find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Cartel conduct casts new doubts

Cartel conduct casts new doubts

The best advice available to companies following the criminalisation of cartel conduct last week is to make sure they have their "houses in order"._x000D_ _x000D_

The best advice available to companies following the criminalisation of cartel conduct last week is to make sure they have their “houses in order”.

While there is some ambiguity in the legislation surrounding the determination of what conduct is criminal and what is not, Deacons partner and specialist competition law litigator Calum Henderson said it was up to the ACCC and DPP to iron out those uncertainties. 

Meanwhile, law firms would be working with clients to ensure their current arrangements met the requirements of the Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques competition partner Lisa Huett agreed that the legislation had thrown up uncertainties about what was acceptable and what was unacceptable.

“There are slight differences in the way cartel conduct has been defined compared to how it was previously understood,” Huett said.

“Companies with arrangements in place that previously complied with the law will need to check in and make sure those arrangements are still alright. There have been no grandfathering arrangements for these new laws so existing arrangements could contravene the new civil and criminal offences.”

Informal joint ventures were an obvious example, Henderson said. 

“Some informal joint ventures, where there is no contract and no intention to enter into a formal contract, will fall within the scope of the act. 

“To get a joint venture exemption you need to have a contract, or at least have intended and believed you were entering into a contract,” he said.

And, while Henderson did not expect the ACCC to start prosecuting companies for minor breaches, he said “now more than ever” corporate counsels and senior executives had to proactively investigate any possible breaches within their companies.

“They need to find out whether there is anything illegal going on within their companies, rather than waiting until someone reports it.”

The other unknown factor, Huett said, was the way the ACCC and DPP would work together to bring criminal proceedings.

Huett said there would be a real need for the regulator to provide transparency on its policies and guidelines for prosecuting such cases.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Cartel conduct casts new doubts
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
07:04
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...