Oct, 01 2012
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Coopers Brewery Celebrates 150 years!

On 12 September 2012, more than 120 beer enthusiasts gathered at The American Club, Sydney to help celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Coopers Brewery.

Glenn Cooper AO, a fifth generation Cooper, discussed the history of the brewery, and the brewing process in general.

Guests sampled 5 different beers including the Celebration Ale, which was created to mark the 150th Anniversary.

Congratulations to Stuart Lymn who was the lucky winner of a limited edition magnum of Celebration Ale.

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Corporate Breakfast with US Professor Tom Schaller

On 21 September 2012, AAA along with the US Consulate, Melbourne held an intimate breakfast with US Professor Thomas F. Schaller. A professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Prof. Schaller teaches courses in American government, including the American Presidency, Congress, and Interest Groups & Lobbying, and Campaigns & Elections. He has authored numerous publications and is a political columnist for the Baltimore Sun. Since 2004, Prof. Schaller has lectured on American politics and elections in more than a dozen countries on behalf of the US State Department. His book about the Republican Party after Ronald Reagan’s presidency is forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2013.  

In attendance was the Consul-General to the United States, US State Department representatives, Senior Academics and AAA’s corporate members.

A special thank you to Sullivan & Cromwell for hosting the breakfast.


Of Note for Australian Companies: International Arbitration

For Australian corporations involved in global business, business disputes are a fact of life. Australian mining companies with projects in Latin America or Asia may find that their mines are subjected to unexpected measures by the governments of host countries or by local business partners. Australian media conglomerates may find local franchisees fail to live up to their promises.

When an Australian corporation cannot resolve its international dispute through negotiations, international arbitration may be an attractive option to achieve its business goals. International arbitration offers a neutral venue for companies that do not want to litigate in the courts of their foreign business partners. Arbitrations are also generally confidential, unlike court proceedings. This consideration may be especially important where excessive publicity arising from a dispute could affect a company’s stock price and business. Crucially, unlike court decisions that may not be easily enforced in a foreign country, an international arbitration award is generally enforceable in the over 150 countries that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.  Thus, the winning party is likely to collect on its award more easily in the country where the loser has assets.  Finally, unlike some domestic legal systems that do not generally award legal fees to the winning party, arbitral rules often permit arbitrators to award fees and costs. None of these features of arbitration mean that arbitration is always favored.  But they are important factors to consider when putting together an international transaction or when deciding how best to resolve an international business dispute.

In some direct foreign investment projects, Australian companies may have claims they can bring directly against the host governments of the countries in which they are invested.  If the government cancels licenses and prevents the Australian company from doing business in that country, if its courts render decisions that violate fundamental due process, or if the government passes laws making the foreign investment unprofitable, the government may have violated bilateral investment treaties or the investment chapters of free trade agreements. These agreements generally provide for investor-state arbitration to make the investor whole.

If arbitration is sought, choosing the right arbitrators can be crucial to winning a dispute. Where a company is strong on the law, it may prefer an arbitrator who is known to follow legal rules strictly.  Where a company is strong in the facts, it may want an arbitrator who tends to take equitable considerations into account.  In a three-arbitrator tribunal, where each party appoints an arbitrator and the two arbitrators pick a third arbitrator to act as the chair, a party-appointed arbitrator should also be able to persuade the chair of the tribunal to his point of view.  Businesses seeking to end their disputes swiftly should also be careful to select arbitrators who have sufficient time to manage the arbitral process, to study submissions, to set a hearing date without delay and to render an award in a timely fashion. 

There are many other factors that determine a business’s success in an international arbitration.  This article simply highlights some key aspects of the arbitral process. If you have questions about international arbitration, please contact the authors of this article, Tai Heng Cheng a partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart  & Sullivan, LLP, or Kate Cassidy, an attorney at  the firm. Quinn Emanuel is a leading US. litigation firm with several Australian partners and associates. It is probably the largest firm in the world that focuses exclusively on business disputes, with over 650 lawyers in offices across the United States and worldwide. The firm’s arbitration partners in the firm’s Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., London and Moscow offices have arbitrated disputes in almost every continent and before virtually every arbitration institution.

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Exclusive Corporate Event: The Impact of the US Presidential Election on Australia & the Asia-Pacific

On 26 September 2012, AAA along with the NSW Trade & Investment Office, and the US Studies Centre, hosted a VIP Forum as part of AAA's Corporate Program Series. 

