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Fiona Hall (packing her bags) – profile

Fiona Hall packing her bags

How does someone become a Nuffield Scholar?

… Get your bestie to write the application?  Well that was Fiona Hall’s idea.

First, in mid 2014 she enquired with me whether I’d write the application for her (I didn’t and I am not her bestie).

Shortly thereafter the application was written by Mr Andrew Borrodell Gartrell (at the time a friend), the rest is history.  To see Fiona’s email to me click here, to see Fiona’s email to Gartrell click here.

Fiona, wife of Bernard, is not a director of any of the Bonny Glen companies and held no direct financial interest in those properties.

Fiona however is a joint shareholder and director of Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd and other related companies.

As at 8 November 2019, she does not own any direct interest in the Caernarvon homestead, Caernarvon orchard or Caernarvon shed.

Below is parts of the Hall’s family business structure and landholdings.

Hall family tree of businesses
Hall family tree of businesses

Below is Fiona’s speech at the Nuffield Australia National Conference 2016 via Youtube.

Here Fiona ‘champions’ access for growers to data.

It will be interesting to see Fiona’s approach and response to subpoenas – should they be issued – in the proposed class action by cherry growers.

Another video interview by Fiona discussing the need for farm profitability.  Caernarvon is well known as having delivered ‘bills’ to fruit growers who sent their fruit to Caernarvon to be packed and sold, i.e. the net return to the grower was negative after deducting Caernarvon’s packing and marketing costs and the fruit ‘sold’.  It is unclear whether Caernarvon has at all times complied with the Horticultural Code of Conduct?

If you have any comments or information about Bernard & Fiona Hall, we’d love to hear from you including any documents via the instant chats below, through the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

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DCPLH v Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd – potential growers class action

Biteroit - Caernarvon Cherry

DCP Litigation Holdings is inviting expressions of interest from potential class action claimants against Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd ACN 111 047 191 (“Caernarvon“).

Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd is a fruit packing operator located at 474 Canobolas Rd, Orange NSW 2800 and predominantly packs Cherries and Apples under the Biteriot brand for Woolworths, Harris Farm and numerous export supermarket chains.

DCP Litigation Holdings is the assignee of the claims of a number of fruit growers from around the Nashdale, Mudgee and Orange / Mt. Canobolas fruit-growing regions.

What is a class action?

A class action is a permitted court action involving 7 or more claimants with substantially similar claims against the same defendant or defendant/s.

What’s the class action about?

We will be arguing, amongst other things, that:

  1. Caernarvon breached the Horticultural Code of Conduct which is a mandatory code within the fruit packing and wholesale sector ;
  2. Caernarvon provided misleading and deceptive fruit packing statistics and materially underpaid our assignees – causing loss ;
  3. In addition, Caernarvon overcharged our assignees for packing services, fruit picking services, packaging, transport, fruit handling, storage and /or otherwise.  In some cases, we have seen evidence where, Caernarvon charged our assignee grower up to almost 400 hours of labour in one summer season for the provision of a “person” / alleged staff member – this ‘person’ having no date of birth, no bank account, no tax file number, no superannuation membership, and no address … (the person actually is alleged to reside at the same address as Caernarvon, 474 Canobolas Rd – together with approximately 100 other alleged staff members) ;
  4. Moreover, Caernarvon at the time of the apparent overcharging of our grower assignee, also charged our grower assignee for the services of a “pay mistress”, Ms. Paula Neill formerly of Landseer St, RaglanAround the same time, Ms. Neill pleaded guilty to stealing the sum of $44,864.56 from a local charity known BINC ;
  5. Caernarvon failed to conduct its fruit growing operations in a workmanlike manner.

And in the process, Caernarvon caused our assignee loss and/or damage.

To be clear, we do not accuse Ms. Paula Neil of any criminal offence, however we do say that Caernarvon itself, with some 900 persons on its payroll did engage in misleading and deceptive conduct causing loss to our assignee, and we believe it is highly likely that a number of other fruit growers from the Orange and nearby locality also suffered loss (we have spoken to many).

