Corporate and Commercial

Contract notice provisions are worth noticing

Richard Suters 09/09/2021

COVID-19 is causing havoc and creating volatility with supply chains, labour availability and project scheduling. In this environment, it has never been more important for parties to be on top of the management of their contracts. Now is not the time to be relying on the relationship and not reading the contract.

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Property and Planning

Modification of Development Consents

Paul Jayne 07/09/2021

Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows a landowner/developer to apply to Council to modify a development consent. The power to modify a consent has been described by the Council as beneficial and facultative, but not unconstrained. A recent NSW Court of Appeal decision [Ku-ring-gai Council v Buyozo Pty Ltd (2021) NSWCA 177], has caused some consternation in the development industry. Some industry feedback has been that the modification power is now significantly weakened and developers are no longer able to rely on it to make small adjustments to their projects.

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Property and Planning

COVID-19 Commercial Leasing Update for Landlords & Tenants in 2021

Paul Jayne 07/09/2021

COVID-19 continues to impact and complicate our lives in many ways. One of the more recent changes by the NSW Government has been by way of further amendments to retail and commercial leasing. Our Property Team at SWS Lawyers have set out those changes below in order to continue to help our clients navigate this labyrinth.

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SWS LAWYERS COVID-19 RESPONSE STATEMENT (UPDATE 5 August 2021)

05/08/2021

Property and Planning

Harsh, Unconscionable and Oppressive By-Laws

Paul Jayne 28/07/2021

In 2020, the New South Wales Court of Appeal unanimously decided that a blanket ban on owners in a strata scheme keeping animals was invalid due to it being harsh, unconscionable or oppressive. Owners Corporations should consider whether any by-laws, particularly any “blanket” type by-laws, in their strata scheme would be invalid for being harsh, unconscionable or oppressive, particularly before issuing breach notices to owners.

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Property and Planning

Update: Design & Place SEPP

Paul Jayne 28/07/2021

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) have released a response or summary of the stakeholder submissions to the Design and Place SEPP: Explanation of Intended Effect.

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Property and Planning

Property Purchase – Planning Due Diligence

Paul Jayne 28/07/2021

Sometimes, it is worthwhile paying a little extra and getting peace of mind.

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Corporate and Commercial

Update on director identification numbers for all Australian directors

Richard Suters 28/07/2021

The Australian Government has released draft exposure materials which provide further information on the Director Identification Number (DIN) regime. The regime requires all directors of Australian corporations to have a unique identification number to increase director accountability. This article will explore the changes and what steps should be taken in preparation for the new obligations.

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Intellectual Property and IT

Who is the correct owner of your trade mark?

Richard Suters 28/07/2021

Businesses and individuals should exercise caution when applying for registration of a trade mark to ensure the proper owner of the mark is registered. This is an issue that can present itself many years after registration and as the decision in Pham Global Pty Ltd v Insight Clinical Imaging Pty Ltd (2017) 251 FCR 379 makes clear, ownership must be established at the time of applying for registration.

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Family Wealth & Business Succession

Binding, eh, maybe...

Phillip Hewitt 28/07/2021

It is a common misconception that superannuation proceeds, including death benefits, are dealt with via a person’s will. Superannuation death benefits do not automatically form part of a deceased’s estate.

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Property and Planning

Deferred commencement of a development consent

Paul Jayne 15/07/2021

Being granted development consent with a ‘deferred commencement condition’ can confuse an applicant for consent. Unfortunately, Councils themselves are quite often confused by the operation of these conditions and their own statutory role under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

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Property and Planning

Merit Appeals in the Land and Environment Court

Paul Jayne 15/07/2021

Litigation should never be a first option – but sometimes there is just no other way forward - when the Council just doesn’t seem to what to progress that development application (or modification application) with any degree of haste, or they just don’t like it and have refused the application.

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Property and Planning

Physical commencement of a development consent

Paul Jayne 15/07/2021

Once a development consent is granted by Council (or the Land and Environment on an appeal) the lapsing clock starts ticking. If the lapsing period is not specified in the Notice of Determination, then the default period is 5 years from the date of determination (or date nominated on the Notice). A shorter lapsing period can be expressly specified – but in any case, it cannot be less than 2 years. Once a consent lapses it cannot be revived - it is lost.

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