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We work collaboratively with our clients to build strong, sustainable relationships. Our team is committed to delivering consistent high standards of service, and we understand the importance of accessibility. Working with us, you'll enjoy open communication, meaning well scoped, properly resourced and effectively managed matters.

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Latest Case

Providing innovative procurement solutions for local government projects April 20, 2018

We advised City of Casey on the procurement process of the Bunjil Place Project. Bunjil Place is a $125 million civic and cultural precinct for the City of Casey, encompassing an 800-seat theatre and 200-seat … Continued

Latest News

In good hands: Maddocks advises on physio business acquisition April 11, 2018

Wednesday 11 April 2018 Maddocks has advised Zenitas Healthcare Limited on its acquisition of the Agewell Physiotherapy business. Agewell is a mobile physiotherapy provider servicing residential aged care facilities, retirement villages and communities in New … Continued

Latest Article

The right to use plans prepared by a design consultant: the devil is in the detail April 11, 2018

When a design consultant (such as an architect or engineer) brings their plans or designs into material form, copyright will usually subsist in those documents as an artistic work. The designer owns that copyright unless … Continued

Educating ourselves about the B2B unfair contract term laws

Heralded as the single biggest change to the way parties do business in decades, there has been much said about the impending ‘business to business’ unfair contract term laws. What is clear is that the new laws are here to stay, and all businesses will need to turn their minds to the new provisions when entering into contracts, enforcing their rights under contracts, and when contractual provisions are being enforced against them.

Here is a snapshot of the new laws:

  • The laws will apply to contracts entered into on, and from, 12 November 2016
  • The laws only apply where a contract is in a standard form, and meets the definition of a ‘small business contract’. A contract will be a small business contract if:
    • at the time the contract is entered into, at least one party to the contract is a business that employs fewer than 20 persons; and
    • either of the following applies:
      • the upfront price payable under the contract does not exceed $300,000; or
      • the contract has a duration of more than 12 months and the upfront price payable under the contract does not exceed $1 million.
  • If you have a small business contract that is in a standard form, any ‘unfair term’ will be void.  A term will be unfair if it:
    • would cause a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract; and
    • is not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party who would be advantaged by the term; and
    • would cause detriment if it were to be relied on.

The laws apply to government bodies to the extent that they are carrying on a business.

The new laws will apply to a myriad of contracts, such as standard supplier terms, the terms under which independent contractors are engaged and licencing agreements. Businesses should be taking stock to determine which of their standard form contracts may be caught by the laws, and reviewing and revising those that will fall within the law’s ambit. Many will already be dealing with the counterpart business to consumer laws that have existed for some time, and will now need to develop strategies to deal with its application to small business dealings.

Heralded as the single biggest change to the way parties do business in decades, there has been much said about the impending ‘business to business’ unfair contract term laws. What is clear is that the new laws are here to stay, and all businesses will need to turn their minds to the new provisions when entering into contracts, enforcing their rights under contracts, and when contractual provisions are being enforced against them.

Here is a snapshot of the new laws:

  • The laws will apply to contracts entered into on, and from, 12 November 2016
  • The laws only apply where a contract is in a standard form, and meets the definition of a ‘small business contract’. A contract will be a small business contract if:
    • at the time the contract is entered into, at least one party to the contract is a business that employs fewer than 20 persons; and
    • either of the following applies:
      • the upfront price payable under the contract does not exceed $300,000; or
      • the contract has a duration of more than 12 months and the upfront price payable under the contract does not exceed $1 million.
  • If you have a small business contract that is in a standard form, any ‘unfair term’ will be void.  A term will be unfair if it:
    • would cause a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract; and
    • is not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party who would be advantaged by the term; and
    • would cause detriment if it were to be relied on.

The laws apply to government bodies to the extent that they are carrying on a business.

The new laws will apply to a myriad of contracts, such as standard supplier terms, the terms under which independent contractors are engaged and licencing agreements. Businesses should be taking stock to determine which of their standard form contracts may be caught by the laws, and reviewing and revising those that will fall within the law’s ambit. Many will already be dealing with the counterpart business to consumer laws that have existed for some time, and will now need to develop strategies to deal with its application to small business dealings.