Moreover, we say that the assignee is entitled to query the veracity of various expenses, which they have, and about which questions still remain outstanding (Caernarvon refusing or neglecting to account or answer questions).

DCP Litigation Holdings are inviting expressions of interest from other growers and suppliers to Caernarvon Cherry, to discuss the claims with potential class action fruit growers and claimants, who have had a similar detrimental financial experience with Caernarvon.  It will be our proposal to fund all litigation costs of all fruit growers accepted against Caernarvon and to share in any settlement payment or judgment of a relevant court.

How big does my claim have to be?

 
A class-action is ideally suited to large or small growers.
 
The size of the claim is not important.
 
The important aspects of the claim is that they are substantially similar to the what we say above that we will be arguing, i.e. they generally involve the supply of fruit from a grower to Caernarvon and some disagreement about entitlements to money (big or small).
 
The other important factor is that the defendant must be Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd of Orange, NSW.
 
 

How fruit growers can get involved?

 
Regardless of how big or small your claim may be, interested parties are asked to complete the below form to express interest.  Once we receive your enquiry we will email you also our class-action FAQ’s.
 
 

CCC class action

join
 
 
 
If you have any comments or information about Bernard & Fiona Hall, we’d love to hear from you including any documents via the instant chats below, through the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.
 

To contact us with any tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

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DCPLH v Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd – service agreement

Biteroit - Caernarvon Cherry

DCPLH is currently undertaking a statement of claim (as at 6 November 2019) in pursuit of an alleged debt owed by Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd to it, as assignee.

The claim seeks damages of upto $621,000 plus legal costs.

The matter is in the NSW District Court.

DCPLH has filed this statement of claim in late September 2019 with a defence due by the late November 2019.

DCPLH is also assisting a group of local fruit growers from the Orange District of NSW with preparations for a class-action against Caernarvon.  To view our class-action page – click here.

To view our main Caernarvon Cherry page – click here.

To view our main Hall family page – click here.

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below:

 

Updated: 6 November 2019.

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Good debt practices

There are a number of healthy things a company can do in the conduct of its affairs.  Some obvious, some not so obvious.

Below is a short checklist of good practice suggestions (in no particular order).

Checklist

 

  1. Not incur debts in the first instance.
  2. Checking invoices and ATO tax office statements carefully – ensuring there are no additional, unapproved items.  Particularly in relation to taxation matters, it is critical that you check these thoroughly!
  3. Disputing unapproved items quickly.  Ideally in writing.  Particularly concerning alleged taxation debts, directors tend to do the opposite.  And, a director under pressure already, often fails to fully read a tax notice of assessment.  (Sometimes they are just plain depressing).  A director must resist the urge to bury the document and should immediately dispute any tax ruling or assessment that they believe is incorrect.  Failing to dispute assessments can have huge consequences later when and if a creditor’s statutory demand has been issued – options become vastly more limited.
  4. Putting everything in writing.  i.e. using email particularly when entering contractual arrangements.  This can provide an important record of the exact agreement.
  5. Confirming discussions in writing by email after discussing things with the other party.  i.e. if one side has made concessions about the debt, the time when due or payable or similar, send an email immediately afterwards confirming what was discussed.  It’s much easier to remember at the time than 2 months later.
  6. Keeping documents and records.  Ideally electronically in an inbox.
  7. Backing up and saving documents and records.  There are many good free or low-cost cloud solutions for storing emails and documents.

If your company needs help arranging its file, contract and legal documentation, or if your company needs to dispute a tax notice of assessment or director’s penalty notice call us for a free consultation or request a quote.

 

Call anytime on 1300-327123.

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What to do when served with a creditor’s statutory demand?

Firstly, don’t panic (straight away).  Think clearly.

For starters, it is a good idea to understand exactly what a creditor’s statutory demand (“the demand”) is?

Our related blog page is a good place to start?  It explains what a demand is in some detail.  That blog should be read if this is the first time your business has received such a demand.

