Publications

Sort by Publication:
CMN Case Notes - Taxation Law March 2017
Date: Mar 08, 2017

In This Issue: TVKS and Commissioner of Taxation, Commissioner’s Remedial Power

Practice Areas: Tax Law
Document Type: Article
CMN Case Notes - Taxation Law December 2016
Date: Dec 08, 2016

In This Issue - MNWA Pty Ltd v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation - Bywater Investments & Hua Wang Bank Berhad v Commissioner of Taxation

Practice Areas: Tax Law
Document Type: Article
Don't set your family up for a fight over your will
Date: Sep 21, 2016

They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes. These used to come at once as death duties - a tax on the dead. That archaic concept was abolished in New South Wales in 1981, but complications after a person passes away persist.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
What happens when an executor cannot find a will?
Date: May 24, 2016

To deal with the deceased estate, the executor will need to firstly obtain a grant of probate on the basis of the original Will. What happens if the original Will cannot be found?

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Estate Planning, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Setting aside sequestration order - Trustee’s costs
Date: Nov 16, 2015

Quite often, a sequestration order is made by the Registrar of the Court in the absence of the debtor. As a result of the sequestration order, a trustee is appointed to the Bankrupt Estate of the debtor.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Litigation
Document Type: Article
Family Law - Costs and offers to settle in property proceedings
Date: Oct 02, 2015

The general rule in family law matters is that each party bears their own costs of the proceedings. However, the Court has discretion to depart from the general rule and make any other order with respect to costs it considers “just”.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Property settlement after a short marriage
Date: Oct 01, 2015

As we know, couples can separate at any stage of their marriage. Some marriages last only a few years or even months. How will family law principles regarding property settlement apply to such marriages? Will short marriages be any different from longer marriages?

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Sole occupation of the family home after separation
Date: Sep 01, 2015

It is not uncommon in family law disputes for one party to seek that he/she remain living in the family home, to the exclusion of the other party, while the parties negotiate property settlement.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Dissipation of joint assets post-separation
Date: Jul 20, 2015

Often our clients report to us that, following separation, their ex-partner or spouse has spent some, or all, of joint funds, before property settlement has been finalised, or that the other party has disposed of an asset that existed before separation and has used the proceeds for his/her sole benefit.

Practice Areas: Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Trusts and family law disputes
Date: Jul 06, 2015

Many family law disputes involve issues relating to various trusts. Family lawyers are often approached by clients who are either trustees and/or beneficiaries of a trust. Often their children and other family members are beneficiaries as well.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Intellectual Property
Document Type: Article
Can a family law dispute affect your company?
Date: Jun 17, 2015

Often family lawyers have to provide advice to their clients with respect to property disputes involving a business, whether a family company or a company owned with fellow shareholders. Such a dispute may have an impact not only on the interests of the client, but on the interests of third parties as well.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property
Document Type: Article
Contract: the rules of the game
Date: Jun 15, 2015

The traditionally accepted view of law is that it is an independent set of rules governing society routinely applied by reference to existing precedent. The law is considered autonomous and distinct from custom, morality, religion and politics. In western civilisations, legal systems are built on liberal foundations.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Private contractual arrangements and government intervention
Date: Jun 12, 2015

The law was not constructed on a bare canvas, but on value-laden foundations. Ordinarily, when a house is built on a sloping block, the nature of that slope determines the type of structure erected upon it. The structure is changed to suit the conditions of the landscape, not vice-versa. It is no different with the law.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Religious officers, contracts and legal relations
Date: Jun 11, 2015

In commercial transactions, the onus of proving (on the balance of probabilities) that a contract does not exist rests with the party disputing what courts presume to be an agreement intended to have legal force. For disputes concerning family members, courts take the viewpoint that “each house is a domain into which the King's writ does not seek to run, and to which his officers do not seek to be admitted”.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Consumer Credit Law, Compensation Solicitor
Document Type: Article
Consideration in contract law
Date: Jun 10, 2015

The doctrine of Consideration is concerned with the price paid for a promise. Consideration is something of legal value given in exchange for a promise.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
A contract that is not a contract
Date: Jun 09, 2015

Equitable Estoppel is a cause of action that protects parties’ reliance on promises which have the appearance of a contract, but which do not satisfy the elements needed to create binding legal relations, that result in detriment to one party. The case of Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher is a landmark case which has greatly affected the common law of contract.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Penniless partner: bankruptcy and family law property disputes
Date: Jun 08, 2015

In certain circumstances in the past, a situation could arise where a spouse facing family law property proceedings would file for bankruptcy or be declared bankrupt (the Bankrupt), with the result of becoming a “penniless partner” of a non-bankrupt spouse (the Spouse), whose claim might then be defeated in the Family Court property settlement proceedings. The only salvation for the Spouse was to apply to the Federal Court for annulment of bankruptcy on the grounds of some abuse of process.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Family Law, Financial Agreements, Financial Settlements, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Financial Support, Litigation
Document Type: Article
Why It Pays to be a Stickler for Service of Court Documents
Date: Jun 04, 2015

Natural justice requires that a person be made aware of the claim or charge brought against him or her, and be given an opportunity to defend such a claim. For this reason, the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) (UCPR) set out precise guidelines for service of court documents.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Litigation
Document Type: Article
Statutory Demands, Winding Up Applications and the Issue of Solvency: why a company served with a Statutory Demand should raise any dispute within 21 days of service of the Demand
Date: Jun 03, 2015

Insolvency law, in particular that part of insolvency law covered by Part 5.4 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act), demands strict compliance with specific timeframes and legislative provisions.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Litigation
Document Type: Article
PPSA Protection and Perfection
Date: May 25, 2015

Despite the transitional periods having expired last year, the requirements (and existence) of the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), created pursuant to the Personal Property Security Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA), remain unknown to many consumers and suppliers. If you are involved in business or personal transactions regarding the provision of goods on any terms other than a cash on delivery basis, or you have a line of credit with suppliers, or provide a line of credit to others, you should familiarise yourself with the PPSR and PPSA.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
Declarations of Intention to Present Debtor’s Petition – Are They Worth It?
Date: May 21, 2015

For debtors who need a little breathing space to consider their options – voluntary bankruptcy? payment arrangements? defended proceedings? - section 54A of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (the Act) gives certain debtors the opportunity essentially to freeze unsecured debts for 21 days. But are the potential benefits worth it? Or does filing a declaration of intention simply prolong the inevitable?

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Offsetting Claims in Statutory Demands: Time is of the Essence
Date: May 18, 2015

Opening the mail to find a creditor’s statutory demand, threatening to wind up your company if a debt is not paid within 21 days, is not a pleasant occurrence for any director. The task becomes even more repugnant if the creditor listed in the demand actually owes your company money too. This is known as an offsetting claim, and is dealt with in section 459H of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act).

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Testamentary Freedom Can Be Restricted by Contract
Date: Nov 19, 2014

It is well settled that a person can, by contract, restrict his or her testamentary freedom. This can be done in several ways.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Contract Law, Disputed Estates / Wills
Document Type: Article
Factors the Court Considers when Making an Order for Provision from a Deceased's Estate
Date: Nov 17, 2014

The Case Law states that the Court must not disregard the interests of other beneficiaries in determining a Plaintiff’s Application for provision from a deceased’s estate even in circumstances when those other beneficiaries have been given notice of the Plaintiff’s proceedings but have chosen not to make an Application themselves or participate in the proceedings.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
The authority of an agent to enter into contracts on behalf of a corporation
Date: Nov 14, 2014

Corporations are a separate legal entity, distinct from the people that manage or operate the company. The ability to insulate corporate wealth and assets from the personal wealth of those involved in the company is what makes the corporation such an attractive business model. Due to the separate legal entity status, the corporation has the legal capacity and powers of an individual, including the ability to enter into contracts on its own behalf. One way the company can exercise its legal capacity is through an agent to whom it grants authority.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Why are some guarantees unenforceable?
Date: Nov 12, 2014

A guarantee is a promise by a third party to be liable to a lender for the obligations of a debtor, if the debtor defaults on their obligations. These are serious undertakings as they can render a guarantor liable for the whole amount owed by the debtor. Guarantees become enforceable when the debtor has defaulted on their obligations. However, there are numerous reasons why a guarantee may be unenforceable.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
What is a guarantee?
Date: Nov 10, 2014

When a creditor provides a party with a loan or the provision of goods or services on credit, a sincere promise by the debtor to repay the loan is rarely satisfactory. Such a promise will be no good to a creditor if the debtor goes bankrupt, no matter how much they wanted to honour their obligations. Therefore it is normal for a creditor to require some other source of repayment they can look to if the worst should happen. This is known as a guarantee.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Is there anything I can do if my insurer refuses to pay my claim? – section 54 Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
Date: Nov 07, 2014

An insurer can deny your claim for any number of reasons, which can be a devastating blow to your business or personal finances. Often it is due to a failure to comply with certain conditions in your contract such as notifying your insurer immediately when an incident occurs, maintaining certain safety standards or updating your insurer on changes to your circumstances. Insurers used to be allowed to draft their insurance contracts to give them a right to terminate the contract for even minor breaches of contract or breaches which didn’t cause the loss or any prejudice to the insurer. However, since the introduction of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), insured’s have been granted some significant protections which were intended to more fairly balance the interests of both parties. One of the most controversial sections in this respect is section 54.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
A recent example of construing commercial contracts - Visy Paper Pty Ltd v Glass Granulates Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1387 (10 October 2014)
Date: Nov 06, 2014

In this recent case of the NSW Supreme Court decided by Sackar J, the construction of a commercial contract was in dispute. The plaintiff, Visy Paper Pty Ltd (‘Visy’), runs a recycling service, picking up waste products from around Sydney and processing them at their recycling plant. They entered into a Supply Agreement with Glass Granulates Pty Ltd (‘Granulates’) which runs a glass recycling plant, to supply them with glass. A condition of the Supply Agreement is that Granulates agrees to deal with ‘rubbish’ which might be mixed in with the glass so long as it doesn’t exceed 7% of the load. The definition of ‘rubbish’ in the Supply Agreement is ‘paper, plastic, cardboard and other contaminants in the glass fines, which are not recoverable by Granulates and must be disposed of at a licensed waste facility.’

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Duty of Utmost Good Faith in Insurance Contracts
Date: Nov 04, 2014

In dealing with contracts, you likely will have encountered terms which require contracting parties to deal with each other in ‘good faith’. This means that you have a general obligation to deal with the other party honestly and fairly. The duty is sometimes provided for expressly and often implied into a contract. Insurance contracts, however, are in a special category. Due to specific legislation regulating insurance contracts, a duty of ‘utmost good faith’ is implied into every insurance contract made after 1 January 1986 and must be complied with by both parties to the insurance contract. However, what ‘utmost good faith’ actually involves is far from clear.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
Capacity of Parties in Contracts
Date: Nov 03, 2014

Before ensuring the parties have fulfilled all the formal elements of a contract, a more fundamental issue to consider is whether both parties have capacity to enter into a contract. Capacity refers to a party’s legal ability to enter into a contract. It will not assist a party if they’ve simply made a mistake or misunderstood a contract. Rather, the requirement is intended to protect people from being taken advantage of who may not fully understand what they’re doing by reason of age, mental disability or intoxication.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
The application of section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 to ‘claims made and notified’ insurance policies
Date: Oct 30, 2014

Section 54 has proven to be one of the most controversial and heavily litigated sections of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984. In addition, certain types of insurance policy have felt the sting of s54 more acutely, specifically the ‘claims made and notified’ policy. Its application to these types of policies has sent shockwaves through the insurance industry leading to many legislative reviews and calls for reform. As of yet, it still remains in its original form and continues to be a thorn in the side of insurers. Please refer to our previous articles for a more general look at the effect of s54.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
Vitiating factors in contract: Mistake
Date: Oct 28, 2014

Even when all the formal elements of a contract have been complied with, the law acknowledges human foibles which cause us to make mistakes, act unethically towards one another or unfairly use an advantage or knowledge against another. Therefore, rules have been formulated to counteract the effect of these human failings.

Practice Areas: Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Vitiating factors in contract: Misrepresentation
Date: Oct 24, 2014

Even when all the formal elements of a contract have been complied with, the law acknowledges human foibles which cause us to make mistakes, act unethically towards one another or unfairly use an advantage or knowledge against another. Therefore, rules have been formulated to counteract the effect of these human failings

Practice Areas: Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Vitiating factors in contract: Duress
Date: Oct 22, 2014

Even when all the formal elements of a contract have been complied with, the law acknowledges human foibles which cause us to make mistakes, act unethically towards one another or unfairly use an advantage or knowledge against another. Therefore, rules have been formulated to counteract the effect of these human failings.

Practice Areas: Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Insured’s Duty of Disclosure for Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 08, 2014

Both parties to an insurance contract are primarily concerned with prudently apportioning their risk. Therefore there is a higher expectation than in other contracts, that both parties will disclose all relevant facts prior to entering into the contract, to allow an accurate assessment of the risk. While both parties are expected to disclose all facts material to the proposed insurance of which they are aware, the insured also has a statutory duty of disclosure.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
Are some bank fees unenforceable? - Paciocco v ANZ [2014] FCA 35
Date: Oct 06, 2014

Bank customers in Australia are eagerly awaiting the outcome of ANZ’s appeal to the High Court after the Federal Court’s decision in February 2014 decided that the fees ANZ charge for the late payment of credit cards are unenforceable. The decision will have a huge impact on the banking industry. If the Federal Court’s decision prevails on appeal, it is likely that many of the fees charged by all the big banks will be challenged.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Litigation, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Notification of Unusual Terms in Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 06, 2014

Insurance contracts by their nature are usually quite long and complicated. It is tempting to be complacent and not thoroughly read through them, especially if you have multiple insurance policies covering different types of risk and your policies always seem to say the same things.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
Exclusion Clauses in Insurance Contracts
Date: Oct 03, 2014

The ability to insure against certain unavoidable risks provides an invaluable financial safety net in our society. However, insurance companies are profit-based and will not hesitate to refuse your claim if they are entitled. One of the most common ways this occurs is due to the operation of exclusion clauses. Many an unwary customer has been stung because they didn't fully understand what they were covered for and what obligations they had to comply with to ensure they would be insured.

