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    Property Settlement and Capital Gains Tax

    By Karen Barber on Jan 28, 2022 12:40:25 PM

    When negotiating a property settlement with your former spouse, it is important to consider any potential Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) implications.

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    Separating Siblings after Separation – What you should know

    By Isabella Urso on Jan 28, 2022 12:33:31 PM

    It goes without saying that the impact on children of their parent’s separating needs to be managed carefully by the adults around them. Support services such as counselling and family therapy are integral for supporting children at such time. At Frank Law, we have built trusting relationships with counsellors and family therapists who we often refer our clients to for additional emotional support.

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    Legal Correspondence and Family Law Matters

    By Karen Barber on Jan 28, 2022 11:37:40 AM

    Solicitors are not employed to act as ‘postman’ to vent the anger and vitriol of their clients.

    Topics: Family Law Court
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    Christmas joy spread for Liquidators and Insolvency Lawyers!

    By James Frank on Dec 21, 2021 10:01:54 AM

    The Full Court of the Federal Court - Allsop CJ, Middleton and Derrington JJ have given Liquidators and Insolvency Lawyers an early Christmas present in finding that a a statutory set-off under s553C(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 is NOT an available defence against a liquidators claim for the recovery of a preference under s588FA of the Act. 

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    Beware the Tax Man!

    By Timothy Robertson on Nov 26, 2021 12:30:20 PM

    A lot of poorly made jokes begin with “there are two certainties in life…” When it comes to family law proceedings, you can be certain that your taxation returns will come under the microscope.

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    The apprehension of bias principle: Can judges and lawyers still be friends?

    By Karen Barber on Nov 26, 2021 10:56:57 AM

    “Justice should both be done and be seen to be done, reflecting a requirement fundamental to the
    common law system of adversarial trial – that it is conducted by an independent and impartial
    tribunal”. The recent High Court decision Charisteas v Charisteas [2021] HCA 29   puts a dampener on the friendships between judicial officers and legal practitioners.
    Topics: Court
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    International Relocation & Family Law

    By Monique Loveday on Nov 26, 2021 10:10:32 AM

    With restrictions on international travel continuing to ease in the coming months, issues
    regarding international travel with children, international relocation and overseas child abduction are
    likely to become more prevalent.
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    How did BMW lose a Ferrari?

    By Ashok Yogachandra on Nov 26, 2021 9:58:33 AM

    Many of us grow up dreaming of owning a Ferrari and those who do own a Ferrari will do all that they can to protect and maintain it.

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    The intersection between the privilege against self-incrimination and family law parenting proceedings

    By Isabella Urso on Nov 4, 2021 9:49:59 AM

    It is often the case that an alleged perpetrator of family violence is simultaneously defending criminal charges for the same behaviour.

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    Gambling and Family Law – Protecting What You’re Entitled To

    By Jeremy Ball on Oct 29, 2021 12:11:14 PM

    The long and taxing journey of a family property division is only made worse when you discover (or potentially confirm your suspicion) that your ex-spouse has lost hundreds or thousands of dollars whilst gambling each week. As a result, there are debts on credit cards in both your names and your asset pool may not be as significant as it could otherwise have been. How does the Family Court handle such a complex situation?

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    Changing Your Child’s School After Separation: What You Need to Know

    By Timothy Robertson on Oct 29, 2021 11:56:26 AM

    Navigating parenting post-separation is a notoriously difficult process. It can be hard to set aside the distrust and fraught emotions that exist between parents whose relationship has fractured. Working out how to make long-term decisions in the best interests of your child after conflict is no easy task. Often, the topic of schooling becomes a point of contention as one parent’s individual hopes for their children’s education may not line up with the other parent’s.

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    Turnaround & Restructuring

    By James Frank on Oct 19, 2021 10:14:21 AM

    Lots of good things have happened on Mondays. 

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    The Court’s Power to Order Vaccinations for Children

    By Isabella Urso on Aug 26, 2021 12:05:38 PM

    In this COVID-19 climate, opinions in relation to vaccinations are being discussed more than ever in the media and in everyday conversations.

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    Property Settlement – What happens to property that has significantly increased in value over time?

    By Isabella Urso on Jul 14, 2021 9:58:50 AM

    One of the most important steps in family law property settlements is identifying the net asset pool available for division between the parties. Generally, the most significant asset available for division between the parties is real property (i.e. the family home and/or investment property).

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    Step-Children and Property Settlements

    By Jeremy Ball on Jul 14, 2021 9:58:23 AM

    I cared for and paid expenses towards my spouse’s children during the relationship. Is this taken into account when determining the division of our assets?

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    Family Reports in Parenting Cases: What are they and why are they needed?

    By Monique Loveday on May 28, 2021 9:12:18 AM

    In Australia, each parent has parental responsibility for their child until they turn 18 years of age. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) defines parental responsibility in relation to a child as “all duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children”. The change in the parents’ relationship, by virtue of separation, does not affect parental responsibility.

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    The Problem with Oral Contracts

    By James Frank on May 21, 2021 10:03:57 AM

    Oral contracts exist everywhere. When you order a coffee or lunch, when you borrow your neighbour’s tools or when you agree to pay your friend back for that ticket to the NRL. Oral contracts are great for social settings however they are not suitable for business transactions.

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    How failure to register a PPS lease can cause years of pain and regret

    By Ashok Yogachandra on May 5, 2021 9:44:47 AM

    When you are in the business of hiring out goods it is important to know your obligations of registering a lease in accordance with the Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (“PPS Act”).

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    Mother’s Day After Separation – Will it ever be the same again?

    By Monique Loveday on May 5, 2021 9:24:50 AM

    Mother’s Day is all about celebrating motherhood and mothers in our families. It is about celebrating the woman who raised you and shaped you into the person you are today. It is often the day when children remind their mothers of their love and appreciation for their efforts and shower them with beautiful gifts such as flowers and cards with messages such as “I love you mum” and “you’re the best mum ever!”.

