Tag Archives: Gadens

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Federal Government introduces Insolvency Law Reform Bill 2015

The Insolvency Law Reform Bill 2015 has been introduced into Parliament as part of the Australian Government’s strategy to modernise and strengthen the nation’s insolvency and corporate reorganisation framework.

The Bill comes at a time when the Government has announced major changes to insolvency law as part of its innovation package concerning areas like insolvent trading as well as default periods for personal bankruptcies. Those changes, however, appear only to be in the embryonic stage and seem to have overshadowed other important reforms which the Government has slipped into Parliament just last week.

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New Australian foreign investment laws now in effect

This week, new foreign investment laws come into operation.

On 20 August 2015, the Australian government introduced the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 to amend the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA). The Bill was passed by both houses in late November 2015 and the amendments, together with revised regulations came into force on 1 December 2015.  The new foreign investment regime introduces a number of important changes to the law. This alert identifies some of the more significant changes.  The new foreign investment regime is quite complex.  It has different effects on different industries, and, as a result of free trade agreements, does not treat investors from different countries in the same way.

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Social Media: How to Maximise Consumer Engagement without Breaching the Law

When it comes to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, companies need to manage consumer interactions carefully to contain legal risk.

We explored the issues at our seminar in Melbourne last week on Social Media: How to Maximise Consumer Engagement without Breaching the Law.  The seminar was attended by more than 110 people from a range of industries including FMCG, property management, sports, and advertising and marketing.

Below is a summary of key points from each of the presenters at the seminar.  If you missed it, we will also be presenting the seminar in Sydney on 30 November 2015 – let us know if you’d like to attend.

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Closing the gap through education

From 26 – 29 August 2015, a group of enthusiastic Gadens partners and staff joined senior executives from St.George Bank to host the second consecutive Lilla Sports and Storytelling Festival, in the remote Aboriginal community of Lilla in the Watarrka National Park in central Australia.

A short video of highlights of the Festival has been produced by Broderick Aitken and can be viewed by clicking play on the image below.

 

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Home care changes: What you need to know

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has issued a discussion paper announcing that from February 2017, the home care system is set for major changes that will substantially affect the delivery of home care by approved providers.  Any existing residential or flexible care provider will be able to ‘opt in’ to deliver home care and there will be a redirection of the management of packages from the approved provider to the care recipient. The discussion paper continues the overall reforms announced in the Living Longer Living Better reforms of 2013.

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How does the use of a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund assist with Wealth Planning

Subject to strict legally enforceable rules and sanctions, a self-managed superannuation fund provides a facility that is assisted by tax concessions to accumulate wealth which is locked away for retirement or death.

There are tax concessions that apply in three main ways.  A complying self-managed superannuation fund in the accumulation phase will pay tax on earnings at the special rate of 15%.  Secondly, tax concessions are awarded to contributors in that they are entitled to limited tax deductions for their contributions.  Contributors pay a flat 15% tax on contributions, although there are annual caps on how much money can be contributed in both pre-tax and post-tax dollars.  Those contributors with an adjusted taxable income of $300,000.00 or more pay 30% tax on contributions.  Thirdly, when the superannuation benefits are paid they are taxed concessionally or may even be tax free.

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Forcing the collective sale or re-development of strata schemes – explaining the new laws

Last week, the NSW Government introduced new legislation into parliament that would authorise the collective sale or re-development of freehold strata schemes.  The laws would allow strata scheme sites to be sold or re-developed without the unanimous agreement of the owners.

This is a radical change.  At present, with some limited exceptions, strata schemes are only terminated with the agreement of all lot owners within a scheme.

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Gene Patenting Disallowed

The High Court has refused to allow a patent claim to an isolated gene.

D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35 (7 October 2015).

Despite 6 judges below agreeing that the claims were patentable, the 7 member High Court has held that the claims are not a manner of manufacture within the meaning of section 6 of the Statute of Monopolies and section 18 Patents Act.

French CJ, Kiefel, Bell & Keane JJ (and Gordon J separately) seem to have been persuaded largely by arguments of high policy, namely the need to avoid gene patenting having a ‘chilling effect’ on medical procedures and innovation. [8], [93], [259]-[264].  The majority also emphasised that the claims, properly understood, concentrated on the genetic information rather than the chemical composition or any method of creating the product.  [90].  This was observed to be in accordance with the approach taken by the US Supreme Court to the same patent application.

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Atlanta – we have a deal on the TPP

After 5 years of negotiations and a last minute “go around” at the recent Maui meetings, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) equivalent of Papal white smoke has appeared in Atlanta with an announcement that a deal has been struck on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The deal includes 12 countries, some of whom are already parties to FTAs with Australia and some of whom are not parties to FTAs with Australia already (Canada, Mexico and Peru). –

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Gadens supports Camp Quality families

Gadens in Melbourne recently held a special firm event with a difference. What started out as a complete surprise (up until the start no one knew what to expect), turned into two-and-a-half hours of fun, excitement and great teamwork, to help make a difference in people’s lives.

More than 100 people from Gadens participated in a Bikes for Tykes team activity. Undertaking a series of tasks and challenges, the end goal for each team was to build a bicycle. In all twelve bicycles were built for the firm’s nominated charity, Camp Quality (campquality.org.au). The night culminated with each bicycle being given to a child supported by Camp Quality.

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