The discussion focused on the upcoming US Election and panelists discussed the possible impacts of the election on Australia and the Asia-Pacific. The Forum was moderated by Geoff Elliott, The Australian, and our panel of experts included The Hon. Andrew Stoner MP (Deputy Premier of NSW), Prof. James Fallows (Chair of US Media, USSC), and Huw McKay (Senior International Economist, Westpac).  

More than 150 guests including State & Federal Government representatives, thought leaders and senior executives were in attendance.

A special thank you to the moderator and panelists for their involvement.

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AAA Spotlight Fellow: Peter Macreadie

Peter Macreadie was the successful recipient of the Dow Chemical Company Fellowship in the field of Marine Ecology. Peter commenced his fellowship in 2012 at the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Science studying the dynamics of ‘blue carbon’, which is carbon that is captured and stored (‘sequestered’) by our oceans; particularly, by seagrass, salt marsh, and mangrove ecosystems.  Peter’s latest research demonstrates that human activity in the coastal zone has caused a 100-fold weakening in the ability of these ecosystems to sequester carbon.  Effectively, this means that these ecosystems are shifting from carbon sinks into carbon sources, thereby accelerating climate change.  

Peter stated the Fellowship provided him with the opportunity to engage with incredible people; from business leaders, to political masters and some of the finest academics in his research field. Peter advised that becoming the AAA Dow Chemical Company Fellow “has been a defining moment in my career and I am confident that the Fellowship has allowed me to make a significant and practical contribution to humanity by my being able to launch a strategic attack on one of the most pressing issues facing our society: global warming”.

When asked about Peter’s career objectives, he responded by saying “to keep doing what I’m doing and trying to find innovative solutions to global environmental challenges”. Congratulations Peter, we wish you the greatest success in your research.


AAA, US Consulate and USSC Corporate Breakfast

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On 2 October 2012, AAA together with the US Consulate, Melbourne and the USSC will host a sold-out VIP Corporate Breakfast where a panel of experts will be discussing "The Political Landscape of the US Presidential Election".

The Forum will be moderated by Sara James - Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent, author, and commentator, and our expert panelists include:

* Tom Switzer -  A research associate at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and Editor of the Spectator Australia

* Dr Tim Lynch - Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne

* Cameron Stewart - Associate Editor, The Australian.

Stay tuned for the following edition where we will discuss outcomes and highlights.

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The American Australian Association congratulates Coopers on 150 years of successful brewing!

If you wish to find out more about Coopers Brewery, please click here.


The Great Presidential Debate


The US Studies Centre (USSC) will be hosting free screenings of the US Presidential and Vice Presidential debates commencing on 4 October 2012. USSC experts will be on hand to offer analysis and answer audience questions.

To find out additional information including dates, times and venue, please click here.


Securing Profits in Challenging Times - Strategy Forum

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On 29 October 2012, Simon-Kucher & Partners are holding a Strategy Forum where Industry Keynote speakers and experts from Simon-Kucher & Partners will explore marketing and pricing opportunities in Australia.

For additional information and to register for the event, please click here.


New US absentee voting laws are in effect for the 2012 elections

All US citizens outside the United States who want to vote by absentee ballot in the 2012 primary and general elections must complete a new Federal Post Card Application. You will no longer automatically receive ballots based on a previous absentee ballot request. To find out more, please click here.


The American Women's Auxiliary Halloween Extravaganza


Join the AWA for their annual Halloween Extravaganza!

On 28 October 2012, the Elsternwick Cricket Ground will be transformed into a spook-tacular destination for trick-or-treaters! All proceeds from this event will benefit the Children's Bioethics Centre of the Royal Children's Hospital.

To find out additional information please click here.


Network Canada: Halloween V International Party

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Join Network Canada in celebrating Halloween at The Argyle (18 Argyle St, The Rocks, Sydney CBD) on Saturday, 27 October, 6:00pm till late. Everyone over 18 is welcome. Don’t forget to dress up!

For additional details please click here.


Network Canada: Halloween for kids


Join Network Canada on 28 October 2012, at The Argyle (18 Argyle St, The Rocks, Sydney CBD) for fun & games, trick or treating, candy, kids food specials & children's entertainers. Wear a costume and bring the whole family (children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian).

For additional details please click here.


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