Business Law

Security interests: Register your security interests

A new court decision has found that the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) is the final word on security interests in personal property. The case involved three Caterpillar construction vehicles leased out to a company. The company borrowed money and used the Caterpillars as security. The credit provider registered its … Read more →

LinkedIn problems: Sacked for soliciting clients

An employee was dismissed after advertising his private company to contacts on LinkedIn. An interior designer was employed by a national architecture and design company and, prior to taking up the role, had informed his employers he intended to carry out private design work in his own time. This year, … Read more →

Bullying at work: Commission warns against “excessive sensitivity”

Individuals have a relatively high threshold to attain in order to establish workplace bullying. In the case, a recruitment coordinator team leader was sacked for bullying a member of staff. The person had resigned and in her exit interview made various complaints about the team leader – that she’d been … Read more →

Intellectual property: Disputed territory – protecting domain names

A recent court decision highlights the difficulties of protecting domain names from exploitation by competitors. REA Group Ltd (REA) owns the domain names realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au from which it runs property portals. It also owns trademarks which feature the domain names realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, along with the tag-line “Australia’s No.1 … Read more →

First Byte: ACCC wins by forfeit in the first unfair contract terms case

Unfair terms and conditions will not be tolerated under the consumer watchdog’s unfair contract term rules. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has chalked up its first win on a case solely arising from the unfair contracts terms rules, with internet service provider ByteCard quickly capitulating and consenting to … Read more →

Workplace relations: Making an appearance

Individuals should be prepared to present their case in the Fair Work Commission. A new case in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has confirmed that lawyers need to seek permission to represent their clients in matters before it. This means that individuals should be prepared to present their own case … Read more →

Unfair contract terms: Let the supplier beware

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has signalled its intention to adopt a more enforcement-based approach to protect consumers. Early this year the consumer watchdog released an industry review of unfair contract terms and amendments to its compliance and enforcement policy. Both signal a tougher stance, requiring business to be … Read more →

Repudiation of contract: Duties and responsibilities as important as job title

Employers should be aware that varying an employee’s duties and responsibilities may have the effect of repudiating the employment contract, particularly if it materially impacts on the employee’s status within the organisation or industry. In a recent decision, a judge found that a company’s executive chairman, who had hired an … Read more →

Immigration law: Penalties for failure to ensure employees have correct work visas

New laws introduce no-fault civil penalties for employers who fail to ensure employees have correct work visas and provide new investigative powers to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Changes to migration laws mean an employer who allows a foreign national to work without the correct work visa will be … Read more →

Social media: Loose tweets sink fleets

Businesses need to be aware of the potential legal risks when using social media to engage with their customers. Social media is a cutting edge way for businesses to engage with their customers – but it comes with a certain amount of legal risk. The core concept that businesses must … Read more →