Corporate and Commercial

Industry Partnering: Innovative David Should Look to Cooperate with Corporate Goliath

Andrew Windybank 03/10/2023

At a time when innovators and startups across Newcastle and the Hunter Valley are lauded for their achievements, many people in the industry can appreciate that developing new innovations and bringing them to market is no simple task and, considering the current economic climate, it’s a task that is becoming increasingly challenging. Many Hunter startups attempt to grow organically or seek out venture capital investment, without fully exploring other, perhaps less common, alternative routes to growth. It is well documented that the extent of organic growth can be limited due a range of factors, including the level of debt available to the business, the level of entrepreneurial spirit in the business and its historical and expected financial performance.

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Corporate and Commercial

New Changes to Unfair Contract Terms Could Impact Your Standard Form Agreements

Richard Suters 03/10/2023

Long awaited reforms to Australia’s unfair contract terms laws come into effect in November making it an offence to enter into a standard form consumer or small business contract that contains an ‘unfair term’.

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Property and Planning

The Retail Leases Regulation 2022 (NSW)

Paul Jayne 25/09/2023

On 1 January 2023, the Retail Leases Regulation 2022 (NSW) came into effect. This expanded the businesses prescribed as retail shops in NSW. This article is a timely reminder to both lessors and lessees to be aware of such changes to determine whether their leases are subject to retail leasing obligations imposed by the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW).

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Property and Planning

The Latest Easement Development

Paul Jayne 25/09/2023

Easements just got more complicated. The recent decision of the Land and Environment Court in CKDI Pty Ltd as trustee for CKDI Unit Trust v Ku-ring-gai Council (2023) NSWLEC means that applicants of a development application must obtain owner’s consent from any adjoining landowner over whose land an easement is proposed prior to Council determining the application, rather than relying on a deferred commencement condition.

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SWS Lawyers is Moving Office

27/06/2023

SWS Lawyers is excited to announce that we are moving to a new office location on Friday, 30 June 2023, ready for business at the new premises from Monday 3 July 2023.

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Family Wealth & Business Succession

Harry's Story

Phillip Hewitt 26/06/2023

Our Private Clients Team is regularly involved in complex Wills and Estate matters. For our clients in their 70s and 80s, we are often asked about decisions that were made in the 1970s and 1980s concerning business structures; the impact of those structures on superannuation and family business arrangements; and whether existing will and estate arrangements “will work”. In this article Phil Hewitt provides a case study of the types of issues that may impact this type of client. We hope a narrative explaining the evolution of a typical estate scenario, coupled with Phil’s observations and solutions or alternative approaches to issues arising, may assist our clients.

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Dispute Resolution

Employee or independent contractor?

Susan Moran 26/06/2023

The distinction between whether a worker is properly characterised as an employee or an independent contractor can be difficult – and has important consequences. In two significant decisions in 2022 the High Court clarified the test for determining the relationship between a business and its workers. It means that businesses should ensure they have clear written contracts with their workers that comprehensively set out their relationship.

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Corporate and Commercial

Government Developing Plans to Reinvigorate Financial Advice Industry

Reid Farrell 26/06/2023

The federal government plans to increase the number of financial advisers in Australia and make financial advice more affordable, so that Australians can avoid relying on financial advice from unaccredited sources.

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Property and Planning

Owning in a heritage conversation area

Paul Jayne 21/06/2023

Owning a property in a heritage conversation area has both pros and cons – on one hand, you can own a beautiful, historical property in an area that is usually less dense and well preserved. However, works to your property require consideration of additional regulations and requirements that properties outside a heritage conservation area do not. These works usually require some form of Council approval, even if they are minor.

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Property and Planning

Off-the-plan Contracts – New is Not Always Better

Paul Jayne 06/06/2023

Due to the exponential growth of the Newcastle population, many buyers are deciding to purchase “off-the-plan” in order to break into the property market. However, there are often many risks associated with purchasing off-the-plan that buyers need to be aware of before making such a decision.

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