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The latest issue of the Australian Business Law Review (Volume 42 Part 1) contains the following material:
This article considers whether legal advice on the law of a foreign jurisdiction is privileged. This question is particularly pertinent to in-house counsel. The globalisation of commerce and the growth of multinational companies have seen an increase in the number of in-house counsel whose role may extend into jurisdictions in which they are not admitted. The Queensland Supreme Court was asked recently in Aquila Coal Pty Ltd v Bowen Central Coal Pty Ltd  QSC 82 (hereafter Aquila Coal) to consider whether advice provided by a foreign lawyer on Queensland law was privileged in circumstances where the foreign lawyer was not admitted in Australia. The decision is significant because the court found, no doubt to the relief of many in-house counsel, that privilege can attach to such advice. This article discusses the decision in Aquila Coal, together with the broader privilege issues that it raises, and considers its implications for the in-house profession.
Experts have known for years about the vast deposits of shale gas throughout the world but technological difficulties and the high cost of producing shale gas made it impractical to consider as a serious energy source. However, following technological advancements pioneered in the United States in the 1990s, shale gas is now “rocking the world”. The true extent of shale gas resources in Australia is unknown but the potential is enormous. Shale gas exploration and production in Australia is in its infancy but momentum is now growing. The purpose of this article is to consider the issues facing the industry in Australia and in particular Queensland and to assess whether the existing regulatory framework has the capacity to regulate the industry in an effective and transparent manner to create acceptance and a “social licence” to operate.
Insurance and trust: Lessons from the Christchurch Cathedral – Julie-Anne Tarr and Myles McGregor-Lowndes
This article examines important insurance and trust law issues that may confront trustees charged with the governance and protection of unique properties with broad community and heritage significance. Often trustee roles are assumed by community leaders without full appreciation of the potential difficulties and consequences when unforeseen circumstances arise. Three recent New Zealand court decisions in relation to the deconstruction and repair of the Christchurch Cathedral and to the interim construction of a transitional “cardboard Cathedral” highlight how difficult – and legally exposed – the role of trustee can be. The Cathedral cases go to the heart of defining the core purpose for which a Trust is created and examine the scope of discretion in fulfilling this charge its Trustees carry. Arising in the wake of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, the Cathedral’s Trustees were called upon to consider the best directions forward for a crippled and dangerous building subject to potential demolition, the wellbeing of the Cathedral’s direct community, and the broader heritage and identity factors that this “heart” of Christchurch represented. In the context of a seemingly grossly underinsured material damage cover – and faced with broader losses across the Diocese’s holdings – the Trustees found that their sense of mission failed to gel with that of a community-based heritage buildings preservation trust. The High Court had to consider how monies received under the material damage policy could be applied by the Trustee in deconstructing, reinstating or repairing the Cathedral and if monies could be partly deployed to create an interim solution in the form of a transitional cathedral – all this in the context of the site-specific purpose of the Cathedral trust. The cases emphasise further the need to assess professionally the nature and quantum of cover effected to protect against various risks. In addition, in the case of historic or unusual buildings extra care must be exercised to take account additional costs associated with reinstatement so as to substantially retain the character and intrinsic value of such properties.
National competition policy: Coming of age – Professor Frederick G Hilmer AO
Professor Frederick G Hilmer AO, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales delivered the following speech at the Fourth Annual Baxt Lecture on 19 September 2013.
COMPETITION LAW AND MARKET REGULATION – Stephen Corones
- The root and branch review of competition law and policy – Robert Baxt AO
- Agents as intermediaries: When do they compete with their suppliers? – Stephen Corones