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Book Review: Joint Ventures Law in Australia Print E-mail

joint-ventures-law-in-australia-intro.jpgAuthor: W D Duncan

Publisher: The Federation Press

Reviewer: Dan Butler

Joint Ventures Law in Australia, now in its third edition, sets out the law concerning the wide range of commercial relationships that may be described as joint ventures.

The book contains nine chapters, written by a variety of authors, under the editorship of Professor Duncan. Chapter 1 addresses the nature of a joint venture, which, as the text points out, may now be regarded as a distinct area of the law - in spite of there being no settled definition of the term. Chapter 2 discusses when, and to what extent, a fiduciary relationship can arise between joint venturers and chapter 3 considers the potential for implication of good faith obligations.

Perhaps most useful for litigators is chapter 6 which covers default, deadlock and remedies. It examines the effectiveness of common default provisions in joint venture agreements and the range of remedies available to a venture partner upon default. Disputes concerning resources joint ventures are the primary focus of this chapter - highlighting the utility of this text given the extent of resources related litigation in recent years. Indeed, as the authors point out, the vast majority of resources projects in Australia are carried on through a joint venture structure. Perhaps, for this reason, resources joint ventures are the subject of a completely new chapter (chapter 7) devoted to this topic.

Other chapters include financing joint ventures (chapter 4), specific contractual issues - choice of law, structuring, dispute resolution (chapter 5) and the competition (chapter 8) and intellectual property issues (chapter 9) arising in joint venture projects.

This is very much a practitioner’s text and Professor Duncan refers to its “primarily professional readership”. It is well structured and written and provides a very helpful “road map” to the array of often difficult issues that can arise in this area.

As one would expect, the work includes a detailed table of contents, along with a table of cases and statutes, an index, together with a list of reference books and articles used by the authors.

In conclusion, Joint Ventures Law in Australia is a very good text which is available at $185 direct from the publisher. It would be a welcome addition to any chambers’ library.

Dan Butler


17 June 2013

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