Monthly compilation of key updates for the legal industry – May 2020
The Intersection Between COVID and Responsible Business
As the crisis continues to unfold, ESG topics will continue to grow in importance. Companies will be judged by their ability to withstand financial shocks, but also by how they’ve treated their employees, clients and communities. Over the past decade, interest in how companies manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has grown considerably. Investors, consumers and employees increasingly expect companies to account for issues such as worker safety, climate change and financial transparency. As the world finds itself in the midst of a pandemic, these stakeholders are now adding a company’s response to COVID-19 to the list. Read More
Legal assistance sector gets $63.3m boost
The federal government will provide an additional $63.3 million boost for the legal sector to ensure support and advice can be accessed amid COVID-19 concerns.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new measures from the national cabinet, including the $63.3 million injection into the legal assistance sector. The government has also committed to providing $2 billion over the next five years to help with legal issues.
Almost $50 million will go towards additional frontline legal services, including advice and representation. Forty per cent will be used for matters involving domestic violence. Read More
New rules for litigation funders after jump in class actions
A surge in class-action lawsuits has triggered a crackdown on companies that fund litigation in the pursuit of massive financial settlements, forcing the sector to submit to tougher federal law. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will impose new rules on litigation funders after a 325 per cent rise in class actions in the Federal Court over the past decade. Read More
New Hong Kong security law an “unconscionable” threat to judicial independence, says IBA
The International Bar Association (IBA) has condemned the new Hong Kong security law passed through by the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
The Law Society Gazette reported that congress had approved a “draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” A total of 2,878 deputies from all over China voted in favour of the proposed legislation, with one opposing. Six deputies abstained from voting on the matter. Read More