Recent Question/Assignment

The board of Waldmart Ltd proposes to issue bonus shares to existing shareholders as well as increasing the dividend to shareholders to $1.25 cents a share which is a rise of 25% on last year’s dividend. It appears that the reason for this generosity to shareholders is that shareholders overwhelmingly rejected the Remuneration Report at last year’s AGM and the company received a first strike. The constitution of Waldmart Ltd gives the board the power to issue bonus shares and the board is confident that what they are offering to shareholders by way of the shares and the dividend should please shareholders enough to make the first strike a non-issue at the next AGM. In a separate letter to shareholders the board have set out their views on the justification for the report and the importance of shareholders approving the remuneration report and the reasons for arguing that it was not excessive.
Jim Smith is the manager of Better Super Ltd which holds 4% of the shares in Waldmart Ltd. Jim and a number other shareholders are unhappy with the proposal put by the Waldmart Ltd. Better Super Ltd and the other investors are of the view that the bonus share issue is unnecessary and the increased dividend is most unwise in these unstable financial times.
Better Super Ltd and the other shareholder seek your advice as to the following:
a) Does the board of Waldmart have the power to issue bonus shares and can the shareholders at the upcoming AGM legally compel the board not to issue the share?
b) Can the shareholders stop the directors from increasing and paying the proposed dividend because it is commercially unwise to do so?
c) If shareholders vote against the remuneration report and a second strike is achieved, what will be the consequence of Waldmart Ltd and its director?
(Total of 30 marks)
Lipton, P., and Herzberg, A., Welsh, M, Understanding Company Law, 18 edition Thomson Reuters 2016.
Students should remember to look at the Lipton and Herzberg website.
Harris, J. Hargovan, A. Adams, M., Australian Corporate Law LexisNexis Butterworths 5th edition, 2015.
Austin R.P. & Ramsay, I., Ford's Principles of Corporations Law, Butterworths, Australia, 16th edition, 2014.
Baxt, R., and Fletcher, K.L., Fridman, S., Corporations and Associations Cases and Materials on, Butterworths, Australia, 10th edition, 2008.
Hanrahan, P., Ramsay I., Stapledon G., Commercial Applications of Company Law. Oxford 18th edition 2017
Redmond, P., Companies and Securities Law - Commentary and Materials, Law Book Co., Sydney, 5th, 2009.
Parker, Clarke, Veljanovski, Posthouwer, Corporate Law, Palgrave 1st edition 2012
Ciro T, Symes C, Corporations Law in Principle LBC Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 9th edition 2013
Li, G, Riley, S. Applied Corporate Law: A Bilingual Approach LexisNexis 1st Edition 2009.
Cassidy J., Corporations Law Text and Essential Cases. Federation Press, 4th edition Sydney 2013
Harris J, Corporations Law, LexisNexis Study Guide 1st edition 2008
Harris J, Butterworths Questions and Answers Corporations Law:, LexisNexis, 3rd Edition Sydney 2009.
Fisher S, Anderson C, Dickfos, Corporations Law - Butterworths Tutorial Series, 4th Edition Butterworths, Sydney 2014
Tomasic, R.,Jackson, J.,Woellner, R., Corporations Law - Principles, Policy and Process 4th Edition Butterworths., Sydney, 2002.
Tomasic, R. Bottomley,S. McQueen,R. Corporations Law in Australia, 2nd Edition Federation Press, Sydney 2002.
Latimer, P, Australian Business Law CC, 2017 Edition.
Vermeesch,R B, Lindgren, K E, Business Law of Australia Butterworths, 12th Edition, 2011.
Graw, Parker, Whitford, Sangkuhl and Do, Understanding Business Law 7th ed LexisNexis Butterworths, 2015.
Davenport, S and Parker D, Business and Law in Australia, Thomson Reuters, 2012
Fitzpatrick, Symes, Veljanovski, Parker, Business and Corporations Law; LexisNexis 3rd edition 2017
Crosling G M, Murphy H M, How to Study Business Law 4th Edition, Butterworths, 2009.
• Some research material will be place on the VU Collaborate website.
Submission: Essays must be submitted on or before Friday 21st April 2017 by 5.00pm. No extensions will be considered unless a request is made in writing, before the due date, stating the reason for the request. Marks will be deducted for essays that are submitted after the due date.
