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.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - System security: its impact on energy investment

    21 July 2017

    While much of the commentary on the Finkel Review has been around a clean energy target, a number of very important, but very technical, issues relating to system security were also canvassed. The Review recognised that system security characteristics should be valued, and regulated, in addition to the amount of energy actually produced. Changes in this area are likely to have the most impact on network operators and solar and wind farm generators seeking to connect to the network in locations where there is limited synchronous generation and low system strength.  

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  • In touch: Competition news

    19 July 2017

    Tobacco companies' boycott nipped in the bud, a major taxi merger, excessive payment surcharging ban, the Tatts/Tabcorp appeal, and the Productivity Commission and the financial system: read our take on the big issues in competition law this month.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Electricity: Design for a market in transition

    18 July 2017

    In the fifth of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at signals for new investment in the National Electricity Market. The Review's responses to this issue reject sweeping changes to the wholesale market structure, but call for more immediate and targeted measures to support the transition of the energy market. Partner Anna Collyer and Law Graduate Maddy Foote assess solutions and opportunities for investment signals in the wholesale market, and the requirement for them to promote reliable, secure and affordable electricity.

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  • Paper: Investing in consumer lending in Vietnam

    18 July 2017

    Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investors. As well as raising capital from equity investors, both Vietnamese and foreign-invested enterprises continue to require foreign debt capital in the form of loans from overseas banks to establish and grow their businesses here. Although foreign loans are not new in Vietnam, there are a number of longstanding, and more recent, issues that arise for both borrowers and lenders in the process of structuring and implementing such a loan.

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  • Report: 2017 Private Equity mid-year briefing

    18 July 2017

    The first half of 2017 has been one of the most active buy out periods for private equity in Australia since the financial crisis. With fundraising conditions remaining positive, plenty of committed capital needing to be invested and the announcement of a number of large and high profile transactions involving financial sponsors, we believe that PE activity will remain robust for the remainder of the year.

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  • Client Update: Grizzly times ahead for banks

    14 July 2017

    A consultation paper on the BEAR has been released, confirming the Federal Government’s intention to impose an executive accountability regime on banks and their subsidiaries that follows important elements of current international accountability regimes. You have three weeks to provide your comments to the Government. Partner Michelle Levy, Senior Associate Sarah Burgemeister and Associate Katie Gardiner report.

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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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  • Client Update: Vietnam's new regulations on corporate governance for public companies

    7 July 2017

    A decree that aims to improve the corporate governance regime for public companies in Vietnam has been issued, and comes into effect August 2017. Our team reports on the key changes.

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  • Unravelled: UK's ASIC's report on member experience of superannuation - ASIC continues to set a high bar

    6 July 2017

    ASIC Report 529: Member experience of superannuation, released just a day before the Productivity Commission officially sets its sights on assessing the state of the superannuation system, serves as a timely reminder of the ever-increasing expectations of the conduct and disclosure practices of superannuation trustees.

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  • Unravelled: UK's Financial Conduct Authority report into asset management: guidance for future direction

    6 July 2017

    ASIC often looks to overseas regulators for inspiration. So when a particularly influential regulator publishes a comprehensive report about a large segment of its regulated population, including possible new areas for regulation, it can pay to take note because it may be a guide to the future direction of Australian regulation.

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  • Unravelled: Raising capital, raising standards: managing conflicts of interest in sell-side research and corporate advisory

    6 July 2017

    ASIC continues its mission to enhance the regulation of Australia's equity markets, with its recent publication of Consultation Paper 290 on managing conflicts of interest when dealing with sell-side research and corporate advisory. The proposed amendments will primarily target investment banks and corporate advisers in the IPO and capital raising process.

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  • Focus: Employment & Safety

    5 July 2017

    In this issue we look at the Fair Work Commission's power to conciliate and arbitrate disputes; whether redundancy payments are payable if an employee is dismissed through ordinary turnover; and how the Queensland Government's draft Labour Hire Licensing Bill may affect all employers.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Data: Critical data needs in the national electricity market

    5 July 2017

    In the fourth of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment of the critical data needs in the National Electricity Market (NEM), including a key recommendation that by the end of 2018, the proposed Energy Security Board, in collaboration with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), should develop a data strategy for the NEM. As new technology continues to develop and consumers are placed at the centre of the NEM, it is not surprising that considerable focus has been given to the collection and increased transparency of data. Partner Michael Park and Associate Jessica McCarthy report.

