The Federal Government has announced further measures to assist in curbing illegal phoenix activity as part of the release of the 2018 Budget on 8 May 2018.
The enforceability of vendor restraint clauses contained in sale of business agreements is currently under review in the Supreme Court of Victoria in the case of Southern Cross Computer Systems P/L (ACN 005 770 598) and Ingenio Group P/L (ACN 610 396 748) v Palmer, Christopher Anthony; Faithfull, Jamie and Jakimoski, Zoran  VSC 412.
In a recent speech to the Australian Institute of Directors, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft outlined ASIC’s expectations for directors. Previous speeches focused on the director’s role as a gatekeeper, and Mr Medcraft has said this will continue to be a focus for ASIC.
The chairman stated that directors should ensure their company has strong internal and audit compliance functions. He stated these functions are worthless unless the directors back it up with supervision and review, and that these processes are ingrained in the company’s culture. He considered culture a very important point and stressed directors should drive the right compliance culture in the workplace.
Justice Gleeson of the Federal Court of Australia has provided further clarification surrounding the power of the Registrar to correct errors on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) in the case of SFS Projects Australia Pty Ltd v Registrar of Personal Property Securities  FCA 846.
In this case, SFS Projects Australia Pty Ltd (SFS Projects) was assigned three security interests that were already registered on the PPSR. A mistake was made by the assignor who incorrectly changed the end date of the registrations, instead of changing the name of the secured party, to SFS Projects. If the error was not corrected, SFS Projects would be deprived of the benefits of a continuously perfected security interest under the Personal Property Securities Act 2010 (PPSA).
The Options Paper, Australia’s Charities and Not-for-profits has been released to seek feedback on proposed arrangements for charities in Australia following the Government’s planned repeal of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The Government’s proposed arrangements attempt to balance reducing the administrative burden of reporting obligations with the need for public accountability.
There is no requirement to file the underlying agreement that gives rise to a security interest on the Personal Property Securities Register (Register). This has the potential to give rise to fake or sham registrations because the Register cannot determine if a registration is in fact a genuine security interest. This creates a situation where the Register can be compromised by the lodgement of sham registrations.
The Australian Government has released a consultation paper which seeks to protect small businesses from the burden of unfair contract terms in standard form contracts.
Unfair contract terms go beyond what is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party seeking to include the terms in the contract (for example a large corporate business). These terms create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract. Similar provisions currently exist to protect consumers in dealing with businesses.