The global cannabis landscape has undergone dramatic change since the UN adopted its seminal Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs in 1961. The last decade has seen a rapid expansion of legalized cannabis, particularly in the United States, with many non-cannabis businesses swept into the tumult. The quickly evolving regulatory framework in the United States has been mirrored globally as the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) revisits existing treaties and conventions.
In Block v Powercore, The Victorian Supreme Court of Australia summarily dismissed the lead Plaintiff’s claims for breach of statutory duty, negligence and nuisance in a bushfire class action against a Victorian electricity distributor.
With the growth of the gig economy and its reliance on pools of “on demand” workers, there has been a surge in related employee class actions. Unions have a large incentive to be involved in these disputes and have prevailed in a number of recent decisions.
The Supreme Court of New South Wales recently considered the application of a “related wrongful acts” aggregation provision in the context of a representative proceeding commended against the insured, the Bank of Queensland. Wotton + Kearney acted for Catlin Australia Pty Ltd as one of the three insurer defendants in the proceedings. The case provides guidance on whether a representative proceeding constitutes just one “claim” under a policy and how aggregation provisions operate.
Not long after Scott Morrison swept aside Australia’s cybersecurity ministry to make way for his newly formed cabinet, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 was introduced to Parliament. While the bill may sound innocuous, its scope and implications could significantly impact personal data security in Australia and make it easier for hackers to access personal data stored on devices.
In July 2018, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that it has become one of the first signatories to a new co-operative agreement between international regulators in the UK, USA, Hong Kong, British Columbia and Singapore. In this article, Wotton + Kearney special counsel Naomi Miller discusses the resulting implications for companies engaging in cross-border financial transactions, conducts business through online platforms where data may be hosted overseas.
The increasing prevalence of multiple, open securities class actions in Australia has been an issue for some time. However, 2018 saw the issues assume greater significance with many instances of competing securities class actions commenced on an open class basis. This created overlap of group membership across each of the competing class actions and presented significant case management challenges for the Court and parties.
As businesses increasingly rely on the Internet, Directors & Officers (D&Os) risk a corresponding increase in cyber exposure. This trend has accelerated over the last couple of years as related statutes and regulations have begun to take hold. It is critical that D&Os be aware of the informal and formal standards that are being set regarding appropriate company cyber risk management.
Two recent decisions in the English courts involving class actions will have lasting implications on actions seeking collective redress. The decisions involve high-profile defendants MasterCard and Google and respectively involve the UK Consumer Rights Act of 2015 and the Data Protection Act of 1986.
D&O/FI insurers have seen a rise in SEC enforcement actions against their insureds. With limited arguments against coverage for outsized settlements, several of these insurers have been significantly on the hook for their insureds’ misdeeds.