss report.

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  • Unravelled: Update on the Royal Commission

    19 July 2018

    Have you been wondering what the Royal Commission will make of the numerous witness statements and vast amounts of other information collected from superannuation trustees in recent times? You will find out soon enough. But first, there are some curiosities from the Round Four hearings to consider – including a hint as to what the superannuation hearings will include.

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  • Unravelled: Where we are with superannuation retirement income changes

    19 July 2018

    The Government has slowly been changing the superannuation retirement income system, with the aim of increasing the range of retirement products available to Australians. A number of changes have already been implemented, and more are to come with the proposed 'Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement' (CIPRs) regime. We thought it was a good time to take stock and look ahead.

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  • Unravelled: Australian Financial Complaints Authority: a 'one-stop-shop' for financial dispute resolution

    19 July 2018

    The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority is to replace each of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman in November 2018.

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  • In touch: Competition news

    18 July 2018

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

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  • Client Update: Corporate PPAs - What's happening?

    17 July 2018

    Power purchase agreements are no longer the exclusive domain of retailers. As electricity prices rise and we move towards a carbon constrained future, companies are looking for ways to manage their exposure to changing electricity prices and to purchase electricity from renewable sources. Generators are also looking beyond retailers as potential offtakers to support the development of new renewables facilities. Consequently, over the past year power purchase agreements with corporate offtakers (Corporate PPAs) have become increasingly popular in Australia.

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  • Client Update: ACCC cartel action against Cryosite is a strong reminder of rules prohibiting 'gun jumping'

    13 July 2018

    The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Cryosite Limited for alleged cartel conduct. This is the first case brought by the ACCC alleging 'gun jumping' in a merger, and is a reminder to transaction parties who are competitors to carefully manage contact and pre-planning activities in M&A transactions. The use of external legal counsel, clean teams, pre-planning guidelines and carefully reviewing materials shared or exchanged between transaction counterparties can mitigate the risk of contravening the prohibition on cartels while achieving the transaction parties' objectives of engaging in permissible pre-transaction planning activities. Partner Jacqueline Downes and Managing Associate Felicity McMahon report.

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  • Client Update: Has the ATO tolled the bell for demerger and acquisition scheme structures?

    13 July 2018

    Late last month, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation formally refused a request from AMA Group Limited for demerger relief in connection with a demerger and acquisition transaction involving private equity firm Blackstone. The ATO's decision, which resulted in the termination of that transaction, casts doubt on the availability of capital gains and income-tax relief for transactions involving demerger and acquisition structures. It follows a similar decision by the ATO earlier this year in connection with the demerger of OneMarket Limited from Westfield Corporation. Managing Associate Charles Ashton and Partners Craig Milner and Joseph Power report.

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  • Report: National Electricity & Gas Rules Update 2018

    13 July 2018

    In this final wrap-up for FY17/18 we take a look at the new rule change requests, draft and final determinations made in the period April – June 2018 as well as track the progress of other National Electricity, Gas and Energy Retail Rule changes currently underway.

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  • Client Update: ACCC makes 56 recommendations for sweeping energy sector reform

    11 July 2018

    The ACCC today released its final report on the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry. The report finds the national electricity market is not functioning effectively and that extensive reform is required to bring down prices and restore consumer confidence. It makes 56 significant recommendations aimed at boosting competition in generation and retail markets, lowering supply chain costs and improving consumer and business experiences and outcomes.

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  • Nucleus: corporate law developments

    9 July 2018

    Welcome to our monthly snapshot of regulatory updates and other developments in corporate law. We know you are busy, so our focus is on capturing key issues.

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  • Focus: Clarity on what constitutes a misleading consumer guarantee representation

    4 July 2018

    The Full Federal Court has allowed in part the ACCC’s appeal against an earlier decision of the Federal Court by finding that LG Electronics Australia made false representations in two instances. The decision clarifies the obligations on suppliers and manufacturers when engaging with consumers regarding their consumer guarantee entitlements under the Australian Consumer Law. It reiterates the importance of providing staff with clear policies and training regarding consumer guarantees and the ACL. Partners Kon Stellios and Robert Walker, Senior Associate Theodore Souris, and Vacation Clerk Alex Neerhut report.

