The Blog

Safe Harbour – COVID Relief Extended

As discussed in our previous blog, in March, the Federal Government put in place temporary relief measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which included some relief for personal liability for insolvent trading. These COVID-19 relief measures apply in addition to the existing safe harbour protection introduced in 2017 but were due to cease on… Read more

New Online Register Of Modern Slavery Statements

The Australian federal Government has now launched an online register (‘Register’) which houses modern slavery statements (‘Statements’) and is administered by the Australian Border Force.  See  What is modern slavery? Modern slavery describes situations where offenders use coercion, threats or deception to exploit vulnerable victims and undermine freedom.  Examples of modern slavery include human… Read more

Proposed shake-up of Australia’s foreign investment regime

On 5 June 2020 the Federal Treasurer announced proposed reforms to Australia’s foreign investment regime to come into effect from 1 January 2021. The reforms are targeted at ensuring greater compliance with foreign investment approval conditions while also expanding the Treasurer’s powers with respect to “sensitive national security businesses”. The proposed reforms follow the temporary… Read more

New Anti-Phoenixing Laws

The term ‘phoenix activity’ is used to refer to both legitimate business rescue attempts and the use of insolvency processes to avoid the payment of creditors. In an attempt to combat damaging phoenix activity, which is estimated to cost the Australian economy up to $5.13 billion each year[1], in February the Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating… Read more

COVID-19: Virtual general meetings temporarily permitted

In our recent article ‘COVID-19: Impacts for general meetings’, we covered the developments in late March 2020 regarding the holding of general meetings during the COVID-19 health emergency. Further key developments occurred on 5 May 2020, when the Treasurer issued the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No.1) 2020 (the ‘Determination’), temporarily allowing companies to hold… Read more

Merger Clearance in Uncertain Times

The ACCC are currently investigating the acquisition of a 19.9% stake in charter airline Alliance by Qantas in February 2019. Some fourteen months later, and in the context of a very different set of market circumstances, Qantas is having to respond to an enforcement investigation as a result of not seeking merger clearance prior to… Read more

Non-executive directors and loan funded share plans

Offering shares to non-executive directors (‘NEDs’) is often an effective way for a company to align the NED’s interests with the interests of the company’s other shareholders. However, the way in which shares are offered to NEDs requires thought and attention to avoid any negative consequences. One such method that a NED could receive shares… Read more

Preference Shares – emergency funding mechanism in light of COVID-19?

In the wake of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies will undoubtedly need to consider raising additional capital.  Gerry Cawson discusses the considerations for a proprietary limited company that is seeking to raise capital by the issue of preference shares. Freedom to raise capital The ability of a proprietary limited company to… Read more