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Thursday, 24 January 2019

Latest News

FAIR WORK ACT REGULATIONS STOP CASUALS DOUBLE DIPPING: Cooper Grace Ward Partner Belinda Winter discusses significant changes affecting casual employees which have come into effect in the Fair Work Act Regulations 2009. Belinda will give a presentation at the Legalwise 11th Annual Workplace Symposium on the topic, "Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace" in March. 

COURT CAN ORDER TRANSFER OF TAX DEBT BETWEEN SPOUSES - HIGH COURT: HHG Legal Group's Eliza Fitzgerald, Solicitor in Family Law, and Simon Creek, Managing Director and Special Counsel in Family Law, discuss the decision in Tomaras & Ors where the High Court in December decided that a tax debt can be transferred between spouses. 

HOME IMPROVEMENT SQUATTER SEIZES POSSESSION IN MCFARLAND V GERTOS: HWL Ebsworth Partner Gary Newton and Law Clerk Khushaal Vyas discuss this recent decision where the Defendant succeeded in becoming the registered owner of the property, despite never having purchased or rented the premises. Gary will present the Conveyancing and Property Law Update at the Legalwise Property Law Roundup Seminar in March in NSW. He previously presented on New Leases, Significant Leasing Reforms, Developments and Trends at the recent Legalwise Critical Leasing Updates, Drafting and Negotiation Seminar.

CONFLICTING LAST TESTAMENTARY INTENTIONS OF THE THORN BIRDS AUTHOR: Sandy Donaldson, Director of DW Fox Tucker Lawyers, discusses the high profile case where the various testamentary intentions of the late, notable author Colleen McCullough, were played out in court. We can learn several lessons in law from this decision, he writes. Sandy will chair the CPD Required Units for All Lawyers Session at the Legalwise 6th Annual 10 Points in One Day Event  in March. 

Industry Developments

BUSINESS OF MANAGING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, WELL-BEING, PERFORMANCE: Samantha Young, Managing Director at Human Psychology, discusses the challenges with being a manager, in the first of a two-part series on Leader Conversations. One of the hardest transitions to make in a career is from doing the job to managing those doing the job, she writes. Samantha recently gave a presentation at the Legalwise School Law Conference 2018. Read more details about the coming Legalwise March events School Law Summit 2019 and Workplace Investigations in Schools: Getting it Right.

AIMING FOR A PROMOTION IN THE NEW YEAR: Christa Ludlow, Principal Consultant of Weir Consulting, discusses how to improve your chances of gaining a promotion. Research the kinds of roles you want and start thinking of yourself as a person who is already in that role, she writes. Christa will give a presentation at the Legalwise CPD Compulsory Units for all Lawyers Conference  in March on the topic "Managing Difficult Colleagues or Bosses". 

CUSTOMERS WITH SLOW NBN SPEEDS SHOULD SEEK REFUNDS AFTER ACCC ACTION: The ACCC is encouraging NBN customers experiencing slow connection speeds to contact their retail service provider (RSP) as they may be eligible for a refund following undertakings it has negotiated with RSPs over the last 15 months. Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have each admitted that they likely made false or misleading representations about the connection speeds NBN customers with fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections could experience.

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GET SMART WITH CYBER SECURITY WHILE WORKING ON THE ROAD: Simon Cohen, Head of IT Consulting at Moore Stephens (WA), discusses practical tips to avoid becoming a cyber victim when working out of the office. Many more devices are being lost or stolen and cyber criminals are increasingly focusing on easy targets such as unsecured networks, he writes. 

VALUATIONS IN LEASING - THE PITFALLS: Barrister William Stark concludes his three-part Valuations in Leasing in Victoria series and explores Valuation Pitfalls. William presented on this topic for Legalwise at the recent Retail and Commercial Leasing Conference. His previous articles discussed Options to Renew and Market Rent Reviews. 