Practice Areas: Contract Law, Insurance Law
Document Type: Article
The Curse of the Homemade Will
Date: Sep 18, 2014

A recent Judgment in a case involving interpretation of a homemade will commenced with the words “Homemade wills are a curse”.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
When will a court enforce an unwritten contract in relation to land?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

As discussed in the earlier article ‘Does a contract need to be in writing’, some contracts, such as those dealing with land, must be in writing to be enforceable. Despite this seemingly strict requirement there are some narrow circumstances in which a court will enforce oral contracts relating to land in order to avoid injustices. This exception is known as the doctrine of ‘part performance’.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Voidable transactions due to insolvency – uncommercial transactions
Date: Sep 14, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Changes to the Credit Reporting System in Australia
Date: Sep 14, 2014

The move towards a more comprehensive credit reporting system was finally realised by the commencement of the long-awaited reforms to the Privacy Act on 12 March 2014. As well increasing the amount of information available for use in credit reports, the reforms will have an impact on the way such information is collected, used and disclosed by imposing significant new privacy responsibilities on credit providers and credit reporting agencies.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Contracts – intention to enter into a legally enforceable relationship
Date: Sep 14, 2014

As noted in earlier article ‘what is a contract’ a contract is a legally binding promise. The requirements for a valid and enforceable contract are.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Are some contracts unenforceable? Illegality and public policy
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Even if you have complied with all the formalities and requirements of a valid contract, the law may still refuse to enforce an illegal contract. A contract may be illegal because it is prohibited by statute or because it infringes a rule of public policy.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
What is consideration?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Consideration is one of the key elements of creating a contract, along with having a settled agreement between two or more parties and an intention to enter into legal relations . Basically, consideration means ‘value’. The provision of consideration in the creation of a contract involves the passing of value between the contracting parties. This is the essential nature of a contract, namely a bargain involving quid pro quo. Consideration is of particular importance, as it distinguishes between those contracts that should be enforced by the courts and those that are merely gratuitous, such as a promise to make a gift.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Rescinding ‘off the plan’ contracts - the Rule in Flight v Booth
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Purchasing a property before it is built, also known as purchasing ‘off the plan’, can be a rewarding yet risky enterprise, especially if the finished product isn’t the same as what you contracted to buy. The contract may provide for certain limited circumstances which allow you to rescind (revoke) the contract. There is, however, also some legal rules which may be able to help. One such rule is called ‘the rule in Flight v Booth’. The NSW case of Kannane and Ors v Demian Developments P/L [2005] NSWSC 1193 sets out when the rule in Flight v Booth will apply.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
What is a managed investment scheme?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Wading through the quagmire of financial services can be daunting, but being fully informed about, and understanding, your options will ensure you are choosing the best financial arrangement for your circumstances.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
What is the difference between a retail client and a wholesale client?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

In considering managed financial schemes, you may have noticed a distinction between retail and wholesale clients. This distinction is important as a great deal of obligations and compliance requirements for managed investment schemes are dependent on whether they cater to retail or wholesale clients. For more information about managed investment schemes please refer to ‘What is a managed investment scheme?’.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Application of the rule in Flight v Booth for ‘off the plan’ contracts
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Following on from Kannane v Demian Developments, the case of Higgins v Statewide Developments Pty Ltd [2010] NSW 183 presents a more recent attempt at applying the rule in Flight v Booth to ‘off the plan’ property sales.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
What recommendations should be made to a retail client and how should they be made?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

There are two types of clients which participate in managed investment schemes; wholesale and retail clients. In a general sense, wholesale clients are more likely to be experienced and well-resourced investors, whereas retail investors likely have limited knowledge of the financial markets and limited funds. For more information on the distinction between retail and wholesale clients, please refer to our earlier articles. In recognition of the potential vulnerability of retail clients, there a number of safeguards and disclosure requirements to ensure that they are as well-informed as possible.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
When should a warning be given?
Date: Sep 14, 2014

Understandably the investment of money in any type of financial product comes with its risks. In order to educate clients, and make them aware of the potential dangers of investing in particular financial products, statute requires a number of general and specific warnings to be given. It is hoped that, combined with the documents that must be provided (for more information about the recommendations given to clients please see earlier articles ), the warnings will encourage clients to thoroughly consider the suitability of products and seek sufficient professional advice.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Nefiko Pty Ltd v Statewide Form Pty Ltd (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 840
Date: Sep 12, 2014

This recent case from the NSW Supreme Court considers the ability of administrative bodies to determine jurisdictional facts in the context of the application of the Building Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW).

Practice Areas: Building Law
Document Type: Article
Can I use extrinsic evidence to interpret a contract? – The application of the ‘parol evidence rule’
Date: Sep 10, 2014

Some of the most common disputes about contracts relate to how they are to be interpreted. Words are malleable and can mean different things to different people depending on their perspective, values and intention at the time of creating the contract. For example, if you have a written contract with someone to cut down ‘three trees’ on your property, you may assume the other party knows the particular trees you’re referring to due to your previous discussions. However, unless it’s specified in the written contract, they may be able to argue they have contracted to cut down any three trees on your property.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Overview of Family Provision Cases Where Eligible Person is a Dependant or Grandchild of the Deceased
Date: Sep 08, 2014

Being an eligible person is a necessary precondition to the Court making an order for provision out of the estate of a deceased person for the maintenance, education or advancement in life of the eligible person.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
What are the standard terms that should be included in a rental agreement?
Date: Sep 01, 2014

There’s no escaping the fact that property prices are rather high in Australia. Therefore, a large number of people will be involved with the rental market, and because there are probably more renters then properties to lease, it’s important that renters are aware of their rights, especially when it comes to what their residential agreements should entail.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What are the required certainties when creating a trust instrument?
Date: Sep 01, 2014

A person who creates an express trust is the trustee (the settlor), but if the trust is a transfer of property, then whoever the property is to be transferred to on trust, will assume the role of trustee.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Costs orders - who pays the costs of legal proceedings?
Date: Aug 25, 2014

The Court has power under Section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 to determine by whom, to whom and to what extent the costs of the proceedings are to be paid.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Immigration Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Negligence Law, Medical & Health Law, Consumer Credit Law, Compensation Solicitor, Criminal Law
Document Type: Article
What does the Succession Act 2006 deal with?
Date: Aug 25, 2014

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Q&A
What do the Probate Rules deal with?
Date: Aug 25, 2014

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Q&A
SkillSelect and Expressions of Interest – visa applications based on employment or business skills
Date: Aug 21, 2014

If you want to migrate to Australia based on your employment or business skills, SkillSelect is an on-line system that assists with the process.

Practice Areas: Business People Visas, Doctors & Nurses Visas, Employer Sponsored Visas, Engineers (recent graduates) Visas, Immigration Law, Occupational Trainees & Professional Development Visas, Professional and Skilled visas – Offshore skilled visas, Professional and Skilled visas – Onshore skilled visas (if you are in Australia), Professional Development Visa (Subclass 470)
Document Type: Article
Will maker can make no provision made for adult children
Date: Aug 20, 2014

It is clear from decided court cases that the Court accepts that willmakers are in certain circumstances entitled to make no provision for children, particularly in the case of children who treat their parent , the willmaker, callously, by withholding without proper justification their support and love for them in their declining years. Even more so when that callousness is compounded by hostility.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Caveats, interests in property and contracts – does my contract give me a caveatable interest?
Date: Aug 18, 2014

Section 74F of the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) permits a person who claims to be entitled to a “legal or equitable estate or interest in land” to lodge with the Registrar-General a caveat, prohibiting the recording of any dealing affecting the estate or interest to which the person claims to be entitled.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
What are the requirements to be a licenced credit provider?
Date: Aug 15, 2014

The recent introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and related National Credit Code, have increased the regulation of credit providers in Australia. If your business engages in credit activities for personal, household or domestic purposes such as directly providing credit, making related suggestions or acting as an intermediary between a lender and a consumer, then you will probably need an Australian credit license to carry on your business. The licenses are administered and enforced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice , Litigation, Consumer Credit Law
Document Type: Article
Does a contract have to be in writing?
Date: Aug 12, 2014

Generally, there is no requirement that contracts have to be in writing. As we are constantly entering into contractual arrangements throughout the day we cannot be expected to document everything.

Practice Areas: Contract Law
Document Type: Article
What is a contract?
Date: Aug 08, 2014

Most people think of contracts as mountains of paperwork and fine print. But chances are you enter into numerous contracts every day without even realising it. Every time you buy goods, get a ticket for a car park, engage a plumber or agree to a website’s terms and conditions you have entered into a contract.

Practice Areas: Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Property Consent Orders
Date: Aug 06, 2014

There is an obligation on Family Court judges to be satisfied that any property orders they make are just and equitable, notwithstanding they are made by consent.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Does Dependency Alone Entitle You To Make a Claim for Provision on the Estate of a Deceased Person
Date: Jul 29, 2014

Section 57 (1)(e) & (f) of the Succession Act provides that the following persons are “eligible persons”.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Caveats in Probate Proceedings
Date: Jul 24, 2014

The function of a caveat in probate proceedings is to obtain a stay of proceedings seeking probate, administration or resealing except upon notice to the caveator, i.e. the person who lodges the caveat.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Child Recovery Orders
Date: Jul 22, 2014

When one parent refuses to return a child to the other, an urgent application to ‘recover’ the child can be made to the Family Court.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
What happens if your ex-partner disappears to another country with your children?
Date: Jul 14, 2014

If your ex-partner goes on an international holiday with your children and decides not to return, or leaves without your knowledge, you may find yourself having to make a ‘Hague Convention Application’ to obtain orders for your children to come back to Australia.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
What is the difference between an Owner’s Corporation and Executive Committee?
Date: Jul 09, 2014

The success of the strata title system in NSW lies in its unique arrangement of individual ownership and communal control and administration. The most important elements of the system you need to understand are the roles and responsibilities of the two bodies known as the ‘owner’s corporation’ and the ‘executive committee’.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
How can an owner’s corporation enforce compliance with by-laws?
Date: Jul 07, 2014

By-laws which govern the activity and behaviour of owners in and around their strata title property can be difficult for owners to accept, especially if they are accustomed to living in stand-alone properties with far fewer restrictions on their activity. However, it is important they are generally adhered to, in order to maintain the integrity of the strata scheme, the value of the properties contained within it and the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of all members.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
The ABC of Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in NSW
Date: Jun 30, 2014

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW due to the fault of a motor vehicle driver you may be able to claim fair and just compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Scheme, pursuant to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act (NSW) 1999.

Practice Areas: Compensation Solicitor
Document Type: Article
Executors and Administrators living outside Australia
Date: Jun 23, 2014

Generally, the Supreme Court of New South Wales will not grant probate or letters of administration to an applicant living outside of Australia.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Capacity to make a will
Date: Jun 20, 2014

In order to make a will a person must have sufficient mental capacity. If a person does not have the required mental capacity their will may be found to be invalid.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
The Problem With Internet Wills
Date: Jun 18, 2014

The Law Society Council has issued a statement on wills practice to address concerns with developments in internet will drafting and the potential for problems of identification, verification and assurance that a willmaker is giving direct instructions free of influence or coercion by relatives, carers, or other third parties.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
What are Powers of Attorney?
Date: Jun 16, 2014

A power of attorney is a legal document where you, as the ‘principal’, appoint another person your attorney to control and make decisions on your behalf regarding your legal and financial activities which could include dealing with your money, bank accounts, real estate, shares or other assets. If you want your attorney to deal with real estate, the power of attorney must be registered with the Land and Property Information Office.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Changes to Forms: Powers of Attorneys
Date: Jun 16, 2014

The power of attorney is an important and powerful legal tool. It allows you to appoint a trusted person to act on your behalf in relation to your legal and financial affairs when you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Some recent changes to the forms used to appoint a power of attorney clarify certain aspects of the process of appointment.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Voidable transactions due to insolvency - unfair loans
Date: Jun 04, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Voidable transactions due to insolvency - unfair preferences
Date: Jun 03, 2014

When a company becomes insolvent, the liquidator is entitled to all of the assets that belonged to the company at the commencement of the winding up, so they can manage and distribute that property equally amongst the company’s creditors.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Director’s Duties – Duty not to trade whilst insolvent
Date: May 16, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or how much involvement you have in the company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
What duties do the company secretary and general counsel have? Implications of the James Hardie litigation
Date: May 14, 2014

Even if you are not a director of a company, you may still have to comply with the some of the same duties. Most of the statutory director’s duties also extend to ‘officers’ of the corporation, such as the company secretary. In Shafron v ASIC [2012] HCA 18 the High Court considered the scope of the duty for company officers, in particular those with a dual function which is not an officer.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
Shareholder remedies – minority oppression rules
Date: May 12, 2014

As one shareholder among many, you may often feel powerless and without influence in the decision making process of a company. This most often occurs when conduct or decisions advantage a large group of members to the detriment of a group of minority shareholders. In certain circumstances minority shareholders can seek a remedy for treatment which is regarded as ‘unfair’ or ‘oppressive’.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
Hiding in the shadows – Shadow directors
Date: May 09, 2014

Directors of companies do not only consist of those who are appointed to the position of director. If a third party has the requisite degree of control over a company, they can be regarded as a ‘shadow director’ which can have serious implications.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
Director’s Duties – Duty not to improperly use your position or information
Date: May 07, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or how much involvement you have in the company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation
Document Type: Article
Director’s Duties – Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Date: May 05, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or the extent of your involvement in the company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation
Document Type: Article
Director’s Duties – Duty of Care, Diligence and Skill
Date: May 01, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or the extent of your involvement in the company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation
Document Type: Article
Are marriages involving a transgender person valid?
Date: May 01, 2014

The current Australian position in relation to marriage is that it must be a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) (the Act), but how does the law treat marriages that involve a transgender person? Are the marriages valid? It’s an important question to ask and one that is worth exploring.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Director’s Duties – Duty of Good Faith
Date: Apr 30, 2014

As a director of a company, you have many duties and obligations to the company arising from common law and statute. It is important to be aware of these duties regardless of how large the company is or the extent of your involvement in the company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation
Document Type: Article
All about trustees: The eligibility requirements and the different types of trustees
Date: Apr 02, 2014

Anyone with the capacity for property ownership can become a trustee at law. This may include a beneficiary of a trust. However, it is important to note that a sole beneficiary to a trust cannot be its trustee, because the position will cease to exist due to the merging of the separate and equitable estate. A corporate trustee is that of a company, which is permitted at law.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Lost Wills
Date: Mar 21, 2014

The law presumes that a will has been destroyed by the deceased with the intention of revoking the will if...

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
What are the necessary legal requirements to establish separation?
Date: Mar 05, 2014

For any parties to a marriage who have made the decision to undergo separation, there are a number of conditions that must be met in order to establish legal separation – namely, the intention to separate, acting on that intention, and unequivocal communication of the intention to separate.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What duty of care do property owners owe to visitors?
Date: Feb 03, 2014

In law school, one of the first cases many students would encounter is that of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, which was a matter that established the principle that one person owes another a duty of care – paving the way for the concept of modern negligence.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Residential Tenancy Agreements: The Bitter End
Date: Jan 01, 2014

A number of different circumstances can give rise to the end of a residential tenancy agreement; and this piece will outline the general ways in which your rental agreement can come to an end.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
Applications For a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration on Presumption of Death
Date: Dec 17, 2013

An Application for a Grant of either Probate or Letters of Administration on presumption of death occurs in every case where the deceased’s body cannot be found. This is the case even though a Certificate of Death may have issued.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
An introduction to mortgages and loan contracts
Date: Dec 11, 2013

By understanding what a mortgage contract entails, may assist you if you’re considering purchasing a property, or by having a greater understanding of what the ‘right of equity of redemption’ means – and how it may apply to you.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Informal and Stopgap Wills
Date: Nov 26, 2013

There may be circumstances in which as a result of time or other constraints the usual time and consideration that should be taken to prepare a formal will cannot be taken.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Estate Planning, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
What is a “Benjamin Order”?
Date: Oct 04, 2013

An issue sometimes facing a plaintiff is establishing the identity or whereabouts of persons to whom the deceased’s estate or part of the estate should be distributed and the inability, despite adducing all available evidence, of ruling out the possibility that a person exists or that person had descendants who might still be alive.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Rectification of a Will by Court
Date: Oct 03, 2013

This area of the law is interesting and complex. The power of the Court to rectify or fix a mistake in a will is limited. Many cases involving clear mistakes in a will are not capable of rectification.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Why its important to determine your tenancy status if an issue arises
Date: Oct 01, 2013

In many Australian capital cities, the high cost of living means that many people have to share the costs of renting with others. Therefore, it’s essential that you’re aware of your tenancy status in the event that if any issues arise, you’ll have an understanding of the rights and remedies available whether you’re a boarder, lodger, sub-tenant, or co-tenant.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How do I keep my will safe after I have made it?
Date: Sep 04, 2013

There are several ways that a testator (the person who is making the will) can store her/his will and/or information about her/his will.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
How do the concepts of possession, ownership and title impact property rights in Australia?
Date: Sep 04, 2013

The practice of law is complex and matters can turn on the meaning of a sentence, or even a word. For instance, when looking at ‘possession’ and ‘ownership’ in relation to property, the majority of people will assume that both terms mean essentially the same thing, and in everyday usage, yes, that would be the case. However, when looking at possession, ownership and title to property via a legal prism, there are some distinctions between possession, ownership, and title.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Children and post separation arrangements: How does the law operate?
Date: Aug 08, 2013

When a relationship has come to an end and there are children involved, there are a number of issues that parents must deal with, and one of the primary matters that must be addressed, is post separation parenting arrangements. There is no hard and fast rule in how arrangements should be organised, and the overriding consideration is always what arrangements will best suit the child in the particular familial circumstance.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How should landlords deal with tenants in all phases of the rental relationship?
Date: Aug 08, 2013

Australian property prices may have dropped over the past few years, however, the rental market is still robust in major metropolitan areas such as Melbourne and Sydney. Since it’s a landlord’s market out there, it helps that a landlord is diligent when it comes to their property, because you don’t want your investment to turn sour. So what can landlords do to minimise headaches? Here are some general tips that may assist in maintaining the rental property as a valuable asset.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Will my will still be recognised by NSW law if I make it outside NSW?
Date: Jul 05, 2013

You may have made a will or be considering the possibility of making a will outside NSW. The relevant legislation deals with this situation.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
TIME LIMIT (FROM DATE OF DEATH) FOR MAKING A FAMILY PROVISION CLAIM
Date: Jul 03, 2013

Section 58(2) of the Succession Act 2006 requires an application for a Family Provision Order to be made not later than 12 months from the date of death of the deceased person unless the court otherwise orders “on sufficient cause being shown”.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Estate Planning, Wills & Estates, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Eviction proceedings: What rights do renters have?
Date: Jul 01, 2013

As the number of Australians engaged with the rental market increases, it’s unsurprising that issues can sometimes arise between landlords and tenants. Ideally, any difficulties between a landlord and tenant will be resolved amicably. However, there may be times when an issue is so serious, that a landlord may feel the only option available is eviction. So the obvious question is: Do landlords have the power to evict a tenant?

