Australia: Emerging issues for the Australian resources and energy sector in 2018: Part 2

This article is part of a series: Click Emerging issues for the Australian resources and energy sector in 2018 for the previous article.

TENEMENTS, ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING

Proposed reforms to financial assurance and rehabilitation plans in Queensland

From 1 July 2018, major changes to the financial assurance (FA) regime and the requirement to carry out progressive rehabilitation will occur if the Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018 (Qld) (FA Bill) is passed by the Queensland Government. The changes will affect every resource project in Queensland. The proposal was well promoted, having been flagged initially through a series of discussion papers released in May 2017 and building on several attempts to reform FA over the past five or so years.

Key elements of the proposal include:

  • pooled rehabilitation fund – a fund is established to cover the rehabilitation costs if eligible companies default on rehabilitation obligations
  • ERC Decision – the estimated rehabilitation cost (ERC) decision replaces the FA decision, and will apply for an ERC period nominated by the environmental authority (EA) holder of between 1-5 years. Discounts, which were previously up to 30 percent, are removed
  • Scheme Manager – the position of 'Scheme Manager' is established. The Scheme Manager is responsible for assessing a company's risk rating, and managing the rehabilitation fund
  • risk rating – companies will be allocated a risk rating and this will determine fund eligibility and contribution rates. A merits review is not available for this decision
  • corporate groups – companies (including corporate groups) with more than $450 million of the State's total rehabilitation liability will only be eligible to the participate in the fund up to that threshold
  • method of providing FA – some companies will not qualify for the rehabilitation fund, as their rehabilitation risk is considered too high. They must continue to provide a third party surety. Surety options will be expanded to include an insurance bond, freeing up cash for those that currently have cashed backed guarantees
  • tenement transfer or change in control – a registered dealing or change in control will trigger a review of the risk allocation by the Scheme Manager. Otherwise, it is subject to an annual review
  • plans of operations – mining companies will no longer be required to submit a plan of operations, but they are retained for holders of petroleum leases
  • PRC Plan and PRCP Schedule – existing mines will be required to 'translate' their existing EA rehabilitation conditions into binding progressive rehabilitation milestones. Every EA in Queensland will require amendment, and
  • residual voids and floodplains – areas that cannot support a post-mining land use will face particular scrutiny. For new mines, voids will not be approved in floodplains.

Key issues arising from the reforms

Established to fund rehabilitation if either a resource company fails to meet its rehabilitation obligations or if a tenement is disclaimed, the Financial Provisioning Scheme (Scheme) introduces major changes that will affect every resource company operating in Queensland. Key aspects of the Scheme include:

  • it will be managed by a new statutory officer dubbed the Scheme Manager who will report annually on the Scheme, including on the Scheme's revenues and costs
  • KPMG has been engaged to design the risk assessment that will apply to resource projects under the Scheme. KPMG's report, 'Design of the Risk Assessment Process for the FA Scheme' (Risk Report) recommends that the 'risk' of an EA holder should not be based solely on external credit ratings, instead the Scheme Manager should consider:
    • the financial strength of the EA holder and its parent company (including JV participants)
    • the resource characteristics, and
    • the extent of rehabilitation effort on site.
  • the Risk Report has been carried through to the FA Bill, however much of the detail of the Scheme Manager's considerations have been deferred to the Scheme Manager Guidelines, and
  • the amount paid to the Pool will be calculated based on the ERC decision (which replaces an FA decision), and the risk allocation. As of yet, the Government has not made the contribution costs public however they may range from 0.5% to 2.5%. Without knowing the costs, it is difficult for companies to properly assess whether they are financially better off under the Scheme. Adding to this challenge, the previous FA scheme used a system of discounts to reduce the amount of FA payable by up to 30%. The Scheme removes this discount mechanism.

Form of surety

Currently, FA is either in cash or by way of a bank guarantee provided by a regulated banking entity. The Scheme adds a third option – insurance bonds – which must be irrevocable, allow on-demand and unconditional payment and be governed by Queensland law. We anticipate that insurance companies will enter the market to provide these once the Scheme is established. The Government has decided not to add escrow arrangements or non-cash collateral.

Transition to the new scheme

The target date to commence the transition to the new Scheme is 1 July 2018, and existing resource projects will be transitioned into the new Scheme over a three year period, although there may be company or project specific negotiations around transition. Risk assessments will be conducted annually and EA holders who move, say, from the Pool to the Surety Division will be given a 12 month notice period.

Other key provisions

Other key provisions of the FA Bill include:

  • certain tenement transfers or a change in control (defined by reference to the Corporations Act), will trigger a review of the risk allocation by the Scheme Manager. The FA Bill establishes a mechanism for an indicative risk categorisation – for example; where a company is considering purchasing an operation and it requires certainty of the cost of being part of the Pool
  • a company must notify the Scheme Manager if production ceases for more than 6 months, effectively acting as a notification of entering care and maintenance
  • the petroleum and gas sector will sit under the same Scheme as the mining sector, and
  • there will be no 'opting out' for those entities assigned to the Pool – despite some entities providing evidence they can achieve third party surety costs well below proposed Pool levies.

The impact of the Scheme on joint ventures and other complex corporate structures has been a concern to a number of industry participants. The FA consultation report states that 'Government is working with legal and accounting advisors and industry members to ensure complexities such as JV arrangements are appropriately taken into account.' Otherwise, these arrangements are not given any special consideration in the FA Bill. There may be an opportunity to nominate a holder for the purpose of Pool eligibility – which may help some companies overcome the $450 million threshold, and centralise joint venture risk rating considerations.

Better Mine Rehabilitation

'Life of mine plans' have been renamed the 'Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan' (PRCP). The Government is proposing to develop detailed guidance material on the development of PRCPs and milestones with appropriate rehabilitation completion criteria, but for now we know that:

  • plans of operations – mining companies will no longer be required to submit a plan of operations, but the plans are still required for holders of petroleum leases
  • PRCP and PRCP Schedule – existing mines will be required to 'translate' their existing EA rehabilitation conditions into binding progressive rehabilitation milestones. This change will require that every mining EA in Queensland be amended. The FA Bill allows for this transition to occur gradually over 3 years, with companies being given 6 to 12 months to deliver the PRCP from the time they are provided with a notice. The PRCP will be required as part of the environmental assessment for major new projects, usually through the Environmental Impact Statement. Once approved, the PRCP Schedule is binding and it will be an offence not to comply with it. Amending a PRCP Schedule will follow a similar process as an EA amendment, including public notification requirements
  • non-use management areas – this concept has appeared in the FA Bill, and applies to areas that cannot be rehabilitated to a stable condition and suitable post-mining land use. The concept will particularly apply to mining voids, but could equally apply to other mining areas. Non-use management areas will require approval through the PRC Plan process, and
  • residual voids and floodplains – areas that cannot support a post-mining land use will face particular scrutiny. For new mines, voids will not be approved in floodplains.

Where to from here

Considerable detail has been deferred to supporting regulations and guidelines, making it difficult for industry to fully assess the overall impacts of the new Scheme and associated mine rehabilitation reforms.

The streamlining of the tailored solution into two divisions, the Pool and Surety Division, makes sense, as does the ability of larger entities to sit in the Pool, up to a limit. Those entities that believe they can achieve surety costs below proposed Pool levies will not be able to opt out. So, if you are assigned to the Pool, then all that remains in play is your risk assessment.
The Pool should unlock cash and potentially borrowing capacity for companies with large amounts of cash tied up to back their guarantees.

While industry participants will understandably be focused on the financial impacts (positive or negative), there are also the 'social licence' benefits to be considered of moving beyond the long-running debate about whether the State carries sufficient FA to protect taxpayers. The target date to begin the transition to the new Scheme is 1 July 2018.

Linc Energy Ltd's ongoing prosecution for environmental harm in Queensland

Over the past five years Linc Energy Ltd (in liquidation) (Linc) has been the subject of an ongoing investigation into soil and groundwater contamination from its Queensland underground coal gasification pilot project. Having pleaded not guilty to five charges of wilfully causing serious environmental harm, following a nine week trial a jury has ultimately decided Linc is guilty on all five charges. It should be noted though that the liquidators did not offer any defence during the trial. Sentencing is set down for 11 May 2018, however as the company is in liquidation the State will be unable to claim any fines.

At the same time, Linc's former CEO Peter Bond is facing the prospect of having to personally provide a $5.5 million rehabilitation bond and commence rehabilitation of the site. This personal liability has come about through the State's first and only use of the Chain of Responsibility amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act). These amendments occurred in 2016 and enable the State, in limited circumstances, to pursue related persons of high risk companies to make those people bring a facility into compliance.

Mr Bond, along with four other executive officers who had responsibility for the project, is also set to face a criminal trial in mid-2018. This follows a major investigation by the State's environmental regulator which involved executing search warrants and seizing documents and computer backup material from Linc's offices in 2013. In total, twelve individuals were formally placed under investigation with the regulator deciding that five should be prosecuted.