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    Important Numbers in Family Law Matters

    By Jeremy Ball on Apr 30, 2021 3:41:50 PM

    If you are thinking about separating from your spouse, have recently separated or your family law matter is currently progressing through the Court system- there are several key numbers which you need to be aware of. In this article, we outline a number of time-limits prescribed under The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which may apply to your situation. Three important time-frames that you need to consider are:

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    The dangers of the "just place it into liquidation" mentality

    By Katherine McCarthy on Dec 21, 2020 2:42:51 PM

    We recently had clients seek advice from us to resolve a situation they found themselves in, where they had been told by a key advisor to “just place the company into liquidation”.

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    Buying and selling a home in the same market

    By Lisa Pizzonia on Dec 16, 2020 2:41:45 PM

    What are the risks involved when buying and selling in the same market?

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    Competing Business Security Interests: When your security may not be as secure as you think pt.2

    By Andrea Harrold on Oct 8, 2020 1:26:00 PM

    There are a number of different ways a business or individual may choose to secure their interest in another business. This article explores in more depth a charge registered pursuant to the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (‘PPSA) on the Personal Property Securities Register (‘PPSR) or a PPSA security interest. In particular this article will look at priority rules.

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    4 reasons buying a home "off the plan" is not all that it seems

    By Lisa Pizzonia on Sep 30, 2020 3:33:29 PM

    Buying a home unit off the plan is not all that it seems. There are many risks involved which buyers may not be aware of.

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    Competing Business Security Interests: When your security may not be as secure as you think pt.1

    By Andrea Harrold on Sep 30, 2020 1:20:14 PM

    There are a number of different ways a business or individual may choose to secure their interest in another business. The different methods and whether they are suitable or not depends on the nature of the transaction and the type of asset being secured against. For example: a loan for the purpose of purchasing a commercial property may be secured against that property by way of a mortgage.

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    Why a traditional Will can be a bad idea

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on Sep 30, 2020 12:47:48 PM

    One of the major benefits of setting up a Testamentary Trust in your Will, along with the significant tax benefits, is the protection afforded to the assets of the Testamentary Trust in a Family Law property settlement.

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    How to get paid without spending big money on debt recovery

    By Katherine McCarthy on Sep 30, 2020 11:59:12 AM

    Do you struggle with debtors? Do you find people don’t pay your invoices on time Do you struggle with cash flow? Do you want to a cost-effective way to recover your debts?

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    Extension to Insolvency Relief Measures

    By James Frank on Sep 29, 2020 4:53:35 PM

    On 7th September 2020 the Federal Government announced that they would be extending the Insolvency Relief measures that were legislated in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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    Can I live with my partner if we are divorcing?

    By Monique Loveday on Sep 3, 2020 12:48:00 PM

    The simple answer is yes provided that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

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    Managing Div7a Issues: how to not owe your own business money

    By James Frank on Aug 25, 2020 12:43:00 PM

    This is the second article in our 4-part series on 'Preparing for the Precipice: a post JobKeeper economy.'

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    Preparing for the Precipice: changes to JobKeeper

    By James Frank on Jul 24, 2020 12:19:47 PM

    As you are aware the JobKeeper Payment in its current form will cease on 27th September 2020. However, on 21st July the Government advised that JobKeeper will be extended in a modified way with the end point now being 28th March 2021.

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    What is the biggest risk to a business? People

    By James Frank on Jul 22, 2020 2:11:24 PM

    How important are your employees?

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    Is the way we test capacity for Wills right?

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on Jul 22, 2020 12:56:55 PM

    In an ageing and growing population with life expectancy increasing, it is becoming more and more crucial to test someone's decision-making capacity in the making of Wills. The foundational test for testamentary capacity is found in the case of Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 which is a case from 150 years ago. In light of recent trends in the population and aged care living, it is essential to review whether the test set out in this case is still applicable, or whether a new test for capacity is needed to meet the current circumstances.

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    What is a de facto relationship?

    By Karla Elias on Jul 22, 2020 12:30:29 PM

    Some people may worry that when they enter into a relationship they will be classified as de facto, which in turn has an impact on whether they may be exposed to a claim for a property settlement or maintenance upon the breakdown of a relationship.

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    Why wait? The defence of laches

    By Andrea Harrold on Jul 22, 2020 10:53:45 AM

    When confronted with a potential litigation there are usually 2 responses:

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    3 Issues to Avoid When Purchasing Property

    By Lisa Pizzonia on Jul 21, 2020 4:01:06 PM

    Purchasing a property is a very big investment so Purchasers should do their due diligence prior to signing the Contract for Sale (“Contract”) and also during the purchase process.

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    A major shock for employers of casual employees

    By Philip van den Heever on May 25, 2020 10:41:31 AM

    In the last week there has been a significant decision that has come as a major shock to employers of casual employees. In the case of Workpac v Rosatto, the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Justices Mordy Bromberg, Richard White and Michael Wheelahan found that even though Mr Rossato was on paper a casual employee, the evidence suggests that his employment was 'regular, certain, continuing, constant and predictable', and he was given rostered shifts well in advance, and as such, he was eligible to entitlements that full time employees receive.

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    What can go wrong with a Contract for Sale?

    By Lisa Pizzonia on May 25, 2020 10:21:22 AM

    There are many issues which could arise when entering into a sale or to purchase a Contract for Sale. It is critical for individuals and companies to seek legal advice before entering into a Contract for Sale to avoid certain issues.

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    JobKeeper: What you need to know

    By Philip van den Heever on Apr 16, 2020 12:49:14 PM

    Last week, Parliament passed legislation making changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 to accommodate the JobKeeper wage subsidy announced the week before.

