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Welcome to our May collection of articles and ideas for clever business owners and operators.

This month we’re excited to introduce you to our newest team member, secretary of state, Sarah Petrie. We look at how the recent Privacy Amendment Act and the Facebook data crisis is a timely reminder to review your own privacy policy, look at zero-tolerance policies in the workplace, show you how we can help with that new charity or not-for profit idea you might have, and feature Rob Roy Rankin's recent article in Lawyers Weekly.


Welcome Sarah Petrie, Secretary of State

As a foundation member of our Sydney team, Sarah brings to the firm her extensive experience as a paralegal and legal support secretary. She has ten years’ experience in similar roles supporting various lawyers as well as Managing Partners. Her legal experience includes commercial law, insurance litigation, property, and civil litigation. We have no doubt that her experience with the different courts nationally will be invaluable to our team. Sarah is on board not just to support our team internally, but always available to assist to our clients where she can.

She enjoys spending quality time with her family, in particular her niece and nephew; and her interest in going to the gym fits in nicely with Rankin & Co’s ideal active and healthy lifestyle.

It's Time to Review Your Privacy Policy
 Trust in cyberspace has never been lower. Amidst the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal, the recent Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme and the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation, users have a newfound scepticism towards volunteering personal information while companies face intense scrutiny as to how that information is used.

The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as documented in the Privacy Act outline how all private sector and not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million, all private health service providers, most government agencies and some small businesses must handle, use and manage personal information. Those who fail to comply with the Privacy Act face penalties of up to $2.1M.

At Rankin & Co., we make a holistic assessment of your business and provide tailored advice regarding your privacy obligations and how best to meet them. A review of your policy may not only spare you from crippling fines, it will also help you understand and navigate your obligations under Australia’s complex and shifting privacy laws. Additionally, a robust and clear privacy policy may help maintain the trust of your usership.

With the recent Privacy Amendment Act and the Facebook data crisis, many businesses now feel the threat of penalties and public scrutiny looming over them like the sword of Damocles. Don’t risk it, get in touch with us.


Will Your ‘Zero-Tolerance Policy’ Withstand the Scrutiny of the Fair Work Commission?

A behaviour that is perfectly acceptable in one workplace may be cause for summary dismissal in another. Take the use of a mobile phone – it’s expected of an office worker, but it is typically forbidden in the context of a food production line.

The rulebook was crystal clear in the case of the Fresh Cheese Co Pty Ltd, who summarily dismissed a long-standing employee for breaching its ‘zero-tolerance’ mobile phone policy. However, the Fair Work Commission held that the dismissal was unfair because the business had not adequately informed the aggrieved worker of the rules.

To read more click here


Make the Difference

You’ve had an idea for a creative new charity or not-for-profit but you haven’t quite managed to get it off the ground. You’ve got the essential ingredients- the good will, the passion and the creativity- but you lack the time and practise needed to navigate the legal requirements of registration. That’s where we come in.

We can transform your idea into a registered organisation with the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Additionally, we can help your organisation become a registered Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR), meaning that individuals can make tax-deductable donations.

There are different sub-categories of charities and DGR entities. We can help you determine the most appropriate structure for your organisation taking into account its purpose and any associated entities.

DGR status and ACNC registration is critical in establishing a legitimate organisation with a charitable or benevolent purpose. It helps establish the trust of the general public. Don’t let bureaucracy stifle your vision, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

We have proudly assisted numerous charities including Outside The Locker Room, the Amy Gillett Foundation and the Christina Noble Children's Foundation Australia/New Zealand.

Lawyers Weekly Article: The New Law Firm Shunning Short-Term Fixes for Staff Engagement

Rob Roy Rankin as featured in a recent article in Lawyers Weekly:

Rob Roy Rankin, the founder of local NewLaw firm Rankin & Co., has come out swinging at what it he described as “cynical” efforts to engage and retain staff under the traditional law firm model.

Introducing ping pong tables and on-site yoga merely amounted to perks in an effort to maximise profit, Mr Rankin argued, which aim to distract employees from the “drudgery” of their experience. He added that such short-term strategies, which also extended to so-called “flexible working” policies, would fail to sustain talented employees.

“It’s about creating an amazing experience for employees using long-term strategies. It is about designing a firm where employee experience (EX) is part of your DNA,” Mr Rankin told Lawyers Weekly.

Read the full article here

Thanks again for reading. If you have any queries or would like to discuss any legal issues please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0422 736 206 or

Yours sincerely,
Rob Roy Rankin

p: +61 422 736 206   l    f: +61 3 9923 6970
e:   l

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