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

May 24, 2013 3:54:00 PM / by John Van de Poll posted in Insurance
Unlike the Bible, when David takes on Goliath in the real world, Goliath almost always wins. Not any more. Enter the new species of litigation – the class action and the litigation funder. As we become more risk averse to litigation, yet continue to live in an age of consumerism where goods and services are mass produced, the idea of an army of Davids is emerging.

Class actions are a species of litigation emanating from the US, where individuals joined together to take legal action against a company or Government. They are becoming more common in Australia, especially following tort reforms in 2002 and are referred to as ‘representative proceedings’ which can be brought by virtue of the Representative Group Proceedings Act 1991.

There are three threshold requirements. Firstly, seven or more persons must claim against the same defendant. Secondly, claims must arise from related circumstances and thirdly, there must be a substantial common issue of law or fact.

May 23, 2013 3:52:00 PM / by Alison Choy Flannigan posted in Health, Aged Care & Life Sciences

Our health, aged care and life sciences team discuss a range of topical health, life sciences, medico-legal, retirement living and aged care, not-for-profit, social media, privacy and employment issues. To read the latest copy of the Health Law Bulletin, click here.

Apr 10, 2013 3:51:00 PM / by Peter Bennett posted in Insurance
Chand v Zurich Insurance

In a judgment handed down in the NSW Supreme Court, the Court was asked to determine whether an action for recovery of repair costs may be sought by an insurer, under its right of subrogation, after the settlement of recovery of rental car costs had been already finalised by consent judgment.

Adams J determined that there can be no splitting of actions for the recovery of repair costs and the recovery of rental costs, rather judgment for the first claim will preclude the second claim unless the defendant was aware of both claims at the time of the first settlement - as per the ‘Morganite’ principle.

Apr 2, 2013 3:49:00 PM / by Robin Young posted in Workplace Relations

Sexual harassment is an all too common and lamentable act that can damage an employer’s credibility and, to a degree, destabilises an organisation’s commercial goals. A recent case involving a software company and a consulting manager employed there, highlights the absolute importance of giving due attention to detail in policies, as the company was ultimately held responsible for an employee’s conduct because it failed to clearly state that sexual harassment is unlawful.

Apr 2, 2013 3:47:00 PM / by Robin Young posted in Workplace Relations

Finding a competitive edge over rival organisations is essential to any organisation’s success - and the loss of sensitive information used to achieve that advantage can severely damage a business.

Apr 2, 2013 3:41:00 PM / by Tal Williams posted in Business Corporate & Commercial

The introduction of tablets, smart phones and other mobile devices is driving down the use of personal computers and printers and making life tough for businesses who service these peripherals. For two rival distributors of printer cartridges the increased competition in a declining market has made it all the way to the Federal Court in a case involving a copyright breach when one of the distributors made use of material from its competitor’s website.

Feb 7, 2013 2:11:00 PM / by Simon Rigby posted in Dispute Resolution

The ACCC had claimed that sponsored links displayed by Google between 2005 and 2008 had conveyed misleading and deceptive representations.  The case involved searches using keywords such as Harvey World Travel and Honda, which were redirected to competitors websites.

Treasury has announced that implementation of the unrelated commercial activities tax will be further delayed to 1 July 2014.  The tax remains retrospective for those unrelated commercial activities that commenced after 7:30 PM on 10 May 2011, subject to passing the enabling legislation.  This leaves charities with uncertainty regarding the tax status of their commercial activities.

Jan 24, 2013 2:04:00 PM / by Grant Hansen posted in

Cloud computing is already a big part of our lives; though, often, we don’t realise we are using it. Partly, no doubt, that is the intention. The name itself encourages fuzzy thinking and its users are blissfully unaware of what lies behind the image on the screen.

Cloud computing has been around, as an idea, for decades – since the 1950s, in fact – and has been used widely in practical popular services such as Hotmail, Facebook, YouTube, Gmail and Dropbox for many years now. By definition, a cloud computing service is any service that allows you to load information into a cyber locker that is located elsewhere from the computing hardware you operate.

Jan 24, 2013 12:59:00 PM / by Tal Williams posted in Business Corporate & Commercial

A good general manager is an asset to any organisation.  They will keep the Board apprised of any changes, will be proactive and will implement the directions provided by the Board in an efficient and timely manner.  Boards can sometimes, however, place too much reliance upon that person and detailed systems of checks and balances, specific authority limits and close monitoring are essential at all times.

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