N

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

Ignore Cyber Protection – Pay the Price: Australian Securities and Investments Commission v RI Advice Group Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 496

It has happened: a company that failed to implement proper cyber security measures in Australia has been taken to court by the regulators, with the company ordered to pay costs of $750,000.

In the matter of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission v RI Advice Group Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 496, the Court found that a financial services provider had breached its licence obligations, and failed to act efficiently or fairly by not having in place adequate risk management systems to cater for risks arising in relation to cyber security.


The importance of maintaining corporate records with ASIC: Energy Resources of Australia Limited [2022] FCA 176

The Federal Court of Australia’s recent judgment in the matter of Energy Resources of Australia Limited [2022] FCA 176 demonstrates the risks to resigning company directors when they, or the company, fail to notify ASIC of their resignation in a timely manner – as well as the consequent time, effort and costs needed to rectify these failures.

The decision is also a reminder that retiring directors wishing to avoid personal responsibility for a company’s conduct need to notify ASIC promptly and effectively.


New measures close the gap for electronic execution of documents by companies

Companies can now sign documents by electronic means and with directors using electronic signatures. 

On 10 February 2022, the Australian Senate passed the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021.  The passing of the Bill now clarifies the execution requirements of companies when signing documents (including deeds) - whether in physical or electronic form, or a hybrid of physical and electronic.


The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Releases Biannual Report and Performance Statement

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (‘OAIC’) has released its 2020–21 annual report and performance statement.

In the past 12 months, the OAIC has sought to establish strong privacy protections to both increase public confidence in the use of personal information, and minimise the public health risks associated with COVID-19.


What are the Limits of Implied Software Licences?  QAD Inc v Shepparton Partners Collective Operations Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 615

If you purchased a business and the sale included all of the business’s computers, would it be reasonable to expect to be able to use the software installed on those computers?

In the recent matter of QAD Inc v Shepparton Partners Collective Operations Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 615, the Federal Court ordered Shepparton Partners Collective Operations Pty Ltd (‘SPC’) to pay $1M+ in damages to software company QAD Inc (‘QAD’), after finding that SPC had infringed copyright after purchasing the business from Coca-Cola Amatil (‘CCA’) without having secured a transfer of the relevant software licence agreement.

  • After the sale QAD required payment of a fee as a condition for its consent to transfer the licence, which SPC refused to pay.
  • SPC denied that it had infringed copyright, claiming that it had an implied licence from QAD to use the software.
  • SPC cross-claimed against Sale Co 1 Limited (‘SaleCo’) and CCA on the basis they had failed to use their ‘best endeavours’ to secure a transfer of the licence agreement.

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: “Clearview AI breached Australians’ privacy”

Back in February 2020, Holman Webb published an article ‘AI and Facial Identification Technology – the Face of the Future?’, which referred to an article in the New York Times highlighting Clearview AI, and the use of the company’s facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies internationally.

At the time the Australian Parliament was considering the introduction of the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 and Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2019 which would enable the Department of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs and Trade to utilise similar facial recognition technology.

As it turns out, Holman Webb Lawyers were not the only ones taking a close look at Clearview AI. Since that time, it appears that Clearview AI was offering free software trials to numerous law enforcement agencies within Australia, some of whom have commenced their investigation into the use of the app and have been feeding visual data into the system.


The Franchise Disclosure Register – What is it and When Does it Begin?

The Franchising Code of Conduct may be about to change again - this time, to introduce a ‘Franchise Disclosure Register’.

It remains to be seen whether the exposure draft of the changes will become law (through changes to the Code), and if so whether any amendments are made as a result of the consultation process. Regardless - in anticipation, Holman Webb’s Franchising & Retail Group has answered some FAQs in respect of the introduction of the register.


New Requirement for Directors to Register for a Director Identification Number

The new Director Identification Number regime commenced on Monday 1 November 2021. 

If you are a company director, you are now required to have your own unique Director Identification Number - a 15 digit identification number issued by the Australian Business Registry Services

You only need to apply for it once, and you keep it forever.


Drone Laws: New Registration and Mandatory Reporting Scheme

In Holman Webb’s April 2020 article Drone (UAV) Laws: Focused on Safety or Keeping Australia Back?, we discussed the strict regulations surrounding the use of drones (aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or ‘UAVs’) within Australia. That article considered the impact of these regulations on Australia’s advancement with respect to UAV technology, especially within the agricultural and medical industries.

Since April 2020, the regulations have increased.


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. 


Recent Posts






1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10