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    New Legislation: Combating Illegal Phoenixing

    By James Frank on Mar 19, 2020 5:08:00 PM

    On 17 February 2020 the Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 received royal ascent.

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    The foundations of Estate Litigation

    By Andrea Harrold on Mar 18, 2020 11:59:04 AM

    Estate Litigation concerns suits against the Estate of a deceased person, usually because they were passed over for an inheritance but also in relation to how the Estate is being managed or in relation to the validity of a Will.

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    All the legal terms you need to know in conveyancing

    By Lisa Pizzonia on Mar 17, 2020 6:45:00 PM

    The legal work involved in preparing a sales contract, mortgage or other property related documents, is called conveyancing. While you can do your own conveyancing, most people engage a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to simplify the process. 

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    Why you need to know about the Security for Payment Act

    By Katherine McCarthy on Mar 17, 2020 9:50:47 AM

    The Security of Payment Act legislation (SOPA) enabled through the Building and Constructions Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (“the Act”) is a provision which allows creditors to enforce progress claim payments as per their contract. This is for works carried out, and goods and services provided in the construction industry, in accordance with their contract.

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    Who can dispute a Will?

    By James Frank on Feb 21, 2020 11:00:57 AM

    The Succession Act 2006 (NSW) is the piece if legislation that deals fundamentally with the affairs of an individual surrounding the act of succession, that is passing of property to another.

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    5 Reasons You Need a Shareholders' Agreement

    By Andrea Harrold on Feb 21, 2020 10:03:02 AM

    If a company has more than one shareholder it should have a shareholders’ agreement in place.

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    The Sperm Donor Case – A Seminal Decision

    By Karla Elias on Feb 20, 2020 11:55:03 AM

    “By biology, or by law, or a combination of both, certain people, take on the right and responsibilities of raising children, and are, or become parents”: Masson v Parsons [2017] FamCA 789, 46.

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    ABC Learning Centres: why corporate governance matters

    By Philip van den Heever on Dec 18, 2019 10:50:24 AM

    ABC Learning Centres was the biggest childcare company in the world. From humble beginnings in Brisbane in 1988, it grew to 43 centres in Australia at the time it was listed on the Australian stock market. Between 2001 and 2007 the company acquired a further 2195 childcare centres across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.

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    The global market: no longer a choice

    By Philip van den Heever on Dec 13, 2019 11:09:06 AM

    Michael R Czinkota, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the United States Department of Commerce said this:

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    When can a corporation be held criminally responsible?

    By Andrea Harrold on Dec 10, 2019 1:11:13 PM

    On 15 November 2019 the Australian Law Reform Commission released a Discussion Paper into Corporate Criminal Responsibility.

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    New Family Law Statistics from the Australian Institute of Family Studies

    By Matthew Sibley on Dec 5, 2019 5:37:36 PM

    Recently, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (‘AIFS’) released an Evidence Summary of a study it had conducted in relation to post-separation parenting outcomes. The Evidence Summary provides very interesting statistics regarding family law parenting outcomes that cast some light on the process. While statistics do not always tell the whole truth, they can indicate trends in the family law parenting process that may be helpful when determining the best course of action in your case.

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    Married vs de facto: does it matter?

    By Matthew Sibley on Dec 4, 2019 2:34:36 PM

    On 1 March 2009, Part VIIIAB was inserted into the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘the Act’) which provided for Australian de facto couples to have their financial matters dealt with upon the breakdown of their relationship under the Australian family law system. The main effect of the amendments was to the mirror Part VIII of the Act, which covers financial matters between married couples.

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    How the law protects minority shareholders

    By Philip van den Heever on Nov 21, 2019 12:47:54 PM

    Most Shareholder Agreements provide that Companies are controlled by a shareholder (or a group of shareholders) that holds a majority of the shares in the Company.  These Agreements allow majority shareholders to appoint directors and control many other company activities including the day-to-day operation of the business, payment of Dividends or Dividend distribution policies, financing policies and, in most instances, the issuing of new shares.

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    How the Courts Respond to Family Violence

    By Karla Elias on Nov 14, 2019 10:30:00 PM

    The family law system in Australia is constantly evolving and works to recognise and assist adults and children who have suffered family violence. This year, as many as 70% of all family law matters in the Commonwealth court system involve an allegation of family violence. A particular concern of the Courts is to ensure that children who are exposed to or suffer family violence or abuse are protected as much as possible.

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    Trustees' right of indemnity to an insolvent corporate trustee

    By James Frank on Nov 14, 2019 8:00:00 PM

    There has been much debate as to how the trustees' right of indemnity would apply to an insolvent corporate trustee.

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    Parenting orders as children grow up

    By Matthew Sibley on Nov 14, 2019 6:30:00 PM

    Children are constantly evolving, developing and growing at varying stages of childhood and adolescence. They transition from preschool, to primary school, to high school; their friendship circles, interests and extracurricular activities may change; sometimes they may move to a different suburb, city or state. Change is a reality in a child’s life and studies show that people grow and develop more rapidly in their childhood than at any other point of life.

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    What is a Receiver?

    By James Frank on Nov 14, 2019 5:24:23 PM

    It is commonplace for a company to borrow funds to advance their business. This can take the form of commercial loan facility or specific equipment finance. In most if not all cases the loan facility is secured either by a security interest over the whole business, or the company, or against the equipment itself.

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    The rare exceptions for FDR

    By Matthew Sibley on Nov 14, 2019 1:54:50 PM

    In a recent blog post, we explored the mandatory requirement for parties to attempt to resolve their parenting dispute with the assistance of family dispute resolution (‘FDR’) prior to applying to the court for parenting orders: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 60I(1). However, s 60I(7) provides various exceptions to this mandatory requirement such as the following:

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    The necessity of FDR

    By Matthew Sibley on Nov 13, 2019 2:56:16 PM

    Prior to commencing parenting proceedings, parties must make a “genuine effort” to resolve their parenting dispute with the assistance of family dispute resolution (‘FDR’): Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 60I(1). The usual form of FDR that parties engage in is mediation with an accredited FDR practitioner. Often this take places through services such as Relationships Australia, however parties can engage an accredited private mediator (who is often an admitted lawyer) to mediate their dispute as well.

