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.

Filter by area of interest * :

 

Filter by time:

  

* Multiple items can be selected by holding down the Ctrl or Shift key.

  • Client Update: Australian Consumer Law Review - proposed reforms

    21 April 2017

    Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand has released its final report on the review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), recommending a range of reforms to strengthen protections for consumers and businesses. We look at the proposed reforms and the implications for your business if they are accepted by the Federal Government.

    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
  • Client Update: Abolition of the 457 visa program - what this means for employers

    20 April 2017

    The Turnbull Government announced on 18 April 2017 that it is abolishing its 457 visa program and replacing it with a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa program. Implementation of the visa reforms commenced immediately and are to be completed in March 2018. Partner Veronica Siow provides a snapshot of the key changes.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Lessons from Singapore's new collective investment vehicle

    13 April 2017

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore recently sought public consultation on the features of its proposed new vehicle for collective investment, the Singapore Variable Capital Company. Partners Marc Kemp and Charles Armitage, and Senior Overseas Practitioner James Kanabar review the key elements of the new vehicle and consider the lessons which might be gleaned in relation to the introduction of a new Australian corporate vehicle for collective investment, announced by the Federal Government as part of the 2016-17 budget and scheduled (perhaps somewhat optimistically) to be introduced by 1 July.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Ipso facto clauses, safe harbour for directors - our comments on the draft exposure legislation

    10 April 2017

    The Federal Government has released draft exposure legislation designed to facilitate company reconstructions. Senior Finance Counsel Diccon Loxton, Senior Associate Alicia Salvo and Associate Frances Navarro-Towan discuss some of the implications and issues. 

    Read More
  • Allens insights: Not worth the paper they're not written on?

    8 April 2017

    There are significant commercial benefits in executing documents electronically, and Allens has adopted e-signature (using DocuSign) as a service to clients. Allens Senior Finance Counsel, Diccon Loxton, has written an article in two parts that examines the efficacy of e-signatures, and concludes that they are effective, including under s127 of the Corporations Act 2001 and (in various circumstances) deeds.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Security of the Cape Preston port affirmed in appeal decision

    7 April 2017

    The Full Federal Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal by former federal MP Clive Palmer's company Mineralogy against a decision that gave his former business partner, CITIC Limited and its subsidiaries, the right to operate and maintain the port at Cape Preston for the Sino Iron Project. As Partner Phil Blaxill and Lawyer Jeremy Rich report, the decision affirms that commercial agreement terms between parties can be impacted by later agreements between those parties and by state agreements, and emphasises the care commercial drafters need to take.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: ASIC's report on financial advice

    7 April 2017

    ASIC has recently released a report about its work with the big four banks and AMP on adviser misconduct. The report is essentially an update on the progress of ASIC's Wealth Management Project, and mostly contains information we already know. The most interesting part deals with the results of ASIC's review of adviser audit processes by the banks and AMP. They indicate that internal audits are not identifying compliance issues.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: A step closer to industry funding of ASIC

    7 April 2017

    Last week, the Federal Government moved another step closer to implementing an industry funding model for the recovery of ASIC's costs, by introducing the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Bill 2017 (as well as two related Bills) into Parliament. These Bills implement the recommendations of the Financial Services Inquiry and the Senate Economics Committee that ASIC be industry funded, and follows a number of rounds of industry consultation on exposure drafts and proposal papers.

    Read More
  • Focus: Victoria's plan for value creation and capture

    6 April 2017

    The Victorian Government has released the Victorian Value Creation and Capture Framework which articulates its policy on value creation and value capture in the planning and delivery of public projects. The intention of the framework is to harness the potential of government investments to create additional value for the community and signal to the public, private and community sectors how the Victorian Government will go about doing so. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Patrick Easton report.

    Read More
  • Focus: Employment Law

    3 April 2017

    In this issue we look at the timeframes for employers to comply with the Federal Government's Code of Tendering and Performance Building Work 2016; the court's view of where right of entry discussions with workers can take place; and a company's duty of care to its employees in an 'unforeseeable' situation like an attempted murder.

