Legal Updates

Hall & Wilcox advises Sto Group on acquisition of Unitex

Leading Australian law firm Hall & Wilcox is pleased to have advised German company Sto Group on its acquisition of Unitex, an Australian manufacturer and distributor of building products for residential and commercial architectural products.

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No negligence in tragic accident

The District Court has recently dismissed a claim arising from serious injuries sustained in a fall from a roof, finding that the occupier had no duty of care to warn of an obvious risk of harm.
Keven Gors attended at a house with his brother to remove a hot water system unit from the roof. The intention was to transfer the hot water system to a house in which he was living. Mr Gors and the defendants were neighbouring farmers.

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Fair Work Commission finds dismissal following Facebook tirade to be harsh

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has once again considered the persistent challenges raised by an employee’s use of social media outside work.

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Regulations for WA Work Health and Safety

The public consultation phase for the Work Health and Safety Act for Western Australia (WHS Act (WA)) ended on 31 August 2018.

On Tuesday 27 August 2019, Western Australian Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston announced that they are now seeking submissions on the introduction of three sets of Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations to support the WHS Act (WA). The proposed regulations are:

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An Overview of the SEC’s “Regulation Best Interest” and Form CRS

Broker-dealers (“BDs”) should be aware that, on June 5, 2019, the SEC adopted “Regulation Best Interest” (“Reg BI”), which requires BDs and their registered representatives (“RRs”) to “act in the best interest of the retail customer,” when “making a recommendation” regarding “a securities transaction or investment strategy.”  In addition, the SEC’s new rules require BDs to deliver Form CRS relationship summaries (“Form CRS”) to retail customers.  BDs will need to be in compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS, which were accompanied by more than 1,000 pages of explanation, by June 30, 2020.   On August 7, 2019, FINRA issued Notice 19-26, which informed BDs and RRs of the need to comply, but offered no guidance on compliance.  This post summarizes some of the key aspects of Reg BI and Form CRS.

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Talking Tax – Issue 170

Meeting the personal services business tests

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) in the case of Ariss v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] AATA 2958 has held that money generated by the Taxpayer’s activities as an IT consultant, and split between the Taxpayer and his wife via a third-party trust arrangement, was in fact personal services income (PSI) and directly assessable to the Taxpayer.

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A timely reminder: extensions of time for registration under PPSA

The decisions of In the matter of Assta Labels Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 1094 (Assta), In the matter of Psyche Holdings Pty Limited [2018] NSWSC 1254 (Psyche and, In the matter of Highlake Resources Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 1292 (Highlake) have added clarity to the factors courts will consider in assessing whether to grant an extension of time for registration on the ‘Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA).[1]

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Hire Car Damages

On 3 September 2019, the Supreme Court of NSW handed down judgment in three appeals which were heard concurrently. All three appeals dealt with a plaintiff’s entitlement to damages for a replacement vehicle hired following a motor vehicle collision.

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Social media in the dock: High Court view on employee’s tweets

On 7 August 2019, the High Court handed down a decision finding that a commonwealth employee’s employment was lawfully terminated due to disciplinary action taken against her for broadcasting anonymously more than 9,000 tweets which were critical of her then-employer (the Department of Immigration), other employees and government and opposition immigration policies generally. While the case has been the subject of some media comment and scrutiny, it is nonetheless worthwhile looking at some of the more interesting issues arising from the case.

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Esports arrests demonstrates broad reach of sports integrity laws

In late August 2019 Victorian and Western Australian police executed search warrants and arrested six people in relation to suspicious betting activity relating to esports matches.1 It is alleged that those arrested had arranged to throw matches in the popular esport Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

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