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The Facts on Ipso Facto - when 'by that very fact or act' is not enough
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Australia's new ipso facto regime came into effect as of 1 July 2018. The regime enacted in September 2017 through the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 2) Act 2017 amends the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) providing for the operation of the ipso facto stay for certain corporate restructuring and insolvency procedures.

The reform is designed to improve the likelihood of recovery for companies experiencing trading difficulties by limiting circumstances where a counterparty can modify or terminate an existing contract based solely on the 'fact or act' of an insolvency event or trading difficulties. The new regime applies to contracts entered after 1 July 2018. Parties need to ensure that contracts entered after this date protect parties' rights in situations of default and comply with the new regime. Anti-avoidance provisions capture contract terms that attempt to circumvent the Act and limited exemptions are apply.

How the Courts will interpret the new regime is yet to be seen. In the meantime, the potential implications for clients in the construction and property sector needs closer review.

Landgate Implements Tougher Measures to Mitigate Fraud
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People who deal with land in Western Australia are required to obtain a Verification of Identity (VOI) statement. To obtain a VOI, they must produce documentation and have their identities verified in person by an approved agent, such as a lawyer, conveyancer or Australia Post. Earlier this year, Landgate introduced changes to its VOI practice which extends this requirement to buyers and caveators. This ensures that errors and improper transactions are minimised, and aligns the paper-based transaction requirements with those of electronic-based transactions.  

Disclosure Exposure!
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Landlords and managing agents should remain aware of the nature and extent of the statutory obligation to provide a disclosure statement to prospective retail tenants. Failure to meet this obligation may expose landlords to an order to pay compensation for losses suffered by the tenant or risk termination of the commercial tenancy agreement by the tenant.
Occupier's Liability - you may be liable for personal injury that occurs on someone else's land
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You or your business could be responsible for injuries or damage that occur on premises, whether or not you are the owner of the land or are leasing the land. If you occupy land or you exercise control over land that is adjacent to, but outside the boundary of your property, you may be responsible for ensuring that those premises are kept safe.

Is your annual turnover AUD 3m or more? You have until February 2018 to prepare for new cyber laws
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New cyber-security laws which take effect on 22 February 2018 will see the introduction of mandatory reporting of data breaches in Australia.  Under the new law, entities must report any data breaches or suspected breaches to the Privacy Commissioner and affected customers as soon as practicable after the breach.

WA Construction Industry - Subcontractor Payments
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In 2013, the Western Australian Small Business Commissioner conducted an investigation into the non-payment of subcontractors on construction projects administered by Building Management and Works (BMW) between 2008 and 2012. The Final Report was presented to the Minister for Small Business in March 2013 with advice and recommendations.

Integra Legal played a crucial role in conducting this investigation, and the Final Report has been significant in driving a number improvements and changes in the construction industry, particularly in relation to the procedure for paying subcontractors.

Merry Christmas
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Please note that the offices of Integra Legal will close at 5.00pm on Friday, 23 December 2016 and reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday, 3 January 2017. We take this opportunity to wish all clients and their families a Happy Christmas and New Year.