In Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd, the High Court considered the ability of a non-party to an arbitration agreement to stay court proceedings by claiming ‘through or under’ a party to the arbitration agreement. The plurality gave the phrase a broad interpretation which, it is submitted, creates uncertainty.
The UK Supreme Court recently handed down a decision about privative clauses, R v Investigatory Powers Tribunal  UKSC 22. The decision is relevant to Australia because it prompts consideration of the scope and basis of Kirk v Industrial Court of New South Wales.
Patents – appeal from decision of the delegate – lengthy trial and voluminous evidence – alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
Patents – construction – infringement – validity only if primary judge’s construction was wrong
Designs – infringement – defences – use of a component part of a complex product for the purposes of repair – proof of knowledge that a part to be used for a non-repair purpose – unjustified threats – whether potential availability of repair defence to be taken into account
Court reduces administrators’/liquidators’ excessive remuneration due to inadequate remuneration reports
In Lock, in the matter of Cedenco JV Australia Pty Ltd (in liq)  FCA 93, the Court reduced the plaintiffs’ remuneration of approximately $5.7 million.
A majority of the High Court held that Queensland laws regulating the making of gifts to political parties were valid, and that a Commonwealth law purporting to permit such gifts was invalid.
Watson as trustee for the Murrindindi Bushfire Class Action Settlement Fund v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 228 (Middleton J)
The Federal Court dismissed an application by the administrator of a class action settlement fund appealing the decision of the Commissioner of Taxation disallowing the deduction of costs and expenses incurred in the course of administering the fund.
Mortgagees should be aware of the recent Court of Appeal decision in Burness v Hill  VSCA 94, which considered the doctrine of marshalling.
In Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting, the High Court underlined that arbitration clauses are to be interpreted in accordance with orthodox contractual interpretation principles, but missed the opportunity to clarify whether the liberal presumptive approach to the interpretation of arbitration agreements laid down by the House of Lords in Fiona Trust is good law in Australia.
The Banking Royal Commission was established by the Federal Government in December 2017. The Federal Government released the Commission’s Final Report on 4 February 2019. While the Commission has made a number of key recommendations that affect consumer lending, it has resisted making recommendations effecting wholesale change to the banking sector.
A U.S. bankruptcy trustee has failed in his attempt to use the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency to access Australia’s domestic voidable transaction regime. The case provides some some important insights into the scope, and limits, of the Model Law.
On 24 January 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission issued a report entitled Integrity, Fairness and Efficiency – an Inquiry into Class Actions Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders. The ALRC report sets out a comprehensive analysis of the current Australian class actions framework and makes 24 recommendations in relation to the regulation of class action proceedings and funding arrangements. Key aspects of the recommendations are set out below.
All partners can potentially be liable for wrongs committed by any one partner, so can a partnership claim the privileges against self-incrimination and exposure to civil penalties? In some “extraordinary and troubling” circumstances, the Federal Court recently determined whether Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu could claim the privileges.