News and resources

Search news articles
21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
Read the full story
trees blocking, tree, view, sunlight, neighbour, dispute, LEC
18 Aug 2022

The law on trees blocking the sun

The greenery in my neighbour’s yard keeps getting bigger and bigger – now there are trees blocking the sun from reaching my garden and patio. My flowers are suffering and I can’t enjoy sitting in the sun at home any more. On top of that, the neighbour’s hedge has grown so high it blocks the […]
Read the full story
cold calling, scam, financial services, bank, banking, insurance, Royal Commission, ASIC, sales pitch, unsolicited, anti-hawking, false, misleading, consumer law
25 Mar 2022

ASIC bans financial services from cold calling as scams skyrocket

Cold calling by financial services salespeople trying to flog unwanted products to unsuspecting customers has been made illegal as scams soar across the country. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) brought in the ban in its role as financial regulator following recommendations of financial sector reforms by the banking Royal Commission. Cold calling laws […]
Read the full story
mental health discrimination, mental health, discrimination, disorder, insurance, insurer, policy, payout, evidence, dispute, obstacle, disability discrimination, Anti-Discrimination Act, PIAC, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
09 Feb 2022

PIAC report identifies pattern of mental health discrimination in insurance industry

A ten year study of the insurance industry’s treatment of people has found systemic mental health discrimination that requires high-level investigation. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has compiled a report on mental health discrimination in the insurance sector. It found people with a mental health history are often being denied insurance, or are offered […]
Read the full story
Shonky Awards, Shonkys, consumer law, consumer protection, warranty, guarantee, legal rights, CHOICE Australia, repair, replacement, refund, remedy.
16 Dec 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Shonky Awards

Meet the 2021 winners of the 16th Annual CHOICE Shonky Awards. There’s the $300 bladeless fan that lacks puff, the $499 kitchen food mulcher that produces “eco chips”, and fruit jelly sweets that are 69 per cent sugar. There’s also the Buy Now Pay Later provider that lends money without checking whether the debt can […]
Read the full story
unfair contract terms, contract, insurance, insurance contract, dispute, ASIC, excess, direct debit, exclusion, Royal Commission
02 Dec 2021

Law on unfair contract terms now extends to insurance

Unfair contract terms protections have been extended under new legislation to include standard insurance contracts. The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures)) Act 2020 has amended the law relating to unfair contract terms in insurance contracts and also applies to funeral expense facilities and mortgage brokers. The new legislation […]
Read the full story
pay for repairs, residential lease, commercial lease, retail lease, landlord, tenant, repairs, maintenance, wear and tear, equipment, fixtures, fittings, premises
25 Nov 2021

Who has to pay for repairs? The landlord or the tenant?

Working out who has to pay for repairs on a property may not always be straightforward. There are legal obligations on both parties – the tenant and the landlord – regarding the upkeep and repair of a property. However, it can still sometimes be ambiguous. Residential leases vs commercial leases Responsibility for paying for repairs […]
Read the full story
tree disputes, neighbours, council, overhanging, invading, tree roots, Land and Environment Court, tree preservation order, tree felling, Crown land, Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
11 Dec 2020

Tree disputes: know your rights

Tree disputes are among the most common points of contention between neighbours, and between homeowners and their local council. Whether it’s an overhanging branch, invading roots, foliage blocking the sun or trees being cleared, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities before taking any action. Special laws exist for resolving tree disputes There are […]
Read the full story
directions hearing, legal dispute, court, appearance, Supreme Court, judge, registrar, mediation, out of court, settlement, short minutes of orders, Statement of Claim, affidavit, expert report
02 Dec 2020

What is a directions hearing and how should I prepare for it?

If you are involved in a legal dispute, you may be called before a court for a directions hearing. This is a short court appearance where a judge or registrar will make orders outlining the next steps that need to be taken to resolve the dispute. In the NSW Supreme Court, a first directions hearing […]
Read the full story
written contract, contract in writing, verbal contract, enforceable, contract law, agreement, consideration, certainty
18 Jun 2020

Is a written contract necessary for a deal to be enforceable?