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  • Client Update: Modern Slavery Bill introduced - how will this impact Australian businesses?

    28 June 2018

    The Modern Slavery Bill has been introduced into Federal Parliament. If it passes, Australian entities, or entities carrying on business in Australia, with at least $100 million global consolidated revenue will be required to submit a statement on risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. We anticipate that the majority of our clients will need to lodge the first statement by 1 January 2021. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • In touch: Competition news

    27 June 2018

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

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  • Focus: A new era for Victoria's environmental protection

    26 June 2018

    The Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018 is the first major overhaul of Victoria's environmental law in almost 50 years. The Bill is expected to transform Victoria's environmental protection law, including by introducing a general environmental duty requiring all Victorian businesses, industry and community members to prevent environmental harm. Partner Jillian Button and Lawyers Elise Rutherfurd and Zainab Mahmood provide a high-level overview of the key changes.

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  • Focus: VLRC takes first cut at class action reform

    22 June 2018

    The Victorian Law Reform Commission has completed its review of Victoria's class action regime, with a particular focus on the effect of litigation funding. The report calls for national regulation of litigation funding, lifting the ban on contingency fees both generally and in class actions (balanced with appropriate regulatory measures) and a greater supervisory role for the Victorian Supreme Court in the management of class actions. Managing Associate Kate Austin, Associate Kelly Roberts and Lawyer Katerina Dandanis discuss.

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  • Client Update: Vietnam issues a stringent new cybersecurity law

    22 June 2018

    A new law in Vietnam enabling state control of cyber data will have wide-ranging implications for business costs and compliance. The powers it gives to the Government are extensive, and its coverage is unprecedented. Partner Linh Bui and Associates Hien Nguyen and Khanh Nguyen report on the key issues.

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  • Unravelled: What might the PC review into superannuation mean for fund investments?

    22 June 2018

    The Productivity Commission Draft Report into the Efficiency and Competitiveness of Australia's superannuation system, weighing in at a substantial 549 pages, contains a treasure trove of information on, and analysis of, a wide range of aspects of the industry.

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  • Unravelled: Update on the Royal Commission

    22 June 2018

    A lot has happened since our most recent update. The Royal Commission has published the submissions received from ASIC and industry participants on policy questions posed by Counsel Assisting at the end of the financial advice hearings. And the small business lending hearings have been held.

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  • InIP: What's happening in intellectual property

    20 June 2018

    In this issue we provide an update on defamation law in the digital context; look at how having a name famous enough to be registered as a trade mark can be a double-edged sword; give the lowdown on some intriguing new applications for drones; report on a US decision on whether embedded Tweets infringe copyright, which could have important consequences for online media; explain how to take ownership of social media accounts when purchasing a business; and analyse the Federal Court's first look at enablement and support in the patent context.

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  • Client Update: What you need to know about the national energy guarantee and demand response

    19 June 2018

    Following the Energy Security Board's release of the National Energy Guarantee Draft Detailed Design Consultation Paper, Partner Kate Axup, Associate Mark Leersnyder, and Lawyer Mohamed Khairat consider the challenges and opportunities surrounding demand response as an alternative form of dispatchable capacity in the Australian energy market. This article is part of a series in which Allens examines aspects of the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee enters critical consultation phase

    18 June 2018

    The Energy Security Board has released its Draft Detailed Design Consultation Paper. The paper flags some interesting developments from the April high-level design, with further detail expected in technical working group papers flagged for release one week into the four-week consultation period. Partner Anna Collyer discusses key aspects of the consultation paper.

