Our Services

Whether you are an individual or a large corporation client, the independently owned and operated member practices of Law Australasia provide you with the specialist advice you need by drawing on the combined resources of all our firms across Australia. As an association of law firms this quality of legal advice is available wherever you are.

Through your local LawAustralasia firm you can:

  • Consult an accredited specialist in specific areas of the law that may not be available in your local region.
  • Benefit from the legal experience of over 200 solicitors in LawAustralasia across the region.
  • Instruct law firms in other jurisdictions without having to travel to that jurisdiction yourself.
  • Receive real value for money through LawAustralasia’s commitment to the latest systems and technology that deliver superior, cost competitive service to clients.

News From Our Firms

Outgoings in commercial leases
Outgoings are a critical factor when negotiating and entering into a commercial lease. Often a tenant will need to pay outgoings (and usual services like power and telephone) on top of rent and the cost may be significant depending on the type of premises.
 
It is critical for both a landlord and a tenant to know exactly what outgoings affect the premises and who has to pay what.

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Can someone else make me bankrupt?
Before deregistering a company, there are several important steps you should take to ensure that the process is carried out correctly and legally. Here are some of the key things you should do:

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De-registering a company? Important steps
Before deregistering a company, there are several important steps you should take to ensure that the process is carried out correctly and legally. Here are some of the key things you should do:

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De-registering a company? Avoid these potential pitfalls!
Not following the proper steps before deregistering a company can lead to legal, financial, and regulatory complications.

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Are you building a home? Here are the key things to know about building contracts.
A recent increase in builders experiencing financial difficulty has left some home owners stranded and others nervous about the process of building. If you’re building a home, it’s vital to read and understand your building contract before you sign on the dotted line.
In this video, Felix Hoelscher, Managing Partner at Andersons explains the key things to look out for in your contract when building a home.

Watch video …

The Benefits of Establishing a Discretionary Trust
A discretionary trust can be a versatile and powerful tool as it offers individuals and businesses a range of benefits. As a legal structure, it allows for the strategic management and distribution of assets and provides level of flexibility that can prove invaluable.

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What business structure is right for you?
In Australia, entrepreneurs have a range of options available to them when looking to start and structure their business ventures. Each different has its own advantages and disadvantages or considerations but allows for flexibility when it comes to a business’ goals.

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Who keeps the ring? Navigating the legalities when an engagement ends?
Is an engagement ring a conditional gift dependent on marriage? Can factors of misconduct change this? Ashley Lovelock explores this further looking at the case of Papathanasopoulos v Vacopoulos [2007].

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Preparing for tomorrow: ‘Future needs’ in a Family Law property settlement
If you are facing divorce, it’s important to understand your rights regarding property settlement. In this article, Family Lawyer Jessica Walton explains the property settlement process and more specifically ‘future needs’.

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In family law matters in Australia, consent orders play a crucial role in resolving disputes between parties. These orders formalise agreements reached by separating or divorcing couples regarding parenting arrangements and financial matters.
 
Consent orders are legal documents approved by a court that formalise agreements reached between you and your ex-partner after a relationship breakdown.

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How Does Child Support Work in Australia?
We’ve recently updated some information pages of our website to reflect the recent amendments that came into effect, specific to Child Support.
 
To understand why parents might still pay child support despite not having as much time to their children as they might like, how child support works in Australia and when a private child support agreement may be wise to consider, visit the links below.

How does Child Support Work …

Why Parents Pay Child Support …

Private Child Support Agreements …

An insightful article by Rosemary Saad, “Navigating Informal Artificial Conception in Australia: A Simplified Overview”. This piece breaks down the legal complexities of informal artificial conception in Australia into easy-to-understand terms. Perfect for legal professionals, students, or anyone interested in this topic.

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Family Law Amendments taking effect on May 6 in relation to Parenting Matters

On 19 October 2023, the parliament passed the Family Law Amendment Act 2023 (Cth) intended to make Australia’s family law system simpler, safe and more accessible

There are a number of amendments coming into effect that will way change the approach by the Family Court in relation to parenting disputes.