REFLECTION ON WHO WE ARE IN LEAD UP TO AUSTRALIA DAY 2019: In the week leading up to Australia Day on Saturday, five Macquarie University academics - a psychologist, demographer, health expert, philosopher and historian - gave a snapshot of what it means to be an Australian in 2019.


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Latest News

HIDDEN TAX AND ACCOUNTING ISSUES WITH GRANNY FLATS: David Shaw, WSC Group CEO and Founder, discusses the unexpected tax and accounting challenges with the burgeoning property investment area of granny flats. This type of development can not only be built within an investment property, but also in Principal Places of Residences, he writes. David recently presented on this topic at the Legalwise "Granny Flats: The Unseen Risks" seminar in NSW.

SUPREME COURT ON PURPORTED WILLS IN SALTMER V RENNICK LAWYERS: Michele Davis, Head of Succession & Elder Law at Wilson Lawyers, discusses last month's Supreme Court of Queensland decision, where the court considered whether s33Z of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) applied to a "purported will". The most important aspect of this unique case comes down to the existence of a signed “No Immediate Will Acknowledgement” form, she writes. Michele will chair the Legalwise 12th Annual Wills and Estates Symposium in March.

PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT ON SUPERANNUATION SAYS SMSF ADVICE NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Tracey Scotchbrook, SMSF Specialist Advisor and Director of Superology, discusses the SMSF findings in the Productivity Commission Report on Australia’s superannuation system, released last Thursday. The common link between this report and previous reviews, is the assessed need for an uplift in the quality of advice for SMSF clients, among other suggested reforms, she writes.

Industry Developments

UNDERSTANDING ANGER AND HIGH CONFLICT PERSONALITY: Nicola Hartfield, mediator and workplace mentor, discusses how anger influences certain personality types and the importance of understanding and managing anger to better engage with clients in stressful situations. While engagement and connection is easy when people are behaving well, our job is to engage and connect when people are at their most stressed, she writes.

FEDERAL COURT IN RED ENERGY GIVES HOPE TO REJECTED TRADE MARK APPLICANTSHWL Ebsworth Partner Luke Dale, Special Counsel Niomi Abeywardena  and Law Clerk Annabel Nettle, discuss the recent Federal Court decision in Red Energy Pty Limited v Registrar of Trade Marks, which refers to a potential new strategy for having a trademark application accepted for registration.

ETHICAL CHALLENGES FOR LAWYERS IN LEASING PART 2: ethics4lawyers Director Michael Dolan discusses common ethical challenges which lawyers face when working in the area of leasing, including real life case studies. This article concludes Michael's two-part series which recaps the key points from his recent Legalwise presentation at the Leasing Trends, Disputes and Ethics Seminar. Michael will next present on ethics for Legalwise at the CPD Compulsory Units for Personal Injury Lawyers Seminar in March.

FIOCCO REPORT ON SECURITY OF PAYMENT REFORM IN WA BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: Daniel Morris, HHG Legal Group Special Counsel (Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution), discusses barrister John Fiocco’s report to the WA Minister for Commerce, Security of Payment Reform in the WA Building and Construction Industry. We see benefit in applying either the east coast or the west coast model of adjudication consistently around the country, he writes.

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RETAIL AND COMMERCIAL LEASES: MISLEADING OR DECEPTIVE CONDUCT AND STATUTORY UNCONSCIONABILITYBarrister Jane Gregory discusses misleading or deceptive conduct and statutory unconscionability claims in the leasing context. She identifies some nuances with these causes of action and case examples which may assist solicitors in providing advice to their clients. Jane recently presented on this topic at the Legalwise Retail and Commercial Leasing Conference in Victoria.

MILKING PLANT-BASED DAIRY-FREE ALTERNATIVES: Norton Rose Fulbright Partner Georgina Hey and Associate Isobel Taylor discuss what constitutes "milk" in Australia and overseas. They ask: Can non-dairy, plant-based drinks call themselves "milk"? Every trendy café these days seems to have a selection of dairy-free milk alternatives as long as a wine list, they write.

