Forum Law News - Issue #16 March-April 2013
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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.

While the weather has cooled since our last newsletter, the Sydney property market has continued to heat up. Forum Law has been busily assisting a range of clients with purchases and sales of all sizes, in what seems to be an increasingly competitive market. Auction clearance rates remain high, and our vendors have been reaping the rewards. Several Forum Law clients have also relocated their businesses to bigger and better premises in recent months, keeping a steady stream of leases flowing across our desk.

 
  Pizza Night a success  
 

We presented our second annual Pizza Night for colleagues, clients and guests on 29 May 2013. The focus of our discussion this year was on Shareholder Agreements and the crucial importance of forward planning for new businesses. With a particular focus on family businesses of all sizes, Annette Fontana shared some interesting war stories and sage advice concerning key considerations for the players in a new company, joint venture or partnership: dispute resolution, succession and profit sharing.

Annette was joined on the night by Elizabeth Devine of Devine Law At Work who updated us on forthcoming developments in the law of employment, foremost among which are the new anti-bullying provisions of the Fair Work Act.

Closing the evening was Shabnam Amirbeaggi of Crouch Amirbeaggi Insolvency, who laid bare some recent portentous trends in the world of insolvency. Shabnam also gave us some insight into the operation of the PPS Register nearly 18 months after its commencement, and stressed the importance of always securing loans, advances and interests in personal property.

So don't stay out in the cold: please enjoy the select hot topics that follow, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions for the team at Forum Law.

 
  Property Law News  
 

Fitting out leased premises

A practical guide for tenants

An Agreement to Lease represent a contractually enforceable promise on the part of the landlord to grant the tenant a lease over premises that have been fitted out at an agreed time in the future, and an agreement to enter into that Lease on the part of the Tenant. It provides security and comfort to the parties where certain conditions must be met before the Lease can commence.

Read more about leasing of fitted-out or renovated properties >

 
 
 

New regulations for "paper subdivisions"

A raft of changes to existing laws and regulations affect property lawyers, owners, developers and investors alike

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Paper Subdivisions) Regulation 2013 (NSW) affects owners of so-called "paper subdivisions". A paper subdivision is a subdivision that is recorded by the preparation of a survey and registration of a plan of subdivision without the property itself being developed in any way.

Read about the new obligations resulting from the new legislation >

 
  Taxation Law News  
 

Partners to limited liability partnerships face increased risk

The Supreme Court decides in Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v McGuire [2013] NSWSC 184

In the case at hand, McGuire and Gray had, pursuant to s60 of the Act, limited their respective maximum liabilities in their partnership arrangement to $5.00 each. Their commercial leasing business had incurred a number of liabilities for income tax and GST of roughly $356,000, with interest accruing.

Read how the Supreme Court found for the Commissioner of Taxation >

 
  Charities and Not-for-profits Law News  
 

The new Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

A raft of changes to the law surrounding charitable and not-for-profit organisations stand particularly to impact directors

The newly created Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) commenced operations in December 2012. The ACNC registers and regulates charitable organisations. There are currently around 600,000 not-for-profit organisations in Australia of which around 160,000 are incorporated.

Read about the changes affecting directors of charities and not-for-profits >

 
  Trade Practices Law News  
 

Situations where courts may not find that one party took unconscionable advantage of the other

Kakavas v Crown Melbourne Limited ACN 006 973 262 & Ors [2013] HCA 25 gives some insight

This decision involved the High Court's unanimous dismissal of an appeal from a decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal. The State Court had found that the defendant Crown Melbourne, which owns and operates a casino in Melbourne, had not acted unconscionably in permitting Mr. Kakavas to squander significant sums of money gambling at the casino.

Read how the High Court decided the case >

 
 
 

ACL compliance checklist

A new resource for small business and retailers

The NSW Department of Fair Trading has recently released a new checklist for small business and retailers, which aims to assist business owners to comply with their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

Read more >

 
     
 
 
 

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 or email us.

 
     
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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