Our Publications

Is a club allowed to advertise its gaming machines to members?

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This article appeared in the August 2017 issue of Club Life. The Club Law article published in August 2015 considered some of the risks for clubs relating to gaming machine advertising. This included a brief consideration of the limited circumstances in which a club may send promotional material containing gaming machine advertising to a member (Read More…)

All About AGMs

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This article appeared in the July 2017 issue of Club Life. With another round of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) coming up in August through to November, I thought it timely to write about some of the questions I often get asked concerning AGMs. When does a club have to hold an AGM? The 90 plus (Read More…)

Club secretaries and the law

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This article appeared in the June 2017 issue of Club Life. In a recent decision, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA Board) considered some of the important requirements under the Registered Clubs Act in relation to a club secretary. If these requirements are not complied with by a club or its secretary, the ILGA (Read More…)

Managing Bad Debtors

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With whom are you contracting? An essential and sometimes overlooked aspect of commercial relationships with clients or customers is identifying exactly who the client or customer is. A person or a company may register a business name under which the person or company trades. However, a business name is simply a name and not a (Read More…)

Debt recovery and unfair preferences

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What are unfair preferences? An unfair preference is defined in section 588FA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as a transaction between a company and a creditor which results in the creditor receiving from the company, in respect of an unsecured debt that the company owes to the creditor, more than the creditor would receive (Read More…)

Protecting small business against unfair contracts

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It is estimated that there are 2.1 million small businesses in Australia.  ACCC research estimates that those businesses are offered about 8 “standard form contracts” each year.  For the most part, those contracts are offered to the small businesses on a “take it or leave it” basis. Even if there was an opportunity for a (Read More…)

No Waiver Clauses

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This article appeared in the May 2017 issue of Club Life. I recently wrote about “Entire Agreement” clauses, a common clause found in the types of commercial agreements entered into by clubs. This article considers another common clause in commercial agreements – the “No Waiver” clause. Waiver of Rights No Waiver clauses are relevant when (Read More…)

The humble charge – getting security for debts

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For any business, getting some form of security from debtors is best practice but it can be difficult and is not always practical. However, business owners who extend a large amount of credit as part of their sales process are putting the viability of their businesses at risk if they do so without having some (Read More…)

Bankruptcy Notices – to issue or not to issue?

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Quick overview A judgment creditor is not obliged to exhaust the conventional means of debt enforcement before applying for a bankruptcy notice. However, judgment creditors should exercise caution before serving a bankruptcy notice, as the judgment debtor may have grounds to have the bankruptcy notice set aside. Bankruptcy notices It is not uncommon for a (Read More…)

Discretionary Trusts

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In Death and Taxes: Tax-effective Estate Planning (6th ed., 2014), the authors state at [2 215]: “Statutory law reform and judicial decisions in recent years have eroded the protection provided by an inter vivos trust for assets from creditors or other action.” Is this accurate? Some recent case law suggests to the contrary. Why use discretionary trusts? Discretionary trusts (Read More…)

Getting Your Contract Right

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This article appeared in the April 2017 issue of Club Life. A club, like any other commercial enterprise, will be involved in many commercial relationships and transactions in the course of its operations. These commercial arrangements will more than likely be regulated by a contract between the club and the other party – it may (Read More…)

Constitutional Change

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This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of Club Life. All clubs that are public companies (and over 90% are) must have a constitution and all clubs that are co-operatives must have a set of rules. Both documents govern the internal management of the club and are a club’s most important document. So what (Read More…)

Contracting out the Club’s Catering

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This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of Club Life. It goes without saying that there is an increasing focus on the type and quality of food offered by clubs.  The decision on how to best provide the right food at the right price is clearly a very important one.  What it comes down (Read More…)

But our club is not looking at an amalgamation

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This article appeared in the December 2016 issue of Club Life. In my view, even if a club is not specifically looking at an amalgamation it is important for all clubs to understand what an amalgamation is, the processes behind an amalgamation and the benefits to be derived from being prepared. Clubs have to be (Read More…)

“Money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around”

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This article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Club Life. Good financial management and planning are crucial to any successful enterprise, including registered clubs. Having a good understanding of financial matters and being more financially literate will greatly assist directors in developing, managing and monitoring a good financial plan. In its review into the (Read More…)

Construction Contracts

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This article appeared in the October 2016 issue of Club Life. Clubs considering a possible development and entering into a construction contract should engage solicitors with experience in both clubs law and construction law to prepare and review the proposed contract and provide advice on the proposed development and the contract generally. The interrelationship between (Read More…)

Is Your Caterer Covered?

