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
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
GFC and Hardie decision hit director's duties

GFC and Hardie decision hit director's duties

The James Hardie decision has highlighted the focus on director's duties in the current economic climate, David Grace, partner at Cooper Grace Ward, told Lawyers Weekly following a breakfast…

The James Hardie decision has highlighted the focus on director's duties in the current economic climate, David Grace, partner at Cooper Grace Ward, told Lawyers Weekly following a breakfast seminar held at the firm on Tuesday.

Grace said that Bruce Dodd, regional commissioner for Western Australia at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), spoke at the seminar about the Hardie decision, which has emphasised that courts are examining how directors carry out their duties, with breaches resulting in serious consequences.

"Director's duties haven't changed because the law hasn't changed in that regard," said Grace. "What [the Hardie decision] shows is, especially in difficult economic times, directors need to heighten their alertness to an understanding of what's happening to the company's business and to make sure they receive all relevant and adequate information and that they deal with it through proper decision making.

"In other words, directors have to be alert to the way in which the market impacts on the companies operations and make decisions with appropriate timing, to make sure that they do satisfy their obligations towards the company and its shareholders and creditors."

Monitoring and updating information about the company's financial position was also an important responsibility of directors, Grace said.

"Directors should ... be prepared to respond to rumours so that the markets are fully informed; to make a timely, clear, complete and accurate disclosure to the market and be conservative in deciding what information is material," Grace advised. "Don't go out on a limb and assume information is not material when in truth it may be.

"ASIC expects real risk disclosures, not disclaimers or disclosures of every possible risk. So, in other words, there's got to be a common sense approach to the assessment of what a real risk is."

- Sarah Sharples

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

GFC and Hardie decision hit director's duties
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
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 The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
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 & ...