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The Centro case emphasises the importance of fulfilling duties of care and due diligence when signing off on financial reports this annual reporting season, or in respect of other matters on behalf of a company.
In our last newsletter, we considered the recent decision of the Federal Court in the Centro case (ASIC v Healey & Ors). By way of recap, 8 directors of the Centro group of companies were found to have approved financial statements that, inter alia:
On the basis of such errors, the directors in question were found to have contravened their duties to act with due care and diligence and to take all reasonable steps to comply with the financial reporting obligations contained in the Corporations Act. The practical implications of Centro for directors are far-reaching. In summary, key points illustrated by the decision include the following: