Retention of Title Clauses Need to be Changed

13 Mar

If you sell goods on deferred payment terms you should consider having your terms and conditions of sale or terms of trade reviewed by your lawyer. This is especially the case if you are relying on a retention of title clause, to help in the case of the purchaser failing to pay the purchase price.

Since the 30th January 2012, unregistered retention of title clauses are no longer sufficiently effective in Australia to protect an unpaid seller. The simple process by which a vendor sells goods on the basis of the provision in a contract that says that title in the goods doesn’t pass to the purchaser until the purchaser has paid the price, is simply not going to be effective any more to defeat a claim by the holder of some security interest, or a creditor who has a statutory priority claim. Essentially, unregistered retention of title clauses are not going to be much protection.

What you will need to do is to have your terms and conditions of sale or trade amended to provide that a security interest is created in the goods concerned when they are sold to the purchaser, and to then register that security interest on the Personal Property Securities Register promptly after the sale transaction takes place.

If you want to have some assistance with having your terms and conditions of sale or trade reviewed and with the process of registering your security interests, don’t hesitate to contact Mark Smith at ANZ Lawyers


Credenza Legal Practice Management Software

2 Mar

I have been using Credenza ( for the past 10 months in my sole practice as a corporate commercial lawyer.  I initially installed the free version with some trepidation and ran it together my old system in parallel. After a month I was sufficiently convinced to sign up for the professional version and have been happily using it ever since. At US$25 per month, it is extraordinarily good value, when compared to any of the other legal practice management systems on the market. Its integration with Microsoft Outlook is superb.

For me, its main use is to record my time but it also help me in pre-billing and in managing my client database. I have not used it for invoicing as the format of the invoicing is not yet sufficiently flexible to enable me to generate an invoice exactly as I wish to. I would also not yet use the office or trust accounting capabilities as they are not yet sufficiently configurable for Australia or New Zealand where my practice is located. It has some very useful features, for example, when I send or receive and open an e-mail, if it senses an address that is recorded as related to a matter, it will prompt me to save an appropriate number of time units to the correct matter, and will largely pre-populate that window for the time record. I have used the print out report of my time as an appendix to my bills and I have to say that I have not had a single query from a client about the details of a bill in the past 10 months.

I am optimistic that the development of the program, if it continues to be developed as it has been over the 10 months that I have been using it, will enable me to expand the areas of the management of my practice that I use it in. I have had the need to use the on-line help facility and found the helpline staff very responsive and helpful. When the issue that I had couldn’t be resolved by e-mail, the staff called me at an appropriate time, even though the call was from Canada, and the issue was resolved without any drama.

I think that this is a program that any small or medium sized law firm should look at if contemplating a change from an existing system.

NYSE & Deutsche Borse merger sunk

6 Feb

It is truly unbelievable that after so much work, the European Commission sank the proposed NYSE Euronext & Deutsche Borse merger on 1 February. All of the regulators in the US, including the Committee of Foreign Investment, the Dept of Justice and the SEC were all in favour. The deal also had approval from all of the necessary regulators in Germany and Luxemburg.

The opportunity to create a massive European based capital market has been lost. One can only imagine the glee that must be felt by the Asian capital markets operators and the anxiety and disappointment that the owners of the US markets must be feeling.

One can only hope that the operators of Euronext and the Deutsche Borse can find another way of achieving a co-operation objective.

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