Australian businesses prepare for the new privacy regime
Minter Ellison’s competition team has worked extensively in defending corporate clients in complex civil and criminal investigations and court proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Our investigations work has included handling ‘dawn raids’ and mandatory requests for documents and information and to give evidence (section 155 notices) for a large range of corporate clients in the banking, media, retail and industrial sectors.
Our court defence work has included defending cases brought by the ACCC and corporate litigants alleging cartels, resale price maintenance, other anti-competitive conduct and consumer complaints.
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.
Comprehensive legislative changes to enhance and expand Hong Kong's unfair business practices and consumer protection framework, passed in 2012, will come into effect on 19 July 2013. We provide an overview of these major changes and explain how the new expanded consumer protection regime will operate in Hong Kong.
AUSTRAC, in association with the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, has released a discussion paper that sets out proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing customer due diligence regime. The proposed changes are a response to the revision of international AML/CTF CDD standards by the Financial Action Task Force, and consider whether the Australian AML/CTF regime could benefit from the adoption of the revised FATF standards.
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has announced a new governance structure and a revised edition of the SIAC Rules of Arbitration, effective from 1 April 2013. Clients should not underestimate the significance of these changes.
In line with the national harmonisation of personal criminal liability for corporate fault, the Directors Liability Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (ACT) recently simplified and consolidated the position on executive liability in the ACT across a range of different legislation. There are now less offences for which an executive officer may be liable, and executive officers will no longer be presumed to be responsible for any offences committed by a corporation under the amended Acts.