But, make no mistake, a creditor’s statutory demand can have very serious consequences.

You, the director, must immediately action it by following the steps as suggested below.  Otherwise, in consultation with ourselves, action the demand using our free introductory review.

Once you’ve read this present blog and you know what a creditor’s statutory demand is, the focus moves to what now?  What to do next?

But first ….

Who, what, when, where, why, how?  

It’s a useful practice in business to always be considering these pointed questions.

But, they are probably best considered before a creditor’s demand is received.  Ideally when or before a debt is incurred.

Our separate blog on good debt practices may also be a helpful place for a business, particular if the director thinks it may be headed for a cashflow squeeze?

Having however incurred a debt, and now having been served with the demand, the director must consider what next?

The questions above are a helpful place to start.

  1. Who is making the demand?  Did you business incur a debt from this entity?  Was the debt actually incurred by the business that is named on the demand?  If not, the demand may be able to be set-aside, or better still, maybe the creditor will withdraw it without much fuss?  The demand’s requirements, discussed in another blog, are highly precise with no leeway for error.
  2. What is the demand saying your company owes?  Demands can only be issued to corporations, so if you’ve received a demand against you personally then it will not be of any effect.  Additionally, the amount owed must be for at least $2000.  If the debt is under $2000 presently, the demand is of no effect.  Assuming the demand is made out to the correct legal entity and is in excess of $2000, read on.
  3. When was the demand served on your premises?  This is both a technical and legal question.  If the article has come through the post (in the ordinary course of postage) the item is presumed to have arrived several days after post mark on the envelope.  It’s always an excellent idea to retain the envelop with the post-mark.  This can be very useful.  Is some instances, we’ve been able to get very large creditor’s statutory demands set aside for minor deficiencies (see blog – ATO v GSFPA link tba).  Can you answer this when question precisely?
  4. Where was the debt incurred, where is the jurisdiction of the loan, tax debt or other facility?  This is less relevant, but in some cases it can make a difference where the demand was served, where it was sent from (if posted from overseas), where it was left (if it wasn’t served at the company’s premises).  If in doubt as to whether procedures have been complied with, call us for your free initial review appointment.
  5. Why – why is the demand being used now?  Is the debt out of time?  Why is the demand being used rather than other debt collection techniques – this can be a very important question particularly if the debt was ever disputed (see our good practice blog).
  6. How?  How was it served?  How long ago was it served?  How was the debt incurred?  This last one is often highly relevant.  Whether a debt such as a PAYG or GST ATO tax debt has been incurred over several months or longer, or has continued to grow over time – can suggest bigger overall issues within the business?  For instance, if a business has been unable to fully pay its super, GST or PAYG ATO debt on time each quarter, or when due, the company may need to look more closely at itself?  Is the company trading profitably?  Is the owner taking too much in drawings?  Are overheads too high?  Are fixed or variable costs too high?  Our advisory service can offer a range of excellent solutions to a business to enable them to restructure and avoid cashflow issues, insolvency and worse.  A free introductory business review is available to assess a company’s issues and potential solutions.

After answering these questions, act.

It is critically important, after receiving a creditors statutory demand that the company does not ignore it (and hope it goes away).

Yet some business owners can be embarrassed to discuss these issues with their accountants.

The law provides only a short period after receipt of the demand to take action – so it is critical that action is not delayed.

Business Asset Protection offers a free introductory first session to help a director work through the above and other relevant questions.

Our service is judgement free and focussed very much on solutions to the present problem.

Our available solutions are often more comprehensive than merely negotiating an extension of time to pay the ATO.

Whilst we can often provide tax debt loans, often times a range of other solutions may also be better suited to some clients?  These can dramatically simplify your business and give it a fresh start.

If your company has received a creditors statutory demand and is unable to, or unwilling to pay the claimed debt, call us to schedule a free appointment – obligation free – on 1300-327123 (1300-DCP123) or click our free appointment scheduling link.  Our service

 

To view related blogs, follow the following category links and tags below.