Ms Anne Freeman Partner Piper Alderman - Lawyer biography - International Law Office

International Law Office

Anne Freeman

Ms Anne Freeman

Published updates

Litigation

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken further steps in its pursuit of ByteCard Pty Limited for including unfair contract terms in its standard form consumer contracts. ByteCard has been forced to consent to declarations in the Federal Court that certain provisions of its standard form consumer contracts are void under the Consumer Law.

The High Court recently dismissed an appeal in relation to a Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal decision, which had held that Crown Melbourne Limited did not engage in unconscionable conduct in relation to a problem gambler at one of its casinos. The decision provides some guidance on what constitutes a 'special disadvantage' in such cases.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has successfully pursued a former Tasmanian Europcar franchisee in relation to conduct involving deliberate overcharging for vehicle repairs and a failure to refund overcharged customers. The case demonstrates the ACCC's continued commitment to its promise to scrutinise the conduct of hire car companies.

Hot on the heels of its recent report on the review of unfair contract terms, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has brought proceedings against ByteCard Pty Limited alleging a breach of the unfair contract terms provisions of the Consumer Law. The ACCC gave fair warning to businesses and has now demonstrated that they must take its stance on unfair contracts terms seriously.

The High Court and the New South Wales Court of Appeal have recently provided much-needed clarification about the proportionate liability regime detailed in the New South Wales Civil Liability Act 2002. Although the regime has been in place since 2004, there had previously been relatively little judicial guidance as to its practical application.

In what is likely to be the last decision in the long saga of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission litigation against the board and management of James Hardie, the New South Wales Court of Appeal has provided further guidance to boards about their decision-making processes. All members must be vigilant in ensuring that minutes are properly prepared and approved and that the requisite formality is observed.

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Ms Anne Freeman