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Business Structures in 2007: An eventful year in review — issues for you and your clients to consider

Two cases during 2007 aptly illustrated the need for joint venturers to carefully document their relationship — in particular, whether fiduciary duties apply between the parties as they would in a partnership. The Cleardocs Team at Maddocks

In Farah v Say-Dee, the High Court appeared to assume that fiduciary duties applied to the relationship — despite the parties having agreed that it was a joint venture.

In ASIC v Citigroup, the Victorian Supreme Court confirmed that parties can expressly 'contract out' of fiduciary duties — including in documents such as joint venture agreements.

These cases remind practitioners that they cannot rely on the assumption that fiduciary duties do not apply to joint venturers — even so, express contractual terms can address the issues adequately.

For a more detailed summary of the cases and the differences between partnerships and joint ventures, see our full article here.

 

Lawyer in Profile

Julian Smith
Julian Smith
Partner
+61 3 9258 3864
julian.smith@maddocks.com.au

Qualifications: BA, LLB, Monash University, LLM, University of Melbourne

Julian is a Partner in Maddocks Commercial team. He advises a diverse range of clients across the Australian commercial and financial services landscape.

Julian's corporate practice spans various sectors, including financial services, professional services, and family-owned enterprises. He advises on:

  • capital raising,
  • disclosures,
  • restructures,
  • mergers and acquisitions,
  • corporate governance,
  • directors' duties, and
  • trusts, corporations, and securities law.

Julianís financial services practice involves advising financial market participants on the entire financial services lifecycle including fund structuring, management options, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Julian also offers guidance on alternative and disruptive financial services businesses, such as online foreign exchanges, internal markets, and management rights schemes.