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Dispute Resolution

Successful prosecution of 'the Ritz' owners

Successful prosecution of 'the Ritz' owners

Harwood Andrews has acted for the City of Greater Geelong in a successful prosecution of the owners of ‘the Ritz’ - a prominent heritage listed building located on Bellerine Street, Geelong.

Oppression remedies for unit trusts

Oppression remedies for unit trusts

It is an unfortunate fact of life that running a business will not always go smoothly, and occasionally disputes will arise between business owners and business investors. A unit trust is a popular structure for conducting a business, but it has traditionally presented business owners and investors with some difficulty when seeking to resolve their disputes. 

Plaintiff’s access to defendant insurance

Plaintiff’s access to defendant insurance

A claimant liquidator was allowed to join the defendants’ insurer to the proceeding, in circumstances where the defendants were not going to pursue the insurance claim. This case may open up several new ways to utilise a defendant’s insurance, and Sladen Legal has some creative ways this decision can be used to plaintiffs’ benefit.

Non party’s liability for costs

Non party’s liability for costs

The Court ordered costs against stakeholders in the plaintiff’s camp and stated that insolvency of a plaintiff insolvency weighs in favour of a cost order against a non-party supporting or directing it.

Federal Court gives green light for competition

Federal Court gives green light for competition

The Federal Court has heralded a green light for competition in the discount pharmacy market in handing down its decision in a misleading and deceptive conduct case between the owners of Chemist Warehouse (Applicants) against Direct Chemist Outlet (Respondents). In this case, Harwood Andrews successfully defended the Respondents and also made out the Respondents counterclaim, invalidating the Applicants trademark “Who is? Australia’s Cheapest Chemist”. 

High Court clarifies the circumstances in which the limitation period for bringing voidable transaction claims may be extended

High Court clarifies the circumstances in which the limitation period for bringing voidable transaction claims may be extended

Section 588FF(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) allows liquidators to apply to a court for orders in relation to voidable transactions.  Liquidators commonly seek to use this provision to “claw back” unfair preferences to particular creditors, but it also covers claims in respect of uncommercial transactions, unfair loans and unreasonable director-related transactions.

Green light for competition

Green light for competition

On 17 March 2015, Justice Middleton of the Federal Court handed down his decision in Verrocchi and Gance –v- Direct Chemist Outlet Pty Ltd  (ACN 123 831 210) and Ian Tauman.

$8.3 million penalty imposed on Sydney forklift gas cartel

$8.3 million penalty imposed on Sydney forklift gas cartel

A total of $8.3 million in penalties was imposed by the Federal Court upon two forklift gas supply companies, Renegade Gas Pty Ltd (Renegade), Speed-E-Gas (NSW) Pty Ltd (Speed-E-Gas) and three individuals of the two companies, for engaging in cartel conduct restricting competition.

Supreme Court considers trustee’s responsibility to disclose reasons

Supreme Court considers trustee’s responsibility to disclose reasons

Discretionary trusts are widely used in modern-day business and are generally understood as efficient structures for asset protection and tax minimisation.  The obligations of trustees in administering trusts, particularly with regard to providing reasons for their decisions to beneficiaries, are less well understood.

Shareholder disputes – Supreme Court takes alternate approach

Shareholder disputes – Supreme Court takes alternate approach

Many small to medium sized businesses face disputes between shareholders.  Often these shareholders are family members.  Shareholder disputes are notoriously expensive to resolve and typically take the form of “oppression” claims commenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria under the provisions of s 233 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).  Although individual disputes will differ, all these disputes have in common allegations that the affairs of a company have been conducted in an oppressive manner.