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    The impact of bankruptcy in Family Law

    By Matthew Sibley on Oct 15, 2019 3:19:00 PM

    In 2005 and 2009, crucial amendments were made to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that bestowed jurisdiction upon the Family Court of Australia in bankruptcy for married and de facto couples.

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    The costs in an Estate Dispute

    By Matthew Sibley on Oct 14, 2019 12:32:00 PM

    An area of law of specific focus in respect of costs orders is family provision matters, commonly known as ‘estate disputes’. Section 99 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) states that the court may order the costs of proceedings in relation to a deceased’s estate to be paid out of the estate “in such manner as the Court thinks fit”. This grants the court wide discretion in respect of the costs orders it may make in interlocutory matters and the overall proceedings.

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    Can your former partner take your inheritance?

    By Karla Elias on Oct 11, 2019 4:18:47 PM

    Upon separation, a party will often feel disgruntlement or dissatisfaction with the other party and wish to retain all they brought into the relationship. This is even more so the case with inheritances received after separation.

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    The property settlement process

    By Karla Elias on Oct 11, 2019 10:52:32 AM

    The Family Law courts, under s79 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (“the Act”), have the power to alter the interests of parties to a marriage or de facto relationship when it is just and equitable to do so. As far as practicable, the Court aims to make orders for property settlement that will determine the financial relationship between the parties on a final basis.

    Topics: Family Law
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    How do sports contracts work?

    By Philip van den Heever on Oct 10, 2019 3:47:46 PM

    Whether you are a netball, NRL or AFL fan, this time of year is full of legendary weeks of grand finals. Watching Richmond smash our local GWS team to win the AFL grand final and witnessing the Roosters win the NRL competition, one couldn’t help but admiring the skills, fitness and talents of the players to perform at the highest levels of their chosen sports.

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    Protecting your assets in bankruptcy

    By James Frank on Sep 25, 2019 11:21:59 AM

    One of the most seminal decisions in bankruptcy law is the High Court decision of The Trustee of the Property of John Daniel Cummins, A Banklrupt v Cummins (2006) [2006] HCA 6. 

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    What you need to know about costs orders

    By Matthew Sibley on Sep 23, 2019 5:08:00 PM

    In civil litigation, costs orders are where the court orders that one party pays another party’s legal costs. Costs orders can be made during or after court proceedings and may relate to the whole proceedings or a particular part of the proceedings. Costs orders are also assessed entirely at the court’s discretion depending on the facts of the case and the conduct of the parties.

    Topics: Litigation
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    Firing the 'Unfireable': How to dismiss someone and not get sued

    By Philip van den Heever on Sep 23, 2019 2:52:23 PM

    Last week Frank Law presented a seminar entitled: Firing the ‘Unfireable’: How to dismiss someone and not get sued.

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    Age Discrimination or Inherent Requirements?

    By Philip van den Heever on Sep 10, 2019 11:22:34 AM

    Compulsory retirement is when an employer forces an employee into retirement by either;

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    Can handwritten notes on a Will be valid?

    By Andrew Frank on Sep 6, 2019 12:57:46 PM

    The recent decision of Estate of the late James Sundell [2019] NSWSC 1108 highlights the issues and complexities that surround making handwritten amendments to a Will after it has already been signed.

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    Why should I bother with Corporate Advisory and Restructuring?

    By Andrea Harrold on Sep 5, 2019 2:00:42 PM

    When a company is first set up, usually its purpose and subsequent structure is clear. Over time, the business grows, and the company may outgrow its current structure, or in the alternative, the business may find itself in financial strife and so the structure of the company may need to be reconsidered.

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    Is your former spouse generating debt?

    By Andrea Harrold on Sep 4, 2019 3:37:17 PM

    It is not uncommon for a spouse to accumulate debt following separation. If your spouse is partying it up, spending money on extravagant items, selling investments and increasing their credit card debt, it can make the family law property settlement problematic. This is because all assets and liabilities are included in the pool that is to be divided between the parties, and the value is at the current value, not the value at separation. What can be done about debts incurred post separation?

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    How to sue someone in a different state

    By Andrea Harrold on Aug 27, 2019 5:02:00 PM

    It is quite common in civil litigation proceedings for the Defendant or Plaintiff to be located in another state. The person you are intending to sue may live interstate or their registered office may be interstate. Either way, there are a number of things to think about if you intend to sue someone who is not in the same state as you.

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    AVO's and Parenting Orders

    By Matthew Sibley on Aug 26, 2019 3:00:20 PM

    One of the primary considerations when determining what is in a child’s best interests is “the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence”: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘FLA’) s 60CC. This consideration is given greater weight than the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents.

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    When a Will is made in suspicious circumstances

    By Andrew Frank on Aug 22, 2019 5:10:00 PM

    If you are concerned that a Will was signed in suspicious conditions, you are able to challenge it. The NSW Court of Appeal in its recent decision of Mekhail v Hana; Mekail v Hana [1] had reason to consider this question and identified the major legal principles to be considered for a suspicious Will.

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    Major changes to sick leave accrual system

    By Philip van den Heever on Aug 21, 2019 4:47:27 PM

    In the decision of Mondalez v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138 handed down 21st August 2019, the Court has fundamentally changed the way many Australian employees are entitled to accrue sick leave. 

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    Are you playing by the new rules?

    By James Frank on Aug 20, 2019 9:14:47 AM

    James Frank recently spoke at a Sydney Hills Business lunch on how the Internet has changed the business game. The following article is a summary of what he spoke about.

