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Modified universalism: Full Federal Court protects the rights of a local creditor in a cross-border insolvency

The Full Federal Court has confirmed a “modified universalism” approach to cross-border insolvencies, and provided guidance on what is required for the “adequate protection” of rights of local creditors under the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (‘Model Law’), as enacted in Australia by the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth).

Change of position – ‘Disenrichment’ principle not accepted

On 7 May 2014, the High Court unanimously held that Hills Industries Ltd (Hills) and Bosch Security Systems Pty Ltd (Bosch) established the defence of change of position. Hills and Bosch were not required to repay monies to Australian Financial Services and Leasing Pty Limited (“AFSL”), the party who had paid them monies as a result of a third party’s fraud. AFSL appealed from the decision of the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal. The appeal was unanimously dismissed.

The Dawn of a New Era for Hong Kong Company Law

Article by Dr Josh Wilson SC and Cam Truong – When business opened on 3 March 2014 in Hong Kong, a new era in company law began with the commencement of the new companies ordinance, (“C 622”). That ordinance was the upshot of several years of deliberation and hard work by a specialist panel of company lawyers and others dedicated to reforming Hong Kong’s company laws. This article addresses some of the more important changes and the reasons for them.

High Court upholds validity of Northern Territory Drugs Forfeiture Law

The High Court, by majority, upheld the validity of a statutory scheme for the forfeiture of property. The scheme provided that, on application by the DPP, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory could declare a person who had been convicted of three or more drug related offences within a ten year period to be a “drug trafficker”, and consequent upon the declaration, all property owned, effectively controlled or given away by that person was forfeited to the Northern Territory.

High Court Lets Liens for Litigating Liquidators Lie

The High Court held unanimously that a liquidator is entitled to an equitable lien over settlement monies for litigation expenses which the liquidator incurred for the purpose of impugning a secured creditor’s charge, applying and confirming the principle in Universal Distributing in the process.

Tobacco Plain Packaging: WTO dispute panel appointed

Five countries have brought WTO Complaints against Australia’s plain packaging rules for tobacco products. On 25 April 2014, the Dispute Settlement Body under the Dispute Settlement Understanding established panels to determine the complaints brought by Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Ukraine, Honduras and Indonesia. On 5 May, the Director-General formally announced the 3 member Panel who will hear the disputes: Mr Alexander Erwin (chair); Prof. Francois Dessemontet; and Dame Billie Miller.

Intention to create a trust

In Korda v Australian Executor Trustees (SA) Ltd, the VSCA may have assisted the investors in a radiata pine managed investment scheme at the expense of trusts law orthodoxy.