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Federal Court applies s 54 broadly (again)

In Pantaenius Australia Pty Ltd v Watkins Syndicate 0467 at Lloyds [2016] FCA 1 Foster J considered whether one insurer (‘Pantaenius’) could claim contribution from another insurer (‘Nautilus’) regarding damage to a yacht.

The case demonstrates that the courts continue to interpret the scope of s 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (‘ICA’) broadly, and beneficially to insureds. The case also confirms that a co-insurer can rely on s 54 to establish double insurance for the purpose of obtaining contribution.

Insurers on the hook: High Court holds that insurers of insolvent companies can be joined to proceedings commenced by third parties against those companies

The High Court of Australia has held unanimously[1] that a person who commences proceedings against an insolvent company or a bankrupt individual can join that defendant’s insurer to the proceedings and seek a declaration that the insurer is liable to indemnify the defendant.


Implied terms in trade mark license upsets the apple cart

Trade marks – assignment and licence back – option to take assignment – whether variations agreed by conduct – implied terms – whether implied term that licence extends to replacement versions of licensed marks – whether implied term that marks be re-assigned if licence is breached – relevance of post-contractual conduct