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    Pursuing a Debt in Bankruptcy

    By Matthew Sibley on Aug 15, 2019 11:08:53 AM

    When a person who owes you money becomes bankrupt, it may become a lot more difficult for you to recover your debt. A trustee (being a person or entity) steps in to manage the bankrupt’s affairs. The trustee works with the bankrupt individual and the bankrupt’s creditors to achieve a fair outcome for all. While the trustee will endeavour to ensure all creditors receive due payment for the amounts owing to them, creditors may have to commercially accept ‘cents in the dollar’ to ensure they receive some payment for their debt.

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    What You Need to Know About Serving a Debtor

    By Matthew Sibley on Aug 12, 2019 12:33:11 PM

    If you decide to commence court proceedings to sue a debtor for an amount they owe to you, the first step is to draft and serve your originating process. ‘Originating process’ are the documents used to commence legal proceedings and to notify the defendant of the case against them. This usually takes the form of a Summons or Statement of Claim, which must be served personally on the debtor to ensure they are aware of the proceedings. The court will not hear the case until they are satisfied that the defendant is aware of the proceedings and that the documents have been personally served.

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    Why You Need a Valuation in Family Law

    By Andrea Harrold on Aug 8, 2019 11:51:17 AM

    In a family law matter whether it be in a lengthy litigation battle or attempting to settle matters outside of court, the most frequent issue that arises is not a question of law but of fact. Specifically, how much is a particular asset or liability worth. A valuation may then be required to resolve the dispute regarding the value of the item.

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    Succession Planning and Company Constitutions

    By Andrew Frank on Jul 31, 2019 11:53:10 AM

    There is much more to succession planning than simply putting in place a generic Will, and a Power of Attorney and Guardianship appointment document.

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    Debt Recovery: Lawyers vs Debt Collectors

    By Matthew Sibley on Jul 31, 2019 11:04:26 AM

    Unlike wine, debts don’t improve with age. Once you have made a decision to take action to recover a debt, it is important to move quickly in deciding the means by which you will pursue repayment.

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    5 Myths About Voluntary Administration

    By James Frank on Jul 31, 2019 10:48:54 AM

    Whenever we speak to clients about why their business is struggling and explore restructuring options we continually hear common myths about the Voluntary Administration (VA) process. We have detailed the 5 key myths below:

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    Why You Need a Process Server

    By Andrea Harrold on Jul 31, 2019 10:31:17 AM

    When running a litigation matter, that is, any Court matter, it is critical to be able to prove to the court that your court documents were delivered to the other side. Afterall, if the other side did not receive your court documents then how do they defend themselves and how is justice upheld in the court system? This is where a process server comes in handy.

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    Child Support 101

    By Katherine McCarthy on Jul 31, 2019 9:58:54 AM

    Parents with children under the age of 18 years have a responsibility to financially support and provide for their children. When marriages or de facto relationships break down causing the parents to separate, that financial responsibility to their children does not end. As a result, the primary carer is usually entitled to receive money from the non-primary carer to assist with providing for the children. This is to pay for food, clothing, education expenses and the day to day expenses in raising children. This payment occurs by way of child support.

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    Finding and Returning Children: What happens if your child has been kidnapped by their parent?

    By Andrea Harrold on Jul 23, 2019 9:52:54 AM

    When children are taken and not returned to their usual parent at the agreed upon time and location it can be cause for serious alarm. Questions like “Where are my children?” “Are my children safe?” “How do I get them back?” arise. The Court has a clear process for the recovery of children if children are kidnapped.

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    The 4 Step Process of Voluntary Administration

    By James Frank on Jul 20, 2019 4:18:34 PM

    Voluntary Administration is a formal restructuring process contained within Part 5.3A of the Corporations Act. It has more recently become a strategic tool used by directors to protect themselves from insolvent trading breaches but also to ‘reset the business’ in times of shock.

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    The Importance of Full and Frank Disclosure

    By Karla Elias on Jul 19, 2019 3:04:16 PM

    The Duty of Disclosure

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    Mental Health and Parenting in Family Law

    By Katherine McCarthy on Jul 11, 2019 2:47:00 PM

    Some people believe that in Family Law a parent with a mental health issue will be disqualified from spending time with their child. That is not the case. The paramount consideration in parenting matters is what is in the best interests of the children, which is having a meaningful relationship with both parents while minimising harm to the child.

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    Why the Safe Harbour Regime is More Useful Now Than Ever

    By James Frank on Jul 11, 2019 10:58:14 AM

    On 19 September 2017 the safe harbour laws commenced which enabled directors to turn around struggling companies without exposing themselves to personal liability under Australia’s insolvent trading laws.

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    Supervised Contact: A Short Term Solution

    By Andrea Harrold on Jul 10, 2019 9:32:27 AM

    The Family Law Act 1975 states that the best interests of the children are served by a meaningful relationship with both parents in a safe environment. Where there are allegations of abuse or harm, it needs to be considered how best to facilitate time with mum and dad in a safe manner. Accordingly, supervised contact may be an appropriate solution.

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    In which jurisdiction should I pursue my debt?

    By Matthew Sibley on Jul 9, 2019 4:34:47 PM

    If someone owes a debt to you that they refuse to pay, you may wish to take legal action to pursue them for payment of the amount owing. If you decide to sue someone for the debt, the first question you must consider is the applicable jurisdiction. In other words, you need to ask yourself the question, ‘In which jurisdiction should I pursue my debt?’.

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    The Ethics of the Legal Profession

    By Karla Elias on Jun 19, 2019 3:27:47 PM


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    Is an employer liable for the crimes of their employee?

    By Andrea Harrold on Jun 17, 2019 11:42:59 AM

    The actions of employees regularly get employers into trouble. Whether it’s a disgruntled employee as they leave their workplace or a trainee starting out, there can be many issues that need to be accounted for by the employer. But what about criminal activity?

