Solvency: Paying Your Debts When Due

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In the recent Qld Court of Appeal decision in Williams (as liquidator of Scholz Motor Group P/L (in liq) v Scholz & Anor (2008) QCA 94 the facts were uncontroversial but spectacular. A newly formed company commenced business selling cars. It had no substantial capital assets and no working capital. From the beginning, the company… Read more »

A case of two hats: client legal professional

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Client legal professional privilege lies at the heart of Australia’s legal system. Essentially, it is the principle that confidential communications between a client and a legal advisor should be protected to facilitate honest and open communication between them. Broadly speaking, communications between lawyer and client will be protected (from compelled disclosure) where the dominant purpose… Read more »

Risky business: limiting director exposure to margin borrowing

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Margin borrowing is a popular way of maximising exposure to shares and other financial products. Put simply, the advantages can be enticing. The ability to maximise exposure without fully capitalising the investment and the tax deductibility of interest payments are two such drivers. However, when company directors become involved in margin borrowing, the stakes are… Read more »

Franchising Code of Conduct amendments

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The Franchising Code of Conduct was amended effective from 1 March 2008. The stated purpose of the amendments is to enhance franchisor accountability by requiring additional disclosure of information by franchisors at an early stage so prospective franchisees can make more informed decisions. The amendments affect the timing and content of disclosure statements and there… Read more »

Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal

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Earlier this month, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the Government’s plan to amalgamate the State’s various administrative review tribunals into a body called the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Currently there are over twenty separate Tribunals operating in Queensland. They consider a variety of issues including Anti-Discrimination, Building disputes, Racing appeals, Property Agents and Motor… Read more »

Trust Cloning – Is the window of opportunity closing?

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The ATO issued a fact sheet in January 2008 which clearly indicates they have concerns in relation to the way in which the trust cloning exemption is being used. This was reinforced in a speech given by Bruce Quigley (Second Commissioner of Taxation) at the national conference of the Taxation Institute of Australia on 13… Read more »

The Criminalisation of Cartels – Recent amendments to the Trade Practices Act

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As promised, the Rudd Government has released the exposure draft of the Trade Practices Act (Cartel Conduct and other Measures) Bill 2008. The legislation seeks to outlaw anti-competitive conduct evident in the assembly of cartels. The move to criminalise such arrangements was endorsed in 2003 by the Dawson Review Committee which examined the competition provisions… Read more »

The changing tide of merger regulation: ACCC releases draft guidelines

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With a takeover activity playing an ever-increasing role in Australian equity markets, the efficient regulation of mergers and acquisitions has become an even more topical issue for the Australian competition regulator. In attempting to strike a balance between the laissez faire attitudes of big business on the one hand, and the need for regulation on… Read more »

Valuation of land

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On 26 February 2008, the Queensland Government introduced into State Parliament amendments to the Valuation of Land Act 1944 that will have an impact on many Queensland land owners. Current Law Section 3 of the Valuation of Land Act 1944 states that ‘unimproved value of land’ in relation to improved land is the capital sum… Read more »