In 470 St Kilda Road Pty Ltd V Robinson  FCA 1420 Kenny J considered the ‘professional services’ exclusion in a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance contract. The case provides a useful review of the authorities dealing with this exclusion, and is relevant in respect of interpreting exclusion clauses in insurance contracts more generally.
In this matter Mr Holmes QC, sitting as a sole arbitrator in the Appeal Arbitration Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”), was called upon to determine the proper construction of the Nomination Criteria relevant to athletes seeking to represent Australia in the sport of Alpine skiing at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Arbitrator Holmes QC applied contractual construction principles to construe the relevant criteria, and dismissed the proceeding.
The NSW Security of Payment Act provides that an adjudication certificate may be filed in court as a judgment for a debt and may be enforced accordingly. A party argued that this enforcement regime, which does not allow judicial scrutiny of the debt, conflicts with federal law and is unlawful. By a 2-1 majority, the Full Court of the Federal Court found no conflict.
A claimant in an expert determination challenged an interlocutory decision of the expert to refuse the claimant leave to amend its claim. After discussing the nature and purpose of expert determination, and construing the contract between the parties and the expert, the Court held that the expert did not err.
In 2012 the ACCC successfully took Flight Centre to court for attempting to collude with three international airlines. This case is a very rare example of the ACCC making use of the law of attempted collusion (rather than actual collusion).
The High Court explained the standard of reasons required where a Medical Panel gives its opinion on a medical question referred to it.
A majority of the High Court held that the provisions creating a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for those convicted of an aggravated form of “people smuggling” were valid.
In a land mark judgment handed down on 5 February 2014 by the Federal Court, Gordon J held that late payment fees charged by the ANZ Bank infringed the doctrine of penalties.
This case involved enforcement of a foreign award in Australia. Orders were made in aid of enforcement to prevent dissipation of shares in Australian companies owned by the award debtors. The award debtors were not permitted to re-agitate as a ground for resisting enforcement, a ground unsuccessfully agitated by them before the court at the seat of the arbitration to set aside the award.
In Expense Reduction Analysts Group Pty Ltd & Ors v Armstrong Strategic Management & Marketing Pty Ltd & Ors  HCA 46 the High Court has confirmed that accidental disclosure of documents over which legal professional privilege is claimed will not amount to a waiver of such privilege. The appropriate course, in accordance with good practice management, will normally be for the recipient of the documents to return them to the solicitor of the party claiming privilege, and for that party to seek leave to amend its List of Documents. Failing to take such a pragmatic approach and raising technical legal points may in the circumstances be a breach of a party’s and its legal representatives’ obligations under the NSW Civil Procedure Act (and, it follows, the Victorian Civil Procedure Act).
An application for an inquiry into the conduct of receivers and managers of the assets and undertaking of a corporation based in Western Australia pursuant to section 423 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The decision highlights the importance of exercising commercial judgment when considering appointments.
In this case Mr Schmidt obtained a line of credit facility from Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited (Perpetual) and gave a mortgage over his home as security for the facility. Violet Homes Pty Ltd (Violet) was the mortgage originator and manager and processed the loan application on behalf of Perpetual. Mr Schmidt borrowed the money to invest in what he thought were property developments. He was duped into doing so by Mr Maddock, who has since been convicted of fraud. Most of the money advanced by Perpetual to Mr Schmidt was paid directly or indirectly to Mr Maddocks and was lost.
The power of the Court to modify the operation of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency.
The High Court of Australia’s judgment in TCL Air Conditioner (Zhongshan) Co Ltd v The Judges of the Federal Court of Australia  HCA 5 (13 March 2013) is the most important development in arbitration in Australia in the past 12 months, and has been keenly awaited by arbitration users and practitioners.