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This article appeared in the September 2016 issue of Club Life. So the club has decided to contract out its catering operations. You are about to seek tenders to source the right caterer for your club. During discussions at a board meeting one of the directors says, “We should ask the club’s solicitor if we (Read More…)

Don’t take a punt when buying and selling Gaming Machine Entitlements

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There are many factors that contribute to a good club, ranging from the board’s strategic planning to the employees’ customer service. However, for many clubs a key driver of success is gaming. To ensure that clubs provide a competitive offering many clubs invest in new equipment, promotions and, if possible, the purchase of more gaming (Read More…)

Good Drinks, Good Gaming… Bad Food?

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This article appeared in the July 2016 issue of Club Life. Good quality food is a must in any successful club and as catering is a specialised skill, many clubs outsource catering to an external caterer. One of the key ingredients to any successful arrangement with an external caterer is a comprehensive agreement that deals (Read More…)

Does a director’s resignation need to be in writing?

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This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of Club Director It’s such a simple question. Unfortunately, the answer will depend on what is said, what a Club’s constitution provides and what occurs after the resignation. Being a director of a club sometimes means having robust debates with your colleagues. So what happens if a (Read More…)

What’s your agenda?

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This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of Club Life. With clubs beginning to prepare for their upcoming Annual General Meetings (AGM), I am looking forward to the enjoyable task of double checking and settling dozens of notices of general meetings and notices of special resolutions for clubs all across NSW. In a few (Read More…)

My wife works at the Club, why can’t she vote on my behalf at the AGM?

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This article appeared in the May 2016 issue of Club Life. Recently, an elderly gentleman wanted to vote at a general meeting of a Club but was not able to attend on the day. He asked firstly whether he could send a letter to the Club with his vote or, alternatively, whether his wife who (Read More…)

How can a club protect itself from a builder’s delay?

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This article appeared in the April 2016 issue of Club Life. It’s a common scenario: the Board and management identify a need to renovate or improve the club premises, contracts are signed and building work commences well in time for Christmas functions. But how can the club best protect itself from a delay? A number (Read More…)

Avoiding the pitfalls of building payment claim disputes

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This article appeared in the March 2016 issue of Club Life. Like all organisations clubs need to regularly review their offerings to ensure they stay relevant and meet members’ expectations.  For many clubs, this means a revamp or renovation.  Whether it is a new foyer, auditorium or a whole new venue, clubs must act quickly (Read More…)

Shareholder Disputes

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Disputes between shareholders in small companies can arise for any number of reasons. Small companies are often run as ‘quasi-partnerships’, that is each shareholder has an active role in the business which the company operates. A dispute could arise between shareholders simply because of an irreconcilable difference of opinion as to the day-to-day management or (Read More…)

What’s in a name?

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The following article appeared in the July 2015 issue of Club Life. Clubs usually begin the process of branding or rebranding by engaging marketers to find a catchy name with an accompanying logo and slogan. However, finding a name that sounds right is not enough. There is a distinction between trade marks and business names (Read More…)

Your Club, Your Community and the Liquor Act

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The following Article is from Bruce Gotterson’s regular article in Club Life Many readers would have attended the Clubs & Community Awards evening, which was held in Sydney on Friday 8 May. The evening not only showcases the significant and vital contributions clubs make in local communities, it also enables the club industry to inform (Read More…)

Don’t take a punt on gaming machine advertising

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The following article appeared in the August 2015 issue of Club Life. Marketing and social media is important to every business and clubs are no exception. More and more clubs are realising that if they want to stay connected with their members they need to take advantage of every possible opportunity including emails, text messages (Read More…)

All About AGMs

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The following Article is from Bruce Gotterson’s regular article in Club Life We are coming up to, what at Pigott Stinson we call, “AGM season”. That is, our weekends throughout March, April and May are spent attending Annual General Meetings (AGMs) at clubs throughout NSW. It is actually one of the more enjoyable parts of (Read More…)

Three Strikes? Don’t Get Caught Out

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The following Article appeared in the February 2016 issue of Club Life Throughout December and January, the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) conducted audits and compliance programs throughout New South Wales. Without a doubt, all clubs must strive to comply with all of their legal obligations, particularly those imposed by the Liquor Act (Read More…)