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Separation: Signs that a marriage has come to an end
Date: Jun 12, 2013

One of the signs that a marriage has come to an end, is if the parties to the marriage have engaged in the process of separation. Although the term may imply that both parties have agreed to undertake the action of separation, there is however no requirement that the decision to separate must be mutual, as outlined in s 49(1) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act).

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Does a solicitor taking instructions to draw a will owe a duty of care to beneficiaries
Date: May 09, 2013

It is settled law that a solicitor retained to draw a will and ensure that the will drawn up takes effect in accordance with its terms owes a duty of care to an intended beneficiary under the will. That duty gives rise to a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in performance of those tasks – High Court decision of Hill v Van Erp 1977 HCA 9.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Shared housing: Am I a boarder, lodger, sub-tenant, or co-tenant?
Date: May 02, 2013

It’s challenging enough for anyone to share a rental property with a stranger without also having to consider the legal ramifications of living in a shared household. However with that being said, having an understanding of the type of tenant you are is essential due to the fact that if a problem does arise with your housemate, the rights and remedies available will be dependent on whether you are a boarder, lodger, sub-tenant or co-tenant.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What happens to a superannuation benefit if a member passes away?
Date: Apr 01, 2013

Many individuals will have large superannuation benefits waiting to be cashed upon retirement, however, some people will sadly pass away before they are able to make a claim on their benefit. So the question will arise of how will a person’s superannuation entitlements be dealt with upon their passing, is a natural line of inquiry. Well, a member of a superannuation scheme is able to create a gift to their beneficiaries, but there are many considerations that need to be taken into account when bestowing a superannuation death benefit, and the process can be complex.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
THE DOCTRINE OF “SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES” IN PROBATE CASES
Date: Mar 26, 2013

The doctrine of suspicious circumstances was explained in the case of Vernon v Watson (2002) NSWSC.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
UNDUE INFLUENCE - CAPACITY TO MAKE A WILL – TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY
Date: Mar 25, 2013

It is often said that concepts of testamentary capacity and knowledge and approval of a will are distinct, and that the issue of knowledge and approval only arises once it is found that a willmaker has testamentary capacity.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY AND THE APPOINTMENT OF THE NSW TRUSTEE & GUARDIAN
Date: Mar 14, 2013

The making of an Order appointing the NSW Trustee & Guardian the manager of a person’s estate does not in all circumstances lead to the conclusion that the managed person lacks testamentary capacity during the currency of the order.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
What is the effect of marriage on a will?
Date: Mar 13, 2013

There are a number of times in your life when you should review your will to make sure that it will give effect to your intentions in relation to your property and estate.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Estate Planning, Wills & Estates, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Life changes and wills
Date: Mar 12, 2013

Did you know that your will actually becomes invalid once you marry? Only in special circumstances does its validity continue after you marry.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Estate planning for unforeseen circumstances
Date: Mar 11, 2013

The importance of estate planning is most clearly seen when unforseen circumstances occur.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A BENEFICIARY WITNESSES A WILL?
Date: Mar 08, 2013

Section 10 of the Succession Act 2006 appears under the heading “Can An Interested Witness Benefit From A Disposition Under A Will?”

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
WHAT IS TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY – CAPACITY TO MAKE A WILL?
Date: Mar 07, 2013

To make a valid will a person must have testamentary capacity which is described as being “... of sound disposing mind when the will is made and there must be no coercion which overpowers the volition of the testator” – Hall v Hall (1868).

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
When can a parenting order be varied or terminated?
Date: Mar 05, 2013

The court has the ability to make a parenting order, and alternatively, they are also bestowed the power to alter or terminate such orders under the provisions of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)(the Act). An order to discharge, vary, suspend or revive some, or all of an earlier parenting order, is itself, a parenting order under ss64B(1)(b), 65D.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What happens to land if there is a caveat?
Date: Mar 05, 2013

As a valuable commodity, title to land and the protections it confers via the Torrens system is extremely important. However, what about unregistered interests in land, more often referred to as caveats? What effect do caveats have on the land?

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY – CAPACITY TO MAKE A WILL – WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER?
Date: Mar 05, 2013

The approach to the issue of determining testamentary capacity has changed little since the 1924 decision of Bailey in which the following principles were set out.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
WHAT IS UNDUE INFLUENCE IN PROBATE?
Date: Mar 03, 2013

Undue influence in probate is different from the equitable doctrine of undue influence.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
CAN A MURDERER BENEFIT FROM THE ESTATE OF THE VICTIM? THE FORFEITURE RULE IN PROBATE CASES
Date: Mar 01, 2013

A person convicted of a crime is not generally prohibited from benefitting under a will. However under the Forfeiture Rule, a murderer cannot benefit under the will or intestacy of the victim nor will the murderer be granted letters of administration.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates, Family Law, Criminal Law
Document Type: Article
Can a Minor Make a Will or Revoke a Will?
Date: Feb 28, 2013

A minor is the legal description of a person under the age of 18 years. As a general rule a minor cannot make a will.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Estate Planning, Wills & Estates, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Considering debt with estate planning
Date: Feb 13, 2013

Debts do not just disappear when you die. Effective estate planning includes ensuring you are debt free when you die or alternatively leaving enough money behind so that your family are not left dealing with your debts.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
Trustees: Who is eligible? And what are the different types?
Date: Feb 04, 2013

The position of trustee isn’t an overarching generic term that refers to a specific role, but rather, a trustee can encompass a number of different types, all tasked with fulfilling certain duties and responsibilities depending on the trustee type.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Examining the process of estate planning
Date: Feb 01, 2013

Estate planning is a term that is used fairly frequently but it's important to define and explain what's involved in such an undertaking.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Proper funeral planning
Date: Jan 31, 2013

If you are thinking about estate planning you should also think about the arrangements you'd like for yourself when it comes time for your farewell, this can be done by drafting a directive along with your will.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates, Estate Planning
Document Type: Article
Can child support still be collected when the other party is overseas?
Date: Jan 06, 2013

In a world where international connectivity and travel has never been easier – or cheaper – the ability for people to move trans-nationally can be as simple as a mouse click away. However, the flipside with the ease in which people are able to traverse across nations can lead to a situation where one party who is subject to a maintenance order or child support, is overseas, which may then cause potential difficulties for anyone who is supposed to receive maintenance.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
LITIGATION - Frequently Asked Questions
Date: Dec 04, 2012

Deciding how to settle a dispute - Choosing a process - Commencing litigation - Pre-trial procedures - Discontinuance or withdrawal - Enforcement of judgments - Costs of Litigation - Time limits - Lawyers

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Law, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Immigration Law, Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Negligence Law, Medical & Health Law, Consumer Credit Law, Compensation Solicitor, Criminal Law
Document Type: Article, Q&A
If one party to a marriage becomes bankrupt: What happens to the property interests?
Date: Dec 01, 2012

When bankruptcy and family law collide, the results are how shall we say it? Difficult. Under s 58 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth), once a person becomes bankrupt, that person’s divisible property vests in the trustee. However, under s 116 of the Bankruptcy Act, certain property such as superannuation, tools of the trade, some furniture, and transport can be exempt, but the fact still remains, that the interaction between bankruptcy and family law is extremely complicated.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Things to be aware of regarding food labelling laws
Date: Dec 01, 2012

The interest in all things food related has taken off in the past few years and many people may wish to venture out on their own and start some food related business of their own. Some will take the restaurant route while others who are adept at making a particular product, may find themselves mass producing something that may wind up being sold in a major supermarket chain. That’s when things get interesting because all of the sudden, the product will need to have a label, not to mention whether or not it will have a ‘best before’ or a ‘use by’ date. The body, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have Codes in place that states that labels must be accurate and not misleading.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Newsletter
Estate planning for your family
Date: Nov 25, 2012

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Article
Seven important life events for estate planning
Date: Nov 21, 2012

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Litigation
Document Type: Article
Who can apply for Letters of Administration?
Date: Nov 18, 2012

When a person dies without a will institutions such as banks, insurance companies and superannuation funds will often require someone to be granted Letters of Administration before funds of the deceased are released.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Guarantees, goods and small businesses: What every supplier of goods should be aware of
Date: Nov 01, 2012

t’s every small business owners’ worst nightmare when a product sold to a member of the public suffers from a ‘major failure’. All retailers want to stand behind their product and hope that their wares live up to what is guaranteed. However, there may be instances where a good suffers from a ‘major failure’, therefore, it is useful for small business owners to understand what exactly constitutes a ‘major failure’ under the provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (the ACL).

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Estate planning involves appointing your children’s guardian
Date: Oct 04, 2012

For many people, one of the least enjoyable parts of estate planning is appointing your children’s guardian should you and your partner die before they turn 18.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Moral duty and family provision
Date: Oct 01, 2012

Any person who has a familiarity with matters involving family provision in Australia, may have either encountered the concept of ‘moral duty’, or have heard the term used in regards to such matters. The concept of moral duty and family provision legislation has become synonymous with one another that it would be a surprise to some that the term, ‘moral duty’, does not actually appear in any legislation dealing with family provision. Naturally, if moral duty has not been enshrined in legislation, where does the concept come from? Further questions may revolve around, how, and when, is the concept applied in regards to family provision.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Goods Shipping and the Law
Date: Oct 01, 2012

With many businesses beginning to take advantage of online trading, sending goods by consignment (a legal term for having them carried by someone else) is becoming much more common for smaller businesses. The advantages of online trading are clear, especially for higher-value items that would be costly to maintain in a traditional brick and mortar retail outlet. Shipping, however, is well-established area of law with practices that date back several hundred years, and has found new everyday exposure through consumer demand for convenience, specialisation and speedy delivery.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How breaches of duty can be committed against property
Date: Oct 01, 2012

Possession under property law is a fundamental concept, and for the most part if we have a particular good, or land under our control, we would generally consider the property ours. However, what happens if there are multiple claims to property? How does the law deal with competing claims to possession? Possession is considered as such an essential property right, that a person who is found to be wrongly interfering with another person’s right to possession, will be committing a breach of duty under the law. The most common torts in regards to interference with possession are trespass, conversion and detinue. Each tort has different elements, and this article will give readers a brief overview of how a breach may occur in regards to the various torts.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Validity of a Will - What constitutes an informal will?
Date: Sep 17, 2012

When deciding the validity of a will a Court usually has to decide whether a document not duly executed sets out the testamentary intentions of the deceased.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Joint & Mutual Wills
Date: Sep 13, 2012

A joint Will is a Will dealing with the property of two or more testators in the one Will. Mutual Wills are Wills usually made by separate documents in which two or more persons execute separate Wills conferring reciprocal benefits upon each other.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Can Documents Referred to in a Will be Incorporated into the Will?
Date: Sep 12, 2012

Where documents are referred in a testator’s will but are not duly executed in accordance with statutory requirements, i.e. signed by the testator in front of not less than two witnesses who also signed the document in front of the testator and each other, those documents may be incorporated into the Will and included in the probate if they fulfil the following requirements.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Revoking a Will
Date: Sep 11, 2012

Section 11 of the Succession Act 2006 specifies the manner in which a Will can be revoked.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Does Divorce Revoke a Will?
Date: Sep 06, 2012

Section 13 of the Succession Act 2006 provides that, subject to a contrary intention in the Will, divorce revokes, in the existing Will.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Does Marriage Revoke a Will?
Date: Sep 05, 2012

Section 12 Succession Act 2006 specifies the effect of marriage on a Will and its validity.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Validity of a Will – Who Can Witness a Will
Date: Sep 04, 2012

Although it may be blinding obvious, a person who is unable to see or swear he or she saw the testator sign a document may not act as a witness to a Will - section 9 Succession Act 2006. A Will not properly witnessed, may be an invalid Will.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Commercial leases: Why important terms should always be in writing
Date: Aug 01, 2012

Anyone who has made the decision to start a business will have a myriad of considerations to take into account, and perhaps one of the most important concerns, is in relation to a commercial lease. Just like residential leases, the basic framework and approach when signing a residential lease can also be applied to commercial leases. However, there are understandably also significant distinctions as well when discussing commercial leases, and a party who is intent on entering into a commercial lease, should always aim to put important terms in writing during the negotiation period.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Zoning laws for home based businesses
Date: Jul 16, 2012

Many budding entrepreneurs planning to launch a business from home may not be aware that strict requirements exist regarding the types of commercial activities permitted in a private residence and these obligations are generally set-out in council rules and regulations, as well as State and Territory legislation. Matters that can be covered can relate to zoning and development, pollution, health and safety, noise, energy use, parking and any other laws related to environmental impact.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
FAMILY PROVISION – ELIGIBLE PERSONS – FORMER SPOUSE OF THE DECEASED
Date: Jul 16, 2012

Former spouses are included in the definition of eligible persons in the Succession Act 2006 – Section 57(1)(d). The inclusion of former spouse as a category of eligible person enables the surviving partner of a dissolved or annulled marriage to claim against the estate of the deceased.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Family Provision Overview
Date: Jul 16, 2012

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
FAMILY PROVISION – PERSON ELIGIBLE TO APPLY MUST BE ALIVE
Date: Jul 16, 2012

The categories of “eligible persons” are set out in Section 57 of the Succession Act 2006 and include.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Gambling away inheritance?
Date: Jun 18, 2012

Lucy, Kate and Mark are concerned that if Rebecca dies before Ronald, he will gamble the estate away and Ronald will become financially dependent on them and/or will incur gambling debts that he will not be able to repay.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Some things to be aware of when entering into a commercial lease
Date: Jun 01, 2012

Most people who sign a residential lease will easily understand what they’re signing up to, as well as the associated rights and obligations. Commercial leases are no different in that the terms of the lease must easily understood and that all of the essential elements of the agreement must be outlined in the lease. If you’re about to sign a commercial lease, there are fundamental conditions in a commercial leasing agreement that should always be evident in order to ensure that you are protected in the event that an agreement has gone awry.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Is there a moral duty for a deceased to make provisions to family members?
Date: Jun 01, 2012

It’s probably safe to assume that many of us will make the appropriate provisions from our estate to family members in the event of our passing without too much issue. However, there may be instances where a person may not wish to make the appropriate provisions to family members for whatever reason they may be, and if such a thing does occur; is there a moral duty for family members to make the appropriate provisions? Furthermore, can the courts compel individuals to fulfil a ‘moral duty’ in providing for family members?

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Time limits on Making a Family Provision claim
Date: May 30, 2012

A claimant has 12 months from the date of the deceased’s death to bring a claim for provision from the deceased’s estate. Under s58(2) of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) the court may extend the time limitation where the claimant can show ‘sufficient cause’.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Colleges, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority
Date: May 29, 2012

On 30 June 2011 the Vocation Training and Accreditation Board (VETAB) which regulated the operation of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) ceased operations and was replaced with a new national regulator – ASQA (the Australian Skills Quality Authority).

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice , Administrative/Government Law, Litigation
Document Type: Article
What happens if I leave a gift in my Will that no longer exists when I die?
Date: May 20, 2012

John and Mavis were married. John had one daughter Edwina. In 2001 John made a Will leaving his house to Mavis and the residue of his estate to Edwina. In 2005 John sold the house. John died after the house was sold.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Choosing your executor
Date: May 09, 2012

When making your Will one of the key decisions you must make is who to appoint as your executor.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Environmental Protection and Property Owners
Date: May 02, 2012

Environmental protection is a somewhat nebulous concept in property law. Generally speaking, the term refers to the enforcement activities of the Environmental Protection Agency in each of Australia's states and territories (or, in the case of Queensland, the Department of Environment and Resource Management). The scope of these laws is wide and not restricted to land owners. However, this article outlines a few general points that can help you in determining when environmental laws and regulations could apply to your situation.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How the creation of trusts used to avoid creditors, may be set aside
Date: May 02, 2012

People who are insolvent, may choose to create a trust to defeat the interests of a creditor. However, for anyone who wishes to create a trust specifically to bypass a creditor’s interests, the law does have the power to render such trusts void, if the effect or the purpose of the trust was to avoid a creditor.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
8 reasons to have a lawyer draft your will
Date: Apr 30, 2012

With easy access to cheap and even free will kits why pay a lawyer to draft your will?

