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

New South Wales Introduces Decennial Liability Insurance

In August 2021, Holman Webb Lawyers reported that the New South Wales Government was considering introducing ‘Decennial Liability’ insurance (inherent defect insurance) to provide up to 10 years of cover to apartment owners for the cost of rectifying defects that threaten the structural integrity of the building.

In a 25 October 2022 media release, the minister for fair trading, Victor Dominello has now announced that the government has accepted the application of Resilience Insurance to offer the insurance.

The minister’s view is that “Decennial liability gives power to the purchasers and body corporates, who will no longer need to prove liability and will only have to demonstrate the damage for assessment.” 

The policy will provide cover for up to 10 years and would cover critical parts of the building’s common property, including the building’s structure, fire safety systems and water proofing.

The Decennial liability cover, in conjunction with the cover under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020, now means that apartment owners have up to 10 years to either make a claim under the policy, or make a claim against the building practitioner for damage to the building caused by defective building works or design.

Do You Have Your ASIC Director Identification Number?  A Reminder and a Caution.

As highlighted in our November 2021 article New Requirement for Directors to Register for a Director Identification Number, company directors are required by law to apply for a director identification number.

A director ID is a unique identifier that directors apply for once and keep forever. ASIC suggests that the implementation of the director ID system will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.  All directors of companies, registered Australian bodies, registered foreign companies or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations will need director ID’s.

Unfortunately, on 28 October 2022 ASIC published an Alert warning that scammers are pretending to be ASIC, and are approaching Registry customers via email.

The Future of Flexible Work: Amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009

On 26 October 2022, the Commonwealth Government announced that it will introduce legislation to amend the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009, as it relates to flexible work arrangements. 

Purportedly, the purpose of the amendments is to give the Fair Work Commission power to order that employers deal with requests for flexible workplace arrangements.  The legislation may also give the Fair Work Commission power to order that flexible workplace arrangements be put in place.

The wording of the Bill has not yet been published – however, if the final Bill matches industry expectations, it will for the first time give the Fair Work Commission direct independent power to order flexible work arrangements outside the scope of the disability legislative scheme.

Financial Services Privacy Update (Part Two): Consumer Data Right Requests and Process

Since 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has introduced amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which enable consumer data information to be shared, in order to facilitate the process known as open banking.

At present, Consumer Data Right legislation solely relates to information held by banks and energy companies.  It is anticipated that there will be a further and more significant roll out of legislation impacting the wider financial sector, as well as other sectors within the economy, in the next several years.

Holman Webb Lawyers is currently assisting broker groups, aggregators and software providers in relation to banking Consumer Data Right requests, and is similarly advising accredited data recipients with respect to their entrance into the financial services area, to enable applications for consumer credit.

The process surrounding the release of Consumer Data Right information is developing rapidly, as new technology emerges. There are privacy concerns relating to the management of this information, with detailed legislation and systems having been introduced to enable this information management to occur.

This article provides a brief analysis of the legislative process.  Readers should note that there will undoubtedly be further change, as the Consumer Data Right process gains traction.

Financial Services Privacy Update (Part One): Credit Reporting Information

Contained within the Privacy Act 1988 and the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 is a regime concerning the collection, storage and use of data relating to an individual’s credit’s history and credit worthiness information.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner recently conducted a review of the Code and made several recommendations for change, providing a timely reminder of the nature of the Code and the obligations on all parties involved in requests for credit reporting information.

Holman Webb Lawyers announces change in Chairman
Friday 7 October 2022

Holman Webb Lawyers is pleased to announce a change in the role of Chairman.  Effective as of 1 October, Wendy MacDonnell, Partner within the firm’s Insurance Group will replace Litigation & Dispute Resolution Partner John Wakefield, who has held the position since 2013.

London calling: Register of Overseas Entities who own property in the United Kingdom

From 1 August 2022, overseas entities that own or are planning to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the United Kingdom will be required to register on the Register of Overseas Entities (‘the Register’) administered by the UK Companies House.

A failure to comply with these obligations is a criminal offence and can result in

  • fines of up to £500 for each day that the overseas entity is not registered, or
  • a prison sentence of up to 5 years for the managing officer of the overseas entity.

Case Note: Health Care Complaints Commission V Godwin [2022] NSWCATOD 17

This article highlights the 11 February 2022 decision in Health Care Complaints Commission V Godwin [2022] NSWCATOD 17, in which a general practitioner, Dr Godwin was reprimanded and his registration suspended for 6 months by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (‘Tribunal’) in February 2022.

ACCC Prosecutions In Relation To Unfair Contracts

The Federal Court has recently delivered several decisions which must give corporations engaged in retail and financial services some pause for thought - especially in relation to their preparation of standard contract terms and conditions.

This article discusses two recent matters:

The first decision analyses the far-reaching powers within the Australian Consumer Law to prohibit and strike down unfair contracts.  The second decision relates to the banning of unconscionable conduct in respect of franchise operations.

Case Note: RE A [2022] QSC 15 9 – Re-visiting Stage Two Hormone Therapy Treatments for Gillick Competent Minors Diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria
Thursday 1 September 2022 / by Zara Officer & Perry Peralta posted in Health Aged Care & Life Sciences Insurance Gillick Competent Hormone Treatment Family Court

This article discusses the 31 March 2022 Supreme Court of Queensland decision in the matter of Re A [2022] QSC 159.  This decision has confirmed when court authorisation is required for the treatment of a minor who wants the treatment.  

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