Legal Updates

HO HO HO with NO NO NO claims

As the holidays approach, we take this opportunity to remind employers to familiarise themselves with their workplace policies and to be mindful of their obligations.  Employers should be aware that an employee’s conduct can extend beyond the traditional workplace to the Christmas show and social media activity. We recommend that employers implement the following: Remind…

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Valid Signing of Legal Documents – Electronic Signatures

In this age of electronic communications and documents, we are often asked to advise on how a legal document can be signed validly. There have been a series of cases involving Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, which has sought to recover loans to investors in failed Great Southern Group investment schemes.  One of these cases is…

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Problems facing unlicensed builders and suing in quantum meruit

The 2018 Adelaide Magistrates’ Court decision of Marisha Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Daw [2018] SAMC 12 (Daw) (upheld on appeal to the Supreme Court: Marisha Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Daw [2019] SASC 77) illustrates the importance of builders being appropriately licenced under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA) (BWCA), and…

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Dismissing an Employee by Text is not on!

Delivering a DCM (Don’t Come Monday) message to an employee by text message is poor form and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has confirmed that “basic human dignity” requires that a dismissal be conveyed personally. In Thai v Email Ventilation Pty Ltd [2019] FWC4116, an employee who was terminated by text message was found to…

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You don’t have to be a Masterchef to slip up!

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) recently announced that celebrity Chef George Calombaris’ hospitality empire ‘MAdE Establishment Group’ would backpay $7.8 million in wages and superannuation, plus a $200,000 “contrition payment”.  The announcement followed an investigation into underpayment of wages affecting approximately 500 employees over 6 years across the restaurant chain. Calombaris was a director of…

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New gift card expiry laws – are you affected?

Last December there was a subtle change to the law around gift cards and vouchers in South Australia. These must now have an expiry date of at least 3 years from their date of issue. The new law targets the familiar ‘monetary gift card’, such as a Coles Myer voucher, Woolworths e-gift card, etc.  Apple…

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Family Trusts – Challenging Trustees’ Discretionary Decisions

In a legal update last year, I wrote about the case of Mercanti v Mercanti on the matter of control and succession of discretionary family trusts.  That illustrated an example where a challenge to the passing of control was unsuccessful. In a recent  Supreme Court of Victoria decision of Trani v Trani decided in 2018,…

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