At the same time, Linc's liquidator has so far successfully sought to disclaim the resource tenure, environmental licence and any responsibility for cleaning up the site. The State has challenged the validity of the disclaimer, and the Queensland Supreme Court initially found in its favour in April 2017 – a decision that was at odds with the common understanding that liquidators did not have a responsibility to meet clean-up costs for the environment following a disclaimer under the Corporations Act. This original decision was overturned on appeal in March 2018, however on 9 April 2018 the State sought leave to appeal the appeal decision to the High Court.

Regardless of the outcome of each of the Linc cases, they serve as a timely reminder that the EP Act creates broad powers for the State to pursue companies and individuals in the event that a company fails to comply with their responsibilities and the rehabilitation bond is insufficient to fund the clean-up costs. It also demonstrates a willingness, in some circumstances, to seek criminal reprimand of both the company and the individuals responsible.

Planning reforms in NSW – changes for some future modifications applications

Significant amendments to the planning legislation in NSW were passed by the NSW Parliament in November 2017. Some of the resulting changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act) commenced on 1 March 2018, with the remaining changes to be rolled out over the next couple of years after additional public consultation has occurred.

Most importantly, between 2006 and 2011 many resources and energy projects were granted project approval pursuant to Part 3A of the EP&A Act. Part 3A of the EP&A Act was specifically designed to streamline the approval process for major projects. When Part 3A was repealed from the EP&A Act in 2011, transitional arrangements were put in place to enable those projects which had been previously been approved pursuant to Part 3A of the Act to continue under this regime.

On 1 March 2018, the arrangements for 'transitional Part 3A projects' were removed and all of these projects are now regulated by the current regime in place under the EP&A Act for State Significant Development (SSD) or State Significant Infrastructure.

If a project that was previously approved under Part 3A of the EP&A Act needs to be modified in the future, then the proposed modification project must be substantially the same as the development that was authorised by the project approval (as last modified) prior to 1 March 2018. If the modification does not meet this requirement, then a new standalone development application would need to be lodged that complies with the new SSD requirements pursuant to Division 4.7 of the EP&A Act.

Biodiversity reforms in NSW

A major overhaul of biodiversity protection legislation in NSW occurred in August 2017 with the commencement of the Biodiversity Conservation Reform Package, which include the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW) (BC Act) and the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 (NSW) (LLS Amendment Act), together with the other various pieces of legislation and supporting policies. The Biodiversity Conservation Reform Package introduces a biodiversity offset scheme for developments that need to offset their impact on the environment.

The Biodiversity Offset Scheme applies to:

  • development that is not considered to be SSD, if the development is:
    • likely to significantly affect threatened species as determined by the biodiversity scheme offsets threshold (in Regulations) or the assessment of significance (s7.3 of BC Act), or
    • carried out in area of outstanding biodiversity value, and
  • major projects (being SSD or State Significant Infrastructure), unless the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Planning and Environment determine that the development is not likely to have any significant impact on biodiversity values.

If the proposed development impacts biodiversity above a certain threshold (BOS Threshold), the proponent will need to engage an accredited assessor to prepare a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR). The BDAR will determine the impact of the proposed development on biodiversity values and the biodiversity conservation measures (including the retirement of credits) needed to avoid or minimize that impact. When determining whether development consent should be granted for a project, the consent authority will consider and impose conditions of consent requiring offset measures to be put in place.

The following are options to offset environmental impacts:

  • find and buy suitable biodiversity credits
  • pay an amount directly into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund
  • undertake other biodiversity actions that qualify as biodiversity conservation measures including mine site rehabilitation, and
  • any combination of the above.

The offset scheme establishes an open market between developers impacting biodiversity values and others seeking to protect biodiversity values.

Under the BC Act three types of private land conservation agreements are provided for to ensure conservation of land in NSW, which are:

  • biodiversity stewardship agreement – permanent agreements that generate biodiversity credits that may be sold to provide a potential upfront financial return and annual payments to cover the costs of management actions
  • conservation agreements – permanent or time-bound agreements that will be eligible for stewardship payments, and
  • wildlife refuge agreements – entry level agreements that provide a less restrictive option and can be terminated at any time or converted into higher forms of agreements.

