Steven Cominos

Public Inquiry under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 into RSL Lifecare Limited, RSL NSW & Ors

Steven Cominos appeared on behalf of 2 former directors of RSL Lifecare Limited at the public inquiry under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW) (CFA). During the inquiry, various allegations were made against RSL Lifecare and a number of its former directors regarding the use of funds derived through fundraising activites, in relation to compliance with the CFA’s requirements and regarding the exercise of their fudicuary duties in receiving consultancy fees. Neither of the former directors for whom Mr Cominos appeared were referred to any regulatory body for investigation or further action.

Baca v Union Standard International Group

Steven Cominos appeared for the Respondent, a margin FX issuer, in an international arbitration involving a claim brought by a former client. The Respondent was successful in upholding its decision to confiscate the claimant’s profits relying on the terms of its product disclosure statement. Those terms permitted the confiscation of profits due to the claimant having engaged in price latency arbitrage trading and its failure to disclose its use of plug-in software when executing margin FX trades on the Respondent’s platform. All the claimant’s allegations of breaches of the Corporations Act by the Respondent and that the relevant contractual terms were ‘unfair terms’ under the ASIC Act were also rejected.

The Sharemarket College Pty Ltd & 2 Ors v ASIC [2016] AATA

FINANCIAL SERVICES – application to stay decision of ASIC – decision cancelled first applicant’s financial services license – applicant also operates Registered Training Organisation licensed by ASQA - utility of granting stay - prospects of success – public interest – consequences on application for review

FINANCIAL SERVICES – application to stay decision of ASIC – banning orders against second and third applicants who were responsible managers of financial service licensee – utility of granting stay - prospects of success – public interest – consequences on application for review

Dominique Hogan-Doran SC and Steven Cominos appeared for the applicants.

Lambert Leasing Inc. v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd [2016] NSWCA 254

INSURANCE – whether insured obliged to provide insurer with documents to enable insurer to determine whether conditions precedent to cover satisfied – insured claimed legal professional privilege in respect of documents – whether proceedings commenced prematurely

EVIDENCE – further evidence – whether documents in respect of which legal professional privilege was claimed at trial may be tendered on appeal

INSURANCE – double insurance – both policies contain “other insurance” clauses – whether s 45 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) requires the insured to have “entered into” both contracts of insurance – whether insured has “entered into” both contracts of insurance

INSURANCE – double insurance – whether insurer A entitled to resist providing indemnity on the basis that insured had already been indemnified by insurer B – effect of deed which purported to re-characterise indemnity provided by insurer B as a limited recourse loan

CONTRACT – construction of the word “use” in indemnity clause in sale agreement – whether “use” has particular or special meaning under Virginian law – whether “use” encompassed leasing of aircraft or paying for maintenance pursuant to contractual obligation

Chris Ward SC appeared for the appellants.

Steven Cominos appeared for the second and third respondents.

Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW

The NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the governance and future of the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW held public hearings between September 2015 and February 2016, after which it received extensive written submissions from parties. The Commissioner, former High Court Justice, Michael McHugh QC, reported on 16 June 2016. [Link to Commission Site]

The final report was released on 7 July 2016, at which time the NSW Government announced plans to close down the industry by 1 July 2017.

Dominique Hogan-Doran SC leading Jodi Steele and Steven Cominos of counsel, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright and Clayton Utz, acted for the former Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Racing NSW, Mr Brent Hogan.

Roads and Maritime Services v Rockdale City Council & Ors [2015] NSWSC 1844

EQUITY – trusts and trustees – purpose trusts – where trustee was a local council – where council held land or parts of it on trust for a county road and other purposes – where condition of trusts was that council transfer land or parts of it required for a county road to named body when requested at no cost – where Plaintiff sought transfer of the parcels of land that it ‘required’ for the construction of a road – whether council required to transfer only that part of land that was previously ‘reserved’ or that part of land which was now ‘required’ to the Plaintiff under the terms of the trusts – whether use for a road encompassed ancillary requirements for the construction of the road.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – regulation and administration – ordinances, regulations, by-laws and local laws – where council held parcels of land on trust for particular purposes – whether obligations arising under the trusts were affected by Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) – application of County of Cumberland Planning Scheme Ordinance

CHARITIES – charitable purposes – other purposes beneficial to public – where council held land on trust for road purposes and for the purposes of a public park, reserve or recreation area – whether trusts created for purposes of roads and road works are charitable trusts – whether trusts created for purposes of parks and public reserves are charitable trusts – whether trust purposes impractical or impossible – whether to order cy-pres scheme

WORDS AND PHRASES – ‘required’ – ‘reserved’ – ‘road purposes’ – ‘purposes of a road’  

Dr Christos Mantziaris and Steven Cominos appeared for RMS