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Our legal experts will keep you up to date on all relevant and current developments.

The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Can AI invent software?
Friday 17 September 2021 / by Tal Williams & Edita Grinbergs posted in Intellectual Property Protection Technology Law Artificial Intelligence Patents Intellectual Property Patents Act 1990

The Commissioner of Patents will appeal the Australian Federal Court’s recent decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, to allow machines to be recognised as inventors on a patent application, on the basis that the decision is ‘incompatible’ with Australian patent law


Infosys Technologies Limited v State Of Victoria [2021] VSCA 219
Wednesday 8 September 2021 / by Nick Maley & Peter Kefalas posted in Workplace Relations Long Service Leave Infosys Technologies Victorian Court of Appeal

In the recent decision of Infosys Technologies Limited v State Of Victoria [2021] VSCA 219, the Victorian Court of Appeal held that that an employer is not liable to make long service leave payments to former employees in circumstances where part of their employment has been undertaken outside Victoria, and where there is no sufficient connection between that external employment and the State of Victoria.


Put and Call Option Agreements in Residential Property Transactions

With a look at the recent matter of BP7 Pty Limited v Gavancorp Pty Limited [2021] NSWSC 265, Property Partner Robyn Chamberlain discusses Put and Call Option Agreements within the context of residential property transactions.


Decennial Liability Insurance Considered for Apartment Buildings in New South Wales

The New South Wales Government is considering ‘Decennial Liability’ insurance (or inherent defect insurance) - with the NSW Building Commission undertaking research, and due to report back to the Government in early 2022.


Webinar Recording: Avoiding Delta in the Workplace with Professor Catherine Bennett
Friday 27 August 2021 / by Alicia Mataere & Lee Pike posted in Workplace Relations Mandatory Vaccinations COVID-19 Delta Variant Professor Catherine Bennett

Presented by Professor Catherine Bennett, Deakin’s Chair of Epidemiology and Holman Webb Workplace Relations Partner Alicia Mataere and Associate Lee Pike on Thursday 26 August, this webinar examined the impact that COVID-19, and specifically the Delta strain, is set to impact Australian workplaces.

Click through to view the webinar recording, and to access the accompanying slides.


Working From Home With Kids: What Options Do Employers Have With Working Parents?

When working parents are struggling to balance remote learning and their own responsibilities as an employee during lockdown, employers often wonder what options are available for them to help their staff.

As each employee’s circumstances will be different, it is impossible to apply a blanket rule - so the best way for employers to assist their employees in managing their individual responsibilities during lockdown is to have a full understanding of the options available to them.

In this article we explore three key options for employers:

  1. Flexible Working Arrangements
  2. Schedule X – Pandemic Leave Award Provisions
  3. COVID-19 Long Service Leave Amendments

Retail and Commercial Leases During COVID-19: The Return of Rent Waivers and Deferrals (Another 2021 Update)

On 14 July 2021, the NSW Government passed the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 which limited the exercise of certain rights by a lessor under retail and other commercial leases for a breach of the lease if:

  • the lessee is a business that qualifies for certain grants due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • the breach is a prescribed breach that occurs between 13 July 2021 and 20 August 2021.

Despite this, the 2021 Regulations did not initially provide for rent relief (waiver or deferrals of rent), or prohibit the increasing of rent under a lease as the Regulations made in 2020 did - they only prohibited landlords from taking certain "Prescribed Action" against a tenant between 13 July 2021 and 20 August 2021.   On 13 August 2021, in response to the surge of COVID-19 cases, the NSW Government passed the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Amendment Regulation 2021 which:

  • extended the Prescribed Period to 13 January 2022 (so that the Prescribed Period became the 6 month period from 13 July 2021 to 13 January 2022); and
  • re-introduced the requirement for landlords and tenants to renegotiate the rent payable under Impacted Leases, in order to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the leasing principles set out in the Code.  

This update from Property and Commercial Special Counsel Alex Bentancor takes a look at the latest changes, and how they're set to impact both retail and commercial landlords and tenants.


Upcoming Webinar: Avoiding Delta in the Workplace w/ Prof. Catherine Bennett (26 August 2021)

Join Professor Catherine Bennett, Deakin’s Chair of Epidemiology and Holman Webb Workplace Relations Partner Alicia Mataere and Associate Lee Pike on Thursday 26 August as they discuss:

  • How has Delta changed the game?
  • How can businesses manage the risk of Delta in the workplace?
  • Can you ask employees to declare their vaccination status?
  • What are the potential consequences of a Delta outbreak in your workplace?
  • What will the workplace look like following COVID-19 and Delta?

Click through to register your attendance today!


Franchising Code Changes - Five Key Areas of Interest

The highly-anticipated changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct are now in force.

These changes follow a parliamentary inquiry into the Code, which began in 2018. The inquiry saw many franchisees explain how their franchised business failed, and the consequences on their lives. It also exposed questionable business strategies by some franchisors, and has directly led to at least one enforcement action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

It is important for both franchisors and franchisees to understand that significant changes to the Code are now in force – many of which involve imposing civil penalties for breach.

This article contains a summary of five core areas that have seen significant change. 


Electronic Signing of Documents by Companies and the Conduct of Virtual Meetings - Legislation Passed

On 10 August 2021 both Houses of Parliament passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures  No 1) Bill 2021, enabling companies to sign and execute documents, hold meetings, provide notices relating to meetings and keep minutes using electronic means or other alternative technologies, until the end of March 2022.

The Act will formally take effect once it receives Royal assent.


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