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  • Client Update: Proposed reforms to staged development applications in NSW

    5 July 2017

    The NSW Government has proposed amendments to planning legislation that aim to provide certainty of outcomes for both developers and the public. Partner Paul Lalich, Senior Associate Dennis Smith and Law Graduate James Higgins report.

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  • Client Update: ASIC sell-side research consultation and proposed regulatory guidance

    4 July 2017

    ASIC's new regulatory guidance focuses on managing conflicts of interest and material, non-public information when providing sell-side research. As well as providing extensive guidance on managing conflicts of interest during the capital raising process, ASIC provides its views on payment of discretionary fees, and the funding and structure of the research arm of banks, as well as foreshadowing a further view on allocation policies. Partner Julian Donnan and Senior Associate Addison Ma report.

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  • Client Update: A new planning regime for Queensland

    3 July 2017

    The Planning Act 2016 commences today, together with the Planning Regulation 2017, various new planning documents and new forms. The Act replaces the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. While there is a lot that has changed under the new regime, the cornerstones of the planning system remain intact. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling identifies those things that you need to know on day one of the new planning regime.

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  • Client Update: Australia's foreign investment regime - regulatory burden reduced

    3 July 2017

    Significant changes to Australia’s foreign investment regime came into effect on 1 July 2017, intended to address concerns regarding this regime raised since its introduction in December 2015. The amendments reduce the regulatory burden in a number of key ways and will impact a range of foreign investors in Australia. Partner Wendy Rae and Senior Associate Nick Kefalianos report on how these significant changes will affect you.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Renewables: The importance of regulatory certainty for renewables

    30 June 2017

    In the third of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at implications for the renewable energy sector. Two recommendations in particular – the Clean Energy Target (CET) and the Generator Reliability Obligation - raise a number of opportunities and issues for investment in the renewable energy sector. Partner Kate Axup and Associate Danielle Jones report.

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  • Paper: Ten key M&A legal issues for foreign investors in Vietnam

    29 June 2017

    Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investors. As well as raising capital from equity investors, both Vietnamese and foreign-invested enterprises continue to require foreign debt capital in the form of loans from overseas banks to establish and grow their businesses here. Although foreign loans are not new in Vietnam, there are a number of longstanding, and more recent, issues that arise for both borrowers and lenders in the process of structuring and implementing such a loan.

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  • Client Update: Ransomware attacks on the rise

    29 June 2017

    With an upward trend in large-scale ransomware attacks and the number of data breaches reported globally, mandatory data breach notification will become law in Australia in February 2018. This will place privacy compliance and cyber security in sharp focus. Partner Michael Park, Lawyer Samantha Naylor Brown and Head Paralegal Hope Williams report on recent global attacks and what they mean for you.

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  • In touch: Competition news

    26 June 2017

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

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  • Focus: Shakeup to EU data protection regulations - impact on Australian businesses

    23 June 2017

    Australian businesses that offer goods and services to individuals within the European Union will be affected by new EU data protection regulations that offer the 'biggest shakeup' to European privacy law for 20 years. Partner Michael Park, Senior Associate Alice Williams and Paralegals Phoebe St John and Natalie Czapski explain the impact and what businesses should do to ensure they comply with the new regulation.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Distributed Energy Resources: Unlocking potential and future partnerships

    23 June 2017

    In the second of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for future incentivisation and 'orchestration'. These suggestions have raised a number of considerations and opportunities, particularly in relation to the pioneering of business and government programs and partnerships to incentivise DER. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Law Graduate Sarah Dobbie report.

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  • 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.

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  • Focus: OAIC releases guidance on meaning of 'personal information'

    21 June 2017

    Uncertainty as to what information constitutes 'personal information' under the Privacy Act will be clarified following the release of guidance from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. The guide provides insight into how a complaint may be determined and offers key questions for entities to consider. Partner Michael Park, Senior Associate Alice Williams, Lawyer Leah Wickman and Paralegal Natalie Czapski report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Gas: A revolving door or real change?

