Insights from Williams + Hughes
What tax risks do I take on when I become a company director? (updated)

This is a question often asked of lawyers. There are many risks a person is exposed to when they agree to become a company director.  Below is an extract from a paper I presented at a Legalwise Seminar "Business Clients: 20 Answers To Their Most Asked Questions" in Perth on 21...

Clarifying the ability of trustees to expand their powers: the decision in Re Application of Country Road Services Pty Ltd

In this article (published in the December 2019 edition of the Law Society Brief magazine) Jonathan Haeusler, Special Counsel, and Michelle Hankey, Solicitor, discuss the court’s decision in Re Application of Country Road Services Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 779 regarding a trustee’s role ...

Handshake deals and transfer duty: you can’t avoid paying duty by not documenting the deal

Sometimes two parties to a deal are tempted to use a "handshake agreement" to try avoid paying stamp duty/ transfer duty. Apart from the obvious legal risks about "no-paperwork deals", taking this approach to try avoid paying transfer duty simply will not work ! When is transf...

Superannuation guarantee amnesty: one last chance to pay compulsory superannuation for non-complying employers who employ "contractors"

Employee versus contractor? Are you sure? Over the past decade many Australian companies have retained the services of people who claim they are "contractors" not employees. Usually the "contractor" wants to be paid a gross fee/remuneration, stating that they will take ca...

Disclose the full upfront price or risk breaking the law: new upfront pricing laws apply

It is not uncommon for businesses to advertise a headline price for goods and services to their customers, and to only disclose optional costs in the fine print or in a manner that is not necessarily clear to customers. This is no longer permitted. Some businessess will need to change thei...

Modern slavery legislation: the clock is ticking for Australian companies to prepare their first Modern Slavery Statement

Modern slavery legislation has been enacted in Australia. Many larger companies are now legally obliged to prepare Modern Slavery Statements and submit these statements to the Australian Federal Government. The Statements will be published on a publicly accessible register. At its broadest, ...

Vying for social media engagement: More risk than reward?

The recent Court decision in Voller v Nationwide News Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 766 (the Voller case) highlights a danger inherent in using social media - social media publications invite comments from a wide variety of users, with a very real risk that some of those comments may convey a defam...

Minutes of Board Meetings: more than just a "box ticking" exercise

The importance of minute taking at Board meetings was recently highlighted by the Financial Services Royal Commission.  The Governance Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors have collaborated to publish a Joint Statement of Board Minues (Joint Stateme...

Board Spills - Getting the notice right

The interaction between section 249D and section 203D of the Corporations Act 2001.  There has been a significant rise in shareholder activism over the last couple of years.  Often this is driven by shareholders with financial capacity and vision for the company, wanting to turn a...

THE ACCC CONTINUES ITS CRACK DOWN ON THE USE OF UNFAIR CONTRACT TERMS

Uber Eats agreed this week to amend its contracts with restaurants following an investigation by the ACCC. From at least 2016, Uber Eats’ contracts made restaurants responsible for the delivery of food orders despite the restaurants having no control over delivery. Under the contracts, if f...

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