Legal Articles

Can an Inheritance be Quarantined? A vexed question which frequently confronts many a will maker is how can a benefit left via a will to an adult child be protected if that beneficiary later experiences a marital or de facto breakdown.  In reality it is difficult to quarantine inheritances in divorce settlements where the inheritance… Read more »

De Facto Relationships a Matter of Time

by | Family

Recent decisions of the Full Court of the Family Court re-emphasize the importance of keeping a keen eye on dates when living in a de facto relationship. De Facto Relationships – Critical Dates There are two critical dates that should be borne in mind. The first date is the date on which cohabitation in a… Read more »

Divorce Property Settlement and Asset Protection Legal and financial advisers often recommend that assets be held in the name of the spouse with the lower risk profile.  This is a simple but effective asset protection mechanism because it means that assets will be protected if the spouse with higher risk profile is sued.  Unfortunately people… Read more »

Estate Planning Challenges Created By Blended Families Modern families are becoming increasingly complex in their structure. In 2016 approximately 6.4% of families were “step-families”, that is a family comprised of two adults and one or more children who are not the biological or adopted child of one of the adults. Almost 3.7% of families were… Read more »

Can I get out of a commercial lease because I did not receive a disclosure statement? In South Australia, commercial tenants are protected by the Retail and Commercial Leases Act, 1995 (RCLA). The RCLA requires in Section 12 that a prospective tenant receive a Disclosure Statement from the landlord before the lease is signed. A… Read more »

Duty of Disclosure to Former Spouse

by | Family

You and your former spouse have a duty to give each other all relevant information about your respective financial situations.  The parties and the Court are entitled to this information so that they can form an accurate picture of each party’s income, expenses, assets, liabilities and financial resources. What is ‘relevant’ information? Usually it is… Read more »

MUTE THOSE THOUGHTS! In the eternal struggle between individual liberty and social cohesion, one aspect where this is now playing out involves freedom of expression vs contractual obligations to employers and the arena is Social Media. The famous Australian rugby player, Israel Folau, sent out this Instagram post: “Warning – Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators,… Read more »

Have you received a Statutory Demand and not sure what to do?  We stress the need for absolute precision within an absolutely finite time in applying to set aside a Statutory Demand. A Statutory Demand is a statement, in a particular form, that a company owes a sum of money and that there is no… Read more »

Defamation Time Limits

by | Defamation

Don’t Let Sleeping Slanders Lie The old law stated that in an action in defamation (to use the old language, libel and slander), the aggrieved party had six (6) years to sue. This was drastically changed in the noughties by legislative reforms to defamation law across the Australian States, where the time limit was changed… Read more »

Can someone who kills another person inherit under the deceased’s last will?  Thankfully this questions only arises occasionally but it is obviously a scenario that can cause significant further upset to an already difficult situation. What is the Forfeiture Rule? The forfeiture rule is a rule of public policy which prohibits a person who unlawfully… Read more »

Secret Recordings of Private Conversations

by | Court Disputes

A recent South Australian Supreme Court decision – Nanosecond Corporation v Glen Carron (2018) has clarified the critical aspects of the Surveillance Devices Act 2016 as to the use of secret recordings of private conversations in civil litigation. In Nanosecond, a plaintiff had used his mobile phones to record 20 conversations with various persons in… Read more »

Facebook Defamation

by | Defamation

A recent case in the South Australian District Court, Johnston v Aldridge confirmed that the old ‘notice board rule’ applies to online secondary publishers and Facebook defamation.  Just as the golf club was liable for defamatory material posted on its notice board once it had been brought to their notice; just as Google had a… Read more »

We have spoken before about the critical 21 day time limit of a statutory demand (see: “How to deal with a Statutory Demand” and “Statutory Demand: the 21 day guillotine”) which is often ignored by a debtor company and generally results in payment of the debt, costs and interest. Debtor Company Has 21 Days to… Read more »

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for landlords to encounter problems with tenants who do not pay rent on time.  To make matters worse, this type of tenant is often late with rent payment and often won’t pay until they have received multiple requests from the landlord or their managing agent.  In my experience, no amount… Read more »

Option to Renew Commercial Lease

by | Property & Leases

The Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (“Act“) provides that a lease governed by the Act must have a minimum term of 5 years including options. The parties to the lease, and particularly the tenant, may not want to commit to a 5 year term so an option to renew the lease will provide the… Read more »