Mere contractual promises are not security interests

In two linked cases, Beach J of the Federal Court has unsurprisingly held that: a contractual indemnity is not a security interest, and an undertaking as to damages given to a court is not a security interest. Unjustified financing statements The two cases are National Australia Bank Ltd v Garrett [2016] FCA 714 and Treasury […]

A hexagon cartogram for the Australian 2016 election

Hexagon cartograms are often used for UK election results, but I haven’t seen them much in Australia. I wanted to try creating one. Mouse over electorate for details: Electorate (State) Member (Party) Two party preferred vote Use buttons or arrow keys to set swing and see result 0 The cartogram shows each electorate as a […]

Was a retention of title claim ‘unsecured’ before the PPSA?

Within a week, two courts have considered this question and reached opposite conclusions. The Federal Court says ‘no’; the Victorian Supreme Court says ‘yes’. Why it matters The issue is important to liquidators seeking to claw back preferential payments made to individual creditors before liquidation began, for redistribution on an equal basis to creditors generally. […]

Take care: trust distribution resolutions taken seriously by High Court

In Fischer v Nemeske [2016] HCA 11, the High Court has ruled on a rather vague resolution by which a Trustee resolved to make distributions, never paid, to beneficiaries. The outcome of the case shows the importance of taking care with these resolutions. They may create debts that can be enforced later by the beneficiaries. […]

Mining joint ventures, default purchase options and security interests

Mining joint venture agreements often give a joint venturer a menu of up to 3 enforcement options when a co-venturer defaults in making required cash contributions: enforce a cross charge, appointing a receiver or selling up the defaulter’s interest; a default purchase option, exercising a right to buy out the defaulter’s interest at (or just […]

Expensive failure to register on PPSR: Forge v GE

Forge Group Power Pty Limited v General Electric International Inc [2016] NSWSC 52 The long-awaited Forge decision is out. Mining services company Forge went into voluntary administration 2 years ago, then into liquidation. Forge had leased turbines, said in press reports to be worth around $50 million, from GE. GE failed to make a PPS […]

Sentencing reform in Victoria: interesting times

This year should bring interesting developments in the law of criminal sentencing in Victoria. The story begins: baseline offences In November 2014, the baseline sentencing provisions in the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) came into operation. The provisions applies only to specified offences, called ‘baseline offences’. These included murder and child sexual abuse offences. For baseline […]