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 […]

Bill introduced for crowd sourced equity funding in Australia

The aim of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF) is to enable companies, particularly innovative start-ups, to raise comparatively small amounts of equity funding from a spread of investors, usually via an online platform, with less disclosure than would be required in a full prospectus. In a post in August this year, I noted that the […]

Deregulation: the abolition of Australian Company Numbers?

In an exposure draft of the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Spring Repeal Day) Bill 2015, the Government has proposed amendments to the Corporations Act and to tax legislation, to abolish the concept of the Australian Company Number (ACN) for new companies. Companies to be formed with ABNs instead of ACNs Instead, every newly-formed company must have […]

PPSA simplification: short term leases under one year

An amendment to the PPSA, dealing with short term leases, will commence soon. Generally, leases of serial numbered goods (motor vehicles, aircraft, watercraft) will no longer require registration if the term is a year or less, replacing the former 90 day rule for these kinds of goods. But there are traps for the unwary, particularly […]

Crowd sourced equity funding for Australia – getting closer

In an earlier post in February this year, I noted that the Government was moving towards the introduction of crowd sourced equity funding, or CSEF, in Australia, following the issue of a Treasury discussion paper in late 2014 that had described three possible approaches to this reform. CSEF means raising comparatively small amounts of equity […]

Oppression remedies for trading trusts

The Victorian Law Reform Commission recommends creation of an ‘oppression’ remedy for beneficiaries of trading trusts. Where a business is conducted through a trading trust, and the beneficiaries are subject to oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory conduct, the reform would allow a court to make orders such as requiring the trustee to cease the […]

PPSA in Australia: the Year 3 Report is out

Key points The Personal Property Securities Act, after its first three years in operation, has undergone a detailed review undertaken by Bruce Whittaker. The Report recommends keeping the fundamental architecture of the PPSA, but with many detailed changes to improve its efficiency. If implemented, the recommendations offer significant improvements and streamlining for secured lenders and […]

Crowd sourced equity funding – coming soon to Australia?

Crowd sourced equity funding, or CSEF, means allowing companies to raise comparatively small amounts of equity funding from a spread of investors, usually using an online platform. Currently this isn’t easy for start-up or entrepreneurs in Australia, but it looks like the government is moving towards reform to make it possible.  A press release a […]

PPSA in Australia: the Year 3 review

It is now 3 years since the Personal Property Securities Act came into full force on 30 January 2012. The PPSA reformed the law of taking security over almost all kinds of property except land.  For some secured lenders, things ultimately became much simpler: a single register replacing multiple different State-based, grantor-based or property-based registers. […]