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Court of Appeal clarifies lead plaintiffs’ authority to settle class actions

The Victorian Court of Appeal has ruled that a settlement deed containing releases and acknowledgements beyond the scope of common issues in the Great Southern class action is binding upon group members, despite the High Court’s holding that representative plaintiffs and group members are not privies in relation to uncommon issues.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd v Pekell Delaire Holdings Pty Ltd [2017] VSCA 51 

Quantum meruit or damages?

VCAT has ordered the owners to pay a builder $660,526.41 by way of a quantum meruit following the termination of a building contract; a sum which was “considerably more” than the builder might have recovered in a damages claim under the contract.

Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd v Mann [2016] VCAT 2100

Lit up! E-retailers of e-cigarettes fined for misleading conduct

The Federal Court found that three online retailers and their directors had engaged in “serious” contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law for misleading Australian consumers as to the health benefits of e-cigarettes in three separate decisions that emphasise the importance of cooperation as a mitigating factor.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v The Joystick Company Pty Ltd, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Social-Lites Pty Ltd, and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Burden [2017] FCA 397, [2017] FCA 398, and [2017] FCA 399

The Harman Obligation: Policy, Procedure and Punishment

Paul Hayes will be presenting a CPD seminar on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 at 5.15pm in the McPhee Room on level 1 of Owen Dixon East. The seminar is entitled: “The Harman Obligation: Policy, Procedure and Punishment”. Further details can be obtained from the Bar Office.

Contract: Amendment or replacement?

Parties to a contract enter into a further contract by which they vary the original contract terms. Is the effect of the second contract to bring the first contract to an end and to replace it with the second, or to leave the first contract standing, subject to alteration?

Balanced Securities Limited v Dumayne Property Group Pty Ltd [2017] VSCA 61

Arbitration: when a final award is not final

Arbitrator rendered an award styled “Final Award” that failed to deal with an issue referred to arbitration.  Aggrieved party applied to have the issue determined by the Supreme Court. Other party sought a stay relying on the parties’ arbitration agreement. Held that the award was not a final award and that the arbitrator’s mandate continued to resolve the remaining issue.

Forge and the $44m fail

A recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal serves as a timely reminder of the costly consequences of failing to register a PPSR security interest in leased goods.

Distributions from a Mixed Trust Fund

What is the appropriate method of distribution to competing trust beneficiaries whose funds have been mixed? This short article considers this question following the decision in Hannan v Zindilis [2016] VSC 723.