These changes come into effect on 6 May 2024 and our 3 part article explains the primary changes and how they may impact your parenting matter.

Part 1 …

Part 2 …

Part 3 …

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do In Separation & Divorce?
What triggers the need for a forensic accountant when a marriage or de facto relationship ends?
 
Director Olivia Phillips explains when a forensic accountant may be recommended by a family lawyer or appointed in a family law matter.

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Surrogacy and Gestational Agreements in Australia - Should I See A Lawyer Before Signing?
In recent years, the practice of surrogacy and gestational agreements has gained increasing attention in Australia. While these arrangements offer hope and joy to many aspiring parents, they also come with a complex web of legal considerations.

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Assets and liabilities covered in a Financial Agreement
What does a Financial Agreement mean, and what assets and liabilities does it cover?
 
Associate Lawyer, Cassandra Rush talks about how to crystalise the asset pool in our recent video.

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Financial Security Post-Divorce - Spousal Maintenance and Divorce Lawyers’ Guidance
Divorce settlement entails more than just dividing assets; spousal maintenance, often overlooked, plays a crucial role.
 
Our latest article by Richard Hamilton delves into the intricacies, guiding you through the assessment process.

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Financial Separation & Divorce Without A Lawyer
For anyone going through the separation or divorce process, you’ll only want to go through it once.
 
To avoid the risk of having to revisit your financial agreement again a second time, read this article from Director Olivia Phillips.

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Resolving issues without going to Court
When going through a separation, a private mediation may be the solution to resolving issues without the expense and stress of going to Court.

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Proposed changes to Family Law Act to make property settlements fairer for victims of violence
DDCS Lawyers Partner and family law advocate Di Simpson Family Law Specialist recently chatted with The Riotact about how the proposed reforms to the Family Law Act would recognise the economic impact of family violence and consider this when determining property settlement cases.

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Choosing The Right Family Law Practitioner For Your Needs
Choosing a Family Lawyer isn’t always an easy process, and it can have a significant impact on how your family law matter is handled and resolved. Beyond reputation, personality, and years of experience, finding a family lawyer who is a good fit can also come down to their specialised skills.

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Consent Orders are Court Orders made by agreement between parties and are a legally binding document commonly used in Family Law proceedings for property settlement and parenting matters. Ryan Thomas, head of Andersons’ Family Law team explains the importance of these documents and whether a lawyer is required to draft them.

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Case update: Steen v Trustees of the Diocese of Tasmania [2023] TASSC 3

The recent decision in Steen v Trustees of the Diocese of Tasmania [2023] TASSC 3 demonstrates the continuing trend of courts to award survivors of historical sexual abuse significant damages.

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Australian Migration Update – Raising the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for employer sponsored visas
From 1 July 2024, the TSMIT will increase from $70,000.00 to $73,150.00 (excluding superannuation).
 
New nomination applications for Subclass 482 and Subclass 186 visas from 1 July 2024 will need to meet the new TSMIT of $73,150.00 or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher.

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Changes to the Temporary Graduates (485) Visa Program
From 1 July 2024 the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) will be undergoing some major changes. These include:
  • Renaming the visa streams
  • Reduction in age limit and visa length
These changes were initially outlined in the government’s 2023 Migration Strategy.

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Important High Court decision relating to removal of detainees from Australia
A recent High Court decision critical of persons claiming to be refugees who attempt to manipulate the system for their own ends may be an initial signal to a change in attitude to the way in which our legal system will deal with migration cases in the future.

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Reform to the Points Test System
In her media release issued 23 April 2024, Minister for Home Affairs the Honourable Clare O’Neil declared that there are strong intentions for the Australian Government to reform the current Points Test system. The hinted-at revisions have stirred much anticipation and debate amongst prospective migrants and stakeholders alike, projecting what this change may look like for the skilled visa program.

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VETASSESS Updates - Trade Skills Assessments
VETASSESS has issued some important updates for several trade occupations, which are set to take place from 23 April 2024.

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Understanding How Divorce Affects Immigration Status
Divorce is a significant life event that can have profound implications for many things, such as on one’s immigration status in Australia. It can directly and indirectly affect your ability to remain in the country, depending on what type of visa or residency status you hold.