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Co-ownership of property: The elements and requirements
Date: Apr 01, 2012

It’s only logical that people who are either married, in serious long term relationships, or are just looking for an investment opportunity, will consider pooling their resources together in the purchasing of property. At common law, co-ownership of land can either be achieved either as a tenancy in common or via a joint tenancy. Depending on the status of the joint ownership of the land, different rights and duties will arise in relation to each category of property co-ownership.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Testamentary Capacity
Date: Apr 01, 2012

A will may be disputed for a number of reasons and one issue that can arise is a lack of ‘testamentary capacity’ which may mean that the person is lacking the soundness of mind to draft a legally binding will. It is important when a person drafts a will that they have sufficient decision-making capacity when the will is drafted, otherwise the will may be considered invalid, and the courts may decide that a person has died intestate (without a valid will) and their assets will be distributed in line with intestacy laws.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Fixing errors in Wills
Date: Mar 28, 2012

When Barry signed his will he failed to pick up the mistake. When Barry died “The Gin Palace” had already been sold and as a result Tina was left without an inheritance. When such an error is made there are several options open to a beneficiary in Tina’s position.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Executor’s duties and liabilities – Debts of the deceased
Date: Mar 26, 2012

Depending the size of an estate and the nature of the will, being appointed and executor can be an onerous task. For example if the estate is large and includes a variety of assets an executor may spend many hours arranging the sale of those assets to realise their value before distribution. If the will is contentious the executor may be named as a defendant in proceedings brought by beneficiaries or claimants under the will.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Can a child, rather than a parent, consent to medical treatment?
Date: Mar 02, 2012

As parents we obviously want what is best for our children and we strive to protect them from harm, therefore, it’s not a surprise that parents go to great lengths to ensure the safety of our children. As parents we try to minimise the risks of which our children will be exposed to, and in some instances, our need to look after our children will extend to matters involving health and medical treatment.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
GST and ABN Issues - Its more than just your BAS
Date: Mar 02, 2012

The Commonwealth Government implemented a value-added tax (known universally as the GST) in 2000 and terms such as ABN (Australian Business Number) and BAS (business activity statement) have become synonymous with small business accounting and tax. One interesting issue surrounding the GST system in Australia is that many small businesses are generally unaware of the depth of GST as a distinct area of taxation law. While most small business owners are capable of arranging their BAS filings (whether through a tax agent or on their own) a number of very complicated issues can arise when your business changes and takes a new direction.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
When should a will be changed?
Date: Mar 02, 2012

Drafting a will can be a long, complicated process. Once it has been witnessed and filed away for safekeeping, it can be tempting to rarely think about it again. But keeping your will up to date is extremely important. Wills are often made years before a person dies, and there may be significant changes to an estate between when the will was written and when the will is executed.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Matters the Court looks at relating to proof of validity of a will.
Date: Mar 01, 2012

The rule with wills is that a later valid will prevails over an earlier valid will. The party claiming that the later will should prevail has the onus of proving that the later will is valid.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Why should I get a lawyer to write my will, when a will kit is a fraction of the cost?
Date: Mar 01, 2012

To begin with if you have a complex asset structure an estate planner will be invaluable in making sure your assets are devolved efficiently and in manner that affects your wishes. But more importantly a lawyer is in the best position to ‘future proof’ your will. That is draft it in a way that reflects your wishes and prevents your will being challenged once you die.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
How does the family dispute resolution process operate?
Date: Feb 03, 2012

Some of us upon hearing the terms, ‘divorce’, ‘property’, ‘financial’ and ‘dispute’, will probably conjure up images of emotion charged court proceedings where one party is left desolate, while the other takes off with all of the matrimonial property and assets. However, the truth is rather more benign and most divorces don’t actually end up in court, and the parties more often than not, will reach some sort of agreement. Furthermore, the law encourages that parties whose union has come to an end, engage in the mediation and conciliation process – and in most instances, it is mandatory to do so.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Property Ownership and Registration in Australia
Date: Feb 03, 2012

Australia has a robust and comprehensive system of property registration. This system also dictates that extent of property ownership, such that a person obtains their title to land (meaning that they own it) through registration, rather than having to register their ownership as an extra step (much like you can own an unregistered car). This article will focus on the Torrens title system, although aspects of this discussion apply equally to strata title in large developed communities. In addition, the position of land not under the Torrens title system is considered.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
When should a will be changed?
Date: Feb 03, 2012

Drafting a will can be a long, complicated process. Once it has been witnessed and filed away for safekeeping, it can be tempting to rarely think about it again. But keeping your will up to date is extremely important. Wills are often made years before a person dies, and there may be significant changes to an estate between when the will was written and when the will is executed.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
When someone dies without a will - applications for letters of administration
Date: Jan 30, 2012

Lucy’s father died some years ago and her mother, Esther died late last year. Lucy has an older sister who lives overseas and a younger brother. After searching Esther’s house high and low and contacting Esther’s lawyers, Lucy was unable to find any will made by her mother. Esther had a house in Petersham, two bank accounts, a superannuation fund, a car and various personal effects. When Esther died she had a modest credit card debt as well as some outstanding utility bills.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Stamp Duty Exemption on a Property Transfer
Date: Jan 26, 2012

Parties may also be entitled to a stamp duty exemption if the Court makes Orders requiring a transfer of property.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Euthanasia, Murder and Inheritance: can those who bring about the death inherit from the estate of the deceased?
Date: Jan 20, 2012

As Australia’s population rapidly ages euthanasia is becoming an ever more pressing issue. Some people who advocate euthanasia are already at a stage in their illness where they require assistance to take the own lives. This puts any person assisting to bring about the death who is also a beneficiary of the estate in a difficult legal position. Not only do they risk criminal prosecution but it can affect their position as a beneficiary of the estate of the person wishing to die.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Recovering School Fees From Defaulting Parents
Date: Jan 17, 2012

For any school, recovering unpaid school fees can be difficult task.

Practice Areas: Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Why your migration agent should also be part of a law firm
Date: Jan 06, 2012

Practice Areas: Applications to the Migration Review, Refugee Review & Administrative Appeals Tribunals, the Federal Magistrates Court, the Federal Court and the High Court, Ministerial Intervention, Business People Visas, Doctors & Nurses Visas, Employer Sponsored Visas, Engineers (recent graduates) Visas, Immigration Law, Family Members Visa, Medical Treatment Visa, Occupational Trainees & Professional Development Visas, Professional and Skilled visas – Offshore skilled visas, Professional and Skilled visas – Onshore skilled visas (if you are in Australia), Professional Development Visa (Subclass 470), Refugee & Humanitarian Visas, Retirees Visa, Returning Resident Visas, Specialist Entry Visas, Student Visas, Tourist Visas
Document Type: Article
How does contract law apply to businesses in Australia, and internationally?
Date: Jan 03, 2012

In an increasingly interdependent world, it’s no longer a surprise that many Australian businesses conduct transactions with other businesses located internationally. Despite the fact that the sale of goods is conducted between businesses in different countries, the law of contracts still apply, but which laws?

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Binding financial agreements: How an agreement is created, varied or set aside
Date: Jan 03, 2012

It’s not unusual to hear of the rich and famous before a marriage, enter into a prenuptial agreement with their spouse. If a person has substantial assets to protect, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a prenuptial agreement in place in the event of a relationship breakdown. In Australia, prenuptial agreements are more commonly referred to as binding financial agreements, and a valid agreement can oust the jurisdiction of the courts.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Can a person create a trust for the maintenance of their pets?
Date: Jan 03, 2012

The bond between a pet and an owner can sometimes be so strong, that some people have actually named their pets as beneficiaries after their passing. Many of us have probably read or heard stories someone leaving instructions in their will for the maintenance of their pets, and some of us may have even guffawed at such a practice. However, the fact remains, that many people are rather quite attached to the pets and animals that they own, and there may even be a few readers who are wondering if gifts for maintenance can be made to their own animals. Does Australian law actually allow an animal to become a beneficiary?

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Can I bequeath my heart?
Date: Dec 13, 2011

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
How the Family Law Court establishes a contravention of a parenting order
Date: Dec 01, 2011

If a person contravenes an order by acting illegally or by breaching the order intentionally, or the person has made no reasonable attempt to comply with the order, they can then be found to be in contravention of the order, and in such a circumstance the order can be varied or they can make a contravention application.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Rights and responsibilities of a tenant and landlord within a leasing agreement
Date: Dec 01, 2011

Many Australian visitors will probably be all too aware that property prices in the country are rather expensive, and the dreams of home ownership may be out of reach for some. As a consequence, renting has become a viable alternative for those who are unable to afford buying property, and furthermore, it’s conceivable that some landlords and tenants may not have a complete awareness of their rights and obligations.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Why business owners must supply goods of acceptable quality and fit for a disclosed purpose
Date: Dec 01, 2011

Small businesses should be aware, that with the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law (the ACL) affords the public a broader range of protections, as well as requiring both corporations and “persons” to provide goods and services which are of a requisite standard. The ACL has replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 (the TPA), and although the new Act mirrors many of the provisions under the TPA, the ACL has also included implied conditions of quality and fitness in relation to consumer transactions and now enjoy statutory guarantees under the ACL.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How superannuation death benefits are dealt with upon the death of a member
Date: Dec 01, 2011

All working Australians will be members of a superannuation fund, and with that in mind, it’s no surprise that according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the total amount of superannuation assets at the end of the 2010 financial year was $1.23 trillion. Many individuals will have large superannuation benefits waiting to be cashed upon retirement, however, some people will sadly pass away before they are able to make a claim on their benefit. So the question will arise of how will a person’s superannuation entitlements be dealt with upon their passing, is a natural line of inquiry.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
When you can get a court ordered DNA test?
Date: Nov 28, 2011

Under s26 of the Status of Children Act 1996 a party to proceedings may apply to the Supreme Court for an order requiring a parentage testing procedure to be carried out for the purpose of obtaining information to assist in determining the parentage of the child.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Mum has left our family home to her new husband – what can we do?
Date: Nov 27, 2011

Before Jim and Genevieve married they decided to execute mutual wills. A mutual will is where each individual has a separate will but they confer reciprocal benefits on each other. Jim’s will stated that he would leave all of his estate to Genevieve and if she died the estate would be divided equally between their two children Julia and Jonty. Likewise Genevieve’s will left everything to Jim and to their two children if he died.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Is a will valid if a lawyer doesn’t sign it?
Date: Nov 21, 2011

In September Noreen handed Ngaire an envelope and said, “This is my will. You don’t need to read it now. Just hold on to it until I die.” Ngaire did not open the envelope but put it safely away in her top draw.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Who will look after your pets?
Date: Nov 15, 2011

For many, the processes of estate planning involves thinking about their family and loved ones - trying to take their circumstances into account and considering what measures they would like to take to promote their future happiness.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Challenging your parent’s will if they have left a larger portion of their estate to charity than to you.
Date: Nov 12, 2011

Some of the world’s super rich such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have famously left the bulk of their estate to charity and their children only a small fraction of their fortunes. Can you safely leave the majority of your estate to charity? Can you challenge your parent’s will if they have left a larger portion of their estate to charity than to you?

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Parental Leave - Return to Work Guarantee; entitlement of employee to position held before parental leave taken
Date: Nov 04, 2011

Under s70 of the Fair Work Act a parent is entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave.

Practice Areas: Employment & Industrial Law
Document Type: Article
Family law and spousal maintenance
Date: Nov 02, 2011

Relationships that have come to an end, whether the parties were part of a marriage or a de facto coupling, are always difficult. Additionally if there are further issues relating to finance, the situation can be even more fraught – especially if one of the parties is in a weaker economic position. The Family Law Act (the Act) allows a party to a marriage or de facto relationship, to financially maintain the other party to the extent that they are reasonably able to do so, if one of the parties cannot support him or herself adequately. The courts then can decide to issue a maintenance order however, the Act mandates that certain requirements must be met before an order can be issued.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Property law: Caveats and competing priorities
Date: Nov 02, 2011

One of the enduring dreams for Australians is property ownership, and therefore, it is of little surprise that property interests in land are so fiercely guarded. The array of proprietary interests can be mindboggling, and can include tenancy, sub-tenancy, mortgages or fee simple, just to name a few of the different proprietary interests that exist. Due to the myriad property interests in land which are available – and coupled with how jealously people guard their interests – it is perhaps of little surprise that disputes in relation to competing interests in land will arise. It is not uncommon for numerous valid interests in land to be held simultaneously by different parties, therefore, how are disputes resolved in such circumstances? If there are a number of valid interests in land: Who would the law consider as having the better interest?

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The requirements for creating a valid e-commerce contract
Date: Nov 02, 2011

In recent years, online shopping has exploded in popularity, with many Australians taking advantage of the strong local dollar and the ease of making purchases online. As a result of consumers doing more shopping on the internet, small businesses may have begun to consider the viability of establishing an e-commerce presence. And as new technologies change the way people purchase products, it is essential that the law adapts to the changing environment by enacting legislation that both encourages businesses to adopt an e-commerce strategy, whilst still protecting consumers. As a result, a uniform legislative regime operates across all Australian states and territories, which applies to both electronic and face-to-face commercial transactions, equally.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The importance of using the right words when drafting a will
Date: Nov 02, 2011

The words used in wills – much like other legal documents – need to be chosen carefully, because terms and phrases can easily be misconstrued and can have multiple meanings. As the person drafting a will, you may know what you meant in the will, but for others who are trying to decipher your wishes, they might have a bit more trouble. Keep in mind that in most instances, an executor and any beneficiaries will only be privy to the information in your will only after you have passed away. So needless to say, you won’t be able to clarify your wishes to the parties involved if any misunderstandings do arise. In order to ensure that your executor is able to administer your property and estate in line with your wishes, it’s important to bear in mind that you should always choose your words carefully when drafting a will.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Inheritances and Gifts in Family Law, how are they treated?
Date: Nov 01, 2011

Consider this example: John and Jill have been married for 10 years and have recently separated. Around 2 years ago Jill’s father died and Jill received an inheritance of $100,000. These monies were deposited into a joint bank account and have been used by the parties to assist in the purchase of a property. Now that the relationship has broken down what becomes of Jill’s inheritance?

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Wills & Estates, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Family Dispute Resolution
Date: Oct 11, 2011

If you are in dispute with your partner regarding the care arrangements for your child you are required, by law to engage in what is called Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
How SkillSelect can help ease migration program operations
Date: Oct 09, 2011

Recent market conditions in Australia have highlighted the important role that skilled migrant workers can play in allowing businesses to access talented pools of labour.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Do I need a pre-nup?
Date: Oct 06, 2011

In Australia couples who are considering living together, as a de facto couple (whether same sex or heterosexual) or are considering marriage have the option of entering into an agreement to protect their assets in the event they separate. This agreement can protect not only assets in existence now, but also assets the parties purchase throughout the relationship.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
What is Family Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution?
Date: Oct 05, 2011

If you are involved in a separation or divorce then you may have heard the terms “family counselling" or “family dispute resolution practitioner”.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
NSW Homebuyers Face Tighter Stamp Duty Concessions
Date: Oct 05, 2011

First time home buyers in NSW will soon feel the pinch of tighter stamp duty concessions, with the introduction of new measures by the State Treasury in the 2011-2012 Budget.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Privacy Exemptions for Small Business
Date: Oct 05, 2011

Recent events regarding the abuse of privacy in the UK, namely the News of the World scandal and its subsequent closure, have prompted a wider debate about privacy and privacy legislation in Australia. To date, The Privacy Act exempts businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or less. Telecommunications service providers, however, do have obligations under the Telecommunications Act, with regards to the use and disclosure of information, but this does not address issues such as collection and storage of personal information. In general, small businesses, are exempt.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Capital Gains Tax Considerations for Estates
Date: Oct 05, 2011

The taxation of estates can be quite complex depending upon the assets held by the deceased. For complex estates, it is important for the executor to have an understanding of relevant taxation principles. An executor’s choices when administering an estate can have a significant effect on the amount of tax paid and who pays the tax.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
New enterprise migration agreements (EMAs) released
Date: Oct 04, 2011

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has released the details on the long-awaited enterprise migration agreements (EMAs).

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
If the deceased has promised to look after someone; breach of promise/contract and family provision claims
Date: Sep 28, 2011

If someone promises to take care of you financially and then they die, what do you do?

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Fees, Value and Quality
Date: Sep 28, 2011

At Craddock Murray Neumann, we think of “value” as providing high quality legal services for a reasonable fee.

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Article
UNSIGNED WILL; ORIGINAL COPY OF PREVIOUS SIGNED WILL LOST
Date: Sep 23, 2011

We acted for the son of the first marriage of the deceased. The second wife of the deceased sought to Probate an unsigned Will.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
You do not have to be rude or violent to collect a debt
Date: Sep 19, 2011

People often think of debt collectors as professional bullies or “stand-over” men who break debtor’s arms to make them pay. Whilst these methods might occasionally be effective, they are usually highly illegal, and no self-respecting business would ever want to be associated with these sorts of tactics.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice
Document Type: Article
Buying a property: the Australian Dream
Date: Sep 15, 2011

Claiming your piece of the ‘Australian Dream’ is becoming harder and, with more at stake than ever, buyers should be aware that it will not be always easy nor problem free. Your best defence in keeping the dream from becoming a nightmare is to simply arm yourself with the best possible information and advice.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
Requisitions on Title
Date: Sep 10, 2011

If you are purchasing a property, as part of acting on a conveyance your lawyer will make enquiries from the vendor about the title to the property. These are called “Requisitions on Title”.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
What can a will be written on?
Date: Sep 07, 2011

In Estate of Slavinskyj (1989), testamentary dispositions written on the back of a packet of cornflakes were held to be valid.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Coercion in making a will
Date: Sep 07, 2011

The case of Wingrove v Wingrove (1885) is the authority for the proposition that a testamentary disposition does not have a testator’s knowledge and approval if the testator was coerced into making a bequest.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Witnessing a will
Date: Sep 07, 2011

A prominent Cricket fan wishes to make a will, but doesn’t trust anyone associated with the consortium for which he barracks to witness it for him.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
DISTRIBUTING THE ESTATE: protection against Family Provision Act claims
Date: Sep 06, 2011

A claim for an order from a deceased person’s estate for a family provision can be made up to 12 months from the date of death.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
COMMENCING FAMILY PROVISION ACT PROCEEDINGS
Date: Sep 06, 2011

If the deceased died after 1 March 2009, proceedings for a family provision orders are commenced pursuant to the Succession Act 2009. The Family Provision Act 1982 was replaced by the Succession Act 2009 on 1 March 2009. A claimant has 12 months from the date of death in which to commence proceedings for a family provision order.

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Financial contributions: My Spouse made more money than me; does that mean I won’t get anything in a property settlement?
Date: Sep 05, 2011

Often, especially in long relationship, one party is the traditional ‘breadwinner’ while the other stays home to care for children, or to maintain the home. The primary homemaker may only work part-time, or may not work at all. So what does this mean if the couple separate? What does each party get?

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Domestic Violence in the context of Family Law
Date: Sep 05, 2011

Unfortunately in Australia many men and women are subjected to violent behaviour from their spouse or their de facto partner. Often victims are reluctant to come forward and report instances of domestic violence for fear of further violence from their spouse or for fear of criticism or judgement from the wider community. In recent times the family Court has obtained a deeper understanding of the types of violence and impact that domestic violence can have.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
What is Family Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution?
Date: Sep 05, 2011

Family counselling is a process where a family counsellor helps people affected by separation and divorce to deal with personal and interpersonal issues in relation to the relationship or issues in relation to the care of children from the relationship.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Ongoing Refinement of LEP instruments
Date: Sep 05, 2011

The importance of Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) has become evident over the last decade, with increased development, population shifts, changing weather patterns and extreme weather events. LEPs provide shape and guidance for overseeing the way land is used in the State and for determining decisions made with regard to the estimated $20b worth of local development in the State’s annual budget. LEPs set down zoning and development controls and afford communities a way to look at and discuss future planning and environmental directions.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Privacy Exemptions for Small Business
Date: Sep 05, 2011

Recent events regarding the abuse of privacy in the UK, namely the News of the World scandal and its subsequent closure, have prompted a wider debate about privacy and privacy legislation in Australia. To date, The Privacy Act exempts businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or less. Telecommunications service providers, however, do have obligations under the Telecommunications Act, with regards to the use and disclosure of information, but this does not address issues such as collection and storage of personal information. In general, small businesses, are exempt.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Capital Gains Tax Considerations for Estates
Date: Sep 05, 2011

The taxation of estates can be quite complex depending upon the assets held by the deceased. For complex estates, it is important for the executor to have an understanding of relevant taxation principles. An executor’s choices when administering an estate can have a significant effect on the amount of tax paid and who pays the tax.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
When must a receiver perform a pre receivership contract?
Date: Sep 02, 2011

A Receiver enjoys a unique position in modern corporations law. While a receiver is appointed as the agent of a corporation, the receiver’s primary purpose is to act in the interests of their appointer in realising the assets of the corporation for the benefit of a secured creditor who has usually appointed the receiver under a contractual right in a debenture.

Practice Areas: Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
The modern approach to contract interpretation
Date: Aug 31, 2011

Jireh International Pty Ltd v Western Export Services [2011] NSWCA 137.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law
Document Type: Article
Inheritances: What happens when a relationship breaks down?
Date: Aug 02, 2011

When couples separate, they typically need to sort out how to divide their property. This includes both assets and debts. There are a number of ways this can be done. Parties can agree on how to divide their property without any court involvement. These kinds of agreements can be formalised by the court by applying for a consent order, but they do not have to be. Where parties cannot agree on their own, it is possible to apply to the court for a financial order. Financial orders can relate to the division of property and the payment of spousal maintenance.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Erosion Management on the NSW Coast
Date: Aug 02, 2011

Under the NSW Coastal Protection Act, which makes provisions for the use and occupation of the coastal region, the NSW government provides for the protection, preservation and sustainable use of coastal regions. On 21st October 2010, an Amendment Act was passed through parliament, amending several pieces of legislation pertaining to the coastal environment. This amendment affects the Coastal Protection Act, the Local Government Act 1993, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The primary intent of the amendment is to improve arrangements for dealing with coastal erosion. Recent weather events, escalating storm activity and flooding, and rising and changing sea levels have made it essential that the effects of erosion on the coastal strip and associated regions be addressed. This framework legislation does not outline specific solutions for individual areas, but rather provides a structure for management of a range of issues.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Privacy Exemptions for Small Business
Date: Aug 02, 2011

Recent events regarding the abuse of privacy in the UK, namely the News of the World scandal and its subsequent closure, have prompted a wider debate about privacy and privacy legislation in Australia. To date, The Privacy Act exempts businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or less. Telecommunications service providers, however, do have obligations under the Telecommunications Act, with regards to the use and disclosure of information, but this does not address issues such as collection and storage of personal information. In general, small businesses, are exempt.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Why is it so important to keep your Will updated?
Date: Aug 02, 2011

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of New South Wales has highlighted the need to keep your Will updated. In the NSW Trustee and Guardian v Ritchie [2011] the NSW Trustee applied to the Court for orders in relation to the administration of the Estate.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Basic Questions Relating to Parenting Orders
Date: Jul 05, 2011

Parenting orders are enforceable arrangements that deal with the welfare of a child. Orders can be made by the courts, however, the desirable outcome is for the parties to reach an agreement without the intervention of the legal system. If the separating parties are unable to resolve their issues, the courts will intervene.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Senior Citizens and Stamp Duty Exemptions
Date: Jul 05, 2011

If you are a Senior who owns property in New South Wales or is thinking of purchasing a property in New South Wales you need to be aware of the new legislation passed through Parliament exempting you from the payment of stamp duty in certain circumstances.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Social Networking in Business
Date: Jul 05, 2011

Many businesses including small businesses have embraced social networking sites as a way to market their products and services. Facebook fan pages are often a popular choice, enabling members of the public to post comments about a product or service.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The Duties and Responsibilites of an Executor
Date: Jul 05, 2011

When a person passes away and leaves a valid will, it is up to the executor to make the funeral arrangements, obtain a grant of probate, pay off any debts to creditors and administer the estate of the will-maker according to their wishes. Needless to say, the responsibilities and duties of the executor are quite significant, so it is important that they carry out their role appropriately.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
PARENTING DISPUTE INVOLVING LESBIAN COUPLES – HOW DOES A COURT DECIDE
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
SHARED PARENTING – HOW IMPORTANT IS PARENT/CHILD ATTACHMENT?
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements
Document Type: Article
WHAT OBLIGATIONS DO PARENTING ORDERS CREATE?
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements
Document Type: Article
BREACH OF PARENTING ORDERS – THE CONSEQUENCES
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements
Document Type: Article
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS – HOW ARE ENTITLEMENTS ASSESSED
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
IS MY PRENUPTUAL FINANCIAL AGREEMENT WATERTIGHT?
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Financial Agreements
Document Type: Article
DE FACTO COUPLES & MAINTENANCE
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Financial Support
Document Type: Article
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT BETWEEN DE-FACTO PARTNERS – WHEN IS SOMEONE ENTITLED TO CLAIM?
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
ARTIFICIAL CONCEPTION – WHO IS THE PARENT?
Date: Jun 11, 2011

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
Sharing Time in Relocation Cases
Date: Jun 06, 2011

When the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) was amended in 2006, it introduced the concepts of “equal shared parental responsibility”, “equal time” and “substantial and significant time”. Until the High Court of Australia decision in MRR v GR, [2010] HCA 4, the relationship between these concepts was unclear in relocation cases.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Change of government in NSW sees Repeal of The Torrens Assurance Levy
Date: Jun 06, 2011

An Act to amend the Real Property Act 1900 and the Real Property Regulation 2008 in order to abolish the Torrens Assurance Levy ad valorem tax was introduced into the NSW parliament on 9 May, 2011. It was assented to on 24 May 2011.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Contracting Principles for Small Business
Date: Jun 06, 2011

Contracts are a fundamental part of operating a small business. Selling goods, purchasing materials, leasing premises and employing workers all involve entering into legally binding contracts. It is important to understand the essential elements of a contract so that you can develop solid business arrangements. A solicitor can assist your business develop best practices. It is highly recommended that you consult a solicitor prior to signing any contracts so that you understand both your legal rights and your legal obligations. This is particularly the case with respect to long term agreements or where the contract involves the payment or receipt of large sums of money.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Creating a Living Will
Date: Jun 06, 2011

A Living Will is a document created to clarify intent with regard to future health concerns and treatment. The document itself is legitimised by setting up specific medical Enduring Power of Attorney while a person is in sound mind and able to do. This Power of Attorney may be held with a family member or other trusted person who is given the rights to make decisions regarding health and treatment when the person is no longer able to do so.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
The effectiveness and limits in the uses of public examinations under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)
Date: Jun 02, 2011

Practice Areas: Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Mental or Testamentary Capacity To Make a Will
Date: May 20, 2011

Age, even great age, does not prevent a person having testamentary capacity to make or change their will. It is not even necessary that the willmaker be able to read or write, as long as appropriate steps are taken to make sure that they understand the will.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
The Basics of Estate Planning
Date: Apr 01, 2011

Estate planning is important. One of the essential purposes of estate planning is to ensure that your beneficiaries receive the maximum possible benefit from your estate. This involves determining the most financially efficient and tax effective way to distribute your estate on death.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
New Surrogacy Act 2010 commences: 1 March 2011
Date: Apr 01, 2011

As of 1 March 2011, it is an offence in NSW to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements. The Surrogacy Act 2010 came into effect on the 1st March this year, making it illegal to begin commercial surrogacy arrangements after that date, however, regulations to be made under the Act do make provision for those who entered written agreements before that commencement date.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Australian Consumer Law
Date: Apr 01, 2011

Since 1 January 2011, all Australian businesses have been operating under a new, national consumer law. The Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) has been renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Schedule 2 of that statute sets out the new Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL replaced provisions in 20 national, state and territorial consumer laws dealing with the obligations of business and the rights of consumers when selling goods and services. There is now a single, national set of rules.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Amendment Act 2010 (NSW)
Date: Apr 01, 2011

Disputes between neighbours concerning trees causing damage or blocking ocean views are all too common. But now neighbours have something else to fight about: hedges!

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Financial Settlements – How is the Split Determined
Date: Mar 29, 2011

Financial settlements in both marriage and de facto relationship cases have been dealt with on the same basis since March 2009.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
How does a judge assess credibility
Date: Mar 28, 2011

A small minority of family law cases require a decision from the Court, whether it involves parenting or financial issues. Where there is a different version of facts given by each party, one of the tasks of the Judge hearing the case is to make findings of fact. In other words, which version of events does the Judge believe to be the correct version.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Estate Planning Strategies for Combined Families
Date: Mar 02, 2011

If you have a combined or blended family, you may wish to consult with a lawyer to consider some estate planning strategies suited to your needs. When people enter into a second relationship, they often have separate assets. They may wish to provide some or all of those assets to their own children, rather than to their new partner and his or her children. There are laws of family provision that must be taken into account when estate planning in these circumstances.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Property Settlements and bankruptcy
Date: Mar 02, 2011

If you are involved in family law property proceedings and the other party to the marriage or de facto relationship goes bankrupt it will affect the way in which the Family Court is able to deal with the proceedings.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Working with Contracts
Date: Mar 02, 2011

For most small businesses, contracts are part of everyday life. Whether selling goods, purchasing materials, employing staff, negotiating and signing on arrangements with customers, clients and providers, it is important to understand contracts and their implications for establishing best practice and solid business agreements. It is imperative to become familiar with the essentials of contracts, and to consult your solicitor before signing anything.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Getting it straight with strata
Date: Mar 02, 2011

The rules governing home units are becoming increasingly more complex.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Grandparent rights under the Family Law Act
Date: Feb 03, 2011

In 2006 a grandparents right to contact with their grandchildren was finally recognised in the Family Law Act. Before this the word “grandparent” was not mentioned in the Act in relation to any rights to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren on the breakdown of a marriage.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Insurance Basics
Date: Feb 03, 2011

Recent flooding in Queensland and other parts of Australia has highlighted the critical need for businesses to have adequate insurance coverage. Many small business owners have lost everything and will have an extremely difficult time rebuilding their operations. While assistance from the State and Commonwealth governments may help, it remains unclear if financial institutions will be lenient in enforcing their rights under finance agreements and lines of credit. In addition, many businesses have been caught out in not having sufficiently wide coverage for natural disasters and loss of stock.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Obtaining Probate
Date: Feb 03, 2011

When a person dies leaving a valid will, their estate is distributed according to the terms of their will. Each state has unique legislation setting out the rules for administering the deceased’s estate.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Securing Progress Payments in the Building & Construction Industry
Date: Feb 03, 2011

An Act to amend the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 1999 was assented to in November 2010. It fine tunes the way in which the problem of progress payments with regard to construction work under contract was addressed, and takes a further step towards ensuring that progress payments will be held by the principal contractor.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Obtaining Access to the Deceased’s Will
Date: Nov 17, 2010

Getting to see the will of a deceased can sometimes be a problem. Section 54 of The Succession Act 2006 is designed to overcome that problem.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Being Sued
Date: Nov 02, 2010

Litigation is an unpleasant and stressful experience for a small business to go through. Most small business owners prefer to focus on what actually makes their business grow and operate, rather than dwelling on past mistakes or analysing small administrative details. Unfortunately, being sued can often be about very little details that happened in the heat of the moment.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Spousal Maintenance
Date: Nov 02, 2010

Spousal maintenance is the responsibility of one party to a marriage to financially support the other person after separation or divorce.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Working in Australia with the Business Long Stay Visa
Date: Nov 02, 2010

If you are interested in working in Australia on a temporary basis, one of the most common programs is the 457 business visa. This program enables businesses to employ an overseas worker for up to four years. The worker can bring other eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia. Secondary applicants can also work and study.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What do I need to know about Dealing with Asbestos
Date: Nov 02, 2010

If your home was built or renovated before the mid-1980s, the most likely scenario is that you are dealing with some asbestos in the building material. Asbestos was commonly used in cement sheeting (fibro), drainage and flue pipes, roofing, guttering and flexible building boards, and in brakes, clutches and gaskets.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What on earth does Wills and Estates mean
Date: Nov 02, 2010

One of the most common complaints about lawyers and the law is the language used, which has even produced its own name, “legalese”. Why is that?

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Debt Collection Letters of Demand
Date: Oct 07, 2010

For small businesses, it may be either too time consuming to pursue outstanding debts or impractical to employ a collection agency (owing the size or circumstances of the debt). However, a simple strategy is to issue a formal letter of demand, which serves as both a final notice and a precursor to taking the matter to court.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Can I use an injunction to stop my ex partner taking the children out of the state
Date: Oct 07, 2010

If you have reason to believe this will occur you should send a copy of the injunction order to the Federal Police and ask that your child's name be placed on the Airport watch list.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Australian Working Holiday Visas
Date: Oct 07, 2010

This article considers the key considerations in obtaining an Australian working holiday visa. Living and working in a new country can be a great experience and the working holiday visa program is a fantastic way to see Australia (while helping to meet the generally higher costs of travelling around the country).

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
I don't want to get gazumped
Date: Oct 07, 2010

It is unfortunately not uncommon for people to find the home they want, have an offer accepted, and then before contracts are actually exchanged, another buyer sneaks in ahead of them.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
In Event of Death Who Will Watch Your Children
Date: Oct 07, 2010

Who will watch your children in the event of your death? If you have children younger than 18 years, this is a very important consideration. In your will, you may nominate one or more people to be your child's guardian in the event of your death. This may help to avoid any future disputes between family members by making your intentions clear. The question of 'who' is very important to any parent when nominating a guardian for their children, as well as what 'will' happen.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Lifting the suspension on processing Afghan asylum claims
Date: Oct 05, 2010

The decision-making process for people who seek asylum in Australia is rigorous. Asylum seekers are required to detail their claims for protection. They are then interviewed by a Departmental officer who will assesses their claims, applying the following definition of a refugee: a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…".

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Strata Levies: Options for Recovery
Date: Sep 20, 2010

Each lot owner in a strata plan is required to pay levies (usually due quarterly) which make up the administrative fund and sinking fund of the strata scheme.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
Applying for Business Loans
Date: Sep 02, 2010

This article considers the legal basics of getting a small business loan. For this discussion, it will be assumed that the loan is to either start a new business or to buy an existing one. A business loan should also be distinguished from a "line of credit" or an "overdraft", which are generally used to address liquidity issues for an existing business.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The Nuts and Bolts of Pre Nuptial Agreements
Date: Sep 02, 2010

In Australia it is possible to make Pre-Nuptial Agreements under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) ("the Family Law Act").

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Overseas Marriage, Children and Dual Citizenship
Date: Sep 02, 2010

Dual citizenship occurs where two or more countries deem an individual to be a citizen of that country. While most people are aware that they are a citizen of a particular country (e.g. they were born there or became naturalised), it is possible to be a dual citizen without realising it. This issue is of particular interest for people who have parents who immigrated to Australia, or were born to (or adopted by) a couple that had different national backgrounds.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Tenants Rights and Eviction Notices
Date: Sep 02, 2010

When you are renting a residential premise, it is important that you are aware of the legal requirements for evicting a tenant under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2006 ("the Act").

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The Shared Parenting Laws: is there a case for reform?
Date: Aug 29, 2010

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Changes to De Facto Relationship Law : A Move Towards Equal Treatment
Date: Aug 29, 2010

A Paper presented by Craddock Murray Neumann on the Changes to De Facto Relationship Law.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Parenting & Financial Matters in De Facto Relationships
Date: Aug 29, 2010

For many years de facto couples who separated with children faced having to use two different legal systems. Problems about their children were dealt with in the Family Law system, under Commonwealth law, while disputes about financial matters were resolved in State courts. In addition, the entitlements in financial cases were less generous for a financially disadvantaged party than in marriage cases, and superannuation benefits could not be divided.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Outside the Nuclear Family: Gay Dads and Surrogacy
Date: Aug 24, 2010

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
What is Family Law?
Date: Aug 22, 2010

The Family Law Act is a long and often complicated piece of legislation. The area of Family Law is also affected by the Child Support laws and by laws regarding domestic violence.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
What to expect from an initial consultation at Craddock Murray Neumann
Date: Aug 22, 2010

We understand that it is often a very big step for people whose relationship has broken down to take that first step and approach a lawyer for advice. We consider the role of a family lawyer to be more than just explaining what the law actually says. Case management and management of the client’s needs, sadly seems to be underrated. However we take it very seriously.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
Divorce or Annulment
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Some clients will say to their Family Lawyer, “I don’t want a divorce, I want my marriage annulled”. Usually this has to do with a religious belief. The law does allow for a court to declare a marriage a nullity, although such applications are not common. This is because the grounds to annul a marriage are quite limited.

Practice Areas: Divorce, Family Law
Document Type: Article
When a divorce is alleged to have occurred in a foreign country
Date: Aug 22, 2010

In the 2009 case of Taffa v Taffa , the wife made an application for divorce. The husband disputed the application for divorce on the basis that they were divorced in Lebanon on 24 November 1998 by the Jaafarite Canonical Court. The decision of whether the wife's application for divorce could proceed in the Family Court was dependent upon whether the Court recognised the divorce granted in the Lebanon court.

Practice Areas: Divorce, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Binding Financial Agreements – Handle With Caution
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Under the Family Law Act, parties to a marriage or de facto relationship may enter into a financial agreement to make provision for their financial arrangements during the course of their relationship, and for financial settlement upon the breakdown of their relationship.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Agreements
Document Type: Article
Which Court Do We Go To?
Date: Aug 22, 2010

There are a number of courts which can deal with family law matters, whether parenting and/or financial matters between couples, whether marriage or de facto relationships. Choosing the right court can save time, money or both, and the choice is one which family lawyers have to make all the time for their clients.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Christmas Arrangements For the Children
Date: Aug 22, 2010

December is not busy just in department stores, it is a hectic time in the Family Law courts. For judges, Federal Magistrates and lawyers, December is the month where much time is spent working out where children will spend their Christmas when their parents cannot work it out. The number of cases with this issue outstanding before the Courts is so high, that the courts usually require Christmas cases to be filed no later than mid November.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
New Child Support Scheme
Date: Aug 22, 2010

The new child support formula is part of the overhaul of the Child Support Scheme implemented a few years ago.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Overseas Travel With Children
Date: Aug 22, 2010

The 2008 case of Dart v Graham dealt with the issue of a father wanting to take his children on an overseas holiday to Bali for his wedding. The mother opposed the children travelling to Bali due to advice issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warning travellers to Indonesia that the country has risks associated with travelling there.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Evidence of Minors in a Family Law Matter
Date: Aug 22, 2010

In the 2008 case of Beckett & Horan the issue of permitting a witness under 18 years of age to give evidence in family law proceedings was raised. The proceedings in question concerned both parties seeking parenting orders. An application was made by the mother for a non-relative aged 17 years of age to give evidence. Counsel for the father objected.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Taking Children From Australia
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Australia has many residents with family ties overseas. It is not surprising, therefore, that taking children overseas can often become an issue between separated parents. If the parents cannot agree upon whether a child can travel overseas with one of the parents, a court will make the decision, and the decision will be based on what is best for the child.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Protection from Domestic Violence
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Domestic violence is commonly thought of as physical abuse. However, it can also include other conduct such as sexual, emotional or psychological abuse.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Intercountry Adoption Agreement between States and Commonwealth
Date: Aug 22, 2010

A n agreement between the Commonwealth and States and Territories to administer and improve intercountry adoption in Australia exists.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Surrogacy Laws in Australia
Date: Aug 22, 2010

With Queensland introducing new surrogacy laws in 2010, altruistic surrogacy has become legal throughout Australia. However, a lack of uniformity with regard to individual State’s legislation means that intended parents can become confused. This is compounded by the impact of Federal laws, particularly immigration laws, on overseas surrogacy and has caused many parents to be held up in foreign countries awaiting immigration papers for their child.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Trusts: Can you trust a Family Trust?
Date: Aug 22, 2010

When a family is blessed with some wealth, it is not uncommon to find a family trust involved.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Superannuation in Financial Settlements
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Most working Australians have some superannuation and for many their superannuation can be quite a substantial part of their financial future. Before 2002, dealing with superannuation entitlements often posed problems in family law financial settlements because there was no ability to divide them. The outcome usually was that the party with the greater superannuation would get a lesser share of the other property to compensate for the other party not being able to access the greater superannuation fund.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Financial Settlements – How is the Split Determined
Date: Aug 22, 2010

The purpose of a financial settlement is to bring to an end the financial relationship between the parties, by dividing and allocating their net assets, so that nothing is left in joint names.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Financial Support: Spouse/De Facto maintenance
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Married couples, and now de facto couples, have a legal obligation under the Family Law Act to provide financial support to one another. If that financial support is not forthcoming, then either party to a marriage or de facto relationship is entitled to apply to a Court for orders that the other party pay maintenance to them.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law, Financial Support
Document Type: Article
All Relationships Under the one law
Date: Aug 22, 2010

Historically, the Commonwealth made laws dealing with marriage relationships, whereas the various States and Territories had the power to make laws dealing with matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships, including parenting and financial issues.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law
Document Type: Article
When is a relationship a De Facto relationship?
Date: Aug 22, 2010

In late 2008 various States in Australia surrendered to the Commonwealth Parliament the power to deal with the financial aspects of the breakdown of de facto relationships.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law
Document Type: Article
De Facto Relationship Legislation
Date: Aug 22, 2010

In 2008 legislation was passed to amend the Family Law Act 1975 to allow de facto couples (opposite sex and same sex) to access the federal family law courts for property and maintenance matters.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Same Sex Divorce
Date: Aug 22, 2010

For those people in a same sex relationship who have married one another in a civilised country where same sex marriage is available, and reside in Australia, what happens if your relationship irretrievably breaks down? Can you apply for a divorce in Australia? The simple answer no.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Divorce – How to Apply
Date: Aug 22, 2010

FrA divorce in Australia simply ends the marriage formally. To obtain a divorce either spouse, or both jointly, can apply to the Federal Magistrates Court for a divorce order. This will not deal with the parenting arrangements for children, or the division of property, which are dealt with separately and in isolation.

Practice Areas: Divorce, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Asylum Seekers
Date: Aug 11, 2010

There is much debate about whether Australia should grant visas to asylum seekers who arrive by boat (the so-called “boat people”) without documentation.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Security for Costs
Date: Aug 08, 2010

The general rule is that everyone should be able to enforce their rights in the Courts – poverty should be no bar to justice.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Contract Law, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Conveyancing & Property Law, Immigration Law, Assets, Business Structures & Risk Analysis/Advice , Administrative/Government Law, Insurance Law, Employment & Industrial Law, Litigation, Building Law, Negligence Law, Defamation Law, Medical & Health Law, Consumer Credit Law, Criminal Law
Document Type: Article
Additional protection for de facto couples
Date: Aug 08, 2010

The Family Law Act 1975 has now been amended to allow opposite-sex and same-sex de facto couples access to the federal family law courts for property and maintenance matters.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
Tax Time Record Keeping
Date: Aug 03, 2010

With the end of the financial year, now is the time for many people to start afresh and get their businesses in order. As part of completing an end of year return, it is timely to consider your record keeping obligations under Australia's tax laws.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
NSW Relationships Register open from 1 July 2010
Date: Aug 03, 2010

This month saw the opening of the NSW Relationships Register. As from 1 July 2010, unmarried couples are now able to prove their committed or de-facto status by registering. Paperwork will be simplified and one document ascertaining to the relationship will be issued and can be used across a range of government agencies. The register will allow couples to be recognised on par with de-facto status and relationships will be considered as such.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Overstaying your Visa
Date: Aug 03, 2010

In order to enter Australia lawfully, it is necessary for non-citizens to obtain a visa. The requirement to obtain a visa applies to everyone, regardless of whether the purpose of the visit is tourism, study, work or migration. However, there are many different types of visas each with specific conditions regarding study, work and duration.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Compulsory Land Acquisition
Date: Aug 03, 2010

This article considers the process of compulsory land acquisition. In some other jurisdictions (eg the United States) this is known as the concept of "eminent domain". Essentially, compulsory acquisition is the process by which a government body acquires land for the benefit of the public. This acquisition may be by voluntary agreement with the owner or through a compulsory acquisition.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Make an Executive Decision & Appoint an Executor
Date: Aug 03, 2010

Thinking about making a will can be overwhelming. Part and parcel of writing a will is appointing an executor. Many people may not understand the responsibilities of an executor – whether it is appointing one or being named as one.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Child Support Agreements
Date: Aug 01, 2010

Overview of Child Support Agreements following the breakdown of marriage.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
When is the Price Right: Predatory Pricing and Small Businesses
Date: Jul 02, 2010

Predatory pricing is unlawful under s 46(1) of the Trade Practices Act 1974. This prohibits businesses that have substantial market power from using that power to eliminate or damage a competitor. It also prohibits preventing a person from entering a market, or deterring or preventing a person from engaging in competitive conduct in a market.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Surrogacy Laws in Australia: an absence of uniformity causes confusion
Date: Jul 02, 2010

With Queensland introducing new surrogacy laws in 2010, altruistic surrogacy has become legal throughout Australia. However, a lack of uniformity with regard to individual State’s legislation means that intended parents can become confused. This is compounded by the impact of Federal laws, particularly immigration laws, on overseas surrogacy and has caused many parents to be held up in foreign countries awaiting immigration papers for their child.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Using a Migration Agent
Date: Jul 02, 2010

A migration agent is a person registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), who offers to assist people with applying for visas and citizenship in Australia. This article examines some important considerations in using the services of a migration agent and what you should expect to receive for their assistance.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
2010 State Budget offers incentives for NSW home builders
Date: Jul 02, 2010

The NSW property market has been given a boost in the 2010 State Budget with incentives for those building their own home.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
DIY will kits: will they hold up?
Date: Jul 02, 2010

Most of us have seen will kits in a newsagency, or seen them advertised on-line or in the press. Buying one is certainly cheaper than seeing your solicitor to make one, but do they work?

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Small Business and the 2010 Budget
Date: Jun 04, 2010

Several proposed legislative changes from the 2010 budget will have an impact on small businesses. Proposed changes are expected to come into effect on 1 July 2010.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What's in a name?
Date: Jun 04, 2010

For almost all of us, our name is something which says who we are. Apart from being a bit like a personal identifier, it also can describe one's ancestry, one's ethnic background and whether we are married. Less so today, but in the past often immigrants would change their surname to an Anglo-Saxon name, and adopt an Aussie nickname for their forename. This certainly made spelling easier for those who had to deal with "those funny names", but also could signify an acceptance of their new society.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Who is a Refugee?
Date: Jun 04, 2010

« Back to FindLaw Legal Content Services Who is a Refugee? The legal status of refugees in Australia is a contentious and frequently misunderstood matter. Unlike many developing countries, where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will make a determination of a person's refugee status, Australia has a formal administrative process for assessing refugee claims.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Planning and Development Activities in NSW: How to Change the Use of a Property
Date: Jun 04, 2010

In New South Wales, planning and development activities are carried out under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). The legislation creates a complex system of state, regional and local planning.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Organise Organ Donation
Date: Jun 04, 2010

A person can donate their organs after their death. It is advisable to think about whether you would like to donate your organs when drafting your will and informing your relatives.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Company Identity: Why It Matters
Date: May 02, 2010

Many people assume that one company is readily interchangeable with another when they are owned by the same person. However, this is not the case and can prove downright dangerous if you assume that this flexibility will hold in times of financial stress. This article outlines some basics of the effects of incorporation and provides an example of why it pays to be precise.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How Can the Law Protect You from Domestic Violence?
Date: May 02, 2010

Domestic violence is commonly thought of as physical abuse. However, it can also include other conduct such as sexual, emotional or psychological abuse.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Immigration Update: General Skilled Migration
Date: May 02, 2010

In 2010, the Commonwealth Government announced significant changes impacting general skilled migration, with further changes taking place later this year. If you have applied for or are thinking of applying for general skilled migration, it is imperative to seek advice and understand how the changes may impact your application.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Landlords and the Law: Top 5 Tips for Landlords
Date: May 02, 2010

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Bankrupt Estates
Date: May 02, 2010

The most popular warning of wills and estates law is to always have a will. It appears that only two options are available: intestate or testate. But even having a valid will can bring about a new option in dealing with an estate if a deceased had more debts than assets, it is necessary that the estate is treated differently than from a normal administration by virtue of the Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW).

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Social Media and your Employees
Date: Apr 03, 2010

This article focuses on the potential risks (and benefits) of social media. The law in this field is unclear, although this article attempts to present social media as merely a more developed form of communication over the Internet.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Superannuation in Family Law Financial Settlements
Date: Apr 03, 2010

Most working Australians have some superannuation and for many their superannuation can be quite a substantial part of their financial future. Before 2002, dealing with superannuation entitlements often posed problems in family law financial settlements because there was no ability to divide them. The outcome usually was that the husband (usually the one with the greater super) would get a lesser share of the other property to compensate for his greater share of the super.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Baird Review welcomed by Immigration Minister
Date: Apr 03, 2010

On 9 March 2010, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed the final report of the Baird Review on the legislation governing international education. It is titled “Stronger, Simpler, Smarter ESOS; A Review of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act. It was also greeted favourably by the Deputy Prime minister, Julia Gillard and comes in conjunction with the changes made to the skilled migration program in February, 2010.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Insurance is so confusing
Date: Apr 03, 2010

Any home-owner is going to find themselves dealing with numbers of different types of insurance policies, and for many this is a jungle. Let us have a look at the different types of insurances which may be important to home owners.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Employment Law – Restraint Clauses
Date: Mar 10, 2010

A recent 2010 Supreme Court Case – Stacks/Taree v Marshall – makes a number of observations about the extent to which employers can restrain employees who no longer work for them.

Practice Areas: Employment & Industrial Law
Document Type: Article
Divorce or Annulment?
Date: Mar 03, 2010

Numbers of clients will say to their Family Lawyer, “I don’t want a divorce, I want my marriage annulled”, and usually this is to do with a religious belief. The law does allow for a court to declare a marriage a nullity, although such applications are quite unusual. No doubt this is because the grounds are quite limited.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
New Australian Credit Licensing Regime
Date: Mar 01, 2010

In July 2010, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will assume responsibility for regulation of consumer credit under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCPA). This initiative removes the States' jurisdiction over consumer credit and attempts to create a licensing system that broadly mirrors similar ASIC licensing regimes (such as Australian financial services licences).

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Maintain your status quo
Date: Mar 01, 2010

Visa status is hard to maintain, especially when travelling in and out of several countries. If you’re an Australian permanent resident who wants to travel, and wish to keep your status, you should consider a Five Year Resident Return Visa (subclass 155).

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Closing your Company
Date: Feb 02, 2010

This article considers how you can close your company. There are two ways of doing this, applying to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to voluntarily deregister the company; or a members' voluntary "winding up" (closing down) of a solvent company.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Finding out with Family Law: Parentage Testing
Date: Feb 02, 2010

Parentage tests determining the parent of the child may be needed for Family Law matters such as child support payments, custody, access, inheritance and adoption. But with these matters, more matters arise including questions about processes and legal requirements.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Skills Assessment for Migrants
Date: Feb 02, 2010

The most common form of migration to Australia is the General Skilled Migration program. The aim of the program is to attract skilled, experienced and therefore employable people for migration to Australia.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What is property?
Date: Feb 02, 2010

When we talk about property we usually use the word in a general sense - meaning anything someone owns. Often we use the word when talking about real estate - "We have a property in Queensland", or referring to a rural farm.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The Guardianship Tribunal
Date: Feb 02, 2010

More and more of us today are doing the wise thing, and appointing attorneys and guardians by Enduring Powers of Attorney and Guardianship Appointments.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Parental Leave and Small Businesses
Date: Jan 02, 2010

Parental leave, whether paid or unpaid, maternity or paternity, is an important issue within small businesses. Especially in light of the Government Paid Parental Leave 2010 scheme.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Parents Feel Supported with Child Support
Date: Jan 02, 2010

Once partners separate, family obligations are always an uncertain matter. But the one constant obligation is parents' duties to support their children. However parents and non-parent carers don't always feel supported by the information available in knowing their rights and obligations under the child support system.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Staying on After your Working Holiday
Date: Jan 02, 2010

Are you in Australia on a working holiday visa and interested in staying on after your visa expires? There are a few different visa options if you would like to extend your stay.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Property Lines, Fences & Trees
Date: Jan 02, 2010

In Australia, most of the laws that govern property boundaries are determined by state legislation and vary from state to state. Fencing regulations often vary between local, shire and regional councils. Housing estates or residential communities may also have specific regulations about fencing. For up-to-date information, it is advisable to contact your local council or a solicitor in the state where the property is located.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Missing Wills and Court Proceedures
Date: Jan 02, 2010

Most of us realise that it is a smart step to have an appropriate will in place, but its important to make sure that your next of kin knows where the will is kept. If a will cannot be located, the estate will be dealt with as an intestate estate and your assets will be distributed according to the law and not necessarily as you would have wanted. The beneficiaries will also ultimately bear higher expenses.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Small Business and The Fair Work Act (2009)
Date: Dec 02, 2009

Replacing "Work Choices", The Fair Work Act 2009 came into effect on 1 July 2009. Provisions relating to the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards will come into effect on 1 January 2010.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Where are the children going to go at Christmas?
Date: Dec 02, 2009

December is not busy just in department stores, it is flat out in the Family Law courts. For judges, magistrates and lawyers, December is the month of working out where children will spend their Christmas when Mum and Dad cannot work it out. Indeed, the workload is so high that the courts usually require Christmas cases to be filed no later than mid November.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
International Students and Permanent Residency
Date: Dec 02, 2009

In 2008-08, the Commonwealth Government granted a total of 320,368 student visas. Many of these international students are interested in becoming permanent residents in Australia. In most cases, students apply for general skilled migration upon the completion of their studies. In 2008-09, the Commonwealth Government granted 69,153 permanent resident visas through the general skilled migration program.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What is a mortgage?
Date: Dec 02, 2009

In days of the GFC, we hear a lot about interest rates, mortgagee sales and the like, so what exactly is a mortgage? A mortgage is a document which secures a loan against property and is usually registered with the Land Titles Office.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Missing Wills and Court Proceedures
Date: Dec 02, 2009

Most of us realise that it is a smart step to have an appropriate will in place, but its important to make sure that your next of kin knows where the will is kept. If a will cannot be located, the estate will be dealt with as an intestate estate and your assets will be distributed according to the law and not necessarily as you would have wanted. The beneficiaries will also ultimately bear higher expenses.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Changes to the Intestacy Laws in NSW
Date: Nov 30, 2009

The Succession Amendment (Intestacy) Bill 2009 (“the Bill”) was assented on 9 June 2009. It will come into effect from early next year 2010. The laws will change how estates are distributed if the deceased die intestate, i.e. without a valid will. A person who dies without leaving a valid Will is referred to as “the intestate”.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Costs and Family Provision Act Cases – Significance of Practice Note SC Eq 7
Date: Nov 30, 2009

In May 2009, the Supreme Court issued a Practice Note as to the conduct of Family Provision Act cases - SC Eq 7 – Family Provision – (“the Practice Note”) which applies to claims both under the Family Provision Act 1982 and its replacement, Chapter 3 Succession Act 2006 (NSW).

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills
Document Type: Article
Spouse/De Facto Maintenance: What Will I Receive/Have to pay?
Date: Nov 15, 2009

When considering what amount of spouse/de facto maintenance a party is entitled to receive, or may be required to pay, the starting point is to complete a Financial Statement document as accurately and as truthfully as possible.

Practice Areas: De Facto Relationships, Family Law, Financial Support
Document Type: Article
Child Inclusive Mediation in Parenting Cases
Date: Nov 15, 2009

Upon the breakdown of a relationship where there are children, if the parents are unable to reach agreement between themselves as to the parenting arrangements for the children, then there is a requirement to participate in mediation prior to contemplating any Court proceedings.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Property of the Marriage: What Assets are Available
Date: Nov 15, 2009

Upon the breakdown of a marriage one of the issues that needs to be addressed is a financial settlement. This involves dividing the assets, liabilities and superannuation of the parties whereby each party is allocated their share of the net assets, with the end result that none of the assets and liabilities are held in joint names.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, De Facto Relationships, Divorce, Financial Agreements, Family Law, Financial Settlements, Financial Support, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Property Settlements: How are the entitlements determined
Date: Nov 15, 2009

In every financial settlement after the breakdown of the marriage, a four step mythology is used to determine the entitlements of each party. When lawyers give advice to clients as to their entitlement or likely settlement, they have an obligation to do so based how they think the Court may apply the four step mythology given the information and instructions provided by the parties.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Settlements
Document Type: Article
Running a Small Business – Why good advice pays for itself
Date: Nov 01, 2009

As a small business owner, it’s not unusual to encounter situations when the burden of a legal problem or paperwork creates stress and a desire to quickly remove the issue. However, there are important benefits or savings you may be missing out on in seeing these situations as mere annoyances.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
All in the family: Dispute Resolution
Date: Nov 01, 2009

Family dispute resolution involves people affected by separation and family breakdown. Dispute resolution is about coming together to talk about differences and trying reach agreements. This can be conducted with all family members present or separately.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
New Priority Processing Arrangements for General Skilled Migration Applications
Date: Nov 01, 2009

The Migration Act 1958 (Cth) provides the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship with the authority to set the order of priority for considering and finalising visa applications. The Minister recently set new priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Leasing a Commercial Property
Date: Nov 01, 2009

In recent newsletters we have had a look at leasing or renting residences and retail premises. The other type of properties often leased are commercial or industrial premises, and typical of these will be office premises, industrial units and workshops of various kinds.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
Date: Nov 01, 2009

Powers of Attorney are documents that have been around for hundreds of years. Put simply, a Power of Attorney is a document whereby one person – the "donor" – gives another – the "attorney" – the power to sign legal documents on their behalf. They can be given by companies or individuals. For example, banks will sometimes appoint senior staff members to sign various specified documents on the bank’s behalf.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Who is a Parent?
Date: Oct 09, 2009

The Family Law Act prescribes that parents of children have parental responsibility, which is defined to mean all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities which, by law, parents have in relation to children.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Binding Financial Agreements: when do they cease to be binding?
Date: Oct 08, 2009

The Full Court decision of Black v Black (2008) 38 Fam LR 503 (“Black v Black”) on financial agreements continues to impact on family law decisions being cited in the recent Federal Magistrates Court decision of Fitzpatrick & Griffin [2008] FMCAFAM 555 (“Fitzpatrick & Griffin”).

Practice Areas: Family Law, Financial Agreements
Document Type: Article
Government Responds to Crisis with Resources for Small Business
Date: Oct 03, 2009

The Federal government has responded to the current global financial crisis in a variety of ways. Several of these measures are aimed at small business.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Family Law: What does that Mean?
Date: Oct 03, 2009

The Family Law Act is a long and often complicated piece of legislation. Since it first came into force in 1975, it has been amended on many occasions and is now nearly twice as long as it first was. The area of Family Law is also affected by the Child Support laws and by laws regarding domestic violence. Some of the terminology has changed over the years and in this newsletter we shall look at some definitions and words used in this area of the law.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Sweeping Changes to 457 Program Effective 14 September 2009
Date: Oct 03, 2009

The Commonwealth Government introduced a number of changes to the sponsorship regime for temporary workers in Australia on subclass 457 visas. These changes came into effect on 14 September 2009.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Leasing a Shop
Date: Oct 03, 2009

The vast majority of shops, whether they be in a large suburban shopping centre or in a suburb, are owned by the operator, and in many cases the premises are leased from the land-owner. The Retail Tenancies Act provides a code dealing with leases of retail premises, and is primarily designed to protect tenants.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Should I Appoint an Enduring Guardian?
Date: Oct 03, 2009

People usually hear about appointing a guardian in one of three ways: their solicitor may talk about it when discussing a will, a financial advisor may ask if there is one in place, or a retirement village or hospice may require a prospective resident to have one.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Same Sex Parenting Paper
Date: Oct 03, 2009

The Mainstreaming of Same Sex Relationships – Becoming Parents” – in this paper Paul Boers examines the options available for same sex couples wishing to start a family, including IVF/donor insemination, co-parenting arrangements and surrogacy; of who is a “legal parent” within each arrangement; and of how parental responsibility may be acquired. This paper was originally written for the College of Law, and has been recently updated after a decision in the Family Court of Australia concerning a surrogacy arrangement in the matter of Re Michael: Surrogacy Arrangement.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009 Senate Inquiry
Date: Sep 23, 2009

In 1961 the Commonwealth Government enacted the Marriage Act, which set out the various requirements before a marriage in Australia, either religious or secular, is valid. It also dealt with other issues including when marriages are void, and Australia’s obligations under the Hague Convention on Celebration and Recognition of the Validity of Marriages.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Review of Equal Shared Parenting Laws
Date: Sep 23, 2009

In 2006 significant amendments were made to the Family Law Act dealing with children’s issues after the separation of parents.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
But he's not capable of Making a Will!
Date: Sep 02, 2009

One of the essential requirements for making a will is that the testator - the will-maker - has the mental capacity to do so, that they know what they are doing. The same requirement exists for revoking a will, and giving someone an enduring power of attorney does not give the attorney the power to make a will.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Is your business True Blue?
Date: Sep 02, 2009

"Made in Australia". "Product of Australia". "Australian Made". Does your business make these claims, and more importantly, can your business legally make these claims?

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Can you trust a Trust?
Date: Sep 02, 2009

When a family is blessed with some wealth, it is not uncommon to find a family trust involved. A trust is an arrangement where assets are held in the name of a trustee on behalf of named beneficiaries. The trustee is not in fact the `real' or beneficial owner. A family trust is usually what is known as a discretionary trust.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Family ties & Migrating to Australia
Date: Sep 02, 2009

Under the Australian Migration Program, people can apply for visas under the family stream component

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Renting a home
Date: Sep 02, 2009

In New South Wales there are three main types of leases:- residential leases, retail leases and commercial leases. In this newsletter we shall look at residential leases, which are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Child support assessement or child support agreement?
Date: Aug 26, 2009

Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. When a child’s parents have separated, or have never lived with one another, they are entitled to pursue arrangements for their child’s financial support. Most often the parent with the primary care of a child will initiate the process to seek child support from the other parent.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Making a Strategic Entry into Small Business
Date: Aug 03, 2009

In these difficult economic times, potential small business owners can face greater problems and barriers to starting their dream. From raising capital to securing customers, 2009 has been a challenging year. In this context it is important to make the most strategic and practical entry into the small business world.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What Court Do We Go To?
Date: Aug 03, 2009

There are a number of courts which can deal with matters under the Family Law Act, which covers both parenting and financial or property matters between couples, whether married, de facto or, in some parenting cases -parents who never had any ongoing relationship. Choosing the right court can save time, money or both, and the choice is one which family lawyers have to make all the time for their clients.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
A Guide on Getting your Permanent Residency (PR) for International Students in Australia
Date: Aug 03, 2009

Many international students studying in Australia aspire to become a permanent resident and stay in Australia for good. The most common route to permanent residence is for students to apply for general skilled migration after completing their studies.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Just what is strata title?
Date: Aug 03, 2009

Strata title is a New South Wales invention, which was instigated by major property developers in 1960. The building of unit blocks was becoming popular, but there was then no means of giving buyers a Torrens title deed as they would have received if they had bought a free-standing home.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
There's no death duty nowadays, is there?
Date: Aug 03, 2009

Premier Jo Bjelke-Petersen of Queensland has been a rather controversial figure in Australian political history, but one of the lesser known facts about him is that he was responsible for the end of death and estate duties in Australia. For many years both the individual states and the Commonwealth imposed death duties, known as estate duty for the Commonwealth version. Premier Jo abolished death duty in Queensland, and the resultant rush of investment into Queensland led to his lead being followed throughout Australia, so there are no death duties as such in our country.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Court Made Wills
Date: Jul 21, 2009

In a recent judgment of the Supreme Court in Re Fenwick: Application of JR Fenwick & Re “Charles” [2009] NSW SC530 the Court considered and applied for the first time new provisions of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW), which confer power on the Court to authorise the Registrar to make, alter or revoke a will on behalf of a person who lacks testamentary capacity.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Comparison Between a Simple Will & Testamentary Trust
Date: Jul 11, 2009

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Reforms Ensure the Price is Right
Date: Jul 02, 2009

The ACCC is urging businesses to make customers aware of the total cost of goods and services, following amendments to section 53C of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Paying for the Kids
Date: Jul 02, 2009

Australia's Child Support system has been in force for about twenty years now, so most separated parents have experienced it. In summary, it requires one parent (the liable parent) to pay the other an amount of money calculated by a formula.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
How to board the Australia Citizen Ship
Date: Jul 02, 2009

There are many vessels in which you can become an Australian citizen. Your rite of passage to either apply or be automatically granted citizenship depends on your circumstances. So which option applies to you?

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What Exactly is Conveyancing?
Date: Jul 02, 2009

Conveyancing is a legal term for legal transactions involving real estate. It can involve buying and selling, financing, leasing and other areas such as subdividing and the creation of easements and covenants. Australia has one of the highest percentages of home ownership in the world, so many of us will be involved in a conveyance during our lives.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Where there is NOT a Will, There is a Way
Date: Jul 02, 2009

Around half of all Australians do not have a will, so they will not have a say in what happens to their estate when they die! Surprising, but true.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Employment law – Summary Dismissal for Serious Misconduct
Date: Jun 22, 2009

Our client was the general manager of a national company who summarily dismissed him for ‘serious misconduct’. As a result our client was not entitled to avail himself of the dispute resolution procedures provided for in his employment agreement nor was he entitled to his wage, bonus and other damages.

Practice Areas: Employment & Industrial Law
Document Type: Article
Surrogacy – An Alternative To Creating Families
Date: Jun 17, 2009

Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a couple wishing to have a child (“the intending parents”) commission a woman, whether partnered or otherwise (“the surrogate mother”) , to conceive the child and then surrender the child to the intending parents after birth. The intention of this arrangement is that the intending parents will raise their child as their own.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
The unification of Family Law jurisdictions to deal with all relationships
Date: Jun 17, 2009

Under the Commonwealth Constitution, the Federal government has the power to make laws with respect to marriage. As such, the various States and Territories historically were left with the power to make laws dealing with matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships, including parenting and financial issues.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
Compete for your small business rights
Date: Jun 02, 2009

Competition is seen as a necessity in business - almost a necessary evil - but what happens when the "necessary" becomes obsolete? There is a fine balance between competition and unfair business practices to obtain competitive advantage. Small businesses can arm themselves with information on trade practices and the rights and obligations of business to ensure they are not the targets for unconscionable conduct or misuse of market power by larger companies.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Who Gets What in a Divorce or Separation
Date: Jun 02, 2009

With well over a third of relationships failing, there will be very few Australians who do not know someone who has been through a separation, most of which will involve a sorting out of finances and property. Unfortunately for lawyers, that often means that someone who has separated will have been given advice by a friend, relative or workmate about what they should get.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Your strength of character in Immigration
Date: Jun 02, 2009

Australian migration laws require all applicants to satisfy a "character test" before approving a visa. This is known as the public interest criteria, and it can be difficult to understand its requirements.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
What on earth is an easement
Date: Jun 02, 2009

Our own Australian Torrens land title system is remarkably straight forward. You can look at your title deed, known as a Certificate of Title, and see who the owner is. Also listed on the deed are "Notifications" matters which affect the title, and the most common of these are mortgages, leases, easements and covenants.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
He didn't leave a will. What happens now
Date: Jun 02, 2009

Most of us know what a will is, and if we think about it (which often we don't) we know we should have one. Many Australians, however, do not have one, and this can cause extra expense, delays and complications when they die.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
He didn't leave me anything
Date: May 05, 2009

When someone dies, the terms of their will can cause jealousy, distress or upset in a surprising number of cases. What can someone do if they think that they have not been treated fairly in a will?

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Small business and the Privacy Act
Date: May 02, 2009

The month of May marks the start of Privacy Awareness Week, a program to promote awareness of privacy rights and responsibilities in the workplace. So how do privacy and the Privacy Act affect your small business?

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
He wants to take the kids overseas
Date: May 02, 2009

Australia has many residents with family ties overseas, and we are also a nation of travelers. It is not surprising, therefore, that taking children overseas can often become an issue between separated parents. If the parents cannot agree, a court will make the decision, and the decision will be based on what is best for the child.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
More Changes for Skilled Workers on The 457 Visa
Date: May 02, 2009

The 457 temporary business (long stay) visa plays an important role in the Australian economy. This visa enables employers to fill skilled positions with an overseas worker where they have been unable to find a local candidate. The program allows overseas workers to remain in Australia for a period between three months and four years.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Let the lender beware
Date: May 02, 2009

With a population which is aging, but is also mobile, more and more of us are giving Powers of Attorney, usually to partners or family. The usual Power of Attorney gives the attorney the power "to do on my behalf anything I may lawfully authorize an attorney to do". It also says, "This power of attorney is subject to the following conditions and limitations", and commonly the word "nil" appears there.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The Will fundamentals
Date: Apr 05, 2009

Most of the disputes about wills fall into one or the other of two categories. These are either that someone has not been provided for adequately in the will, or that some formality has not been complied with.

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates
Document Type: Newsletter
Heavy penalties warn business against resale price maintenance
Date: Apr 02, 2009

A recent court decision to penalise a business over $200,000 serves as a grave warning against engaging in resale price maintenance.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Commonwealth Family Law System to deal with both Parenting & Financial Matters
Date: Apr 02, 2009

For years de facto couples who separated with children faced the nightmare of having to use two different legal systems. Problems about their children were dealt with in the Family Law system, under Commonwealth law, while disputes about financial matters were resolved in State courts. In addition, the entitlements of - usually - females were substantially less than their married counterparts, and superannuation benefits could not be divided.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Government Introduces Changes to the Skilled Migration Program
Date: Apr 02, 2009

As of 1 January 2009, the Commonwealth Government made changes to the skilled migration program. The new measures were the result of Australia's changing economic needs, including forecasts for higher unemployment, and were designed to ensure that the skilled migration stream continued to meet the needs of industry in the new economic climate.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Mortgage Stress
Date: Apr 02, 2009

One of the sad signs of the effect the Global Financial Crisis is having on Australia is the increasing number of people suffering "mortgage stress", and of mortgage foreclosures. In this Newsletter we shall have a look at mortgages, how they work and what you can do if you are facing difficulties.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
I do not have a visa So can I still apply for a visa in Australia?
Date: Mar 07, 2009

Just because your visa has expired and you have become unlawful in Australia it does not necessarily follow that you cannot lodge a visa application while you are in Australia.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Visas cancelled because of incorrect information
Date: Mar 07, 2009

The Department of Immigration has the power to cancel a visa that is granted to a visa holder if he or she provided incorrect information either as part of their visa application or on a passenger card upon entering Australia. The Department may cancel a visa for this reason even where the person did not know that the information they provided was incorrect.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Grandparents and other family members in Family Law matters
Date: Mar 07, 2009

In Australia, many parents make arrangements for their children to spend time with grandparents and other family members on a regular basis without thinking much about it. If everyone lives close to each other this might be weekday dinners, Sunday lunch, picnics, after school care or other child minding.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Successful Debt Recovery When Chasing Debtors
Date: Mar 07, 2009

Debt recovery encompasses a wide range of matters, from something as commonplace as an overdue account for goods and/or services that remains unpaid outside of the usual terms of trade, an agreed amount due under a contract, an amount due under a guarantee, the cost of repairs, losses arising from a motor vehicle accident, and so on.

Practice Areas: Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
Document Type: Article
Commerce gives small businesses a leg up
Date: Mar 02, 2009

The Chambers of Commerce have greatly assisted small businesses around the country in the last month to help them cope in the global economic crisis.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Taffa v Taffa When a divorce is alleged to have occurred in a foreign country
Date: Mar 02, 2009

In Taffa v Taffa [2009] FamCA 85, the wife made an application for divorce. The husband disputed the application for divorce on the basis that they were divorced in Lebanon on 24 November 1998 by the Jaafarite Canonical Court. The decision of whether the wife's application for divorce could proceed in the Family Court was dependent upon whether the Court recognised the divorce granted in the Lebanon court.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Report commissions new Immigration Policy
Date: Mar 02, 2009

The Human Rights Commission slammed the Government's immigration detention policy last week, following the release of the Commission's 2008 immigration detention report.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
The New South Wales Housing Code to commence on 27th February 2009
Date: Mar 02, 2009

Development applications in New South Wales are set to be overhauled with the introduction of the New South Wales Housing Code commencing on the 27th February, 2009 ("the Housing Code"). The Housing Code has been introduced within the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 ("the SEPP") and provides for new detached houses and additions to be approved within ten days.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Small business squeezed in credit crunch
Date: Feb 02, 2009

As the global financial crisis continues to take its toll, The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) expressed concern at the availability of credit to small businesses.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Evidence of a witness under 18 years of age in a Family Law matter
Date: Feb 02, 2009

In the case of Beckett & Horan [2008] FMCAfam 1427 the issue of permitting a witness under 18 years of age to give evidence in family law proceedings was raised. The proceedings in question concerned both parties seeking parenting orders. An application was made by the mother to adduce evidence from Ms. S, a non-relative aged 17 years of age. Counsel for the father objected to the evidence being adduced on the grounds of s 100B of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Report commissions new Immigration Policy
Date: Feb 02, 2009

The Human Rights Commission slammed the Government's immigration detention policy last week, following the release of the Commission's 2008 immigration detention report.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Changes to law surrounding retirement villages
Date: Feb 02, 2009

The Retirement Villages Amendment Bill 2008 passed through Parliament on the 10th December, 2008 and will amend the existing Retirement Villages Act 1999 which regulates the retirement village industry in New South Wales.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Small business breathe a $440 million tax relief
Date: Jan 03, 2009

Up to 1.3 million small businesses will get relief on their tax bills with the Federal Government cutting the December quarter tax instalment by 20 per cent.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Mandatory reporting of domestic violence
Date: Jan 03, 2009

The Northern Territory is set to become the first place in Australia where it will be illegal not to report incidents of domestic violence. The new laws to protect women and children from family violence were introduced into state parliament on 26 November 2008, and will be debated in the February sittings.

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Immigration Update
Date: Jan 03, 2009

Over the past few months the Commonwealth Government has made a number of amendments to the migration legislation. These changes impact a wide range of visas and highlight the need to keep abreast of changes to immigration law.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Amendments to the Home Building Act 1989 receives Royal Assent
Date: Jan 03, 2009

The Home Building Amendment Bill 2008 ("the Bill") received Royal Assent on the 28th November, 2008. The Bill has amended the Home Building Act 1989 ("the Act") to make further provision for the suspension of building licenses, the taking of disciplinary action and the requirements for home warranty insurance.

Practice Areas: Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Newsletter
Changes to Skilled Migration in January 2009
Date: Dec 23, 2008

On 17 December 2007, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, announced a number of changes to the general skill migration program. These changes will come into affect on 1 January 2009.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Can You Disinherit Your Children?
Date: Dec 03, 2008

Is it is possible to disinherit your children? Some will makers believe it is or should be.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
FAMILY PROVISION ACT CLAIMS – Able bodied adult children and Prevailing Community Standards
Date: Nov 24, 2008

A recent decision in the New South Wales Court of Appeal analysed what is ‘proper maintenance education and advancement in life’ for able bodied adult children – SMILEK V PUBLIC TRUSTEE [2008] NSWCA 190.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Annulment of marriage
Date: Nov 24, 2008

Legally, an application for an annulment of a marriage can only be based on the ground that a marriage is void. A marriage is only void if one of the following scenarios applies...

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type: Article
Changing a Child’s Name
Date: Nov 24, 2008

Sometimes when a mother changes her surname or remarries she wants to change her child’s surname as well. If the child’s father agrees to the change in surname, it can go ahead. However, if the father does not agree to the change in surname the mother would need to make an application in the Family Law Courts for permission to change the surname.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Establishing Parentage in Court Proceedings
Date: Nov 24, 2008

In some family law matters the parentage of a child is in issue. The law enables the Court to make an order requiring a parentage test to be carried out to help determine the child’s parentage.

Practice Areas: Children & Parenting Arrangements, Family Law
Document Type: Article
Parenting orders - Can Grandparents and other extended family members apply?
Date: Nov 24, 2008

The law in Australia now enables a Court to make parenting orders in favour of any of the following people:

Practice Areas: Family Law
Document Type:
Can you prevent a Family Provisions Act claim by careful will drafting?
Date: Sep 06, 2008

The Family Provision Act (1982)(FPA) restricts that freedom to make a will by allowing classes of people, defined in the FPA as “eligible persons”, to make a claim if those persons consider they have been left with inadequate provision for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Family Provision Act Claims – Prescribed Transactions and Notional Estate
Date: Sep 06, 2008

The Family Provision Act (1982)(FPA) allows the court to designate property as “notional estate” and make Orders with respect to notional estate in order to satisfy an order for provision in claims by an eligible person.

Practice Areas: Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article
Same Sex Relationships Bill 2008
Date: Aug 22, 2008

The Federal Government has introduced legislation that aims to remove the discrimination against same-sex couples currently present in Acts governing Commonwealth superannuation schemes.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Same Sex, Same Laws
Date: Aug 22, 2008

The Commonwealth government removed discrimination against same-sex couples in more than 100 pieces of federal legislation in 2008.

Practice Areas: Family Law, Same Sex Relationships
Document Type: Article
Fantastic Result for Craddock Murray Neumann
Date: May 26, 2008

Recently our Mr McCrudden was approached by a gentleman who held a subclass 457 visa.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Should I appoint a power of attorney?
Date: Apr 01, 2008

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article, Q&A
A Brief Summary Of The Retail Leases ACT
Date: Mar 31, 2008

This article provides a summary overview of the main provisions of the Retail Leases Act (NSW) 1994 as they apply to commercial retail tenants and landlords.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article
Immigration Spouse Visas
Date: Mar 28, 2008

The following is a summary of how spouse visas operate and the usual criteria that must be satisfied to be granted a spouse visa.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
Sponsoring overseas employees / 456 & 457 Visas
Date: Mar 28, 2008

Practice Areas: Immigration Law
Document Type: Article
When should I make a will?
Date: Mar 01, 2008

Practice Areas: Wills & Estates, Family Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article, Q&A
What is the role of an Executor?
Date: Feb 01, 2008

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article, Q&A
What is a will?
Date: Jan 01, 2008

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Family Law
Document Type: Article, Q&A
Why Choose Bankruptcy?
Date: Dec 14, 2007

A brief list of advantages and disadvantages for both Debtors and Creditors.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Administrative/Government Law
Document Type: Article
Should I appoint an enduring guardian?
Date: Dec 01, 2007

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Conveyancing & Property Law
Document Type: Article, Q&A
Debt Recovery, Bankruptcy, Company Insolvency and Director's Duties
Date: Nov 29, 2007

Information and basic questions and answers.

Practice Areas: Business, Commercial & Company Law, Administrative/Government Law
Document Type: Article
How are de facto relationships dealt with?
Date: Nov 01, 2007

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Q&A
How are same-sex relationships dealt with?
Date: Sep 01, 2007

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Q&A
Can I challenge a will?
Date: Aug 01, 2007

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Q&A
How can I provide for financially reckless beneficiaries?
Date: Jul 01, 2007

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article, Q&A
If I die without a will, who gets my assets?
Date: Jun 01, 2007

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Q&A
Can I write my own will?
Date: May 01, 2007

Practice Areas: Testamentary Trusts, Disputed Estates / Wills, Wills & Estates
Document Type: Article, Q&A
Migration Law Course
Date: Feb 12, 2004

Review of Migration Decisions.

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Article
Migration Law
Date: Feb 10, 2004

Judicial Review.

Practice Areas:
Document Type: Article