31 01, 2019

New Rental Reforms to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

January 2019 | Ariza Arif New tenancy reforms to improve the protections for victims of domestic violence living in a rented property will commence on 28 February 2019. Currently victims of domestic violence must give 14 days’ notice to break a fixed-term lease and face financial penalties for doing so. The changes mean that  victims will be able to break a lease without penalty. To end the tenancy in circumstances of domestic violence, the victim will need to give

20 12, 2018

If Your Child is Asking for a Loan, Don’t Break the Golden Rule!

December 2018 | Jonathan Harris If your child is in a state of financial need, it is understandable that you, as a parent, would want to help them. In recent times there has been an increase in the number of parents giving their adult children an “early inheritance” – that is, providing money to children before their wealth would otherwise have been distributed upon their death. However, these arrangements are not always as simple as

20 12, 2018

Attention All: Stay Safe this ‘Silly Season’

December 2018 | Scott Freidman The Christmas and New Year period is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. However, the 'silly season' can also be a busy time of the year for lawyers. A combination of excessive alcohol consumption, increased traffic and heightened stress levels means clients and their loved ones may find themselves in an accident or otherwise having done something they later regret. Many of you have young adult children, so the information

7 12, 2018

Don’t Fall Foul of New Pension Rules

December 2018 | Jonathan Harris Serious consequences for failing to make minimum payments You probably know that the ATO has confirmed the consequences of not meeting the minimum payment requirements for pensions. A pension ceases at the start of the financial year in which the minimum pension requirement is not met and will only recommence after new pension documents are executed. Most recently however, the ATO confirmed that the pension will cease for transfer balance cap purposes at the

28 11, 2018

My Health Record: Are You at Risk?

November 2018 | Les Stubbs & Cheryl Po What is My Health Record? Under the My Health Record scheme, a health record account will be created for you by the end of 2018 (with records available in 2019) if you have a Medicare card or a Veterans’ Affairs card.  This allows your healthcare providers to access your account to see your health information such as allergies, medications and immunisations. This is designed to help your health providers give you

25 11, 2018

Who Can Look at Your Will Upon Your Death?

November 2018 | Jonathan Harris In New South Wales, beneficiaries under a will are entitled to receive a copy of the will. This is done by making a formal request to the executor of the estate who must provide a copy, but generally at the beneficiary's expense. However, people often ask, who is entitled to see a will on the death of a willmaker.  The answer is that a wide group of persons are entitled to inspect and make

25 11, 2018

Squatters Rights: Developer’s Adverse Possession Trumps Descendants

November 2018 | Kieran Kelly Justice Darke was recently asked to decide the unusual case of McFarland v Gertos [2018] NSWSC 1629 involving a property at 6 Malleny Street, Ashbury. Henry Thompson Downie, the owner of the property, died in 1947, seemingly without leaving a will. Mrs Grimes, a tenant living at the property at the time of Mr Downie’s death, remained there until a short time before her death in April 1998. That same year, Bill Gertos, a

31 10, 2018

Be Careful Dealing with Employee Entitlements When Selling Your Business

October 2018 | Jonathan Harris Unless an award applies, the Fair Work Act 2009, Long Service Leave Act 1995 and National Employment Standards (NES) determine who is liable for employee entitlements when your business is sold. In a sale of a business there are a number of important things to be aware of regarding long service leave, personal leave, and other employee entitlements. Long Service Leave (LSL) For long service leave, when a business is sold and employees transfer

23 10, 2018

Co-Parenting Children after Separation or Divorce

October 2018 | Georgia Dight Clear communication between parents following separation or divorce is important for the wellbeing of the children.  It is essential that parents are able to engage in conflict-free communication regarding all child-related issues. However, this is not always the case. We find that parents may be experiencing anger, grief or difficulties dealing with high-conflict exes and that conflict can worsen if parents feel they are being “left out” from hearing about

23 10, 2018

Understanding PEXA – Your Quick Guide

October 2018 | Margaret Rouen  “From 1 July 2018, standalone transfers, standalone caveats and Non-Authorised Deposit-taking Institution discharges, mortgages and refinances are moving online in New South Wales” - NSW Land Registry Services. PEXA stands for Property Exchange Australia Limited. It is the world’s first online lodgement and financial settlement platform. PEXA was formed in 2010 to fulfil the Council of Australian-Governments (COAG) initiative to provide a unified, national e-conveyancing platform for the Australian

19 09, 2018

Commentary on the Family Courts Restructure

September 2018 Les Stubbs and Cheryl Po  Wise politicians and erudite jurists have time and again observed that an independent judiciary is the very heart of a republic.  This is so because the foundation of a democracy, the source of its perennial vitality, the conditions for its growth, and the hope for its welfare — all lie in that great institution, an independent judiciary. This means that courts should not be subject to improper

18 09, 2018

Casual or Not? The Federal Court Sends a Warning to Employers

September 2018 | Kieran Kelly The 16 August 2018 decision of the Federal Court in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 (WorkPac v Skene) has significant ramifications for businesses that rely on casual employees. The characterisation of an employee as casual or permanent determines a wide range of entitlements, from the payment of leave to notice of termination and redundancy pay. In WorkPac v Skene, the Full Court of the Federal Court was asked to decide if