The assignment should be written in your own words. A hard copy must be submitted. As well an electronic copy is to be submitted via the Turnitin link on Collaborate page for the subject. The Turnitin copy will be the 'time mark' for the purpose of the confirmation of the date and time of submission.
Student must put their tutor’s name on the assignment and must not attach the Turnitin report to their assignment.
All assignments must be in print form and submitted with a signed School of Law cover sheet to the assignment box located outside the School of Law Office, Level 3, Building A by 5.00 pm on the due date. Students must also submit an online copy of the assignment via WebCT by the due date. The online submission will be regarded as verification of submission by the due date. However, only the hard copy assignments that are submitted will be marked. Students on the Flinders Street campus will be advised by their lecturer about assignment submission.
Readable connected prose NOT point form summaries
Accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraph construction. Proofreading
Effective use of HEADINGS
Consistent and accurate acknowledgment of sources using a recognised style – both in relation to in-text referencing and bibliography (Note the warning about plagiarism below).
The papers will be marked on the following basis:
Criteria Percentage of marks awarded
1. Depth of understanding of the topic and identification of relevant issues.
2. Awareness accuracy of the nature and content of relevant law.
3. Clarity and coherence of the analysis and quality of discussion and argument. 50 per cent
Writing and communication skills 30 per cent
Research skills 20 per cent
In law, the preferred referencing style is footnoting. Students are reminded that they will lose marks if they merely reproduce passages copied word for word from texts and other references without attempting to convey information and express ideas in their own words. Of course this does not preclude the intelligent use of relevant quotations in respect of which proper references are given.
It should be noted that the references must be given in respect of all material included in the essay. References are not to be confined to situations in which the writer is citing a particular case or using a direct quotation. For example, if the writer is putting forward a legal proposition or using a statement or idea drawn from a specific source, that source must be acknowledged by reference. It is essential that references be properly acknowledged at all times and marks will be deducted if this is not done. References may be acknowledged by numbering them consecutively throughout the essay and by giving details of the references by way of numbered footnotes at the bottom of the relevant page, or by way of a list at the end of the essay. Note carefully that the edition and page numbers of references must be given: it is not sufficient to merely give the name and author of the work. When referring to cases, the full case citation must be given. In addition, a bibliography should always be included at the end of the essay. Students should contact the lecturer if they are in any doubt as to the requirements for the giving of references.
Referencing: Footnotes or end-notes must be used to acknowledge the source or sources of information contained in the assignment. Footnotes are preferred, but either will be accepted. In regard to the acknowledgment of references and matters of style and presentation, students are referred to:
1. Australian Guide to Legal Citation – VU Library Homepage. For all referencing questions for your assignment or any legal writing See: Australian Guide to Legal Citation: The VU Library has a 4 page edited version under Information for researchers: Click on Information for researchers and then click on Referencing and then click on Style Manuals. A copy of the Australian Guide to Legal citation is also available on VU Collaborate.
Also see Monash Legal Abbreviations for abbreviations of legal publications.
2. G.R.E. Phillips and L.H. Hunt, Writing Essays and Dissertations,
3. G Campbell, The Little Black Book. (available in the bookshop).
Students are required to pay careful attention to spelling, expression, and legibility in the writing of their essays. There should be a margin on the left hand side of each page. Students should keep a copy of the essay submitted.
Plagiarism is taking another person’s ideas and presenting them as your own, that is, without acknowledging the original source. You must acknowledge your sources of information including both direct and indirect quotations. A direct quotation must always be in inverted commas or in another style that indicates that it is a direct quotation. Your assignment must not consist of only quotations.
Plagiarism is regarded as a form of theft or cheating. It is a serious offence and will be dealt with seriously, including a fail grade in this subject.
Students should use the Turnitin software to check their assignments for poor referencing and plagiarism. Software such as “turn it in” and others are available.
• Typed preferably and double-spaced
• Title page with student name and number, Subject code and name, topic
• A4 paper
• Sequential page numbering
• No folders
Assignments must be typed (word processor), using one side of the page only and leaving a wide margin. The word limit is 2,000 words.
Late Submissions
Students who believe that they have a genuine case for extension of time must lodge a formal written application for such an extension, stating relevant grounds and attaching supporting documentation. Such application must be made at least seven (7) days before the due date for submission. Should the extension be granted then a new deadline will be set.
Late submissions of the assignment will incur a penalty mark of one (1) mark per day. Marks may be deducted in respect of essays which are excessive in length.
The assignment will have a value of 30% for final assessment.

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