Forum Law News - Issue #10
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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.

 
  PPSA and Pizza  
 

Update yourself on the new business laws over a complimentary dinner with us at the Italian Forum!

Laws relating to securing your interests in personal property changed substantially with the introduction of the new Personal Properties Securities Act on 1 January 2012.

Please refer to our PDF article for an overview of the Act and how it may affect you and your business. And to assist you in the understanding and working of the new law, Forum Law Solicitors invite you to join us at a complimentary dinner and discussion:

6.30–8.30pm, Wednesday 16 May 2012 at Caesars Italian Restaurant
Shop 30, The Italian Forum, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Our speakers will cover the following business related topics:

  • How the Personal Properties Securities Act may affect you and your business
    – presented by the Forum Law team
  • Recent developments in workplace law
    – presented by Elizabeth Devine, solicitor and workplace relations consultant
  • Recent developments in company and insolvency law
    – presented by our guest counsel

Please contact Karen on admin@forumlaw.com.au or phone 9560 3388 to secure your spot!

 
  Business Law News  
 

Big Brother is watching!

Have you considered the security of private information handled by your business?

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the National Privacy Principles regulate the ways in which businesses can deal with personal information. While the Privacy Commissioner currently has limited powers in relation to enforcing the National Privacy Principles, and ensuring whether breaches are harmless, businesses should not underestimate the reputational power of negative media reporting where the Commissioner has undertaken own-motion investigations or investigated individual complaints against businesses.

As a way of managing risk and testing compliance, Australian businesses should consider undertaking a privacy impact assessment for each new service or product that uses significant personal information.

 
  Consumer Law News  
 

Do you supply to consumers? If so, then make sure you are complying with the new rules…

Regulation 90 of the new Australian Consumer Law

As we've previously mentioned, from 1 January 2012, all importers, suppliers and manufacturers who supply to consumers must ensure their warranties against defects comply with the new regulation 90 of the new Australian Consumer Law to avoid substantial penalties.

Read complete article >

 
 
 

Don't be too smart in overstating or understating facts in your advertising

ACCC v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd (No 4) [2011] FCA 761

A recent Federal Court decision has emphasised the importance of the use of effective disclaimers in advertising and the consequences of failing to do so, including large civil pecuniary penalties. Under the current legislation, a court may order a corporation to pay up to $1.1 million for each act of misleading and deceptive conduct.

Read complete article >

 
  Property Law News  
 

Definition of a retail lease in the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW) reviewed in recent cases

Sydney Markets Ltd v Wilson [2011] NSWCA 201

This Court of Appeal decision involved Sydney Markets Ltd, who own and operate Paddy's Markets, and the occupancy agreement they held with Wilson, a man who operated a stall at those markets selling stationery and gifts. Sydney Markets Ltd extended their trading hours to an additional day and gave notice to Wilson that should he not wish to operate during the extended hours he would need to remove his stock from the area to allow for casual occupancy.

Lytton v North Bondi RSL Club Ltd [2011] NSWADT 86

This case related to whether a retail lease agreement had been entered into between Mr Lytton, who operated Blue Wave Bistro and the North Bondi RSL Club as under the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW). In formulating their decision the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal considered what defines a "Retail Lease" and in particular in this case where the Applicant occupied a kitchen and serving area in a club.

Read complete article >

 
 
 

Stamp duty exemptions and concessions affect new home buyers and builders

New arrangements for contracts entered into after 31 December 2011

The NSW Government's "First Home Plus" scheme, which offered exemptions on Stamp Duty for eligible first home buyers in NSW, was abolished as of 31 December 2011. However, certain first home buyers will still be eligible for exemptions or concessions on stamp duty under the new "First Home – New Home" and "Home Builders Bonus" schemes. The new arrangements affect purchases of vacant land, off-the-plan homes and buyers aged over 55.

Read complete article >

 
 
 

New land tax thresholds

Land tax is payable in NSW for each land tax year (January–December) in respect of property that does not qualify as the owners' principal place of residence, and is not land that is used for primary production purposes.

From 1 January 2012, land tax is charged on taxable properties valued for land tax purposes at $396,000 or more. The previous threshold was $387,000 for the 2011 land tax year.

The premium land tax threshold has also been increased from $2,366,000 to $2,421,000.

 
  Construction Law News  
 

New provisions in the Home Building Act for home builders

As we foreshadowed in our last issue, from 1 February 2012 various amendments affected the building of homes and residential premises, including statutory warranty periods, the threshold for mandatory home warranty insurance, additional home warranty insurance benefits for owners, and a ten-year limit on claims.

Read complete article >

 
  Company Law News  
 

Look before you leap into helping out and advising a company

Buzzle Operations Pty Ltd (in liq) v Apple Computer Australia Pty Ltd

The recent case of Buzzle Operations Pty Ltd (in liq) v Apple Computer Australia Pty Ltd [2011] NSWCA 109 has shed further light on whether a person or corporation will be considered a shadow director for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

In this case the company Buzzle was created by six retailers of Apple products and Apple was heavily involved in many respects. When Buzzle went into liquidation, the liquidators brought proceedings against Apple and tried to claim that Apple and its financial officer had been a shadow director of Buzzle.

Read complete article >

 
 
 

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.

 
     
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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