    Read More
  • Report: Our look ahead to the private equity market in Australia

    3 April 2017

    With the current exit cycle coming to an end for many sponsors, and large amounts of dry powder waiting to be deployed, we’re expecting an uptick in new investment activity in Australia by private equity sponsors. There are some key trends and sectors to look out for in 2017. The Private Equity team at Allens reports.

    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: Parliament passes diverted profits tax legislation

    31 March 2017

    Legislation to implement a diverted profits tax has passed the Federal Parliament. From 1 July 2017, the tax may potentially apply to the diversion of profits offshore through arrangements between related parties. Targeted at large multinational groups, the diverted profits tax is a fusion of anti-avoidance and transfer pricing rules. Partner Toby Knight and Senior Associate Scott Lang discuss the final form of the legislation and the steps multinational groups should take to prepare for its implementation.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Significant changes ahead for Australian competition laws

    31 March 2017

    The Federal Government's Competition Policy Bill, which contains its response to the Harper Review's broader recommendations on competition law and policy, will make significant changes to Australian competition laws.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Productivity Commission's proposed alternate default models for superannuation

    30 March 2017

    In the latest (and undoubtedly most significant) of its reports into the design of default superannuation arrangements in Australia, the Productivity Commission yesterday released its Draft Report in relation to Superannuation: Alternative Default Models. Partner Geoff Sanders of the Allens Superannuation team reports on how the Draft Report moves the Commission's thinking forward in relation to how default contributions might be allocated to superannuation products in the years to come.

    Read More
  • Focus: The latest from the High Court on contractual interpretation

    30 March 2017

    There is an ongoing controversy as to whether, in construing a contract, the 'true rule' in Codelfa mandates that a contract be ambiguous (on its face) before a court may consider evidence of surrounding circumstances. The High Court this week had an opportunity to consider this issue. Although its decision did not expressly resolve the controversy, it may be seen as a (further) departure from the 'ambiguity gateway' approach. Partner, Malcolm Stephens and Senior Associate, Jaime McKenzie report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: House of Representatives passes misuse of market power Bill

    29 March 2017

    The House of Representatives yesterday passed the Government's Bill to broaden the misuse of market power prohibition and the Bill will be introduced to the Senate shortly. The Bill, as passed, removes the mandatory factors the courts would have had to consider in determining whether conduct was anti-competitive (as opposed to vigorous, competitive conduct). The new prohibition, if passed by the Senate, will not commence unless the ACCC has the power to authorise conduct that may otherwise breach the new prohibition. The Government proposes to introduce a further Bill shortly giving the ACCC this power. Partner Kon Stellios and Senior Associate Lisa Lucak report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Review of climate change policies discussion paper

    28 March 2017

    Following the release of the terms of reference for the 2017 climate change policy review in December 2016, the Federal Government has recently released its climate change policy review discussion paper for public consultation. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Lawyer Holly Woodcroft report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Treasury consultation paper flags changes to stapled structures

    28 March 2017

    Stapled structures have been used as an investment platform in the property and infrastructure sectors for decades, and more recently have been deployed into renewable energy, agriculture and other areas. Through the issue of its Taxpayer Alert on stapled structures on 31 January 2017, the ATO indicated that it had serious tax integrity concerns with the proliferation of stapled structures. The Commonwealth Treasury has now revealed that it has also been concerned at the increasing impact of stapled structures on the corporate tax base by releasing a Consultation Paper calling for submissions on potential policy options in relation to stapled structures, the taxation of real property investments and the recharacterisation of trading income. Partner Martin Fry and Senior Associate Igor Golshtein report.

    Read More
  • Paper: 25 years of class actions

    27 March 2017

    Class action risk is changing. A new wave of entrepreneurialism by plaintiff lawyers and litigation funders has substantially changed class action dynamics in recent times. The 25th anniversary of the class action regime is a good opportunity to reflect on whether, in the light of those and other developments, the regime is still serving its objectives.

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

    23 March 2017

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

    Read More
  • Focus: Is hourly billing for liquidators back?

