Peter Exton & Anor v Extons Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] VSC 14 (10 February 2017): Oppressio and deadlincok sections 233 and 461(1)(k) and 467(4) of the Corporations Act 2001)

February 14, 2017

The Supreme Court, per Sifris  J, heard an application under sections 233 and 461(1)(k) of the Corporations Act 2001 in  Peter Exton & Anor v Extons Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] VSC 14.

FACTS

Many oppression proceedings in the Corporations List involve family run companies.  Exton v Extons Pty Ltd is not unusual in this regard.  The First Plaintiff,  Peter, and the Sixth Defendant, Ian, are brothers. They each hold, either directly or indirectly, 50% of the shares in each of the companies that made up the Extons group. They are also directors of those companies [1].

The Extons group was commenced by Peter and Ian’s father and uncle in the 1950s, when it was started . It engages in earthworks, excavating and contracting in New South Wales and Victoria and occasionally sells machines including machines that it holds for the purposes of its contracting work [2].

Peter started Read the rest of this entry »

Gucce Holdings Pty Ltd v Bank of Queensland Limited [2017] FCA 12 (19 January 2017): application to set aside staututory demand, section 459G Corporations Act

February 5, 2017

In Gucce Holdings Pty Ltd v Bank of Queensland Limited [2017] FCA 12  the Federal Court considered whether a sale for undervalue, or at least a claim as such, was a basis for an offsetting claim (and what is required) as well as whether a special leave application was sufficient to set aside a statutory demand.

FACTS

Gucce Holdings Pty Ltd (ACN 099 191 714) filed an application, [1], with an  affidavit of  Tina Michelle Bazzo, director of Gucce,[2], on 29 December 2015 pursuant to s 459G of the Corporations Act 2001to set aside a statutory demand made by the Bank of Queensland Limited.

Bazzo stated that Read the rest of this entry »

Hera Project Pty Ltd v Bisognin & Anor [2016] VSC 591 (3 October 2016); prohibitive and mandatory injunctive relief, defence of hardship, undertaking as to damages

October 16, 2016

Applications for injunctive relief are not uncommon in the commercial division of the superior courts.  In Hera Project Pty Ltd v Bisognin & Anor [2016] VSC 591 Justice McCaulay considered an application arising relating to a contract of sale of land.

FACTS

His Honour described the events leading up to this application was Read the rest of this entry »

Pekell Delaire Holdings Pty Ltd v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2016] VSC 570 (21 September 2016): application to stet aside statutory demand, section 459, Corporations Act

September 23, 2016

The Supreme Court in Pekell Delaire Holdings Pty Ltd v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2016] VSC 570 considered a statutory demand where a key issue was the effect of settlement of group proceedings acting as a bar to a claim of a genuine dispute to a statutory demand.

FACTS

In July 2006 the applicant, Pekell Delaire Holdings Pty Ltd (“PDH”)  applied to Great Southern Plantation Projects for two grove lots in the Great Southern Organic Olives Income Project and  four vine lots in the Great Southern Wine Grape Income Project with associated applications for term finance. Finance was approved and funds were advanced on the basis of repayment in seven years of principal and interest. The loans were subsequently assigned and ultimately transferred to Bendigo [6] Read the rest of this entry »

Furnari v Ziegert [2016] FCA 1080 (2 September 2016): Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979, private communications, injunctive relief, defamation

September 18, 2016

The Federal Court per Murphy J in Furnari v Ziegert [2016] FCA 1080 considered the unusual application for injunctive relief arising out of a defamation action.  The decision is notable for its consideration of section 7 of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (“TIA Act”).

FACTS

The applicant purchased a pedigree bobtail Doberman pup from the respondents for $3,500 in December 2015. He said that Ms Ziegert represented that the pup could breed, was a natural bobtail, had been checked by a veterinarian, didn’t have Von Willebrand disease and weighed between 9 and 10 kg.  Upon taking delivery of the pub he said it had been sterilised, was diseased, weighed only 4.5 kg, was unhealthy and, as if that wasn’t enough, was not a natural bobtail.  Not surprisingly the applicant alleged misrepresentations by the respondents [7] which is the subject of a proceeding in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal  [8].

