65 - April 2012
- How to introduce yourself.
- A list of seven risk industries for you to check if the new personal property legislation (PPSA) will affect your business and some things to know.
- The new blog for law students and those who serve them.
Author of The Law is an Ass...Make Sure it Doesn't Bite Yours!
It is increasingly common at small events such as a club or Speaker Breakfast for the chairman to say "let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves". The challenge is that you are one of say 20 or so people who have about 30 seconds each to say something memorable.
This is no time to tell them something that you think sounds great about yourself unless your object is to irritate them. If like me you are a 50 something lawyer you probably have long ago given up all pretensions of saying something about yourself in less than 30 seconds which others may find interesting.
There are those in the elevator pitch school who have a polished 30 second introduction which tells everybody what they do. After years of practice I have got as far as the first two lines and I am not too sure about the second line:
Paul Brennan, Brennans solicitors.
Deals and disputes.
Past this point, I would feel happier giving some snippet of 30 second, interesting, legal advice if only that was possible. So, I find if I can say something slightly funny about something someone has said people are likely to laugh even if it is only out of nervousness. I do take the chance of being met with embarrassed silence which has happened. But it is worth it.
The main benefit is that I must listen very carefully to what other people are saying which like me, you may find a nice change.
Extract from "How to Make a Funny Legal Presentation ....... and other things that they did not teach you at law school" a book by Paul Brennan to be released shortly.
Click here for books, eBooks and CDs by Paul Brennan.
(c) Paul Brennan 2012. All rights reserved.
Seven things to know about the new PPSA legislation
- If you have no personal property, for instance your children have taken it all, you have nothing to worry about.
- If you own personal property but someone else has got it then you could register a security interest to stop them disposing of it. Here are some examples; you supply goods on sale or return, your terms and conditions say that you retain ownership until paid, debts assigned to you, interests in your IP which someone else is using and equipment leases. There are lots of other examples, e.g. Hire Purchase. But you get the picture. Buying things from someone down the pub may never be the same again.
- Generally, if you let someone have your property for over one year (in some cases 90 days) you can register an interest. For instance, I was given a Tom Tom GSP car system for a Christmas present but I have not seen it since, as my children took it. If they go broke I could lose the GPS and the car.
- If you have a registered right already e.g. a trade mark, you need do nothing, your registered interest will stay protected and will be migrated over to the new register. But the Act creates the opportunity to register your interest in other rights e.g. vendor finance or retention of title clauses. Basically, you get a two year grace period to register such interests or you lose your protection against queue jumpers.
- There are many exceptions often based on common sense notions of what would be ridiculous. If you are unsure of what would be ridiculous it is best to ask your lawyer.
- There is no particular format for granting a security interest and you can do it in one or two lines. This is the good news unless you give away a security interest, then things could get very complicated and expensive for you if you want to sell some personal property which is subject to that interest.
- The PPSA tries very hard to offer cheap and easy protection to business owners while not being stupid about letting people off the hook.
In short, things will go on much as they were before (except for certain industries – see below) it is just that there will be a whole lot of searching going on by us lawyers.
(c) Paul Brennan 2012. All rights reserved.
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The new personal property legislation – Are you in an AT RISK industry? Seven examples for you to quickly check to decide if your business is at risk
If you are in the business of supplying goods without getting money up front, here are seven examples where you can lose the goods if the customer goes broke or sells up and skips town, if you have not registered your interest:
- You are a wholesale clothing supplier. The shops that you supply are forever going broke in these uncertain times. You put a clause in your terms and conditions saying the goods remain yours until they pay. This will allow you to reclaim the clothing remaining unsold provided you have registered your interest.
- You supply vehicles of some type. Some customers take the vehicles for over 90 days. They may be just good customers who take out the same vehicle often so it could be substantially 90 days. You will lose the vehicle if you have not registered your interest.
- You own a vehicle and let a contractor drive it for over 90 days. This does seem extreme but if the contractor who is not your employee, goes broke, the vehicle will be seen as part of their business and could be taken by the liquidator, if you have not registered your interest.
- You supply materials to the building industry.
- Asset protection -You have a holding company where you hold all your non-real estate assets/equipment in a separate name but you allow the operating company to use them. For example, a trade mark or a franchise.
- You rent out property for a year or over which includes furniture or other equipment. If the tenant goes broke the liquidator can take the equipment.
- You hire out any equipment to a good customer for a year or for several periods which are substantially a continuous period of a year.
If the customer who has hold of your goods does not go broke or sell up and skip town there is no problem. But if they do, registering your interest can help you.
Is it more complicated than this? Of course, it is. This is new-fangled US inspired law we are talking about here. For instance, for contracts entered into before 30 January 2012 the legislation allows you a grace period of sorts.
The legislation does hold risks for certain industries and registration is relatively cheap and simple once you decide where the risks are for you. For more information go to www.ppsr.com.au/. If in doubt, speak to your lawyer.
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The In Laws
Thank you for those of you who responded to my appeal for a name for my new blog for law students and anyone who has to put up with them such as their families, lecturers and assorted others. It is now called The In Laws. If you have any material please send it to email@example.com.
Room to let in offices of Brennans solicitors. Call Eleanor Ross on 5475 0285 or email :firstname.lastname@example.org Ray White Commercial at Maroochydore. Click here for further details.
Event: 26 April 2012 World IP Day. For details go to http://www.worldipday2012.com.au/
Disclaimer: The content of the Law & Disorder eZine is to give you legal basics and in some instances, included unashamedly to try and make you laugh. In law, it is sometimes difficult to work out what is serious and what is just for fun. Therefore, if you plan to do anything legal, rely on your own lawyer’s advice or instruct me to look at the particular facts of your case. Not only will I deny responsibility for the legal content but also for some of the jokes.