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Liz and Nero run a catering business known as Langhorne Creek Caterers. They agree that they will share management decisions and will share profits and losses equally. They have an agreement that neither of them will spend more than $1000 on equipment for the business without the consent of the other.

Liz decides to purchase a new oven in the name of the business. She is convinced it will improve the quality of their food. The oven costs $4500.

Nero starts a regular private arrangement, catering for the local art group on Saturday afternoons, which he doesn’t tell Liz about. He makes a significant amount of profit from this venture. The business enjoys great success and Liz and Nero employ three fulltime employees to assist them, Daniel, Ivan and Jidi. Daniel is employed as a chef but does not always turn up for work on time. Other employees find him difficult to work with. Three months after he commences work Liz and Nero fire him without notice.

Daniel is also a talented music composer. He plays an unreleased composition to Jidi after work one evening. After hearing the composition, Jidi goes home and composes a piece of music which sounds virtually identical to Daniel’s – especially the chorus. Jidi then sends the music to a distributor, who releases it in Europe. Jidi makes a lot of money from the sales of the CD.

Question:
a) Discuss the nature of Liz and Nero’s business relationship. Would they need to register a business name?
b) Who will be liable for the cost of the oven?
c) What action can Liz take against Nero in relation to his private catering arrangement?
d) Daniel is distressed at being fired and believes the business had not complied with relevant workplace relations laws. Advise him.
e) Daniel is furious that Jidi has stolen his composition. He seeks your advice as to what action he might take against Jidi.

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