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Recent updates for student visa requirements
The Australian government has recently enforced tougher requirements for international students applying for a student visa to enrol at Australian universities and colleges. From 23 March, the Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria for the visa was abolished and replaced by the Genuine Student (GS) requirement.

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Ensuring Compliance with Migration Law Amendments for Work Sponsored Visa Holders
Employers sponsoring visa holders must be aware of impending changes to the Migration Act, set to take effect later this year. These amendments, prompted by recommendations from a Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee report released on August 31, 2023, aim to prevent the exploitation of temporary migrant workers within the migration framework.

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Impact of the draft Consolidated Skills Occupation List (CSOL) on work visa
On 26 March 2024, Jobs and Skills Australia released the draft Consolidated Skilled Occupation Released (CSOL). This list will be used as part of the work visa reforms that were flagged in Australia’s Migration Strategy.

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Higher English test scores required for Australian Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visas
Higher English language test scores applicable to apply for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa have been introduced by the Australian Government. The changes also reduce the period in which the scores must have been achieved from three years to one year before the day on which the visa application was made.

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NEW Australian Subclass 192 Pacific Engagement (permanent residence) visa
A new Australian permanent residence Subclass 192 (Pacific Engagement) visa (the Pacific Engagement visa) is available from 29 March 2024.

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Strengthening of Australia’s employer sanctions regime to protect foreign workers
From 1 July 2024 a number of new sanctions will come into force to further protect foreign workers from exploitation in Australia’s labour market. These amendments will come into force as part of the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Act 2024 (‘the Act’).

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Unlocking opportunities: introducing Australia’s MATES Visa Scheme for Indian Professionalsal) Pathway 1 skills assessments resume
Australia and India have forged a new path of collaboration through a Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement in the form of the recently announced Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early – professionals Scheme (MATES). This groundbreaking initiative aims to empower Indian nationals, particularly recent graduates and early career professionals, with the chance to gain valuable work experience in Australia.

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More changes to the Working Holiday Visa
As part of the Australia-Un​ited Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA)​​, individuals holding a passport from the United Kingdom (‘UK’) have access to a more stable working arrangement in Australia through the Working Holiday Visa (‘WHV’) program.

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Medicare and your car accident compensation claim
It is often the case that an injured person would have already received some initial medical treatment for their injuries either before they have decided to make a claim for compensation or before they have received their claim number from the relevant insurer after lodging a claim.
 
We therefore need to establish whether Medicare has contributed to the cost of any medical treatment that should ordinarily be covered by the relevant insurer. If Medicare has made any contributions, they will be entitled to a reimbursement from the claimant’s (the injured person) settlement funds.

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Accidents Happen: Fair Compensation Should Too campaign
The Australian Lawyers Alliance recently released a campaign “Accidents Happen: Fair Compensation should too.” The campaign provides a host of excellent information on what you need to know if you’ve been injured in a car accident and how you can ensure you receive fair compensation.

Visit the website to find out more …

Bungled Pest Inspection - what now?
A recent segment on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair highlighted the consequences to home buyers if their pest or building inspection fails to disclose a significant issue. Head of commercial law Felix Hoelscher explains what you should do in these circumstances and the importance of reading and understanding your contract before signing.

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Easements, Covenants and Caveats
In Victoria, the trio of easements, covenants, and caveats play a pivotal role in defining and safeguarding property interests.
 
But what are they?

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Understanding the Gift Over Provision in a Will
When creating a Will, one important consideration is ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, especially if unexpected circumstances arise.
 
When making your Will, you will nominate beneficiaries to inherit your assets upon your death. However, what happens should a named beneficiary have predeceased you? This is where a “gift over” provision comes into play.

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Is my superannuation covered by my Will?

When discussing assets to be distributed by a Will, it is not uncommon for a client to say to us: “I want my beneficiaries to get my super too” or “my Will gives them my super”.

Many people are surprised to hear that in most cases, your superannuation is not automatically covered by your Will. This is why it is extremely important to consider making a binding death benefit nomination (“binding nomination”) with your superannuation fund.

