Commercial Law

2016/17 Annual Report

The Commercial Law Committee’s role is to report and make recommendations to the Law Society’s Council on commercial issues of significance to the Law Society and its members. The Committee has representatives on the following liaison groups:

  • State Revenue Liaison Group;
  • Consumer Protection Liaison Group;
  • ASIC Regional Liaison Group; and
  • Law Council of Australia, Business Law Section, Corporations Law Committee.

Members of the Committee attended meetings in order to obtain information and to provide feedback on behalf of the Law Society on various topics. For example, in August 2016, the Director of Legislation and Policy from the Department of Commerce, Penny Lipscombe, attended a Committee meeting to provide a comprehensive legislative and policy update to the Committee.

In 2016/17 the Committee considered a wide range of commercial issues and monitored legal developments and the progress of new legislation and reports in relation to a number of different subject areas, including:

  • ASIC consultations and amendments to ASX Listing Rules regarding admission criteria for backdoor listings, forward looking statements, resource statements and compliance with the JORC Code;
  • review of corporate tax and whistle blower protections;
  • the proposed ASIC industry funding model;
    amendments to the Privacy Act 1988;
  • amendments to Australia’s bankruptcy and insolvency laws including the new regime for administrators and official liquidators, safe harbour provisions protecting directors from liability for insolvent trading while restructuring a company, limitations to ipso facto clauses giving a party to a contract the right to terminate on the basis that the counterparty is in external administration; and
  • increasing the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies.

The Committee contributed to submissions or papers approved by the Law Society in relation to the following:

  • the Australian Consumer Law Review;
  • remote signing protocols for financial transactions;
  • unqualified people engaging in legal practice; and
  • draft revenue ruling DA19.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au