Rachel Soh, Workplace Advisory
“I'm seeing three key trends in our practice. Over the last year or so, there has been a marked increase in attention on post-employment restraints and the protection of confidential information and intellectual property. This is a big ticket issue which has also garnered recent political commentary in the context of the innovation and start up market in Australia.
We are also seeing a greater focus on the individual responsibility of executives and HR managers in shaping corporate behaviour. This has been particularly evident through media attention involving executive level bullying, and the recent spate of high profile underpayment allegations. Finally, many of our clients are continuing to grapple with the changing landscape in relation to penalty rates and the impact this will have on the hospitality and retail sectors.”
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Dorian Henneron, Property & Development
“As banks tighten lending standards, we are, albeit gradually, seeing developers look to non-traditional sources of lending in order to secure project finance (for example, via fund-through structures and foreign investor sourced funding).
As developers are looking to source debt outside of traditional channels, we are also seeing end-users (particularly foreign buyers) needing to turn to alternative funding means for acquisitions.
While this may not always seem like a significant issue, developers need to consider end-user borrowing restrictions from a project’s outset and effectively manage the process through to completion in order to secure the highest possible return.”
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Laura Cochrane, Corporate and M&A and ABL Private
“This year, I have seen a lot more family businesses focusing on the future succession of their businesses. The patriarch and matriarch of the family are getting older and looking to the next generation to step up and become more involved in the governance of the business, whilst also preparing the next generation to take over control.
More families have been coming to us wanting to put in place formal rules, such as a family agreement or constitution, which set out the values and principles of the family and the business, and how the business should be conducted in the future. Of course, no family or family business is the same, so there is wide variety in the requirements of these families.”
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