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

Here at Rankin & Co. we are excited to introduce you to our newest team member, lawyer and medico-legal consultant, Dr. Melanie Tan. We look at the hallmarks of illegal phoenix activity, the .au domain name reforms and what to do under the new data breach laws. We also report on our participation in this year's Global Legal Hackathon and celebrate International Women's Day.


Welcome Dr. Melanie Tan, Lawyer and Medico-Legal Consultant

Melanie is a dual qualified lawyer and medical practitioner. She graduated in Medicine from Melbourne University and completed her hospital internship before relocating to the UK, where she studied Law at Cambridge University before qualifying as a solicitor in London, and subsequently Victoria.

Melanie has worked as a medical negligence solicitor, medical indemnity claims manager, and more recently as a medico-legal and medical adviser with medical defence organisations. Over this period she has maintained her clinical practice, working as a locum doctor in emergency departments. Melanie is currently writing a PhD thesis in Law examining concepts of risk at its interface with Medicine.

Melanie has joined Rankin & Co. as a Consultant bringing her specialist knowledge to the firm.


Pheonix Companies

Illegal phoenix activity involves the intentional transfer of assets from a failed insolvent business to a new company. It involves the ‘rebirth’ of a company from the ashes of an indebted business - in essence, it is a sham to avoid paying creditors, tax or employee wages owing from the previous business.

Small businesses, particularly those operating in construction and labour hire, ought to familiarise themselves with the hallmarks of illegal phoenix activity. Look out for these warning signs:

· A company’s ABN and name change, while its contact details remain the same
· A company quotes prices which are grossly under market value
· A company requests payments to be made to a new company
· A company changes its name and directors, while the mangers and staff remain the same.

Visit the ATO Illegal phoenix activity webpage for more details on detecting and reporting illegal phoenix activity.

.au Domain Name Reforms Spell Trouble for Businesses

The ‘.au’ says a lot about a website. It indicates that a website is local and accountable under Australian law. Accordingly, it invites the trust and business of local and international web users. Now, the .au Domain Administration (auDA), is proposing radical reforms which may undermine the legitimacy of the .au suffix and expose established websites to a heightened threat of imitation.

Unprepared businesses may have their domain name held for ransom by cybersquatting. Click here to find out what you need in order to know to protect your business.

Oops, Wrong Recipient
What to Do Under New Data Breach Laws

There is no sound more cringe-worthy than the ‘whoosh’ of a misdirected email. As at 22 February, that moment of realization - the moment the email escapes your outbox and takes with it all the air from your lungs - will be even more agonizing. Under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, businesses must fess up to the exposure of sensitive information. Besides salting the wounds of the accidental sender, notification exposes a business to serious reputational damage. However, contrary to the bulk of reporting we have seen on this matter, notification is not always required. It is essential that businesses understand when and, equally important, when not notification is mandatory.

Click here to read more

Global Legal Hackathon 2018

Rankin & Co. just competed in the Global Legal Hackathon.

The Global Legal Hackathon took place in 40 cities worldwide over the weekend of 23-25 February 2018. It brings together the world's leading legal thinkers and doers in support of a unified vision: rapid development of tech solutions to progress the legal industry and the function of law and justice.

We had 40 hours to brainstorm and build an app that would disrupt the legal industry and we’re one of 2 teams to progress to the next round.

It was an inspiring weekend competing against some seriously talented software developers, lawyers and students. Thanks to Monash Law School for hosting the event. Here's hoping we make the grand final in New York!

To find out more click here

International Women's Day 2018: #PressforProgress

Thursday March 8th marks International Women's Day. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political and is celebrated across the globe.

This year's theme is #PressforProgress. The theme offers an important reminder that we are over 200 years away from gender parity according to the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report.

To find out more and see a full list of events and celebrations being held to mark the event visit the International Women’s Day website.

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

Copyright © 2018 Rankin Business Lawyers, All rights reserved.

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