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business disruption, damages, road works, construction, delay, inconvenience, compensated, class action, lawsuit, trackwork, avoidable, unreasonable, light rail, unreasonable interference, private nuisance
01 Feb 2024

Success in class action for business disruption due to Sydney light rail roadworks

A recent Supreme Court judgment may open the way for businesses to claim damages from the government if they lose income due to business disruption as a result of major road works. Construction of light rail causes significant business disruption Two Sydney small business owners took Transport for NSW to court after they lost income […]
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water use, water access, water management, water law, Water Act, Water Management Act, Dam Safety Act, Water NSW Regulation, groundwater, pump, bore, dam, weir, irrigation channel, levee, dewatering, Water Access Licence, domestic use, stock watering, river, lake, estuary
24 Jan 2024

“Is it legal for me to pump water from the river?” – laws governing water use in NSW

Water security challenges loom as groundwater and river systems under threat Australia is a dry continent, and it is only getting drier. The country’s largest river and groundwater systems are under threat. As competing interests assert their right to water access, it is important to understand the laws governing water use. Regional towns and industries […]
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Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
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directors duties, director, company, business, listed, ASX-listed, stock exchange, ASX, continuous disclosure, ASIC, penalty, Australian Securities & Investments Commission, overseas, abroad, care, diligence
09 Aug 2023

Warning – directors duties still apply when touting for business overseas

While it may be tempting for company directors to somewhat exaggerate their company’s assets and abilities when promoting their firm overseas to garner fresh business investment, it is important to note that directors duties still apply. Dangers of breaching directors duties while abroad A company director might, for instance, tell prospective foreign investors that their […]
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03 May 2023

Electronic signature needs to be seen when signing

Electronic signing of documents grew enormously during the Covid lockdowns, but now questions have been raised about how an electronic signature, created with the press of a button, is properly witnessed under law. What is an electronic signature? Software such as DocuSign can be used to add a signature to a document electronically by pressing […]
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corporate veil, company, director, corporate, regulator, liability, limited liability, debt, separate entity, legal action, personally liable, investor, shareholder, safe harbour, administration, phoenix activity
17 Mar 2022

Lifting the corporate veil

The term “corporate veil” is a legal phrase that refers to a company being treated by the law as a separate entity to its owners. The corporate veil enables companies to conduct business activities such as buying and selling property or assets, taking legal action, acquiring debt and signing contracts. What is the purpose of […]
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Real estate agent, property sale, residential, buyer, seller, purchaser, vendor, contract, exchange, conveyancer, lawyer, deposit, auction, settlement, conditions, agency agreement, warning statement
24 Feb 2022

Checklist for real estate agents – dealing with a lawyer or conveyancer on a residential property sale in NSW

For a residential property sale to go as smoothly as possible for all parties, it is helpful for real estate agents to provide complete and accurate information to the lawyer (solicitor) or conveyancer who is handling the transaction. This article outlines some of these items. Sales process for residential property There is a normal sales […]
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exit strategy, business, exit planning, business succession, farm succession, succession planning, business partner, employee, family member, outside buyer, director, documentation
20 Jul 2021

The vital importance of a business exit strategy

We are often asked by clients when is the right time to start planning their exit from their small business. Our answer is – the day you open. Starting, leaving and transferring a business is complex and there are many things to consider in formulating an exit strategy. In this article, we focus on something […]
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peanut butter, yellow lid, yellow label, trade dress, Kraft, Heinz, Bega, Cheese, packaging, branding, intellectual property, lawsuit, court
08 Apr 2021

Peanut butter giants go head-to-head over yellow lids in packaging dispute

A heated legal battle over the yellow lids on peanut butter jars might seem a little crazy to outsiders. But in 2019, two peanut butter manufacturers engaged in a multi-million dollar legal conflict, which had them heading to court over the yellow lids on the jars. The Chicago-based food giant Kraft Heinz was battling Australian […]
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terminate a contract, termination of contract, back out of a contract, frustration of contract, force majeure
15 Jul 2020

Can you legally terminate a contract due to Covid-19?