    21 March 2017

    The NSW Court of Appeal has recently considered the basis on which liquidators' 'reasonable remuneration' should be determined. Partner Chris Prestwich, Senior Associate Przemek Kucharski and Lawyer Kane Kersaitis report on the decision in Sanderson as Liquidator of Sakr Nominees Pty Ltd (in liquidation) v Sakr.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Innovative Superannuation Income Streams - at last

    21 March 2017

    Earlier today, Treasury released exposure draft regulations for 'Innovative Superannuation Income Streams'. They set out income stream standards that will be relevant for products such as deferred annuities and group self-annuitised products. The Allens Superannuation team reports.

    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
  • Client Update: Australia's foreign investment approval (FIRB) regime: what you need to know

    15 March 2017

    Australia's foreign investment approval regime is increasingly a major political issue that is often highlighted and discussed in the media. Our foreign investment law experts have summarised the key information you need to know about Australia's FIRB regime.

    Read More
  • Contract Law Update 2016

    15 March 2017

    When is a person bound by their e-signature? When does a breach of contract constitute a repudiation of that contract? When does an exchange of correspondence give rise to a binding contract? What is the latest on penalties? These were some of the contract law issues considered by appellate courts during the past year. In this update, we review the most important contract law decisions by Australian appellate courts in the past 12 months and consider their significance for the development of Australian contract law.

    Read More
  • Paper: Class actions in Australia

    14 March 2017

    Class actions are an established and important part of the Australian legal landscape. In recent years, Australia has become the most likely jurisdiction outside of the United States in which a corporation will face significant class action litigation.

    Read More
  • Paper: Shareholder class actions in Australia

    14 March 2017

    Class actions are an established and important part of the Australian legal landscape. In recent years, Australia has become the most likely jurisdiction outside of the United States in which a corporation will face significant class action litigation. This evolution has been facilitated by recent developments in the Australian legal landscape and Federal government support for class actions (and the litigation funding of class actions). This paper outlines some of the key issues and trends in Australian class actions (including litigation funding).

    Read More
  • Client Update: Misinterpretation of REC liability exemption leaves islanded generator high and dry

    14 March 2017

    A decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirming an assessment by the Clean Energy Regulator as to the liability of an off-grid generator under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth) highlights the need for liable entities to carefully consider their reliance on the 'small systems exemption'. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the decision which demonstrates the continued complexity facing those operating in the electricity sector.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Clearing the way for social impact investing

    10 March 2017

    The Commonwealth Treasury is seeking feedback on how to kickstart social impact investment in Australia.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector

    10 March 2017

    The Senate Economics References Committee is conducting an inquiry into the regulatory framework for the protection of consumers in the banking, insurance and financial services sector.

    Read More
  • In touch: Competition news

    8 March 2017

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

    Read More
  • Client Update: Victoria to ban fracking

    8 March 2017

    Victoria has become the first state to permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, passing new anti-fracking legislation this week. The new law also extends the moratorium on all onshore petroleum exploration and production in Victoria until 30 June 2020. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

    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
  • Client Update: Franchisors and holding companies liable under Vulnerable Workers Bill

    2 March 2017

    The Federal Government has introduced a Bill that will make franchisors liable for breaches of employment law by franchisees. Partner Simon Dewberry and Managing Associate Andrew Stirling report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: ACCC's Enforcement and Compliance priorities for 2017

    27 February 2017

    Criminal cartels, unfair contract terms, consumer guarantees and the health, construction and agriculture sectors are some of the ACCC's key enforcement and compliance priorities for 2017. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims released the ACCC's 2017 Compliance and Enforcement Policy on Friday, 24 February 2017.

