Video Wills: Will they ever be an accepted method in Probate practice?

November 22, 2018

As technology advances, so must the law and the way it is applied. Recent cases have highlighted that in exceptional circumstances, some Australian Courts are willing to accept a Will made by video.    In order to be considered valid, a Will must be written, signed by the Testator and witnessed by two or more […]

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Blockchain: challenges and opportunities for the law

November 22, 2018

Our Principal Lawyer, Craig Doyle, recently attended a progressive legal conference in Singapore where he learned about blockchain.   Blockchain is a self-maintaining database that is used as an operating system for technological links.  The blockchain structure forms a public ledger allowing verification and accuracy and it can act as a secure way to track […]

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NSW introduces Stamp Duty Reform

November 22, 2018

From July 2019, the seven Stamp Duty brackets that determine how much stamp duty is paid will be indexed in line with the Consumer Price Index.   The current rates were set in and have not been reviewed since 1986, when the average price of a property in Sydney was $100,000.00.   The indexation will […]

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Unapproved Building Works

October 11, 2018

Recently, the Supreme Court had to decide whether a vendor who had made unapproved works to his unit could force a purchaser to proceed with the purchase of the unit.   The unit was constructed in 2012 on a development approval for a two-bedroom unit. When the purchasers inspected the unit in 2016 it contained […]

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Reform to the Bankruptcy Act

October 11, 2018

On 27 September 2018, the Senate passed the Bankruptcy Amendment (Debt Agreement Reform) Bill 2018 to reform the Bankruptcy Act 1966 insofar as it relates to Debt Agreements.  A Debt Agreement is an arrangement which is an alternative to enter into bankruptcy as an individual can enter into an agreement with their creditors concerning arrangements […]

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Evils in Probate Practice

October 11, 2018

Lawyers come across numerous difficulties when helping clients administer estates.   Three common difficulties involve: Homemade Wills;    Intestacies (when there is no Will at all); and   When there has been a change in personal circumstances without updating the testamentary instrument.  The recent case of (Sloan Executor) -v- Baldrey in the Supreme Court of WA […]

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New powers for NSW Fair Trading to deal with consumer disputes

October 5, 2018

From 1 January 2019, disputes lodged with NSW Fair Trading about alleged breaches of consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law may be subject to a new program that aims to better resolve disputes. It is proposed that the Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading be given a new power to issue ‘consumer guarantee directions.’ A […]

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Husband wins appeal against order to pay wife interim spousal maintenance

October 5, 2018

In the recent decision of Elei & Dodt (2018), the Full Court of the Family Court allowed an appeal by a de facto husband against an Order that he pay interim spousal maintenance to his de facto wife in the sum of $1450.00 per week after finding that the husband did not have capacity to pay. […]

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Flammable cladding ban now in force

October 5, 2018

Following the disaster at London’s Grenfell Tower that claimed the life of 72 people in June 2017, the NSW Government has introduced reforms that retrospectively bans certain types of cladding, effective from 15 August 2018. The NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading, Rose Webb, has banned the use of ‘aluminium composite panels with a core comprised […]

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NSW introduces new short-stay holiday regulations

August 1, 2018

The NSW Government will introduce a new framework to govern short-stay holiday accommodation in response to the increasing popularity of websites like Airbnb. It is intended that the new framework will include new planning laws, an industry Code of Conduct; and provisions for Strata Scheme by-laws to be implemented after extensive community, Government, industry and […]

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Vary your building contract correctly and avoid unnecessary costs

August 1, 2018

A variation clause in a building contract governs the process when a person requests their builder/contractor to make a change to the original construction plan. Having a variation clause is crucial to limiting a cost blowout, but it is often misunderstood and not used correctly by builders and contractors. What is a variation? A variation […]

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Merger of the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court

July 6, 2018

The family law system currently operates as two, parallel Courts – the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court – each with its own set of Rules, forms, procedures and practice directions. However, the Federal Government has recently announced plans to merge the two Courts, effective 1 January 2019. The new Court – […]

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The end of Interim Occupational Certificates

June 29, 2018

Interim Occupational Certificates are issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (“EP&A Act”) to authorise occupation and use of partially completed buildings or alterations. References to Interim Occupational Certificates are often included in development consent conditions and building contracts. Following changes to the EP&A Act, interim occupational certificates will no longer be available […]

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Protecting your interests – buying property in a Unit Trust

June 29, 2018

Continuing from our previous series where we looked at buying property in a discretionary trust, we will discuss the major advantages of using a unit trust when buying property. A unit trust, also known as a ‘fixed trust,’ involves a predetermined proportion or allocation of units which are available to be purchased and sold by […]

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O’Sullivan Saddington and Co joins McDonald Johnson Lawyers from 1 July 2018

June 18, 2018

From 1 July 2018 the firm of O’Sullivan Saddington and Co will join McDonald Johnson Lawyers to operate from the existing premises of McDonald Johnson at 14 Watt Street, Newcastle. McDonald Johnson Lawyers was established in 1916 and O’Sullivan Saddington and Co was established by Stephen O’Sullivan and John Saddington in 1981. The principal partner […]

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