Commercial Law

26 03, 2020

Can a Tenant Terminate a Commercial Lease Due to the Coronavirus Crisis?

March 2020 | Kieran Kelly As businesses grind to a halt we have received many enquiries in relation to the rights of commercial landlords and tenants as the payment of rent becomes either difficult or impossible. The unprecedented measures introduced by the government to stem COVID-19 have already had a catastrophic impact on Australian businesses. The most sharply affected are those whose doors have already been ordered shut. They include pubs, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and gyms. As the economy

23 03, 2020

Insolvency & Bankruptcy Laws to be Relaxed 

March 2020 | Scott Freidman On 22 March 2020, the Morrison government announced that it will relax the insolvency and bankruptcy laws to keep businesses alive. We understand these measures will last for 6 months and will be passed by Parliament urgently. Here’s what you need to know: The government will increase the threshold at which a creditor can issue a statutory demand from $2,000 to $20,000. The threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor

23 03, 2020

Now Is the Time to Establish Your Business’ Survival Strategy

March 2020 | Scott Freidman The constantly changing conditions in which Australian businesses are operating are difficult to keep up with and it may be hard to see light on the other side of the coronavirus crisis. However, with correct and appropriate advice at an early stage you can take steps to be in the best possible position to rebound. Harris Freidman has long established relationships with a wide range of insolvency professionals who will: analyse your business and

31 10, 2019

Whose Intellectual Property Is It Anyway?

October 2019 | Alex Shdidi When business owners are in the initial phases of building a business one aspect often overlooked is the protection of intellectual property (IP). This is understandable as the business owners are often thinking about cash-flow, increasing their customer base, marketing and the like, all of which are vital for the business. However, neglecting the IP needs of your business could prove costly in the long run. One such situation may occur when a  prospective

1 08, 2019

How Might the Israel Folau Saga Affect Your Workplace?

July 2019 | Kieran Kelly Israel Folau’s Instagram comments have reverberated well beyond the confines of Australia’s rugby union community. Rugby Australia was stuck in an invidious position. Its biggest star and arguably best player had once again made comments that clashed with, many would say, established standards of respectful public discourse. Rugby Australia’s hastily convened panel that included John West QC, Kate Eastman SC and John Boultbee AM, decided to terminate Folau’s contract, reportedly on the basis that his

31 07, 2019

Was That Unpaid Internship a ‘Fair Go’ or Exploitation?

July 2019 | James Freidman In January of 2013, the Fair Work Ombudsman report entitled Experience or Exploitation: The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia, found that ‘unpaid work exists on a scale substantial enough to warrant attention as a serious legal, practical and policy challenge in Australia.’ Since 2013, unpaid working arrangements and ‘internships’ have continued to rise in Australia. What does the law say? Under the Fair Work Act 2009

27 05, 2019

So I Am Owed Money: Who’s Buying?

May 2019 | Kieran Kelly What is the common thread through each of the following scenarios? a business that wants to sell an outstanding debt; a business that is being sold inclusive of debts owed to it; and a liquidator that wants to sell its right to an insolvent trading claim ie a claim against directors of the insolvent company for trading whilst insolvent. The answer is the application of the law of assignment. The law of assignment involves three

19 05, 2019

Company Officers, Professional Advisors and Liquidators – a Heads Up!

May 2019 | James Freidman Employee entitlements and the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) In a liquidation situation, employees of a business are particularly vulnerable as ‘unsecured creditors’. Through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employee entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer. The cost of the FEG scheme rose from $70.7 million between 2005 to 2009, to $243.6 million between

25 03, 2019

Genuine Redundancy vs Unfair Dismissal. It Pays to Know the Difference! 

March 2019 | Scott Freidman The recent case of Ken McShane v Port of Newcastle [2019] FWC 177 has restated the general principles applied in determining whether an employee has been let go as a result of a genuine redundancy, or if they were, in fact, unfairly dismissed. This matter was brought to the Fair Work Commission by Mr McShane against the Port of Newcastle (PON) on the 10th of August 2018. Mr McShane alleged the decision of the

18 02, 2019

Risks Posed by Departing Employees: Is Your Business Protected?

February 2019 | Kieran Kelly We have recently been asked to advise several clients in relation to the protections they have in place from former employees who have joined a competitor. The scenario often takes a common form: a trusted senior employee hands in their notice of resignation; the employer discovers or is informed that the former employee is joining a market competitor; and the employer seeks advice in relation to whether they have any protections in place to

31 01, 2019

Insolvency Practitioners, Trading Trusts and Priorities: Uncertain Times

January 2019 | Kieran Kelly Insolvency practitioners have been faced with uncertainty as to whether the priority regime in the Corporations Act should apply when companies that have conducted their business through a trading trust enter into receivership or liquidation. Subject to certain “priority” creditor provisions, the Corporations Act seeks to provide for the equal treatment of unsecured creditors. Secured creditors are given priority to recover their claims in full. Expenses properly incurred by a liquidator or receiver and

7 12, 2018

Don’t Fall Foul of New Pension Rules

December 2018 | Jonathan Harris Serious consequences for failing to make minimum payments You probably know that the ATO has confirmed the consequences of not meeting the minimum payment requirements for pensions. A pension ceases at the start of the financial year in which the minimum pension requirement is not met and will only recommence after new pension documents are executed. Most recently however, the ATO confirmed that the pension will cease for transfer balance cap purposes at the