    20 June 2017

    In the first of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the place of gas in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for the creation of 'more efficient gas markets'. These suggestions include both the familiar and the novel, but it is yet to be seen if Dr Finkel's vision of the future will be realised. Partner Igor Bogdanich (view CV) and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: Land tax recovery - no, yes, no again

    15 June 2017

    The Queensland Government is proposing legislation that will restore a prohibition on landlords requiring tenants to pay land tax under commercial leases entered into after 1 January 1992 and before 30 June 2009. This essentially negates the effect of a Supreme Court decision that land tax from 30 June 2010 under such leases was recoverable. However, tenants cannot recover land tax already paid, or resist a court order that has already been made, before the restoration legislation commences. Partner John Beckinsale considers the implications.

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  • Paper: The Public-Private Partnership Law Review

    13 June 2017

    After a busy 2016, with new projects coming to market and others transitioning from development into operations phase, strong market activity is continuing this year, although there is some uncertainty as to the project pipeline in some states.

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  • Client Update: Finkel: the solution for our energy future?

    13 June 2017

    As the saying goes, 'never let a good crisis' go to waste. The Finkel Review, commissioned after blackouts in South Australia and delivered by Australia's Chief Scientist last week, may prove to be the right report at the right time to garner support for energy and emissions policy positions that could provide investment certainty, regulatory direction and political peace for generations. Our energy experts consider the report's broader implications for Australian business: what questions should business leaders be asking of their teams in a post-Finkel world?

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  • Client Update: Victorian Government proposes reforms to reserve domestic gas production

    7 June 2017

    The Victorian Government has today proposed significant gas market reforms, primarily involving the introduction of a cap on the export of gas from Victoria, in order to facilitate the reservation of domestic gas production for domestic supply. The proposed reforms are aimed at reducing domestic gas prices, preserving jobs in the industry and ensuring the security of supply for Victorian homes and businesses. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: ACCC calls for comment on electricity retail supply and pricing

    7 June 2017

    The ACCC has taken the first major step in its inquiry into electricity retail supply and pricing in the National Electricity Market by releasing an issues paper and calling for submissions by 30 June 2017. The issues paper focuses on three broad areas: the pricing, costs and profits of electricity retailers, market structure and retail competition, and retail customers' interaction with the market. Partner Jacqueline Downes and Associate David Mierendorff report.

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  • Unravelled: 2017 Budget: increased scrutiny on competition in the financial system

    7 June 2017

    The financial services sector has been under scrutiny for some time with many different voices clamouring for further regulation or inquiries in a sector that is already highly regulated. The recent Federal Budget included a number of measures focused on the state of competition in the financial system, and provided a road map for a significant amount of activity over the next few years. Partner Carolyn Oddie reports.

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  • Unravelled: Can super really help housing affordability (and I have not asked should it)?

    7 June 2017

    The 2017 Budget included proposals intended to 'reduce pressure on housing affordability'. Two of them use the superannuation system to do so: the 'First Home Super Saver Scheme' and the 'Reducing Barriers to Downsizing' proposal. Partner Michelle Levy examines the schemes in more detail.

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  • Unravelled: Banks set to grin and BEAR new measures to improve individual accountability

    7 June 2017

    As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the domestic banking sector's accountability, the Federal Government recently announced a series of measures to join the ongoing global push seeking to improve measures for individual accountability for misconduct. The proposed Banking Executives Accountability Regime (BEAR) seeks to ensure that banks, and their senior management, are held accountable when they fail to meet expectations. Senior Associate Sarah Burgemeister reports.

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  • Focus: Employment & Safety

    5 June 2017

    We consider redundancy payments when employees are not offered suitable alternative roles; whether payroll providers can be liable as an accessory when a client breaches modern award conditions; and whether employers should consider voluntary job swaps before dismissing employees whose positions have become redundant.

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  • Focus: A class divide? The Boart Longyear creditors' scheme

    29 May 2017

    The NSW Court of Appeal has considered whether different groups of secured creditors should be placed into separate classes for the purposes of voting on a proposed creditors’ scheme of arrangement. Partners Christopher Prestwich and Tom Highnam report. 

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  • Report: Australia's foreign investment regime - budget changes relating to solar and wind farms

    24 May 2017

    In the 2017 Budget, the Australian Government flagged a number of changes to Australia’s foreign investment regime, including clarifying the treatment of solar and wind farms under the regime.

