On the table

SEVERAL of the many reforms planned this year by the WA Attorney-General have implications for business.

p Administrative appeals tribunal – will change the way many businesses appeal government decision making, from town planning appeals to stamp duties.

p Deregulation of legal practices – will allow law firms to adopt new structures and offer equity to non-lawyers, allow them to compete in non-legal fields and remove legal liability from individual partners.

p Electronic transactions – recognition of e-commerce issues in line with national legislation.

p Family Court amendment – recognising de facto relationships could have an effect on property and business ownership.

p Contributory negligence – plaintiff’s own actions can be considered when damages are set for breach of contract.

p Whistleblowers’ legislation – ramifications for those with government contracts.

p Criminal injuries compensation – maximum increases to $75,000 from $50,000.

p Review of privacy and FOI – ramifications for those with government contracts.

p Limitations – business could be exposed to legal action for events stemming back beyond the statute of limitations.

p Defamation – harder to sue for defamation.

p National practising certificates – allows lawyers to practise across jurisdictions, in line with other states.

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