Handshake agreement versus written contract – are they both legally binding? While handshake deals are enforceable in many day-to-day transactions, some contracts must be made in writing to be legally recognised. So, what is a contract? When do you need it in writing and what constitutes a legally binding handshake agreement? Evolution of Australian contract […]
Read the full story
handshake agreement, agreement, contract, verbal contract, oral contract, handshake deal, legally binding
17 Jun 2020

Is a handshake agreement legally binding?

Suppose you were to come to a verbal agreement on a deal with another person and shake hands on it. Sometime later, the other person fails to complete their side of the deal. Where does the law stand? Are handshake agreements enforceable? Or are they worth zilch? You may be surprised to learn that verbal […]
Read the full story
negotiated agreement, dispute resolution, conflict resolution, legal dispute, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, compromise, settlement
30 Apr 2020

A negotiated agreement might be more attainable during a pandemic

Multiple factors can influence a person to resolve a dispute Do you have an ongoing legal dispute that you just can’t settle? Now might the time to make another attempt to reach a negotiated agreement. In the face of COVID-19, everyone is suffering in one way or another. It might be financial, it might be […]
Read the full story
Australian government coronavirus, response package, stimulus package, COVID-19, emergency measures, payment moratorium, Omnibus Act
17 Apr 2020

Australian government coronavirus response package infiltrates many corners of Australian law

Exactly where the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” comes from no-one is entirely sure, although a possible source is the Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates, who evidently said that extreme diseases require extreme methods of cure. The Australian government coronavirus response package may be one such extreme cure. Coronavirus response package affects many […]
Read the full story
small claim, NSW, debt, owed, owing, money, creditor, debtor, negotiation, mediation, Local Court, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, NCAT
27 Feb 2020

How do you make a small claim in NSW?

If you find yourself in a position where you’re out of pocket because of someone else and the amount you’re owed is relatively small, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Whether it’s a debt someone hasn’t repaid (like a customer who won’t pay your bill), money you’ve had to outlay to […]
Read the full story
commence legal proceedings, legal action, court action, Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court, NSW, statement of claim, summons, notice of motion, writ
18 Feb 2020

How to commence legal proceedings in NSW

In NSW, there are two categories of law: civil law and criminal law. Civil law is a system that defines and protects citizen rights. It offers resolutions for legal disputes in areas such as property, contracts and family law. It pretty much deals with every legal matter outside of criminal law. As a lawyer who […]
Read the full story
dog, companion animal, Companion Animals Act, attacking dog, attack victim, injuries, negligence, damages
02 Oct 2019

Is your companion animal your property? Or a beloved family member?

Owning a companion animal positively impacts our lives in many ways. From cats and birds to mice and lizards, we adore our pets, and we especially love our four-legged canine friends. In Australia, a staggering 38 per cent of people live with dogs, making them by far the most popular species of animal companion. With […]
Read the full story
abandoned goods, abandoned property, abandoned vehicle, tenant, landlord, tenancy, Uncollected Goods Act, dispute, storage
11 Sep 2019

How long must you wait before disposing of abandoned property?

What happens when someone leaves their abandoned property with you but never returns to pick it up? How long should you wait before you claim the goods and dispose of them yourself? Legal disposal of uncollected property The abandonment of property occurs frequently. A classic scenario is when an adult child moves out of the […]
Read the full story
illegal phoenix activity, phoenix activity, phoenixing, phoenix company, phoenix companies, insolvent company, deregistered company, trading while insolvent, insolvent trading, failed company, assets liquidated, asset liquidation, asset stripping, creditor, creditors, company debt, ASIC, ATO, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, tax lodgement, related creditors, external administrator, liquidator, Phoenix Hotline
28 May 2019

Illegal phoenix activity – government determined to expand crackdown efforts

Have you ever been owed money by a company, but when you attend to calling in your debt, the company suddenly has no assets and has been deregistered? This is a trick of the trade where a new company is registered to take over an insolvent or failed company. This can be legal, where the […]
Read the full story
chat button

Fill out this form and one of our local law professionals will be in contact

By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy policy