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  • Client Update: Australia's foreign investment regime - Budget changes

    23 May 2017

    The Australian Government flagged a number of changes to Australia's foreign investment regime in the 2017 Budget. In a welcome development, the changes seek to simplify an otherwise complex regime and encourage foreign investment in Australia. Partner Wendy Rae and Associate Nick Kefalianos examine the most significant changes.

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  • Client Update: Amendments to PPS lease law - what you need to know

    22 May 2017

    Legislation has come into force that will amend the Personal Property Securities regime. The amendments are designed to reduce the PPSA's impact on the equipment hiring industry. Previously hirers' equipment leases and bailment arrangements of an indefinite term, or short term leases of a year or more were deemed to be PPS leases, and security interests. If they were not perfected by registration, the owner of the equipment could lose priority, and could lose the equipment altogether if the lessee or bailee became insolvent. Many hirers were caught inadvertently. Now, those arrangements will only be caught if they are initially for two years or more, or the lessee or bailee ends up holding the equipment for two years or more. Partners Nicholas Creed and Ben Farnsworth explain.

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  • Focus: Stamp duty and land tax developments - Victoria and Northern Territory

    18 May 2017

    Victoria is proposing to limit its off-the-plan duty concession; extend the scope of its sub-sale duty provisions; and introduce a vacant residential property tax. The Northern Territory is proposing a significant increase in its duty rates affecting large transactions entered into from 1 July 2017. Partner Adrian Chek, Senior Tax Counsel Jennee Chan and Senior Associate Scott Lang look at the proposed legislative amendments.

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  • 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.

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  • Client Update: Environmental bond and mine rehabilitation reform in Queensland

    15 May 2017

    Major reforms to environmental bonds and rehabilitation requirements are proposed in two discussion papers released by the Queensland Government. All mining sector operators should understand how the reforms will impact their current and proposed operations. Partner Bill McCredie and Senior Associate Gobind Kalsi report.

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  • In touch: Competition news

    12 May 2017

    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: Budget measures to increase gas supply

    10 May 2017

    The 2017 Federal Budget introduced several measures designed to increase domestic gas supply to the Australian market. Key measures include the direct financing of onshore gas development and studies into potential programs aimed at increasing the efficiency, transparency and security of the gas market. However, the effectiveness of this funding package depends on whether state and territory governments will continue to impose regulatory constraints on the exploration and production of onshore gas. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Law Graduate Maddy Foote report.

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  • Client Update: 2017 Budget: increased scrutiny on competition and accountability in the financial system

    10 May 2017

    Treasurer Scott Morrison this week announced that he has tasked the Productivity Commission to review the state of competition in Australia's financial system. The Budget has also included other measures focused on competition in the financial sector, including funding to establish a dedicated ACCC unit to undertake regular inquiries into specific financial system competition issues, an ACCC inquiry into residential mortgage pricing, and an open banking regime. The Government has also announced the introduction of a Banking Executive Accountability Regime. These measures follow a series of recent reviews and inquiries into the financial services industry. Partner Carolyn Oddie and Senior Associate Lisa Lucak report.

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  • Focus: Employment & Safety

    8 May 2017

    In this issue: we look at how post-employment restraints can be unenforceable if a company does not comply with the employment contract itself; a decision of the Federal Court that confirms an employee who is on long-term sick leave must continue to have regular contact with their employer; and a successful appeal against a Fair Work Commission decision because the Commission did not consider whether an employer should have had legal representation.

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  • Unravelled: CIPRs - some interesting findings

    5 May 2017

    We recently hosted some workshops in Sydney and Melbourne to discuss the proposed CIPR framework. The outcomes of those workshops were interesting - in some respects surprising - and this article provides a brief report.

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  • Unravelled: Recent decision on FoFA advice provisions - ASIC v NSG

    5 May 2017

    The recent case of ASIC v NSG Services Pty Ltd considers the FoFA best interests and appropriate advice provisions, as well as obligations of licensees. While the facts of the case provide an extreme example of how advisers and licensees can fail to comply with these duties, it also provides some useful judicial commentary on the provisions.

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  • Unravelled: Reporting significant breaches - or something that may (or may not) be a breach?

    5 May 2017

    The Taskforce established by Treasury to consider ASIC's enforcement powers released its first consultation paper a few weeks ago on breach reporting. We examine the most significant of the Taskforce's 12 'preliminary positions'.

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