Can you renegotiate a contract because of the impact of coronavirus? The Covid-19 crisis has adversely impacted many common transactions. Federal and state governments have enacted laws which enable the parties to some transactions to renegotiate the terms of their contracts if they have been disadvantaged due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Examples include commercial leases […]
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business loans, business debt, divorce, separation, asset, liability, value, valuation, overdraft, overdraw, working capital, loan, finance, contribution, property settlement
10 Jul 2020

Untying the knot: how are business loans and debts treated in separation or divorce?

There is an obligation on a couple that is separating to disclose all of their assets and liabilities – including business loans and debts. This ensures that both parties are fully aware of the financial position they are in before dividing up the assets and liabilities of the relationship. Working out the value of the […]
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underpayment, wages, wage theft, worker, employer, employee, franchise, franchisee, migrant, workforce, backpacker, unskilled, casual, seasonal, labour
09 Jul 2020

Should employers go to jail for underpayment of wages?

Underpayment of wages is an increasingly frequent topic in both media reports and public discussion. Quite recently, underpayment scandals have struck major employers such as Woolworths, franchises such as 7-Eleven and high-profile businesses, such as the restaurants run by celebrity chef George Colombaris. The steady flow of non-trivial instances has led to calls for stiffer […]
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organisational change, organizational change, restructuring, company, business, workforce, workplace, worker, employer, employee, pandemic, coronavirus, covid-19
25 Jun 2020

Implementing organisational change in a pandemic – how does your business find the new normal?

Changes made of necessity may be retained for the longer term As the wave of Covid-19 infections subsides (at least in Australia), and life starts to return to normal, one big question is what will be meant by “normal” in a post-virus world. For businesses dealing with organisational change, seemingly the only clear answer at […]
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written contract, contract in writing, verbal contract, enforceable, contract law, agreement, consideration, certainty
18 Jun 2020

Is a written contract necessary for a deal to be enforceable?

Handshake agreement versus written contract – are they both legally binding? While handshake deals are enforceable in many day-to-day transactions, some contracts must be made in writing to be legally recognised. So, what is a contract? When do you need it in writing and what constitutes a legally binding handshake agreement? Evolution of Australian contract […]
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handshake agreement, agreement, contract, verbal contract, oral contract, handshake deal, legally binding
17 Jun 2020

Is a handshake agreement legally binding?

Suppose you were to come to a verbal agreement on a deal with another person and shake hands on it. Sometime later, the other person fails to complete their side of the deal. Where does the law stand? Are handshake agreements enforceable? Or are they worth zilch? You may be surprised to learn that verbal […]
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witnessing documents, video link, audio visual link, critical documents, Electronic Transactions Act, legal will, power of attorney, deed, guardianship, affidavit, statutory declaration
21 May 2020

Witnessing documents by video link in NSW: special measures introduced due to Covid-19

Witnessing documents previously done in person With much of the world working from home at the moment, and social distancing rules, there are a number of obstacles to witnessing documents in the usual way. Since the government imposed the lockdown as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have noticed an influx of people from […]
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negotiated agreement, dispute resolution, conflict resolution, legal dispute, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, compromise, settlement
30 Apr 2020

A negotiated agreement might be more attainable during a pandemic

Multiple factors can influence a person to resolve a dispute Do you have an ongoing legal dispute that you just can’t settle? Now might the time to make another attempt to reach a negotiated agreement. In the face of COVID-19, everyone is suffering in one way or another. It might be financial, it might be […]
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work from home, WFH, WHS, OHS, work health and safety, safe work, workers comp, workers compensation
23 Apr 2020

Asking my employees to work from home – what’s the risk?

For large numbers of businesses, closure and lockdown measures have meant that the only way of keeping trading and staying afloat has been to ask staff to work from home. But are there risks? And, if so, what precautions should be taken? Disappearance of obstacles to working from home In these days of effortless remote […]
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