Consumer Protection

MinterEllison's 'elite' competition team's high-level technical knowledge of Australian consumer laws is complemented by many years of experience working with complex businesses and brands. We advise on strategies for launching new brands and protecting existing brands. We review new brands and work with our clients' marketing and management teams on advertising strategies, clearing product performance claims, reviewing competitors' conduct and defending challenges. Clients rely on us for advice on the legal risks associated with marketing offers, promotions and strategic re-branding, and we balance this with clients' objectives of achieving differentiation and motivation. We advise and act for clients in proceedings for misleading and deceptive advertising brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and competitors.

We have expertise in the consumer guarantees regime (previously the implied terms and warranties regime), acting for suppliers, manufacturers and insurers, and the unfair contract terms regime.

In addition, we regularly advise on the unconscionable conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law, product liability and recalls, and industry codes and franchising.

8 August 2016

From 12 November 2016, the unfair contract terms regime in the Australian Consumer Law will be extended to small business. In the university context, the new laws will potentially capture a university's contracts with suppliers, contractors and consultants. This article outlines the new laws and their potential application to universities and provides some practical guidance on ensuring you are ready for the change.

17 February 2014

Customer testimonials about goods or services have become increasingly common, particularly via social media. In December last year, the ACCC released a guide to handling online reviews and review platforms, providing an insight into it's view on the scope of a business' obligations plus a list of best practice recommendations.

10 July 2013

The first court decision applying the cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has set the bar for establishing per se liability worryingly low. Significantly for M&A practitioners, the case calls into question the traditional risk assessment of 'back to back' or 'partial follow on' transactions from a bid-rigging perspective, including those that occur offshore. With an appeal by Bradken lodged in April, it seems 'at least possible' the Federal Court will revisit the low bar applied to satisfaction of the competition condition in this case - and the outcome will be one to watch.

12 June 2013

The Standing Council on Energy and Resources has announced reforms to the regime for limited merits review of decisions affecting prices for electricity networks and gas pipelines under the National Gas Law and National Electricity Law. These reforms will place greater emphasis on the need to prove that varying the regulator's decision will produce an overall outcome that is ‘materially preferable’ in promoting the long term interests of consumers.

7 June 2013

The High Court of Australia held that Google was not liable for representations made by advertisers in sponsored links on Google's search results pages. The case concludes a five year court battle between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Google Inc. (Google) over misleading representations displayed in sponsored links on Google's search results pages.