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Understanding the Essentials: What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises a person (the attorney) to act on your behalf. Depending on the type of power given, the attorney may be able to make financial, legal, personal and medical decisions for you when you are incapable of doing so.
 
Apart from a general Non-Enduring Power of Attorney that may be used for a specific purpose (eg: signing of a particular document on your behalf), there are other Powers of Attorney.

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Estate planning is a critical process that addresses the distribution of assets and assists in safeguarding the wishes of loved ones after their passing. For blended families in Australia, where individuals may have children from previous relationships, the complexities of estate planning are increased.
 
Successfully addressing these complexities requires careful consideration, open communication, and the assistance of legal professionals well-versed in the nuances of estate planning.

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Key considerations when creating a will and powers of attorney
Planning for the future is crucial. Check out our latest article written by Special Counsel, Marnie Papst where we discuss the key considerations when creating a will and powers of attorney

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Understanding the Essentials: What is an executor?
What is an executor? As part of our ‘Understanding the Essentials’ series, we answer this question and provide information about what as executor is expected to do.

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Understanding the Essentials: What makes a valid Will?
It is great that you have made a Will but, is it valid?
In this short article we go through what is required to make a Will valid and therefore protect your wishes.

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Estate planning is a critical process that addresses the distribution of assets and assists in safeguarding the wishes of loved ones after their passing. For blended families in Australia, where individuals may have children from previous relationships, the complexities of estate planning are increased.
 
Successfully addressing these complexities requires careful consideration, open communication, and the assistance of legal professionals well-versed in the nuances of estate planning.

Read more …

Sisters take on extended family to win inheritance dispute
“Two sisters have defeated an attempt to overturn a 30-year-old verbal agreement bequeathing them an inheritance including an $11.5 million Toorak home, cash and shares …”
Mutual Wills can be made between two people (generally spouses) and contain an express promise that each person will not make a new Will or change the terms of their Will without the express consent of the other person.
This ‘promise’ is usually documented in a separate agreement, called a ‘Mutual Wills Agreement’.
Mutual Wills can be a useful tool to ensure that the surviving spouse will not change the terms of their Will after the death of the first spouse, safeguarding the agreed distribution of the joint estates.
This case out of Victoria is interesting in that a mutual Wills agreement was upheld, notwithstanding that it was never recorded in a written agreement and the surviving spouse made multiple new Wills after the death of the first spouse, altering the distribution of the estate.
Mutual Wills are worth exploring with the increase in ‘blended’ families, but they can also greatly restrict the testamentary freedom of a surviving spouse.

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The Ins and Outs of Employment Contracts - Giving Notice and the Final Pay Packet
In the final part of our series on employment contracts, we dive into the essentials of giving notice and handling final pay.

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The Ins and Outs of Employment Contracts - Redundancy
Redundancy happens when your role is no longer needed due to changes like tech updates or business shifts. If you’ve been with your company for over a year, you might be eligible for redundancy pay.

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The Ins and Outs of Employment Contracts - Lawful and Unlawful Termination
Ever wondered what makes a job termination lawful or unlawful?
Our latest article series breaks it down, from valid reasons for dismissal to protecting yourself against unfair or unlawful termination.

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Will Employees Really be Able to Ignore Their Boss Outside of Working Hours?
Starting August 2024, Australians can ignore work communications after hours , thanks to the new ‘Right to Disconnect’ law. But will this change truly benefit employees and businesses?

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Do Not Disturb: The Employee Right to Disconnect
The Commonwealth government has enacted a new right for employees to effectively ‘switch off’ outside of working hours. While the name suggests an additional protection for employees under workplace relations laws, this is not an absolute right.

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Employers on Notice: Bad Behaviour is Going to Cost
The landscape of workplace law is undergoing significant change, as amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’) by the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Act 2023 and Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024 progressively come into effect. The changes include higher penalties for non-compliance, redefining serious contraventions of the Act, and making intentional wage underpayments a criminal offence. Employers need to be aware of these changes to avoid hefty financial and serious legal consequences.

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