This month in the law
Welcome to the inaugural Legal Writers Wrap Up! Every month we’ll highlight some of the more interesting developments in Australian law and see if we can help you target more clients with timely news. We’ve summarised a few developments below along with a quick look at who may want to know.
If your clients would be interested in hearing more about these changes, or you’d like to write an article for an industry publication, get in touch and we’ll be happy to draft something for you. If you’d like to subscribe and receive this newsletter by email, click here.
Maximum penalties for businesses who breach record-keeping laws have been doubled with the introduction of the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 on 14 September 2017.
Relevant to: Business owners and employees who may have a dispute to lodge.
The big buzz is around the Victorian Government’s proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, intended to offer tenants more protection.
Relevant to: Landlords, tenants, real estate agents and property developers.
Queensland is moving towards e-conveyancing, with Settlement Notices formally replaced with Priority Notices from the end of this year.
Relevant to: Queensland real estate clients
Illegal phoenixing (where a company transfers assets to avoid paying creditors, tax or employees) is on the government’s hit list. The Minister is currently consulting industry on potential amendments.
Relevant to: Insolvency practitioners or any business that may be at risk of trading whilst insolvent.
Startups and Private Equity
Eligible unlisted public companies may now seek up to $5 million in funding every 12 months through licensed online crowd-sourced funding intermediaries under the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Act 2017 (Cth).
Relevant to: Start-ups and other small eligible unlisted public companies
Privacy and Data Protection
The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 received royal assent on 22 February 2017 and gives companies up to 12 months before the Act imposes penalties.
Relevant to: Business clients will benefit from advice now so they have time to comply.
Competition and Consumer
The Misuse of Market Power test in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) has been reduced, making it easier for the ACCC to prove a breach.
Other changes recommended by the Harper Review that will also come into effect soon include changes to the merger authorisation process, cartels, resale price maintenance and third-line forcing.
Relevant to: Any business that trades or that may merge or acquire with another in the near future.