    Read More
  • Allens insights: Australia - Fund Finance 2017, 1st Edition

    24 February 2017

    Fund financing facilities have continued to flourish in Australia, providing sponsors, general partners and trustees with additional funding flexibility and liquidity. Allens Partner Tom Highnam, Managing Associate Rita Pang, and Associate Victoria Johns provide an overview of the funds sector, current funding options and structuring, the prevalence of sovereign wealth funds and what new developments may be expected over the next twelve months.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Implications of the Critical Infrastructure Centre for foreign investment in Australia

    24 February 2017

    The Australian Government's Critical Infrastructure Centre, launched earlier this year, is part of the government's plans to manage national security concerns arising from foreign investment in Australian critical infrastructure. The Centre has released a discussion paper calling for input into how it can best work with governments, industry and investors to manage these risks. This paper provides greater insight into the Centre's role but there remain areas to be clarified. Partners Wendy Rae and Jeremy Low, Mergers & Acquisitions Counsel Andrew Wong and Associate Nicholas Kefalianos examine this issue from the perspective of Australia's foreign investment framework.

    Read More
  • Allens insights: Alternative models for financing water infrastructure

    23 February 2017

    A healthy pipeline of Australian infrastructure projects has created a certain level of competition for project funds. Partner Kate Axup, Associate Danielle Jones and Lawyer Luisa Colosimo recently contributed to a discussion paper on alternative funding models for financing Australia's water infrastructure in the face of a growing population, greater urbanisation and climate change.

    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: Forge-ing ahead - the treatment of fixtures under the PPSA

    21 February 2017

    The Court of Appeal has confirmed that under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) 'fixtures' are to be understood in the same way as at general law and the same common law test applies to determining whether goods affixed to land have become fixtures (ie part of the land). In unanimously upholding a 2016 decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the appeal decision serves as yet another remainder of the importance of registering security interests on the Personal Property Securities Register, including those arising under equipment leases. Partner Kim Reid, Senior Associate Przemek Kucharski and Associate Jonathon New, who acted for the successful party in this matter, report.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Senate Committee supports proposal to broaden the misuse of market power prohibition

    17 February 2017

    The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has published its report supporting the Government's proposed reforms to broaden the misuse of market power prohibition, but recommended that the mandatory factors be removed. It is expected that the Government will now seek to expeditiously progress the Bill through Parliament.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Federal Government addresses uncertainty around Indigenous Land Use Agreements

    17 February 2017

    The Federal Government has moved to provide certainty for those who rely on registered Indigenous Land Use Agreements, following the Full Federal Court's decision that called the legal status of these agreements into question, by introducing amending legislation. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the key elements.

    Read More
  • Client Update: Mandatory data breach notification scheme passed

    13 February 2017

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

    Read More
  • Client Update: Take care! Court confirms the devil in the details for PPSA registrations

    10 February 2017

    In a recent case a leasing company lost $23 million worth of leased equipment because it had registered the lease against the lessee company's ABN rather than its ACN – involving just two extra digits. The equipment vested in the lessee company when it went into voluntary administration. The court upheld the constitutional validity of the provision under which this occurred. Senior Finance Counsel Diccon Loxton and Partners Karla Fraser and Renee Boundy report on the case: Alleasing Pty Ltd v Onesteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd (Admins Apptd) [2017] NSW SC 21, a decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court.

    Read More
  • Allens insights: Trends over the past year in the Australian projects and infrastructure sectors

    8 February 2017

    A substantial pipeline of both private and public infrastructure projects has attracted a variety of local and offshore project finance providers wishing to gain exposure to returns from these attractive Australian investment opportunities. Allens Partners Nick Adkins, Scott McCoy and Rob Watt look at how this is unfolding, the increase in non-bank lenders competing for projects, the various funding models at play, and the opportunities available in the near future.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: English High Court provides important guidance on approach to LIBOR mis-selling claims

    7 February 2017

    The English High Court has handed down its judgment on the first major case following the global regulatory investigations into alleged LIBOR manipulation.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Retail banking remuneration review

    7 February 2017

    The Australian Bankers' Association last year commissioned Stephen Sedgwick to undertake a review of remuneration in retail banking.

    Read More
  • Unravelled: Improving external dispute resolution schemes - rather odd recommendations

    7 February 2017

    It is difficult to describe the interim recommendations of the Expert Panel reviewing the 'financial system external dispute resolution and complaints framework' as anything other than odd.

    Read More