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    How the Courts Respond Uniquely

    By Katherine McCarthy on Jun 6, 2019 4:02:22 PM

    Every matter involving parenting arrangements is different; they each have their own uniqueness that requires careful consideration by the court. However, across all cases, the court’s key consideration is what is in the best interests of the child.

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    What to do when an Executor puts the Estate in jeopardy

    By Andrew Frank on Jun 6, 2019 11:08:10 AM

    The sense of loss and grief after losing a loved one is heightened when the Executor seems to be unwilling or is unable to process the Will by applying for the grant of probate. A delay can see the assets devaluing.

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    How to Negotiate Debt

    By Matthew Sibley on Jun 5, 2019 11:36:21 AM

    All of us have been in a situation at one point or another where we owe someone money. Whether it’s paying someone back for dinner or obtaining a loan from a multinational financial institution, the burden of debt can be crippling for individuals and businesses alike.

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    What To Do if the Loan is Not Perfected

    By James Frank on May 29, 2019 2:49:11 PM

    The Personal Property Securities Register is a great tool for parties who lend money, supply goods on account or enter into asset leases. However, one common problem is the laziness of lenders or suppliers in perfecting their security interest.

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    A Report into the Diversity of Australian CEO's

    By James Frank on May 29, 2019 11:56:27 AM

    Consultant Conrad Liveris released a report, based on the annual reports and websites of ASX200 companies, identifying commonalities and norms in the educational and professional experiences of CEO's. According to his analysis, the CEO candidate pool has remained narrow (despite the fact that business is increasingly global) and the pathway to become CEO has likewise remained narrow and has changed little over time. The report questions, in the context of increasing community expectations of Australian business, whether businesses should consider revisiting their approach to ensure they are recruiting the best available talent rather than sticking with the familiar.

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    Time to Secure Your Director's Loans

    By James Frank on May 29, 2019 10:53:38 AM

    The Sydney property market has seen enormous growth. The median price has risen by some 412% in the past 25 years. Pegged to this has been the growth in certain industries such as trades and services or manufacturing.

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    Family Law for the Future: The ALRC Report

    By Karla Elias on May 27, 2019 1:59:00 PM

    Last month, the Australian Law Reform Commission (‘ALRC’) released its report, ‘Family Law for the Future – An Inquiry into the Family Law System’ (‘the Report’). The ALRC spent 18 months working on the inquiry, which was headed by the Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington.

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    The Family Violence Plan

    By Karla Elias on May 24, 2019 3:43:00 PM

    With the update of the Family Violence Plan in April 2019, the Courts have continued to recognise the importance of protecting those experiencing family violence, and the detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of separating partners and children in situations of family violence.

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    Does someone with a mental disability owe a duty of care?

    By Nathanael Coles on May 22, 2019 2:42:48 PM

    In the case of Carrier v Bonham [2002] 1 Qd R 474 Queensland Court of Appeal, Bonham was a psychiatric patient with a long history of schizophrenia. He was being detained in a hospital and escaped. Carrier was driving a bus when Bonham jumped in front of the bus with the intention to harm himself. Carrier attempted to brake, however, he was unable to avoid hitting Bonham.

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    What duty of care do medical professionals owe you?

    By Nathanael Coles on May 22, 2019 11:01:00 AM

    Medical Negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is the failure from a healthcare provider to treat a patient with reasonable skill and care, causing injury as a result. This includes GPs, dentists and specialists.

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    4 Benefits of a Testamentary Trust Will

    By Andrew Frank on May 21, 2019 4:16:00 PM

    A Testamentary Trust Will is used to give a legacy to one or more beneficiaries by utilising a trust for each beneficiary.   

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    Why we don't recommend Mutual Wills

    By Andrew Frank on May 20, 2019 12:32:37 PM

    What is a Mutual Will?

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    5 Ways to Respond to Domestic Violence

    By Andrea Harrold on May 10, 2019 4:50:57 PM

    Domestic Violence is unfortunately common. Today 1 in 3 women have been or are in an abusive relationship. As Domestic Violence Prevention Month, this May, begins we look at 5 different ways to help us understand how we can respond and support those who we know are experiencing domestic violence.

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    The Purpose of Subpoenas

    By Karla Elias on May 6, 2019 4:51:33 PM


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    Directors Duties: Duties and Breaches

    By James Frank on May 3, 2019 3:29:31 PM

    Currently there are 2,672,325 companies registered in Australia, therefore meaning that there at least 2,672,325 company directors in Australia. Fundamentally, the role of a director is a fiduciary in relation to the company. That means that they have a responsibility to place the companies interests before their own.

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    Impacts of a Statutory Demand

    By James Frank on May 3, 2019 12:23:51 PM

    In our previous article, “What is a Statutory Demand? we outlined what a statutory demand is and the high-level impact of not complying with it according to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). In this article we will explore the impact of a statutory demand from a creditor’s perspective and a debtor’s perspective.

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    What is a Statutory Demand?

    By James Frank on May 1, 2019 10:48:42 AM

    Section 459E of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) explains that a creditor may serve a debtor with a statutory demand. A statutory demand is an instrument which sets out the demand and may have an affidavit attached to validate the claim.

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    A solvent company: An Examination of the Statutory Definition

    By James Frank on Apr 30, 2019 12:40:02 PM

    Section 95A(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) defines a ‘person’ (which includes a company) as being “solvent if and only if, the person is able to pay all the person's debts, as and when they may become due and payable.” Insolvent is defined in s95A(2) as being unable to pay all of its debts as and when they become payable. This definition clearly places the test on a cash flow test rather than a balance sheet test.

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    Are there time limits with Personal Injury law?

    By Nathanael Coles on Apr 27, 2019 4:30:00 PM

    If you have been injured in an accident, you should act promptly as there are strict limitations for making an application before the court. The circumstances of the facts effect how statutory time limit restrictions apply.

