Forum Law News - Issue #8
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At Forum Law we know that it's vital to stay up to date with the latest legal developments that are relevant to your industry, workplace or personal circumstances. In our Forum Law News we describe some of the recent cases that may be of interest, and link to the full outlines of the cases and how their decisions affect the relevant laws, on our website.

  Company Law News  

The fall-out from the Centro case: implications for directors unfold

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. We summarise the key practical implications illustrated by the decision.

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More alarm bells for directors: the court orders a director to pay damages to a creditor

A recent decision of the Queensland Supreme Court under s1324 of the Corporations Act threatens to extend the liabilities of directors into fresh fields.

A director has been ordered under s1324 to pay damages to a creditor of his company for a breach of his duties to the company.

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Timbercorp and directors' duties of disclosure

Timbercorp offered managed investment schemes centred on forestry and horticulture, and financed investment in these schemes by investors. In April 2009, the company collapsed, at which time Timbercorp was owed some $478 million over some 14,500 loans.

The judgement also provides a useful illustration of the misrepresentations or non-disclosures that can be cited in a class action to retrieve debts, plus the extent of disclosure that will be sufficient to discharge directors' duties of disclosure to investors.

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  Family Trusts Law News  

Duties are owed by trustees to beneficiaries with respect to income-earning assets such as an investment property

The recent High Court decision of Byrnes v Kendle [2011] reinforces the strict duties that apply to trustees with respect to the management and preservation of trust assets.

The Court iterated that a trustee owes a duty to use the assets of a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries, such that, if an asset is capable of yielding income, the trustee has a duty to pursue such income.

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  Construction Law News  

Establish effective procedures for payment claims and schedules

The decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd v Parsons Brincknerhoff Australia Pty Ltd [2011] is highly instructive to the building and construction industry.

During the upgrade of a passenger rolling stock production facility in Glendale, New South Wales, Parsons served a" payment claim" on Downer which was addressed to Downer's Glendale office, but which was faxed to other Downer offices.

The lesson to be learnt here is that contracts between contractors must be clear about the address for service of notices.

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  Property Law News  

Clarifying the nature of excess payments on Home Owners Warranty insurance claims

Where a strata building comes within the Home Building Act [i.e. including where the building is more than 2 storeys in height] Home Owners Warranty [HOW] insurance provides indemnity for the owners corporation of a Strata Plan for the cost of repairing or rectifying building defects in Strata Plan common property.

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Vero Insurance v Owners of Strata Plan 69352 [2011] clarifies the responsibilities of lot owners and the body corporate with respect to the payment of excess on claims under HOW policies.

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  Employment Law News  

When is the dismissal of an employee for breach of safety or OH&S considered "harsh, unjust or unreasonable"?

In the case of Wililo v Parmalat Food Products Pty Ltd [2010] a forklift driver was dismissed for a number of breaches of applicable safety regulations. Among other things, the driver was found to have placed himself under a forklift load that was not secured.

In Lawrence v Coal & Allied Mining Services Pty Ltd [2010] Commissioner Macdonald of FWA found at first instance that the dismissal of a mining employee for serious breaches of safety policy, consisting of deliberate breaching of isolation procedures concerning a water pump, was harsh and unjust.

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  Consumer Law News  

Repairers of consumer goods note: repairs affected by the Australian Consumer Law

New regulations under the Australian Consumer law introduced in July this year provide added protection to consumers engaging third parties to carry out repairs to their goods, being goods used for ordinary domestic or household use under $40,000.

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If you would like to discuss any of these issues or if you require any legal advice or assistance please contact us at Forum Law on +61 2 9560 3388.


Office space for lease in Leichhardt

Forum Law has an office space to lease to a specialist lawyer / accountant / property professional / finance professional of 10.5 square metres. Additionally there are reception and kitchen facilities shared with Forum Law and Devine Law at Work.

The monthly fee is $835 including GST, plus a portion of electricity use. We're located in the Italian Forum in Leichhardt with plenty of free parking for clients. For more information please contact Lisa or Annette on 9560 3388.


Sent by Forum Law (Aust) Pty Ltd | Suite 44, 23 Norton Street (The Forum), Leichhardt NSW 2040
phone 02 9560 3388 | fax 02 9569 5423 | Forum Law website