MISLEADING AND DECEPTIVE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS: KHQ Lawyers' Darrell Choong and Amelia Edwards discuss the pitfalls of fake celebrity endorsements and the ACCC's dim view of what is likely to constitute misleading and deceptive conduct. Even if you find a picture of a celebrity wearing or using a product, that doesn’t mean they endorse the product or have consented to the use of their image or likeness in promoting the product, they write.


Thursday, 10 January 2019

Latest News 

WINE v WINE PRODUCT UNDER FOOD STANDARDS CODE, LABELLING AND TAX RAMIFICATIONS: Finlaysons Tax & Revenue Associate Tom Hendrick discusses what constitutes "wine" for tax purposes and its regulation under the Food Standards Code: Wine or Wine Product? WET Regime or Excise Regime? Tom presented a seminar on this topic for Legalwise at the recent 6th Annual Wine Law Conference. 

FOX v COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION REVEALS TAX TRAPS WITH EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEMES: Matthew McKee, Partner at Brown Wright Stein, discusses the decision in Fox v Commissioner of Taxation [2018] AATA 2791 and how it is not always a wise tax move for employees to accept shares from their employers. As was the case in Fox, employees might be paying tax on money that they never actually receive, he writes. 

LATE PAYMENTS A BIG PROBLEM FOR SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESSES - DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN: Dr Craig Latham, Deputy, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, discusses how a major issue for small and family businesses is getting paid on time. He urges businesses to have their say via an online survey, in light of Ombudsman Kate Carnell's review of payment times and the impact on the cash flow of small and family businesses. Craig delivered the keynote address at the recent Legalwise Family Business Advisory Conference. 

Industry Developments 

HOW WORKPLACES CAN HELP EMPLOYEES RETURNING TO WORK: Leadership Coach and Business Psychologist Jasbindar Singh discusses how workplaces can help people returning to work. Transition-friendly initiatives, such as a "welcome back" morning tea, signal to the employee that they matter and are valued, she writes. 

TECHNOLOGY TACKLES FALSE INFORMATION IN RESUMES: Professor Daryll Hull, Director of Macquarie University's Centre for Workforce Futures, discusses the development of a "digital backpack" to combat the growing problem of job seekers lying in resumes. Using false information in job applications is more widespread than people might think, he writes. 

HIGH COURT DECIDES FULL FEDERAL COURT PARTLY ERRED IN ASIC v LEWSKI: Melbourne Law School Associate Professor Katy Barnett discusses the recent High Court decision in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Lewski which concerned a potential breach of directors' duties in relation to the amendment of a constitution of a failed aged care and retirement trust.

Ask An Expert

GET A HEAD START ON THE NEW YEAR WITH SMOOTH ONLINE PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS: As people return from their summer holidays, the property industry is gearing up for 2019. Heather Crichton, General Manager, Member Support Services at PEXA, shares five tips for practitioners to maintain a positive customer experience and ensure smooth digital property transfers in the new year and beyond. 

PRESSURE ON TAX AND BAS AGENTS TO GET IT RIGHT, AVOID RISK, DETECT PHOENIX COMPANIES: Adrian Abbott, of Sydney Tax Advisory, and Gregory Ross, of Eakin McCaffery Cox, conclude their three-part series, "So, you’re facing client complaints. How do you protect yourself?" This series recaps the key points from their Legalwise presentation at the Business Advisory and Client Management Seminar. 

VALUATIONS IN LEASING PART 2: MARKET RENT REVIEWS: Barrister William Stark, in the second article of his three-part Valuations in Leasing in Victoria series, discusses whether a rent review is due at all. William presented on this topic for Legalwise at the recent Retail and Commercial Leasing Conference. 

KNOW YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS WHEN IT COMES TO FAULTY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: New data released last week reveals people are increasingly contacting the ACCC about issues with faulty products and services. In 2018, the ACCC received nearly 34,000 contacts about consumer guarantee related issues. This is an increase of more than 17 per cent compared to 2017.



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