1 July 2015
A unanimous Court of Appeal made the obiter dicta observation that the only cause of action that is apportionable under the Australian Consumer Law is the civil liability arising from misleading or deceptive conduct prohibited by s18 (a general prohibition on misleading or deceptive conduct in trade or commerce). Causes of action based on other similar but narrower provisions in the Australia Consumer Law, such as the s30 prohibition on false or misleading representations in connection with the sale or grant of land, are not apportionable.
Whilst the Court of Appeal’s observation was obiter, this case is the latest in a line of Federal and High Court decisions, and is arguably consistent with analogous views of the High Court in Selig v Wealthsure Pty Ltd  HCA 18 (Selig).
The authors considered those cases in an article last month, and this new case should be seriously considered by those whose interests are affected by proportionate liability.
Author: JC van der Walt
30 June 2015
As of today the minimum wage and award rates will increase at a Federal and State level.
Author: Renae Harding
26 June 2015
On 3 June 2015 the Australian Government introduced the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015 (Cth) (Bill). The Bill transforms the Australian Small Business Commissioner into the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) and outlines the functions and powers of the Ombudsman.
1 June 2015
Local government receives a number of benefits from real estate transactions with foreign persons.
The FIRB requirements otherwise applicable to foreign persons purchasing real estate in Australia do not apply if the seller is a local government.
Author: Simon Moen
29 May 2015
Recent developments in labour hire arrangements – contractor v employee and transfer of business ramifications
Although labour hire arrangements are often touted as being a simple way to avoid the complexities that come with having direct staff, recent decisions have shown that they can have unintended consequences.
The following newsletter summarises two recent cases. The first provides guidance in determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor, and makes it clear that sometimes a worker will be a direct employee regardless of a purported labour hire arrangement. The second describes how a worker’s service with a labour hire company can be included as direct service with an employer if the worker is made a permanent employee.
22 May 2015
Phoenix Directors” beware: Directors of phoenix companies held liable for underpayments to employees
In the recent case of Roberts v A1Scaffold Group Pty Ltd & Ors  FCCA 422 the Federal Circuit Court has held company directors personally liable to pay compensation to former employees for Award underpayments.
21 May 2015
The Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Act 2015 (Cth) introduces a comprehensive range of changes to the administrative processes, disclosure obligations and various exceptions under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth).
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Author: Ryan Chorley
13 May 2015
‘Deep pocket’ defendants still liable for the kitchen sink – The High Court limits which claims are ‘apportionable’
A Ponzi scheme, moral culpability, statutory interpretation and disagreeing Federal Court judges. Those were the ingredients that lead the High Court in Selig v Wealthsure Pty Ltd  HCA 18 (Selig) to consider the proportionate liability regime for just the second time since the legislation was introduced more than 10 years ago.
The High Court, in an unanimous decision by French CJ, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler and Keane JJ, determined that the only cause of action that is apportionable under the Corporations Act is the civil liability arising from the misleading or deceptive conduct prohibited by s1041H (a general prohibition on misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to a financial product or a financial service, the contravention of which leads to civil liability only).
In doing so, the High Court settled a lingering inconsistency between two previous Federal Court decisions.
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Author: JC van der Walt
7 May 2015
Much is made about registering against the serial numbers of serial numbered property under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth). However, the actual effect of failing to register by serial number or registering against an incorrect serial number is often overlooked. Serial number is defined to mean a serial number by which the regulations require, or permit, the collateral to be described in a registration.
Author: Hilary Hunt
22 April 2015
The Federal Circuit Court has used the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) to hold company directors personally liable to pay compensation for Award underpayments to an employee in Roberts v A1Scaffold Group Pty Ltd & Ors  FCCA 422.