ABC lashed over call to fund Milligan case

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 18 : 5-Jul-21

The ABC’s policy on employees’ usage of social media is under renewed scrutiny after the public broadcaster advised that it will pay the legal costs of investigative reporter Louise Milligan in a defamation case. Federal MP Andrew Laming alleges that his personal and professional reputation were "irrevocably" damaged after Milligan posted a series of tweets regarding claims that Laming had taken a photo of a woman while she was bending over. Liberal senator Sarah Henderson has questioned the ABC’s decision to fund Milligan’s legal defence, adding that taxpayers have the right to know whether it would also pay up if damages are awarded against her.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Westpac insurance sales misleading: ASIC

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 9-Apr-21

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is taking legal action against Westpac in the Federal Court. ASIC claims that Westpac mis-sold credit card insurance to customers who did not want it, with more than 380 customers affected in a four-month period between April and July 2015. Westpac has stated that it will work with ASIC constructively through the court process, and that it has not sold credit card insurance since 2019. Credit card insurance came under scrutiny during the Hayne royal commission, and the big banks have stopped selling the product.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

No liquidity crisis at Arrium: directors

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 5-Mar-21

Marcus Pesman has told the New South Wales Supreme Court that collapsed steelmaker Arrium was not in a liquidity crisis. He is representing eight former members of the Arrium board in a lawsuit brought by liquidator KordaMentha for alleged insolvent trading. Pesman is also representing former Arrium CFO Robert Bakewell in the same action, along with two other actions brought by lenders to which the eight former board members are not defendants. Pesman told the court that the lenders had sufficient information available to make their own assessment of Arrium’s financial state at the time, while he noted that the Arrium board met 21 times between December 2015 and April 2016, indicating that the directors took their responsibilities seriously.

CORPORATES
ARRIUM LIMITED, KORDA MENTHA AND COLLEAGUES PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Nine to pay costs in Aston ruling

Original article by Cameron England
The Australian – Page: 3 : 9-Feb-21

The Federal Court has awarded indemnity costs to Elaine Stead in her defamation case against newspaper columnist Joe Aston. The indemnity costs will be backdated to 22 April, when Nine Entertainment Company rejected Stead’s offer to settle the case for $190,000. Stead was recently awarded ordinary and aggravated damages totalling $280,000 over several articles that were published in the ‘Australian Financial Review’. Nine could potentially face a total bill of more than $2.5m arising from the defamation case.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC,FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

March court start for Seven’s cricket battle

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 16-Dec-20

The legal dispute between Seven West Media and Cricket Australia will be heard by the Federal Court in mid- March. Seven may seek damages or an order to terminate its broadcasting rights deal if the court rules in its favour. The case centres on CA’s changes to its itinerary for the 2020-21 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Seven contends that it was commercially disadvantaged by CA’s decision to start the season with three one-day international matches against India, which were broadcast exclusively by Fox Sports.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, CRICKET AUSTRALIA, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Union takes Tax Office bosses to Federal Court in work from home row

Original article by Noel Towell
The Age – Page: Online : 9-Dec-20

The Australian Services Union has commenced legal action against senior executives at the Australian Taxation Office. The ASU alleges that the executives – including Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan – were in breach of workplace laws and the ATO’s enterprise agreement, which includes working at home provisions. The union claims that ATO staff who had been working from home due to the pandemic were ordered to return to their offices without the required notice period when the federal government announced stimulus measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

CBA faces penalty over rates slug

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, David Ross
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched legal action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia over allegations that it breached financial services laws. ASIC contends that customers with business overdraft accounts were charged incorrect interest rates between December 2014 and March 2018. CBA has advised that 2,269 customers who were overcharged during this period have been reimbursed $3.74m in total. ASIC is seeking pecuniary penalties and other orders.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Seven aims to make cricket pay

Original article by Ben Horne, Peter Lalor
The Australian – Page: 24 & 22 : 2-Dec-20

The Seven Network alleges that it has suffered significant commercial damage due to Cricket Australia’s changes to its match schedule for the 2020-21 summer. Australia was originally slated to play three Tests against India before Christmas, but CA has delayed two of these matches until the new year, while the revised schedule saw the cricket season begin with a six-match One-Day International series that is exclusive to Fox Sports. CA has cited the coronavirus pandemic as the key reason for changes to the schedule, but Seven contends that the Board of Control for Cricket in India exerted pressure to make the changes.

CORPORATES
SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, CRICKET AUSTRALIA, BOARD OF CONTROL FOR CRICKET IN INDIA

Qantas lodges JobKeeper appeal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 15-Oct-20

Qantas will appeal the Federal Court’s recent ruling that the airline has misused the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. Lawyers have warned that the court’s ruling has implications for all businesses that pay employees in arrears. The Business Council of Australia and the Council of Small Business Organisations are among the employers’ groups that will lobby the federal government to fix the anomaly, which arises if a business has a different pay cycle to that of JobKeeper’s fortnightly pay cycle.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

ABC indulged ‘activist agenda’, says V’landys

Original article by Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 7 : 15-Oct-20

Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys has given evidence in his defamation lawsuit against the ABC and one of its journalists. The case centres on a story that appeared on the ‘7.30’ current affairs program in October 2019; it featured an interview with V’landys that was spliced with graphic footage of retired racehorses being killed at a Queensland abattoir. V’landys claimed that the story "pandered to an activist agenda" and alleges that the ABC failed to make it clear that he has no jurisdiction over racehorses in Queensland. V’landys is seeking aggravated damages.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, RACING NSW