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  • Client Update: The end of the unit trust monopoly - tranche 1 of the revised CCIV bill

    15 June 2018

    On 13 June 2018, the Federal Government released the first tranche of the revised exposure draft legislation for the new corporate collective investment vehicle, one of the two forms of collective investment vehicle which it pledged to develop as part of the 2016-2017 budget. We are undertaking a comprehensive review of the draft for the purpose of preparing submissions to Treasury and will provide further updates in due course. In the meantime, Partner Penny Nikoloudis, Senior Overseas Practitioner James Kanabar and Associate Mai Go provide a high-level overview of the draft.

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  • Nucleus: corporate law developments

    15 June 2018

    Welcome to our monthly snapshot of regulatory updates and other developments in corporate law. We know you are busy, so our focus is on capturing key issues.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Class action and litigation funding review - ALRC grapples with thorny issues

    6 June 2018

    As part of its current inquiry into class actions and litigation funders, the Australian Law Reform Commission has released a discussion paper that is a timely contribution to the long-running debate on the appropriate regulation of class action proceedings and litigation funding. In general, it supports the 'hands on' approach to case management increasingly being adopted in the Federal Court. We have now had more than 25 years' experience with class actions in Australia, so it is a good time for a thorough review, and the ALRC's discussion paper makes thoughtful suggestions on some thorny issues. Partner Ross Drinnan, Senior Associate Jerome Entwisle and Lawyer Harrison Cross report.

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  • Client Update: ASIC overhauls AFS licensing relief for foreign financial service providers

    5 June 2018

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has released its highly anticipated consultation paper on licensing relief for foreign financial services providers. The said new licensing regime will be broadly in line with that applied to other AFS licensees, but with relief from some provisions of the Australian Corporations Act and the imposition of certain additional tailored licence conditions. Partner Penny Nikoloudis, Senior Associate Jo Ottaway and Law Graduate Tom Lawson report.

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  • Client Update: New reporting requirements for critical infrastructure

    4 June 2018

    New reporting requirements for critical infrastructure require the lodgement of information on the Register of Critical Infrastructure Assets before 11 January 2019. This is the time for owners and operators of Australian infrastructure to consider whether any of their assets qualify as 'critical infrastructure'. Partner Wendy Rae and Senior Associate Nick Kefalianos explain what critical infrastructure is and who will be affected by the new requirements.

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  • Client Update: Insight into the workings of Queensland's Planning Act 2016

    4 June 2018

    Queensland's Planning and Environment Court recently delivered three significant decisions that provide insight into the operation of the Planning Act 2016. The decisions separately address service requirements for submitter appellants, the operation of the transitional provisions in the Act and the categorisation of development. Partner Bill McCredie, Senior Associate David Thorpe and Law Graduate Conor Ruane discuss the lessons learned from these decisions and their impact on the development of land in Queensland.

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  • Client Update: Construction contracts and the new 'ipso facto' insolvency reforms

    1 June 2018

    New insolvency legislation that is designed to provide greater opportunities to restructure failing businesses, both before and during external administration, has recently been passed. The reforms restrict the enforcement of contractual rights triggered by voluntary administration, receivership or schemes of arrangement to avoid being wound up in insolvency (known as ‘ipso facto’ clauses). These changes will have significant ramifications for those involved in the construction sector. Partner Leighton O'Brien and Lawyer Daniel Abadee report.

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  • Client Update: Comments open for North East Link EES scoping requirements

    31 May 2018

    The draft scoping requirements for the proposed North East Link project's Environment Effects Statement have been released and are open for public comment until 12 June 2018. Partner Jillian Button and Lawyer Dale Straughen report.

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  • In touch: Competition news

    30 May 2018

    In Touch looks at what's been happening in Competition this month, and what it means for your business.

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  • Allens insights: International Comparative Legal Guide to Project Finance 2018 - Australia

    25 May 2018

    Partners Ben Farnsworth and Michael Ryan outline the main trends and significant developments in Australian project finance. Among other factors, they discuss restrictions on foreign investment, bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings, tax, and political risk in relation to changes in law.

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