Legal Topics and other resouces


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Builders Beware: NSW cracks down on the use of unsafe building products

posted 14th March 2018

Most of us will remember the fires which ripped through the Grenfell apartment tower in London in June 2017 and the Lacrosse building in Melbourne in 2014. The Grenfell fire contributed to the deaths of 80 people. It’s believed that the external cladding which formed part of the building may have accelerated the spread of the fire ...

When does a comment online cross the line?

posted 9th March 2018

From scathing reviews of hairdressers to online trolling and keyboard warriors – social media is awash with defamatory content. The instantaneousness and ease at which comments can be spread to a wide audience means that social media is a particularly dangerous medium for the publication of defamatory matter...

Security of Payment - 2017 Key Cases

posted 6th March 2018

Falsely sworn statutory declarations, misplaced letters by Australia Post… in 2017, we saw a range of strange and interesting cases before the courts under each jurisdiction’s Building and Construction Security of Payment Act (referred to throughout this e-brief as ‘SOP Act’). Check out these key cases ...

Landlords - Are your leased premises being used for retail purposes?

posted 22nd February 2018

In the ACT, the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act generally applies to small commercial premises and premises being used for the sale of retail goods and services. However, the test for determining whether a tenant is offering retail services may not be as simple as you think...

Commonwealth Government Business Enterprises (GBEs)

posted 15th February 2018

In January 2018, the Department of Finance released updated Government Business Enterprise Guidelines (GBE Guidelines). These replace the August 2015 GBE Guidelines...

Abandoned Goods - What do you mean I can't just sell them?

posted 12th February 2018

It’s a common problem – you run a shop that repairs phones and have a pile of older phones which have never been collected, even after you repaired them. They’re taking up space and you were never paid for the jobs – can you just sell the phones and keep the money?

Businesses: Check Your Letterbox

posted 5th February 2018

Mezzanine Finance - a cashed up investor and a stretched developer - a match made in heaven or hell?

posted 31st January 2018

Currently many mainstream banks that provide finance to property developers are seeking loan to value ratios of 55% to 65% and loan to cost ratios of 60% to 75%, often leaving developers with sizeable gaps in their finance requirements. For investors, banks are offering unattractively low interest rates on deposits and the acrobatics of the share market have caused many with liquid assets to seek other investments. With mezzanine finance rates running at between 16% to 30% per annum, this has resulted in many wealthy investors turning their hand to providing mezzanine finance to property developers to fund their shortfall in bank finance ...

Are you ready for the proposed changes to the Unit Title legislation in the ACT?

posted 29th January 2018

Following from the lead of neighbouring jurisdictions who have made legislative changes affecting unit owners, particularly in complexes which include ‘mixed use’ development (i.e. commercial, retail and residential uses), the ACT Government is determined to re-vamp the Unit Title legislative regime ...

ATO reporting business tax debts to credit agencies, things are getting serious ...

posted 22nd January 2018

Government disquiet about unpaid tax debts is nothing new, but the level of disquiet has been steadily growing and in December 2016 the Government said the equivalent of ‘right, that’s it, we’ve had a gutful, it’s time to name and shame’… The Government said it was time to report businesses with unpaid tax debts to credit reporting bureaus ...