Legal Update – Unfair Contract Terms Regime Extended to Small Business Transactions

26 October 2016

From 12 November 2016, Federal laws which make so-called “unfair terms” in standard form consumer contracts legally unenforceable will be extended to apply to small businesses as well. Previously, these laws only applied to contracts where the product/service was purchased for personal, domestic or household use. With the extension of the laws imminent, time is of the essence for suppliers to small businesses to understand their impact and to take steps to ensure their contracts are in line with the new laws or revised in a way that assists their enforceability.

What is an “Unfair Term”?  Continue Reading

Legal Update – Update: Tenants Beware of Promises To Be “Looked After” – High Court Hands Down Decision

A Cautionary Tale from the High Court: Tenants Beware – High Court Hands Down Decision

In July, we updated you on a case that was awaiting the High Court of Australia’s decision. The case concerned a promise by a landlord that a tenant would be “looked after at renewal time”. The High Court has handed down its decision and confirmed that the “promise” was too uncertain to be legally enforceable by the tenant.

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Legal Update – Blockchain: What Is It and What It Means For Your Business

BLOCKCHAIN: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

It is common for businesses seek to advance their interests by transacting with persons with whom they have no pre-existing relationship. This often means there is a limited foundation of trust, where substantial finances may be at stake. For years, businesses have dealt with this lack of trust through the use of contracts which minimise the risk of expectations not being aligned, or worse, deliberate betrayals of that trust.

“Blockchain” is considered an innovative new solution to the “trust issues” in business. So much so, it is tipped to revolutionise how business transactions are performed in the future. Continue Reading

Legal Update – Removing Rights of Termination – Insolvency

18 JULY 2016

It has been reported that the construction industry accounts for 20 to 25 per cent of all insolvencies in Australia. So when the Federal Government recently proposed new laws aimed at making legally unenforceable clauses which allow contracts to be terminated solely due to an insolvency event, it is arguably the construction industry that stands to be most affected.

Why reform? Continue Reading

Legal Update – Tenants Beware: Promises Must Be Outlined In Contract

18 JULY 2016

KEEP PROMISES IN CONTRACT

It is all too common for landlords (or managing agents) to make promises to prospective tenants in the hope of encouraging them to enter into a lease, without those promises ever making it into the signed lease. One such case was recently heard by the High Court of Australia which is expected to hand down its decision very shortly. The promise which the High Court was asked to consider was essentially this: where the tenant had no right of renewal under its lease, if the tenant agreed to carry out substantial refurbishments to its premises the Landlord would ensure the tenant is “looked after at renewal time”. Continue Reading