The dispute escalated into a defamation proceeding. His Honour summarised the circumstances  as: Read the rest of this entry »

Complete Equipment Solutions Pty Ltd v Tesab Engineering Limited (A Company Registered in the United Kingdom, Company No. NI026214) [2016] VSC 253 (18 May 2016): Statutory demand, whether service within 21 period

May 19, 2016

In Complete Equipment Solutions Pty Ltd v Tesab Engineering Limited (A Company Registered in the United Kingdom, Company No. NI026214) [2016] VSC 253  Associate Justice Randall considered the question of service. This is not a common issue in modern day jurisprudence relating to statutory demands. In this case a failure to comply with the service requirements resulted in the plaintiff’s application being dismissed.

FACTS

The plaintiff, by originating process dated 9 November 2015,  made an application under s 459G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to set aside a statutory demand dated 14 October 2015 [1]. The court noted, with some annoyance, that the Read the rest of this entry »

Golden Taste Investment Pty Ltd v Laurence & Ors [2016] VSC 250 (16 May 2016): Summary judgment application by plaintiff

May 17, 2016

In Golden Taste Investment Pty Ltd v Laurence & Ors [2016] VSC 250 Derham AsJ considered the plaintiff’s application for summary judgment under section 63 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010.

FACTS

The plaintiff is the master franchisee for the Cacao Green and Red Mango franchises for Australia and operates retail stores in Victoria selling frozen yogurt and coffee products [2].

The first defendant (‘Daniel’) was a director and Read the rest of this entry »

Re Manlio (No 2) [2016] VSC 130 (8 April 2016): Overarching obligations, Civil Procedure Act, ss 16, 18, 21 – 23 and 29

April 11, 2016

In Re Manlio (No 2) [2016] VSC 130 Justice MacDonald took quite serious action under powers under the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (the “CPA”) with significant consequences for a counsel involved in the case. This decision relates to the conduct of the legal representatives, not the substantive case itself. That decision was handed down on 21 December 2015 in Re Manlio [2015] VSC 733.

It is a particularly informative decision as to Read the rest of this entry »

Cohen & Ors v Amberley Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2016] VSC 140 (8 April 2016): trusts, discovery relating to administration of a trust, adequacy of pleadings

In Cohen & Ors v Amberley Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2016] VSC 140 Derham AsJ considered an application for discovery in relation to the administration by a trustee of a discretionary trust. What started out as a consideration of the plaintiff’s application concluded with part of the statement of claim being struck out. It is a very useful decision in the practical side of pleading breach of trust, which can be quite complicated.

FACTS

The plaintiffs are the children of Harold Campbell-Pretty (‘Harold’) and Kerry Ainley Watkins (‘Kerry’). After 2 divorces he ultimately  married Krystyna Campbell-Pretty (‘Krystyna’) [3].  On 27 March 1975, the Campbell-Pretty Family Trust was established by a deed of settlement (‘Trust’ or ‘Trust Deed’). Under its terms Harold was specified as the Appointor and each of the plaintiffs were specified as Primary Beneficiaries [4].  

There were two variations to the Trust Deed:

  • on 29 December 1987 the defendant was appointed Trustee in place of the previous Trustee. From about December 1986, Krystyna and Harold were the directors of the defendant. On 29 December 1987, Krystyna was appointed as an additional member of the class of General Beneficiaries under the Trust [5];
  • on  8 July 2005, the defendant as Trustee of the Trust purported to exercise a power given by clause 20 of the Trust Deed declaring that the plaintiffs were ‘deleted’ as Primary Beneficiaries under the Trust. Harold, as Appointor, consented to the variation [6].

Harold died on 25 May 2014.  Krystyna was his executrix.  The plaintiffs received nothing.

Breach of trust claim

The plaintiffs pleaded Read the rest of this entry »

B J Bearings Pty Ltd v Whitehead [2016] VSC 44 (11 February 2016): preliminary discovery, Rules 32.05

February 18, 2016

In B J Bearings Pty Ltd v Whitehead [2016] VSC 44 Hargrave J considered an application for preliminary discovery and set out the applicable principles.  It is a useful Read the rest of this entry »