Photograph of Semester 1 clinic students.

The Adelaide Law School was proud to launch its fourth free legal advice service today, the Entrepreneur and Venture Advice Clinic.  The clinic is housed within ThincLab, the University’s venture accelerator, and offers free, confidential advice to individuals, new start ups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

EVAC is staffed by fourth and final year students from the Adelaide Law School, with the support of the Adelaide law firm Cowell Clarke.  Partner Megan Jongebloed and her team of solicitors, Anna Lacey, Katie Pote and Jasmin Shahin, will supervise the students during their meetings with clients and in the preparation and provision of advice.

According to the Director of EVAC, Dr Beth Nosworthy, “Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 20 February 2018 tells us that of the 2.2 million actively trading businesses in Australia at the end of 2016-2017, over 70% of the businesses with employees employed between 1 and 4 people, and 98% of businesses had an annual turnover of less than $2m.  This indicates the depth of small and medium enterprises in our current economy, many of whom may not have sought legal advice when their business was being formed.  In South Australia, we have a generally positive news story, with over 66% of businesses in operation in June 2013 continuing to do business at the end of 2016-2017.  However, it is worth noting that the survival rate for the various business structures available in Australia varied quite widely, with sole traders having the highest rate of exit in 2016-2017 and the lowest rate of survival across all years surveyed to June 2017, despite having the greatest entry into the market in the last financial year.  EVAC aims to provide individuals and businesses with advice to assist them in structural and strategic choices to put their business in the best position possible.”

EVAC can assist individuals or businesses on their choice of business structure; partnership, shareholder or security agreements; intellectual property; labour law issue; taxation; Commonwealth and state regulatory issues; and with general commercial advice.

Appointments can be booked online at the EVAC website, and enquiries can be made to  EVAC is also on twitter: @evadviceclinic .

Photograph of Semester 1 clinic students.

The Clinic Students from Semester 1 2018 along with Adelaide Law School Dean Professor Melissa de Zwart and Clinic Director Dr Beth Nosworthy.

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ROCIT members Professor Christopher Symes and Dr Beth Nosworthy attended at the Corporate Law Teachers’ Association Annual Conference in 2018, held at La Trobe’s city campus in Melbourne from 11 – 13 February.  The CLTA Annual Conference is a highly regarded conference focussed on Corporate Law, drawing attendance from members of the profession and the academy in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the US.

The conference commenced on the Sunday with an engaged session on the modern approaches to and trials with University teaching, particularly for Corporate Law.  The session tracked the developments in the regulation of tertiary education in the past 30 years, and then delivered insightful examples of current practice, including the use of pod-cases and other recorded material, interactive engagement and changes to the ‘traditional’ teaching modes.

The conference was formally opened on Monday with an Acknowledgement of Country, delivered by a current student from La Trobe, followed by a Plenary session delivered by Professor Paddy Ireland of the University of Bristol.  Prof Ireland highlighted the many issues surrounding regulation of the modern corporate form with a system designed to regulate the joint stock company, and challenged the audience to consider the history of their subject matter more closely. He pointed out that understanding where our regulation came from, and which words used repeatedly in modern times divorced from their original meanings, can have a significant impact on how you view the legal structures on which we rely, and that, for students in particular, this historical basis can be vital.

A novel initiative of this CLTA conference was the Interactive Plenary Workshop, chaired by Assoc Prof Rosemary Langford, on ‘Solving Director Duties’, where the attendees were asked to comment on two points of current concern with directors’ duties: the lack of coherence between statutory and general law duties, and the shareholder primacy model and the alternative offered by s 172 of the Companies Act (UK).  The CLTA hopes to produce a Position Paper from this discussion, which would enable this and future conferences to contribute more broadly to the progression of policy and reform in Corporate Law in Australia.  This was a most enjoyable discussion, and a worthy addition to the conference program – one which we hope will continue to be offered at future conferences.

