Credit Card Fee Battle Hits High Court

Written by rouse_admin on February 4, 2016

A High Court challenge starting today in Canberra will determine whether bank customers should be reimbursed hundreds of millions of dollars in credit card late-payment fees.

Thousands of ANZ customers are part of a class action hoping to convince the High Court the fees are illegal.

At the crux of the challenge is the disparity between late fees charged by the bank, and the actual loss suffered when a customer pays a credit card late.

Customers say the late fees they were charged

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10 Things You Need To Know About Creditors’ Statutory Demands

Written by rouse_admin on February 4, 2016

1. A Creditors’ Statutory Demand can be used by a creditor owed at least $2,000 by a company.

2. The debt must be due and payable – a common mistake is to issue a statutory demand for a debt (or part of a debt) which is not yet due. For example, the demand might include a number of outstanding invoices, but the most recent invoice issued to the debtor is not yet payable.

3. There must be no “genuine dispute” about the

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Creditor’s Statutory Demands: Friend & Foe

Written by rouse_admin on February 4, 2016

Where a creditor is owed at least $2,000 by a company, the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) contains a powerful mechanism to recover that debt:  a Creditor’s Statutory Demand (statutory demand).

The Debt
A statutory demand is essentially a notice to a debtor company that it is required to pay the debt(s) set out in the statutory demand within 21 days of service, or a presumption of insolvency will arise. This presumption allows the creditor (or anyone else for that matter) to take

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5 Fast Facts about Trade Mark

Written by rouse_admin on January 21, 2016

Trade marks are a critical component of any business. This article covers five fast facts about trade marks and how they can be leveraged to benefit your business.

1. What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is a ‘sign’ that is used by one trader to distinguish their goods or services from those of other traders.

A trade mark traditionally consists of a word, a logo or a combination of words and logos, but it can also include 3D shapes, colours, scents,

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The value of legal expertise in tax disputes

Written by rouse_admin on January 19, 2016

Key Points

Court appeals will often cost in excess of $200,000, which most clients will not want to pursue and will wish to avoid (a cost benefit analysis will not pass).
Where the dispute involves an application of the law (as opposed to the calculation of an amount) the ATO view can often be misguided.
A focused and powerful legal submission based on legal principles can often cause the ATO to change their view. This should be adopted no later than the objection

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Exciting Development: Rouse Lawyers & Bywaters Timms

Written by rouse_admin on November 4, 2015

Rouse Lawyers and Bywaters Timms are pleased to announce the merger of the two firms from 1 December 2015.

The firm will now have 14 lawyers and 22 staff in total including a number of specialist practice group leaders. The firm will be known as Rouse Lawyers incorporating Bywaters Timms for 6 months when the name will revert to Rouse Lawyers.

For Rouse Lawyers’ clients it will mean the addition of a specialist franchise and commercial practice, led by Janice Bywaters (


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Protection of Superannuation

Written by rouse_admin on October 20, 2015

Accredited Tax Specialist and Chartered Tax Adviser

Bankruptcy law excludes some assets from being available to meet liabilities owing to creditors: for example, certain kinds of household property, a motor vehicle worth less than $7,500, and an interest in a regulated superannuation fund. For asset protection planning, the most relevant category is that applying to superannuation.

The exclusion of superannuation often leads to the assumption that superannuation accounts are protected in bankruptcy.

This assumption was recently challenged in the Victorian Supreme Court decision

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7-Eleven Saga: Underpayment of Employees

Written by rouse_admin on October 6, 2015

Recently, a number of 7-Eleven operators have come under fire in light of allegations they have underpaid employees. As a result, the founders of 7-Eleven Australia could face a Senate inquiry over allegations head office was complicit in wage fraud against workers at 7-Eleven stores.

Whilst it appears there may be many more cases of underpayment taken up by the Fair Work Ombudsman, we have considered the facts surrounding two such cases published by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

7-Eleven Blacktown, Sydney
The Fair

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Battle of the Beard: Unfair Dismissal Claim

Written by rouse_admin on October 1, 2015

In Felton v BHP Billiton Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 1838, Mr Felton (the applicant) was dismissed by BHP Billiton (his employer of 6 years) when he repeatedly refused to comply with BHP’s clean shaven policy.

Due to occupational health and safety concerns, Mr Felton was directed by BHP to shave his facial hair so he could safely wear a respirator mask in the underground mine. The mask was required to be worn in order to prevent exposure to diesel particulate matter,

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Mitigating Litigation Risk: Common Agreements

Written by rouse_admin on July 13, 2015

The adage, “Prevention is better than a cure,” is scarcely more pertinent than when talking about litigation, and in particular – how a dispute transformed into litigation.

There are many ways businesses can prevent a dispute from escalating, or even happening in the first place. A starting point is reducing agreements to writing.

Some of the commonplace agreements we find are missing, or inadequate under scrutiny are:

Governance agreements (for example, shareholders, partnership agreements)
Agreements to govern intellectual property
Employment and contractor agreements
Business succession

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