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

Case Note: Transport Workers Union of Australia v Qantas Airways Limited 2021 FCA 873

In the lengthy Federal Court judgment in Transport Workers Union of Australia v Qantas Airways Limited 2021 FCA 873 delivered on 30 July 2021, Lee J  found that Qantas took adverse action when it made over 2,000 workers redundant, and that the airline could not prove that its reasons for doing so were not prohibited by the Fair Work Act 2009

The consequences of the breach are yet to be determined.


Context Must be Considered Where There is Ambiguity in an Insurance Policy
Thursday 29 July 2021 / by Stephanie Davis & Heather McIntosh posted in Insurance Property Opal Tower Construction Insurance Insurance Policy Construction Contract

In the Full Federal Court decision of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Australia Branch trading as Liberty Specialty Markets v Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 126 given on 20 July 2021, the Full Court addressed the construction and scope of thirdparty liability policies in the context of claims made by a building and construction company for losses occurring as a result of the manifestation of serious defects within a building, during the defects liability period.

Key Take Away
  1. The Full Court maintained that in the event of ambiguity in an insurance policy, the context (including the market) in which the parties are operating, as well as the commercial purpose of the policy, must be considered (Icon’s Cross Appeal); and
  2. Similarly, the Full Court considered that the context of Insurance Policies must always be considered in circumstances where the definition of ordinary words are not clear (QBE Appeal).
  3. The Full Court ultimately prefers Policy Interpretation which refers to extrinsic contextual material where Policy terms are not clear.

Retail and Commercial Leases During COVID-19: A History and 2021 Update

Retail and Commercial tenants in NSW are likely familiar with the operation of the provisions of the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles and the NSW Government’s regulations that followed to give effect to the Code in response to COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and, for some tenants, the first quarter of 2021.

This piece includes a summary of the Code and the regulations that were made to give legal effect to the Code from April to December 2020 and, to a more limited extent, the first quarter of 2021.


Ransomware Payments Bill 2021 – Will You Need to Report?

On 21 June 2021, Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security, Tim Watts introduced the private members Ransomware Payments Bill 2021 (Cth) into Parliament. The Bill would require the Commonwealth Government and big businesses to report ransomware payments to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

The Bill was introduced in response to the 200% increase in reported ransomware attacks on Australian organisations - including prominent incidents affecting companies such as JBS Foods and Nine Entertainment.


Lucy Rooney Listed in Elite Women in Insurance 2021: Insurance Business Magazine

Holman Webb is pleased to announce that Insurance Partner Lucy Rooney has been listed in Insurance Business Magazine's Elite Women in Insurance 2021!


Lenders and Financiers: The Importance of Meeting Obligations

The 16 July 2021 decision in LNCP002 Pty Limited v Akcin [2021] NSWSC 848 has highlighted the obligations of lenders and financiers to act fairly and in good faith with respect to borrowers in mortgage lending, and to do what they have promised to do.


COVID-19, Vaccinations and the Workplace –  What Employers Need to Know

In light of the recent extended lockdown in Sydney, and the new short lockdown in Melbourne, the question again arises in relation to whether an employer can require its workers to be vaccinated against the COVID‑19 virus.

There are a myriad of discretionary issues for an employer to step through in determining whether it can direct its workers to be vaccinated; as well as what steps an employer can take if the worker refuses to follow such a direction.


The Importance of Staff Training and Cyber Security Vigilance

In a recent article, Holman Webb highlighted the importance of the Essential Eight mitigation strategies recommended by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) which, if implemented, minimises the chance of an organisation falling victim to a cyber-attack.

With this in mind, we thought it timely to remind readers of the importance of staff training and cyber-security vigilance.


The Impact of COVID-19 on Property Contracts: Dyco Hotels Pty Ltd v Laundy Hotels (Quarry) Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 504

The recent case of Dyco Hotels Pty Ltd v Laundy Hotels (Quarry) Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 504 reminded me of a matter I was involved in last year during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

In that matter, Holman Webb acted for the seller of the freehold and business of a hotel.  Contracts were exchanged when knowledge of COVID-19 was only just starting to spread - although settlement was due after the public health orders had been implemented.

The lockdown caused hardship for many people.  Fortunately, in this particular matter, the parties came to a sensible settlement and the sale was able to proceed.

Contrastingly, in the recent NSW Supreme Court case of Dyco Hotels v Laundy Hotels (Quarry), the parties were unable to settle the dispute – with the seller terminating the Contract and keeping the deposit of $562,500.


Insurance Webinar Recording: Apportionment and Contribution in Insurance

Click through to watch Holman Webb's latest insurance webinar: Apportionment and Contribution in Insurance.

Presented by General Insurance Partner Peter Bennett and Associate Linda Huynh on Tuesday 6 July 2021, this webinar examines a range of significant cases relating to apportionment and contribution in insurance.

Discussion topics include:

  • Contributory negligence.
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout.
  • Intoxication.
  • Contributory negligence can defeat a claim by being determined at 100%.
  • Contributory negligence in contract.
  • Joint tortfeasor, where judgment entered for a defendant.
  • Proportionate liability.
  • Where the plaintiff is unable to recover from the concurrent wrongdoer.
  • Liability of an employer for a hire worker.

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