In early 2018, the Office of Environment and Heritage released a draft discussion paper 'Ancillary rules: use of mine site ecological rehabilitation as an offset' (Draft Paper) for consultation. The Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 (Biodiversity Regulations) provide offset rules which govern the biodiversity conservation measures that proponents can use to meet a credit requirement imposed by an approval authority to offset the impacts of a development. For major mining projects, the offset rules allow proponents to propose like-for-like ecological rehabilitation of the impacted site to contribute to meeting a credit requirement. These ancillary rules will be an important development for the mining industry.

Proposed improvements to mine site rehabilitation in NSW

In November 2017, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment released a discussion paper seeking public feedback on ways to improve how mine rehabilitation is currently regulated, as well as improvements on rehabilitation outcomes for State significant mining developments such as coal, mineral sands and large metalliferous mines. The Department have noted that this feedback will then be used to develop new state-wide policy and actions that provide certainty to industry and the community by clearly setting out Government expectations regarding rehabilitation and closure requirements for all major mining projects in NSW.

The discussion paper sets out a number of proposed reforms across the assessment, operational and closure stages of the mine life cycle. These include:

  • adoption of policy principles which set mandatory, best practice standards for all major mining development. These principles would cover progressive rehabilitation, making rehabilitation information publically available, and ensuring rehabilitation can sustain the post mining land use. The principles set additional standards for new mining projects, including the requirement that rehabilitation minimises the sterilisation of land and is compatible with surrounding land forms and land uses
  • development of a policy framework to assess final mining voids, where voids will not be considered in new major projects unless the void minimises environmental, community and visual impacts and cannot be feasibly removed
  • requirements for new major projects to consult with the community and provide information on mine design, rehabilitation and closure options early in the planning process
  • requirements for new major projects to include standard landform and land use rehabilitation objectives in the development application
  • requirements for rehabilitation conditions imposed on development consents and mining leases to be clear, measurable and enforceable
  • requirement for regulatory processes that occur once a mine has been approved are transparent and consistent with the approved rehabilitation proposal, post-mining landform and land use, and
  • improved regulator coordination across the assessment, operations and post-closure stages of mine life cycle.

These proposed reforms will only apply to existing and new major mining projects, known as State Significant Development. The proposal is not intended to apply to small mining development, exploration activities under the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) or petroleum exploration or production.

NATIVE TITLE

McGlade fix and further reforms

In June 2017, the Federal government passed the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Act 2017 (Amendment Act). The Amendment Act primarily responded to the Full Federal Court's decision in McGlade v Native Title Registrar & Ors [2017] FCAFC 10, and its related impact on the validity of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) which were not executed by each person comprising the native title applicant.

The Amendment Act restored the status quo in respect of the execution and registration of ILUAs, including by confirming that ILUAs may be executed by a majority of people comprising the native title applicant.

Further amendments to the NT Act have been foreshadowed by the Federal Government, in line with the recommendations in the 2015 Australian Law Reform Commission 'Connection to Country' report on the NT Act. In November 2017, an options paper was released seeking stakeholder views on a range of proposed reforms, which include:

  • changing the role and scope of authority of the native title applicant, including in executing other types of native title agreements
  • the creation of an alternative agreement making mechanism for native title agreements
  • allowing 'low impact' future acts on land the subject of a determination of native title
  • allowing minor technical amendments to ILUAs without requiring re-registration, and
  • streamlining the native title claims process.

Feedback from stakeholders will inform the development of an exposure draft native title amendment bill, which will be released for further public comment later this year.

MINERALS INVESTMENT

Junior mineral exploration incentive

Applications to participate in the new Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive (JMEI) are now open. The federal government introduced the JMEI to encourage investment in small minerals exploration companies that carry out greenfields mineral exploration in Australia. The program allows eligible companies to give up a portion of their losses from greenfields mineral exploration expenditure to investors in the form of a refundable tax offset attaching to newly issued shares. Tax credits can only be generated for shares issued in that income year.

In order to participate in the JMEI, a greenfields minerals explorer must have incurred expenditure on exploration or prospecting for minerals for the income year and must not have carried on any mining operations for the relevant period (this criterion is extended to apply to any entity that is affiliated or connected to the explorer). Eligibility is determined each year a company applies to participate in the JMEI. Exploration credits are capped and the Australian Taxation Office will allocate each eligible entity an exploration credit allocation on a first come first serve basis. Applications for the 2017-2018 income year close on 15 May 2018.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

This article is part of a series: Click Emerging issues for the Australian resources and energy sector in 2018 for the previous article.
This article is part of a series: Click Emerging issues for the Australian resources and energy sector in 2018: Part 3 for the next article.
Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions