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column1-image1Deborah Brown

column2-image1Tax Litigation

column3-image1Low Oil Prices

column1-image2Allen Lucas

column2-image1Aquisitions

column3-image1Cost of Divorce

column1-image3Muriel Potter

column2-image1Financial Advice

column3-image12015 Tax Laws

column1-image4Ken Douglas

column2-image1International

column3-image1Surveys Matter

column1-image5Loretta Harris

column2-image1Oil and Gas

column3-image1In-House Work

column1-image6Phil Russell

column2-image1Capital Markets

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“We pride ourselves on the quality of the services we provide. Our lawyers are from the best and most reputed Law Universities in the country. We assure you with certainty that you are safe with us.”

Nigel Rawlinson • Senior Partner

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We have offices in all the biggest cities in the world. Where ever you are, we are just a phone call away.

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From Our Blog

Six ways a conveyancer in Campbelltown can help you

There are many ways that a real estate conveyancer in Campbelltown can assist your business with its day to day operations. Real estate solicitors are qualified professionals who assist consumers with property transactions, ensuring the effective sale and purchase of different types of real estate and the successful transfer of legal title for a property. Naturally, the guided assistance of a real estate lawyer can assist you with clarifying the contract for sale of property, arrangement of finances in terms of paying the deposit and stamp duty, examining the mortgage agreement, checking if there are outstanding arears or tax obligations, finding any undisclosed information and completing final checks before settlement.

Clarifying the contract

Purchasing property in Sydney’s booming housing market can be an incredibly daunting and stressful process. Whether the purchase is commercial or residential property in the wider Sydney area, a conveyancer in Campbelltown can assist you in clarifying any confusions or misunderstandings you may have regarding the contract of sale. Contracts can be very complicated legal documents, and as a result, the insights from a property solicitor can be highly reassuring and helpful.

A conveyancer in Campbelltown can help with finances

The purchase of property brings with it many different costs, both in the short and long term. These costs include an initial deposit, the payment of stamp (transfer) duty and ongoing mortgage repayments, if external finance has been sought. Like the contract of sale, the payment of finances can be difficult to monitor and maintain for many consumers, particularly those preoccupied with full-time employment and/or families. As a result, a conveyancer in Campbelltown can assist you with financial plans and recommend viable options to ensure your financial security in making such a significant transaction.

Examining the mortgage agreement

With strong house prices in Sydney and wage growth continuing to stagnate, consumer stress and defaulting on mortgage repayments is projected to increase substantially. Indeed, a real estate lawyer from Sydney’s west can help with the preparation of a mortgage agreement with an external provider of finance, thereby assisting you in achieving the most effective repayment options, tailored to your financial needs and circumstances.

Checking for outstanding arears or other obligations

Unfortunately, some contracts and sales omit key details regarding the conditions of sale and purchase of property. As a result, some consumers are left with additional charges and obligations they did not account for in the build up to sale or purchase. The services of a conveyancer in Campbelltown can help you ascertain if any charges will likely be incurred following purchase. This could include differences in water and council rates or unspecified tax obligations on land in certain areas. In this scenario, the services of a real estate lawyer would be highly lucrative in making sure you are not troubled by unwanted charges.

A conveyancer in Campbelltown can find undisclosed information

A genuine fear of many home-buyers or purchasers of commercial property is the non-disclosure of key information that may alter an individual or business’ decision to purchase. This information could be in terms of high traffic congestion on the property’s road, illegal building work or past disputes with neighbours involving the construction of a fence or driveway. Hence, if you are looking for property in Sydney, a conveyancer in Campbelltown can greatly assist in finding hidden information regarding real estate of interest, which could ultimately prove the difference when buying.

Completing final checks

Finally, a conveyancer in Campbelltown can help with any final checks prior to settlement or any last-minute queries or concerns. This will ensure your peace of mind when making a significant and perhaps life-changing experience in purchasing property in Sydney.

Assets That Define The Best Family Lawyers in Sydney

As a client is looking through all of the family lawyers in Sydney that are practicing and promoting themselves to the general public, it can be easy to overlook what assets should be prioritised over others.

 

During a time of distress, high emotion and anxiety where it can be difficult to remain cognisant of the facts, you should carefully think about what characteristics and qualifications from previous case studies will work in your favour.

 

These professionals are at their best during a divorce or custody battle where the care of the children or the ownership of property or assets becomes paramount for the individual in question.

 

Whether you are based in Blacktown or Bondi, Manly or Mascot, there are some fundamental features that will separate the decent family lawyers in Sydney from the great ones, so try to find out which you are seeing early.

 

Naturally there will be a sliding scale when it comes to the finances you can afford as the client, yet solicitors are not always defined by the size of their billing rate. Some aspects are intangible and here is where you can identify a voice for you in a court of law that you can trust.

Personal Understanding and Empathy

 

Do not expect all family lawyers in Sydney to show any degree of empathy or human emotion of any kind. At the end of the day this is a job for them as they are tasked with solving similar cases on a weekly basis. However, for you as the client, experiencing a divorce or child custody fight is not just part and parcel of the job and there has to be a reliable sounding board offered where a degree of empathy and understanding is showcased. The solicitor does not have to be emotional (this is a disadvantage), but they should illustrate a portion of compassion for your circumstances.

Diligent Communication

 

The best family lawyers in Sydney will continue to be diligent with their communication to ensure their client is kept up to speed on every development that comes by their desk. From emails to phone calls, in-person consultations and text messages, solicitors who score well with their community are those that are transparent and practice quality communication skills. It is also not only the amount of communication but the manner of it as well, with the tone remaining positive, enthusiastic and forthright at all times.

Detail-Oriented

 

Your legal representative must ensure that every document, piece of paperwork and application has been filed correctly. Not only are family lawyers in Sydney tasked with ticking every box required by their client, but they should also be skilled in monitoring the diligence of the opposition as well regarding the other spouse. It can be one minor detail that separates a won case from a lost one and here is where an eye for detail really counts.

Advocating Conciliatory Approach

 

Heading to court for a hearing or a trial is an incredibly costly exercise and even if the client wins, the final bill could send the party bankrupt as a result. Any one of the family lawyers in Sydney that have any degree of care for their client will advocate for a conciliatory approach that attempts to avoid court at all costs. Not only will the emotional toll be high if the conflict reaches that point, but financially there could be no return. Monitor how any of the family lawyers in Sydney promote themselves in this regard as you scour the names and brands from various firms.

Summary

 

So there we have a list of assets that defines the best family lawyers in Sydney going around. Speak with friends, family members, colleagues and other parties who will have experienced different operators in the city before and gauge which firm can provide the family lawyers in Sydney that can win a case on your behalf.

How Sydney criminal lawyers can help prepare for the worst case scenario

For some Australians out there, there can come a time when they are facing some kind of charge for committing an illegal act. This act could be in the form of stealing, drink-driving, fraud, or something else entirely. For those who find themselves or someone close to them in this situation, it can make life extremely hard to live and people can find themselves becoming very stressed out. Not knowing what the outcome is going to be is often what will keep people up at night and so it is important for people to be as prepared as they possibly can. The best way that people can achieve this is by seeking support and advice from Sydney criminal lawyers.

Sydney criminal lawyers are expert attorneys in their field and will have years of experience when it comes to helping those who are facing charges. The best part about seeking help is the fact that clients can work with criminal lawyers and help prepare themselves the best that they can. This can involve things like learning what to expect in the courtroom as well as learning about what to wear and what types of questions may be asked. On top of all of this, Sydney criminal lawyers can help their clients prepare for the worst case scenario.

Why is it important to plan for the worst outcome?

For many people that find themselves in these kinds of situations, they will feel empowered when they understand what the worst case scenario may be. The reason for this is because they are able to plan their lives around this and then if it doesn’t happen, they will be pleasantly surprised.

It is not uncommon for people to have unrealistic expectations when they are facing a charge and will find themselves in a state of shock when they do receive their penalty. Such penalties could be jail time, community service hours, a fine, loss of licence, or something else.

Sydney criminal lawyers are able to help their clients understand how much jail time they could be facing, how much the fines could be, and how long they may lose their licence for. Having said this, Sydney criminal lawyers will fight as much as they can to achieve the best case scenario but it is always best that clients are aware of the outcomes that may occur.

What to do when the ideal outcome can’t be achieved

There can be some circumstances when everyone involved is fighting for the best outcome, however, isn’t able to achieve this. Ultimately things are up to a judge or jury and so things can sometimes go in the wrong direction.

The good news is that there are still things that can be done. Sydney criminal lawyers can help apply for an appeal or can point their clients in the right direction of support groups or counsellors. Whatever happens, there is always light to be found in the situation and working with an attorney can help people find that silver lining.

It is important that people feel their emotions and yet don’t get bogged down by them. While there are always consequences to doing something wrong or illegal, there is no reason to be slapped with unnecessarily harsh punishments.

Because of this, the best thing to do is always work with an expert to aim for a good outcome, to be aware and prepared of what could happen, and to put up a fight if everyone involved believes that an unfair result has occurred. Sydney criminal lawyers are the best people to help with all of this.

Why WHS Laws Are Beneficial

Each and every business that is in operation in Australia must adhere to health and safety laws. Under all conditions, they have to ensure that their customers, employees, visitors, contractors and volunteers are covered. This WHS requirement is a legal obligation that carries various terms and conditions.

 

Rather than view this as a negative or a burden to carry, Workplace health and safety (WHS) can be viewed as a positive asset. Previously known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), providing a safe work space for all occupants happens to offer a number of knock-on benefits that might not be readily acknowledged by business owners or executives.

 

Here we will outline the advantages of ticking these important WHS boxes as you cover your business for any liability on this front.

Executives Can Operate Without Stress or Concern

 

With business revenue, marketing projects, conferences, buyouts, acquisitions, rents and storage all concerns floating around the minds of executives, the last aspect that needs to weigh down an owner is workplace health and safety. This should be a given if the company has undertaken the right processes as well as their due diligence when it comes to the right type of training for their employees.

 

Satisfying your legal obligations in the eyes of Federal law allows these owners to concentrate on more prevalent matters, something that helps the collective as well as those working on site.

Cuts Down Instances of Injury and Illness

 

By ensuring that vehicles are driven and parked in the right locations with dangerous debris moved and fire exits clearly marked, you eliminate instances of risk. This goes for cleaning kitchens and working equipment that can be an environment for developing bacteria, something that will have a direct correlation with illness.

Boost To Productivity

 

From the materials that are used on a daily basis to the machinery and equipment that is located on site, workers can feel confident and liberated when they are operating for a brand that takes WHS seriously. Studies have proven that productivity levels are boosted when they are not concerned about these matters on a micro level.

Helps Staff Retention Numbers

 

Examining WHS from a more macro level when it comes to employee recruitment and retention, a diligent and transparent company who undertakes their workplace health and safety as a priority will see higher satisfaction levels among the staff. When it therefore comes to the desire to keep those assets on the books, there is more reason to sign updated contracts and remain part of the business.

Why Consumer Protection Laws Matter

Australian Consumer Law is not just a phrase that is without consequences for businesses and brands that hope to profit off products and services that are under par. The customer has rights that are protected under these consumer protection laws that have been drafted for a series of important purposes.

 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or ACCC for short is a body that was devised to act on these consumer protection laws and to keep business in check. From warranties to customer contracts and refund concerns, there are stringent responsibilities that are placed on companies who attempt to con or shortchange individuals that invest in their product/service in good faith.

 

So why is this body necessary and what does it matter to have consumer protection laws in place? Here we will argue why this authority is required to step in and enforce the law when organisations fail with their basic responsibilities to the community at large.

To Cut Down on Illegal and Immoral Practices

 

This oversight has been necessary after a series of cases came before the federal government regarding violations to fair trading practices. From dubious outsourcing of manufacturing and development to false marketing claims and poor treatment of staff, there are times when the ACCC has to be notified and investigate on potential illegal and/or immoral practices that are putting the consumer at risk. Companies that fall foul of these regulations could face fines or expulsion as an operating entity with those decision makers incurring their own penalties due to this negligence.

To Protect Sensitive Details

 

Companies that are flagrant with the personal details and information of customers should be punished accordingly. From bank account details and full names, date of birth, address and contact information, this is the type of data that hackers and online criminals utilise for their own nefarious purposes. Whether it is a conscious violation to sell this data on or just a failure to protect it, consumers have a right to ensure that their sensitive personal information is not exposed to parties that did not require their own consent.

To Fight For Quality Control

 

The reality is that businesses who work in accordance with the ACCC and fall in line with consumer protection laws are operating in a clean, efficient and morally sound manner. That is a standard that helps foster healthy competition among commerce entities and therefore helps the consumer by accessing brands that are not running foul of basic fundamentals. It is a win-win scenario for all involved.

Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer During Your First Consultation

No matter what case your issue is in, whether that is for family law, property law, financial law or any field that needs to be handled by legal professionals, a client has a right to engage a solicitor and cross-examine them for their credentials during the first consultation.

 

That first consultation can be a means for a lawyer to entice more clients, but it should not be viewed as a luxury or a favour on the part of the professional to the individual. This is a key moment where a client can grill the lawyer for vital details that will inform them about their potential relationship moving forward.

 

In order not to waste their opportunity discussing trivial matters that are not prevalent to the case, it is worthwhile identifying some critical points to ask when sitting down with the lawyer.

 

Not all of these questions could receive adequate answers but if that is the case, it is worth knowing early on in the piece before investing a great deal of trust in their services.

“What Is Your Assessment Of My Situation?”

 

This is a great initial question to ask in the first consultation. Having handed over the details of your unique situation, you should score an initial gauge as to their understanding of the facts. Whether the reception is a positive or negative one from the view of the lawyer, this will be a good indication as to how you should proceed.

 

“What Options Are On The Table?”

 

From settling a case early to suing or proceeding with alternative measures, there should be a number of pathways that you can opt for as a client. Defendants or prosecutors will carry different degrees of expertise, but they should be well placed to issue the options and offer their recommendation based on likely outcomes.

“How Experienced Are You in Similar Cases?”

 

This is a vital point to know. It is one thing having experience in certain cases but if there are unique qualities that make your case different to others that would have been practiced before, then there should be grounds to proceed with confidence. If that cannot be met, then perhaps an alternative solution needs to be found. This question should also pertain to their winning track record.

“How Much Do You Charge?”

 

The final question is quite obvious. You need to understand what are their billing processes like and how much you are likely to invest if you continue with legal action beyond the first consultation.

Legal Issues That Arise With A Phone Contract

In the age of the smartphone, there is an expectation that every adult and a large portion of young consumers have a phone contract. By 2018, there is a litany of services and products on offer to the modern day customer – all good news right?

 

Well given the track record of some providers with continual efforts to source 4G networks, NBN access and mobile devices from domestic and overseas brands that fail to provide the necessary lifespan of older models, consumers have a right to know what they are entitled to.

 

Given the thousands of dollars they are investing by signing a multi-year phone contract that limits their ability to shop freely to only operate under one provider, mobile users should be wary of legal complications, issues and rights that revolve around this issue.

 

Here we will outline some of the key points that will arise for mobile consumers as they attempt to find a phone contract and a brand that suits their circumstances.

Consumers 17 and Under

 

There are complexities and complications with legal contracts for those parties that are under the age of 18 in Australia. Some of these conditions are dependent on the individual opting in to buy only through necessary means (e.g. communication with parents and emergency contacts) and that they are still old enough to understand the consequences for signing a contract of this type. A case might have to be made to legally cancel a phone contract that does not involve an early termination fee, as most telco providers understand that school children are potentially future customers of theirs in the years to come.

Network Issues

 

Beyond the condition of the phone is the phone’s capacity to pick up internet and reception coverage between networks. Those telco’s who issue devices that cannot receive reception or internet access are not in a position to enforce termination fees on a consumer should they look elsewhere for a superior product.

False Claims

 

Whether it is through a verbal means or ideally written out as part of a plan or contracted deal, a telco that has made false claims about their service are legally obligated to cancel your phone contract without incurring any cost. There have been occasions when a brand has marketed themselves as a perfect mobile provider with access across all regions under all conditions, and this has landed them in legal trouble when it comes to enforcing a termination fee.

Legal Implications To Consider When Purchasing a Business

The decision to pursue purchasing a business can be made for many reasons. It can be viewed as a natural progression for a bold entrepreneur who wants to take an aggressive step. It could also be a strategic ploy to undercut the competition.

 

Whatever the rationale behind the move, there will be legal implications that come attached with the entity as you attempt to maneuver through the complications of taking on the name and the responsibility.

 

These concerns can prove to be too much of a burden both mentally and logistically speaking, but if you are in a position to tackle these challenges efficiently, then you should be well placed to lead the way in the years to come.

 

Here are some of the key legal implications that arrive when purchasing a business.

The Structure of the Business

 

From a franchise to a sole trader or entering into a partnership, the structure of the operation will go a long way to determining how a purchase will take place. A franchise outlet will have the supporting infrastructure in place to make the switch more efficient while the operating model including the objectives and style of services will have to be examined thoroughly by the incoming owner.

Assets vs. Liabilities

 

Creditors, partnered commercial interests and shareholders will want to be insured that an incoming owner has a grasp of the assets and the liabilities that are on the books. Should debt be a major factor, that is an element that should be flagged, identified and acted upon before other issues arise. In some instances, there might be ongoing legal action that is occurring and it is through the sale of a business that an operator is attempting to unload these concerns onto another party.

Type of Occupancy

 

From a storage facility to a shop outlet, an assembly or a large multifaceted building in the CBD, the profile of the occupancy will carry its own legal and contractual concerns. This will speak to the length of a lease and the structure of the fees from local council, as well as the cost of purchasing a business.

Employees

 

How many employees are on the books? What is their contract status? Are they entitled to long service leave? Do you intend to keep them on or to introduce your own staff? If they are made redundant, can you cater to those severance packages – and should it bring down the cost of purchasing a business? These are all questions that an incoming business owner will have to consider morally and legally speaking.

Actions A Photographer Can Take To Legally Protect Their Images

For a photographer, a photo is more than just an image that can be used by anyone and for any purpose. It is a valuable asset and the result of their hard work and endeavour, not to mention their own intellectual property if sourced by legitimate means.

 

In the eyes of the law, there are complications and difficulties when it comes to protecting these assets from being stolen or poached online. Google and other search engines have attempted to close this gap by listing images that are available free for reuse, available with modification or off limits when it comes to commercialisation of their work.

 

So what can be done for traditional and digital photographers to do in order to legally cover themselves? Fortunately there are some proactive steps that can be taken to ensure that other parties are not taking advantage of their expertise.

Include a Copyright

 

Copyright comes inherent with a creator’s work, although the best course of action to take is to register a website or a page that will be the source of a photo gallery. This works as the greatest form of deterrent to list categorically that these images are owned outright by the photographer and in order for other parties to use them, they must make contact and seek permission. A copyright notice can be easily crafted at the foot of a webpage where the only update that is required by the user is the current year.

Include Watermark

 

A watermark is a great tactic to utilise and one that is particularly effective on search engines. These stop users from tapping into an image without seeing a brand name labelled across the picture to illustrate that they do not have the right to use this for their own purposes without the permission of the photographer. There are plugins and software applications that will insert these for you, giving a semi-transparent product that can return to regular condition at your own discrepancy. An alternative to this option is a standard badge that is displayed for those who do not have permission.

Remove the Right-Click Option

 

There will be thieves who find a means of taking images as new technologies are introduced, yet one of the most common instances are seen through the right-click option. This enables any user to download and save the picture for their own purposes. Taking away this capability will see a sharp drop in your own product being stolen for the advantage of other users, yet it will not completely eliminate examples of fraud or illegal use.

Job Interview Questions That Are Against The Law

Employees and employers alike should be made aware of the legal implications that can arrive when in a job interview environment. Whilst there will be an intrigue to understand more about the individual in question, they should be asked questions that speak to their level of expertise, experience and perhaps character if necessary. Yet even that later element can include some stipulations that are sensitive.

 

So what questions should be left off the record and not asked in a job interview when it comes to the law? Here we will put forth the types of questions that are simply wrong and illegal to ask to a potential employee.

Criminal Record Questions

 

A simple background check of an individual will flag if a citizen has a criminal record. An employer can be entitled to ask if someone has been convicted of a crime before, but not if they have been arrested. A police check can be undertaken both from the company or the individual to take with them to the interview to clear up this matter.

Health Questions

 

An employer cannot quiz an interviewee based on past illnesses or on a disability. They can be asked generally in the job interview if they believe there is anything that could hamper their performance in the role, but not specifically in regards to their health.

 

Spouse and Partner Questions

 

Questions about a partner or spouse and their status of form of work is illegal in a job interview. It does not pertain to the individual who is vying for the position and is completely irrelevant.

Religious Questions

 

The religious status of an individual is the privacy right of that citizen. Unless the role they are applying for is within a religious institution, then that person is protected in the eyes of the law.

Political Questions

 

Being asked about your past voting record is not something that a potential employer should want to explore from a legal point of view. From the Labor to Liberal parties, Independents, Greens, One Nation or any other type of political party or affiliation, the laws of the nation stipulate that this information is private and the right of all individuals to remain in that manner.

Gender Questions

 

Those individuals who are transgender can be placed in the unenviable and illegal position of being asked about their gender. Should they be put on the spot in a job interview environment to be asked if they are male, female or transgender, that is a blatant violation.

Sexuality Questions

 

Put simply, an employer cannot interrogate someone based on their sexuality.

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