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    Why you need to update your will when you have separated

    By Katherine McCarthy on Apr 26, 2019 3:18:00 PM

    There are key events for which people should immediately update their estate planning documents, such as a marriage, a death of a spouse, a breakdown of a marriage or a birth of a child. Without updating your will with these changes, they will not be considered when your will is executed.  

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    What is TPD Insurance Cover?

    By Nathanael Coles on Apr 26, 2019 11:41:20 AM

    Total and Permanent Disablement Insurance (TPD) is designed to provide a lump sum benefit to the claimant in the event of a medically diagnosed event that renders them unable to work again.

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    Can an Enduring Power of Attorney act in their family's best interests?

    By Andrew Frank on Apr 24, 2019 1:29:47 PM

    This article uses the matter of Reilly v Reilly [2018] NSW CA 322 to outline what an Enduring Power of Attorney is able to do without express power.

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    Joint Ownership for Property

    By Andrew Frank on Apr 16, 2019 4:05:59 PM

    When partners purchase a property together they are known as joint tenants. The most important legal concept in joint ownership is survivorship. So, what does that mean?

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    Who is at fault for an athlete's injury?

    By Nathanael Coles on Apr 15, 2019 5:22:43 PM

    The question of who has duty of care, and therefore who is at fault, is the main issue with negligence leading to a sports injury.

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    The National Redress Scheme Explained

    By Nathanael Coles on Apr 15, 2019 3:25:54 PM

    The National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) was created in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). The Royal Commission listened to thousands of people about the abuse they experienced as children and the Scheme was designed for victims of institutional abuse.

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    The Reality of Financial Agreements

    By Karla Elias on Apr 5, 2019 12:37:09 PM


    Although the legislation relating to Financial Agreements seems clear-cut, Financial Agreements are often overturned or set aside by the Court for a variety of reasons. This makes it more difficult to guarantee that a Financial Agreement will indeed be ‘binding’. When considering the application and utility of Financial Agreements in practice, it is therefore prudent to weigh the advantages of entering into a Financial Agreement against the drawbacks or risks associated with it.

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    Financial Agreements in Family Law

    By Karla Elias on Apr 5, 2019 11:58:04 AM


    On American television shows and in movies, the term ‘pre-nup’ is often thrown about. You may be interested to know that there is actually no such thing as a pre-nuptial agreement in Australia. Rather, under Australian law, people can enter into a Financial Agreement at any stage of their relationship to deal with their financial settlement or financial support after the breakdown of the relationship.

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    Are the assets of a Testamentary Trust included in a property settlement?

    By Andrew Frank on Apr 4, 2019 4:53:16 PM

    It is an interesting scenario when considering if the assets of a testamentary trust should be treated as property in a divisible pool of assets in a family law dispute. More commonly these issues have been considered in relation to inter vivos Discretionary trusts.  There is however, a series of family law cases which help to establish key principles.

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    What you Need to Know About Directors Penalty Notices

    By James Frank on Apr 3, 2019 11:52:03 AM

    We often find that directors are unaware of an important section of law: Division 269 to Schedule 1 of Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth). This places a positive obligation on Directors to cause the company to meet its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) liabilities or to take action to ensure that the corporation takes certain steps.

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    How to Restructure your Business: Part Two

    By James Frank on Apr 3, 2019 10:44:52 AM

    As already identified in a previous article titled, How to Restructure your Business: Part One, the broad insolvency process in Australia can be broken down into 2 stages:

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    How many anniversaries do you need to have until you have a claim on your de facto partner's estate?

    By Andrew Frank on Apr 2, 2019 4:16:54 PM

    In the matter of the Estate of Hawkins; Huxtable v Hawkins [2018] NSW SC 174, Mr Justice Lindsay was asked to consider whether the Plaintiff could successfully bring a claim against the estate of her de facto partner when the relationship was of only 3 years standing.

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    Should you use an Estate Proceeds Trust?

    By Andrew Frank on Apr 1, 2019 12:39:14 PM

    Estate planning is often thrown to the wayside with the busyness of life. A client receives professional advice, but the distractions and responsibilities of life keep them from implementing such advice.

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    ATO Commissioner's Address

    By Andrew Frank on Mar 28, 2019 11:49:30 AM

    On 14th March 2019, Commissioner Chris Jordan AO addressed the Tax Institute’s 34th National Convention and highlighted several key points for professionals to learn from. These will be outlined in this article.

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    How To Hire Overseas Employees

    By Philip van den Heever on Mar 26, 2019 12:18:27 PM

    Australian businesses are increasingly engaging workers overseas attempting to overcome skill shortages or simply lowering labour costs. Opening offices overseas or establishing overseas joint ventures usually involves Australian companies sending Australian management overseas and then, along with hiring local workers, establishing overseas branches to assist in their Australian operations. But advances in technology are progressively making it unnecessary for Australian businesses to relocate employees overseas, they can simply ‘hire and fire’ overseas workers from the comfort of their Sydney-based HQ offices.

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    How to Restructure your Business: Part One

    By James Frank on Mar 26, 2019 11:33:18 AM

    The insolvency process in Australia can be broken down into two stages.

    1. Restructuring: when there is a possibility that the company can turnaround or be salvaged
    2. Winding Up: when the company is irretrievably insolvent and has no real possibility of a turnaround or resurrection
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    Should I be a Personal Guarantee?

    By James Frank on Mar 26, 2019 9:50:00 AM

    Suppliers asking a Business Owner or Director for a personal guarantee is a well-trodden path.

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    When not to use Family Law

    By Andrea Harrold on Mar 26, 2019 8:55:52 AM

    The duty of disclosure requires all those in family law to provide all information relevant to the family law proceedings. In family law financial cases this means that those involved are required to provide ongoing relevant information such as bank statements, tax returns and financial reports. However, it is not uncommon for some to be reluctant in disclosing relevant information. Afterall, if you disclose an asset then that asset may form part of the family law proceedings. So, it becomes difficult for those who are trying to get accurate and up to date information on those assets.

