When the Trade Practices Act was first introduced in 1974, its broad stipulation that “corporations must not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct” was so radical and seemed so potentially far-reaching that it met with widespread disbelief.
Forty years later and now contained in the successor to the Trade Practices Act, the Competition and Consumer Act, the prohibition against misleading and deceptive conduct is amongst the most frequently invoked in litigation. Businesses need to ensure that their practices do not fall foul of these far-reaching laws, as well as knowing their rights when dealing with other businesses, consumers and the regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
KCL Law's Competition and Consumer Law practitioners have significant experience in advising on many facets of these complex areas of regulation, including:
- the making of claims in advertising, marketing, labelling and packaging;
- regulation of retail selling practices (e.g. “bait advertising”);
- misrepresentation and “statutory” passing off;
- warranties and guarantees for goods and services;
- social media and misleading or deceptive conduct;
- product standards, defective goods and recalls;
- country of origin labelling. (e.g. when is a product “Made In Australia”?)’;
- the law regarding setting of prices (resale price maintenance, price fixing, “was/is” advertising);
- door-to-door selling and lay-by obligations;
- unfair contract terms and unconscionable commercial conduct;
- arrangements and agreements that have a potentially anti-competitive effect;
- seeking authorisations for mergers and acquisitions that may impact on competition;
- Preparation and filing of Notifications with ACCC in relation to exclusive dealing arrangements; and
- dealing with ACCC enforcement investigations and litigation.
Principal Lawyers Daniel Kovacs and Jeremy Goldman practise extensively in Competition and Consumer Law. David Weinberger, Principal Lawyer and Head of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice also acts in relation to disputes in this area.