Litig8: The upcoming unfair contracts regime and its impact on small business contracts

March, 2016

Each month as a part of Mills Oakley’s Litig8, we bring to you snapshots of eight key cases, legislative changes or other legal events. The summaries are not comprehensive and do not constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action based on the content of this email.

Part 6 of the March edition of Litig8

From 12 November 2016, amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) will take effect which extend the consumer unfair contract term provisions. We provide a recap of those upcoming changes for you.

The purpose of the changes to the legislation is to extend the consumer unfair contract term provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (ACL) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act) to cover certain small business contracts.

A ‘standard form contract’ refers to a contract that has been prepared by one party is not subject to negotiation and  is offered on the ‘take it or leave it’ basis. Typically, these contracts are used for the supply of goods and services to consumers in many industries, including telecommunications, finance, domestic building, gyms, motor vehicles, travel and utilities

The law will apply to a ‘standard form contract’ that is entered into or renewed on or after 12 November 2016 (or if varied after that date, to those variations) which:

A party must satisfy three tests in order for a term in a standard form contract to be deemed unfair. They are:

If the Court deems that the terms are unfair, Courts will have the power to declare that a term of a standard form small business contract is void or if the contract cannot operate without the term, the entire contract can be declared void.

Contact Mills Oakley

For more information, please contact:

Melbourne

andrew-brown

Andrew Brown | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0961
E: abrown@millsoakley.com.au

ariel-borland

Ariel Borland | Partner

T: +61 3 9605 0015
E: aborland@millsoakley.com.au

darren-james

Darren James | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0952
E: djames@millsoakley.com.au

james-tobin

James Tobin | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0851
E: jtobin@millsoakley.com.au

joanne-hardwick

Joanne Hardwick | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0949
E: jhardwick@millsoakley.com.au

mark-wenn

Mark Wenn | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0913
E: mwenn@millsoakley.com.au

roger-jepson

Roger Jepson | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0899
E: rjepson@millsoakley.com.au

stuart-lewin

Stuart Lewin | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0986
E: slewin@millsoakley.com.au

Canberra

mark-flint

Mark Flint | Partner
T: +61 2 6196 5217
E: mdflint@millsoakley.com.au

matthew-roser

Matthew Roser | Partner
T: +61 2 6196 5229
E: mroser@millsoakley.com.au

Sydney

damian-ward

Damian Ward | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 5862
E: dward@millsoakley.com.au

gerard-breen

Gerard Breen | Partner
T: +61 2 8035 7888
E: gbreen@millsoakley.com.au

jeremy-mackenzie

Jeremy Mackenzie | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 5807
E: jmackenzie@millsoakley.com.au


peter-hodges

Peter Hodges | Partner
T: +61 2 8035 7845
E: phodges@millsoakley.com.au

mark-tierney

Mark Tierney | Special Counsel
T: +61 2 8035 7920
E: mtierney@millsoakley.com.au

Perth

craig-gough

Craig Gough | Partner
T: +61 8 6167 9807
E: cgough@millsoakley.com.au

Brisbane

dale-cliff

Dale Cliff | Partner
T: +61 7 3228 0430
E: dcliff@millsoakley.com.au

samuel-barber

Samuel Barber | Special Counsel
T: +61 7 3228 0477
E: sbarber@millsoakley.com.au

stephen-dickens

Stephen Dickens | Partner
T: +61 7 3228 0445
E: sdickens@millsoakley.com.au

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