The Tuesday proceedings were opened with a Plenary session delivered by Professor Charles Yablon of the Cardozo School of Law, who spoke on innovation economics and the challenges to the existing static models of corporate law. Professor Symes delivered a paper on “The Voice of Chief Justice Len King”, discussing the contributions made to the development of case law prior to the Corporations Act, and those cases which continue to have a lasting impact on our current interpretation of the law.  Prof Symes and Dr Nosworthy jointly delivered a paper on “The Good Place or the Bad Place: Directors in Deeds of Company Administration”, which highlighted the inconsistent approach to the powers and duties of directors during this important aspect of external administration.  Both papers were well received, and sparked interested debate among the attending academics.

At the CLTA Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday afternoon, Professor Suzanne Le Mire was appointed as President of the CLTA for a two year term, having previously served on the Executive and as Secretary of the Association.  Dr Beth Nosworthy was voted back on to the Executive for the second year.

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The Federal Government has gone ahead with an earlier suggestion of the Productivity Commission to make the usual time for automatic discharge from bankruptcy one year. The default period of bankruptcy will thus move from three years to one year if passed as expected by Federal Parliament Bankruptcy Amendment (Enterprise Incentives) Bill 2017, introduced on 19 October 2017.

We think that this is expedient to our insolvency laws. The gains are not all pro-debtor (less time being bankrupt means less restriction on overseas travel, reduced time for disclosure of bankruptcy for credit purposes) because income contribution obligations of discharged bankrupts will extend for at least two years following discharge. Trustees who have had the three year ‘long game’ as a mindset will now need to rethink their approach to investigations and the general administration of the estate. Note that these changes are retrospective so apply to existing bankruptcy administrations, although matters like objections to discharge have been given a concession with a phase-in period.


ROCIT organises training days for Bankruptcy Trustees and there is no guessing what the 2018 topics will feature. Adelaide Law School’s Graduate Certificate in Insolvency Law commenced with its first intake in 2017, and in 2018 a new course, Personal Bankruptcy Law and Practice will be offered in May following the core course of Insolvency Law in April. Both these courses are online, contact



Professor Christopher Symes


Adelaide Law School


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Students present at ACUR

As part of the Small Group Discovery Experience in their Corporate Law class in 2016, Georgia Brazenall, Julia Grigonis-Gore, and Joe Ho worked together to complete a research assignment on ‘Illegal Phoenixing within Australia’. “We never imagined this would be the start of an invaluable and truly exciting research journey,” the students said, after that […]

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As we process the announcement on Monday 28th August that APRA is going to take a cold hard look at the governance, culture and accountability at the Commonwealth Bank in its first public inquiry, Jenni Henderson of the Conversation takes a closer look. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has become the second regulator to independently investigate the […]

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Australian Constitution title page

If you place yourself, for a moment, back one year to 2016, it is hard to imagine that s 44 of the Australian Constitution would be such a cause celebre in 2017.[1]  Section 44 states that ‘any person who: is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a […]

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On Wednesday 16th August, the Law School together with the Tax Institute held an event on the topic ‘How to tell people what you know’. Two speakers from the Adelaide Law School Professor Chris Symes, Dr Beth Nosworthy and partner, Matthew Andruchowycz from DMAW Lawyers provided useful advice in relation to how to develop good […]

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This article takes a historical examination of superannuation law and its reform and observes the resulting complexity. Australian Governments over the years have adopted or ignored recommendations from various inquiries addressing superannuation reform and this article finds the major drivers of reform have included efficiency (including by structural change, regulation and cost reduction), flexibility, member […]

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In the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it would introduce a diverted profits tax (DPT). The DPT will come into effect on 1 July this year and will imposes a 40% tax on company profits it deems to have been diverted offshore. The DPT intends to ensure that the tax paid by significant […]

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On 31 May 2017, reported that a 62% majority voted in favour of a shareholder proposal calling on ExxonMobil to ‘assess and disclose how it is preparing its business for the transition to a low-carbon future.’  This proposal was co-filed by institutional investors, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Church […]

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