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    Arbitration: The Flavour of the Month

    By Matthew Sibley on Mar 25, 2019 5:08:33 PM


    The Australian family law system is currently undergoing many changes, leading to a highly politicised and uncertain environment that has only exacerbated issues with the court system. While it may seem that governments and lawyers alike are the only beneficiaries of the inefficiencies of the family law jurisdiction, one form of alternative dispute resolution is on the verge of making a great resurgence that may make clients the real winner. 

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    How to use the PPSA in your favour

    By James Frank on Mar 19, 2019 12:42:52 PM

    What is the PPSA?

    The PPSA is a regime established by the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) and the Personal Property Security Regulations 2010 (Cth).

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    A creditors game: secured or unsecured?

    By James Frank on Mar 19, 2019 12:15:15 PM

    The Australian Law Reform Commission in 1988 in its General Insolvency Inquiry set out the range of purposes for insolvency law in Australia which largely revolved around the efficiency and administrative process rather than the possible rehabilitation, restructuring and turnaround possibilities.

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    What if the Beneficiary is bankrupt?

    By Andrew Frank on Mar 19, 2019 11:58:02 AM

    The Decision of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, 29 January 2019 Southwell v Staite [2019] ACT SC2 reminds us that under the Bankruptcy Act when a beneficiary who is bankrupt receives money owing under a will it automatically becomes the property of the Trustee to be paid over to creditors.

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    Can a former partner make an estate claim?

    By Andrew Frank on Mar 19, 2019 11:11:36 AM

    The provisions of section 59 of the Succession Act 2006 prescribe that:

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    How to safely leave a violent relationship

    By Katherine McCarthy on Mar 14, 2019 2:03:24 PM

    We all would like to live in a world where there is no fighting or violence, but the truth is that in Australia currently, at least one woman dies from domestic violence a week. Often domestic violence is kept secret within the walls of the home, with family and friends unaware. We must be more educated and socially aware to offer support and help people suffering this danger. Victims should not feel ashamed and know that there is support available to help them change their circumstances.

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    Failing to update your address may cost you your business

    By Emily Graham on Mar 13, 2019 3:09:55 PM

    Setting up a company is relatively easy these days. If you fill out the right form and pay the right fee, you can have a company before the week is out. However, one of the more mundane details on the form – listing the registered office – could actually be the undoing of your company, or your clients’ companies, if you fail to keep it updated.

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    Family Provision Claim

    By Andrew Frank on Mar 13, 2019 2:42:24 PM

    Have you ever wondered what the key principles are for the court when deciding about a Family Provision Claim brought by an adult child?

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    Shutting Down a Company: Deregistration or Members Voluntary Winding Up? Simple can be risky

    By James Frank on Mar 13, 2019 2:35:45 PM

    Quite often we have clients referred to us to sell their business.

    The sale can be for a variety of reasons. They may be retiring, unwell, looking to downsize operations or may have been approached by a larger Company. Whatever the reason, it is common that the purchaser only wants the ‘good’ and not the ‘bad’ while our client (the seller) wants the good and to dispense with the bad.

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    Spousal Maintenance in Family Law

    By Karla Elias on Mar 11, 2019 5:02:09 PM

    Spousal maintenance is ongoing financial support paid by a party of a marriage to their former partner in circumstances where the former partner is unable to support themselves. In de facto relationships, this is called de facto partner maintenance. For the purposes of this article, both types of maintenance will be referred to as ‘spousal maintenance’.

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    The consequences of sharing about your Family Law proceedings

    By Andrea Harrold on Mar 7, 2019 4:37:26 PM

    It is not uncommon in family law proceedings for a party to post on social media about their separation. It is so common in fact, that many may think that venting on social media, or indeed any media available to the public, is acceptable. This could not be further from the truth.

    Topics: Family Law
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    What is the Family Court Merger?

    By Andrea Harrold on Mar 7, 2019 4:12:44 PM

    For the first time in over 40 years an inquiry has been made into the family court system. The Family Court system has been criticised as ‘painstakingly slow’ and ‘prohibitively expensive’ time and time again. To remedy this, the government has proposed a merger between the Family Court of Australia (FCoA) and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) without waiting for the release of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s final report, which is scheduled for 31 March 2019.

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    Psychiatric Harm in the Police Force

    By Nathanael Coles on Mar 7, 2019 3:57:48 PM

    Claims for psychiatric harm are becoming more common due to social change and awareness. There has been an influx of claims being made against employers for not protecting their employees from exposure to psychiatric harm. These claims are being made on the basis that an employer owes their employee a duty of care. Duty of care is the obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others.

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    Has a word ever cost you $18 million?

    By James Frank on Mar 6, 2019 10:27:41 AM

    Santos Ltd, Australia’s second largest independent oil and gas producer, recently lost an appeal in the Supreme Court of Queensland: Court of Appeal against BNP Paribas.

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    Can you sue for obesity?

    By Nathanael Coles on Mar 5, 2019 3:50:07 PM

    In 2018, ABC’s Four Corners program investigated the grip of the sugar industry on global policy efforts to cease the rise of obesity. The epidemic of obesity has been a major problem in Australia, with some advocating for a sugar tax to solve the problem. The program focused on some of the tactics that companies who use excessive amounts of sugar in their products utilised to skew the public’s perception of sugar.

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    What is a Corporate Power of Attorney?

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on Apr 9, 2018 12:04:01 PM

    A Power of Attorney is a document where a ‘principal’ authorises an ‘attorney’ to act on behalf of the principal for financial and property related decisions. However, an attorney for an individual cannot step into the individual’s role as director of a company.

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