Commercial Law

23 02, 2022

Senate Permanently Allows for Electronic Signing, Witnessing, & Virtual Meetings

  February 2022 | Natasha Thomas COVID-19 has highlighted the contemporary need for law reform concerning the legal validity of electronic documents, and virtual company meetings. To learn more about how the law has adapted to COVID-19 see our article here. Responding to these changes and pressures, on 10 February 2022 the Senate passed the Corporations Amendments (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021, its reforms permanently modernising corporation law. The reforms outlined in this legislation include: allowing companies to hold meetings

18 01, 2022

Companies – Virtual Meetings & Electronic Execution of Documents

  January 2022 | Natasha Thomas COVID-19 restrictions presented unique legal challenges for companies, including the ability to hold in-person meetings and validly execute documents. Responding to this, in 2020 the Australian Government amended the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to allow companies or registered schemes to employ virtual meeting technology. The changes to the law permitted companies or registered schemes to: hold virtual meetings; distribute meeting-related documents in electronic form; and execute documents electronically. With COVID-19 showing limited signs

15 04, 2020

Don’t Forget to Claim the Tax Deductions Hiding in Your Home Office

April 2020 | Jonathan Harris In view of the outbreak of COVID-19, more and more office employees are being forced or encouraged to work from home where possible. As such, office employees must not forget to claim the tax deductions hiding in their home offices. On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the ATO announced that taxpayers working from home could now claim 80 cents per hour for all of their running expenses (Shortcut Method), rather than calculating specific costs under

8 04, 2020

How Should My Business Approach the $1,500 Wage Subsidy?

April 2020 | Kieran Kelly The JobKeeper wage subsidy announced by the Federal Government last week was greeted with open arms by businesses and employees across Australia. Affected businesses will qualify for the subsidy if: they have a turnover less than $1 billion and turnover has decreased by at least 30%; or they have a turnover greater than $1 billion and turnover has decreased by at least 50%. Employees will be eligible if they: were employed by an eligible business

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

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