Our firm acts in respect of all litigation and dispute resolution matters, whether they be with creditors, debtors, clients, shareholders, staff or any other third party. We provide proactive advice to you regarding your business dispute, which is upfront, direct and commercial to achieve a resolved outcome as early as possible.
Shareholder and Partnership Disputes
It is quite common for shareholder
and/or partnership disputes to arise in business. It is imperative that a shareholder takes a proactive approach in order to achieve a desired and favourable outcome. It is often the case that obtaining advice at an early stage can improve the position of a particular shareholder in respect of a dispute, and preserve the value of the shareholder’s interest. Ordinarily, this is before the matter becomes aggravated so the shareholder can obtain advice in respect of a strategy.
In the event that there is litigation arising from a dispute between shareholders and office holders of the company, our firm is experienced and well-versed in litigation relating to shareholders disputes in all Courts throughout Australia.
Contract disputes often arise in business. These can be in respect of credit and supply agreements, joint venture agreements, distribution agreements, and all other contract disputes. These can also involve informal or contract arrangements that are not in writing. As specialist litigators, we are involved on a daily basis in contract disputes. As a result, we are equipped to provide prompt, direct, and proactive advice to better your position. Contract disputes require careful consideration and advice, as the conduct of the parties is imperative in maintaining and improving their position.
Whether you are a company or an individual, Government bodies in either the Federal or State jurisdiction can issue notices to produce documentation, notices to produce evidence or conduct investigations and/or prosecutions in respect of various conduct. Some regulatory investigations and disputes that our firm regularly handle relate to the following Government bodies and/or regulators:-
- Australian Taxation Office investigations and disputes;
- Australian Securities & Investments Commission investigations and disputes;
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigations and disputes;
- State Government Departments investigations and disputes;
- Office of State Revenue investigations and disputes; and
- Federal Government Department and/or body investigations and disputes; and
- Professional governing bodies and investigations and disputes.
It is essential that any company, business or individual that receives any notice of any Government regulatory matter treats any notice of investigation or prosecution very seriously. Australia and the various states within Australia have a tough regulatory stance in most industries, and accordingly, any failure to adequately comply with a notice issued to you could very well be an offence. In addition, there may be significant penalties that apply in respect of any investigation and/or prosecution. It is imperative that you immediately obtain legal advice so that we may take steps to advise to protect and advance your interests.
Our firm has significant experience in property disputes ranging from large joint venture disputes relating to considerable development projects, to more minor disputes arising from a single property transaction. We have acted for purchasers of ‘off the plan’ developments and with very careful consideration to contract terms, have secured successful outcomes for those clients. It is important that parties to a property dispute immediately obtain advice so that they may protect their interest in respect to the property, and take any legal steps necessary to preserve or enforce their rights.
A dispute over a trust or trust assets can be quite complex, and for some clients it can be difficult to understand their rights and obligations that are provided for by a particular trust instrument or trust assets. Our firm has acted in trust disputes from basic family discretionary trusts to more complex trust structures. It is important that parties to any trust dispute receive advice at an early stage of a dispute relating to trust assets so that their interest may be protected both in respect to the trust assets and in respect of the dispute and to minimise the risk of trust assets diminishing due to conduct of a particular party.
Body Corporate and community titles Disputes
South-east Queensland is home to many community titles schemes, ranging from small schemes (up to 6 lots) to large residential and commercial bodies corporate. Our firm has acted for aggrieved lot owners, body corporate committees (and individual committee members) and contractors to the body corporate, including building managers and strata managers.
We are well placed to provide immediate advice in respect of all body corporate matters, including regulatory issues such as meetings of the body corporate and committee, building and structural defects on common property, breaches of bylaws and Body Corporate legislation, duties of bodies corporate, debt and levy recoveries against lot owners and contractor disputes. We also regularly act in instances of defamation of committee representatives.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in a commercial or retail shop lease, we can assist you with any leasing dispute. The firm has experience in large and complex commercial leasing disputes involving large shopping centre chains and large ASX listed commercial real estate companies. We have experience in negotiating on behalf of both the landlord and tenant in respect of these large and complex leasing disputes. In particular, our firm has experience in large and complex retail shop leasing disputes. We also act for landlords in recovering unpaid rental monies, outgoings and damages from tenants and guarantors for the life of the lease.
We act for plaintiffs and defendants where allegations are made in respect of professional negligence. Negligent advice can be given by professionals including (but not limited to) accountants, lawyers, financial planners and advisors, engineers or other professionals. Although it is unfortunate when one receives negligent advice and suffers loss, it is important to vigorously pursue any claim for damages as most professionals hold professional indemnity insurance that will respond to such a claim. It is also important that you obtain advice immediately upon becoming aware that the professional advice may have been negligent, as there are strict timeframes within which an action for professional negligence can be made. Our firm has experience in running large Supreme Court and Federal Court damages claims for negligent acts of professionals, and in achieving good commercial outcomes for clients in these matters.
Competition and Consumer Disputes
Both individuals and companies conducting business can experience loss and damage associated with misleading and/or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, misrepresentation or other conduct pursuant to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (“CCA”). Our firm has experience in both bringing claims and defending claims for misleading and deceptive and/or other unlawful conduct pursuant to the CCA. We can assist with any competition and/or consumer disputes or claims, whether these arise from property, business or other commercial transactions.
The law of defamation has been evolving in Queensland and throughout Australia in recent years. Defamation in Queensland is provided for pursuant to the Defamation Act 2005 (Qld). Defamation can occur by television broadcasts, newspaper publishing, in person or on the internet and social media. Our firm has significant experience in bringing claims for defamation including obtaining injunctive relief against a major television network restraining them from publishing defamatory material relating to a client. It is important to remember that if you have a claim for defamation, there are very strict time limitations on bringing an action for damages. If you have a potential defamation claim that arises in any state within Australia, we invite you to contact our office for a free initial appraisal of your matter.
Personal Property Securities Act Disputes
The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (“PPSA”) was introduced in 2009, causing widespread change in respect of the personal property rights of individuals and corporate entities throughout Australia. It is extremely important that all business, small or large, is aware of their rights and obligations under this legislation so that they can move to protect the personal property of the business.
If a business owner does not obtain advice in respect of the PPSA at an early stage, it can be catastrophic for the business owner in respect of the personal property and that may include the loss of the personal property. No longer is it satisfactory to have a simple retention of title clause on an invoice. Obviously some personal property of the business including plant and equipment can be of very substantial value. Accordingly, the PPSA can have significant and far reaching ramifications for business owners if they do not take adequate steps to protect and secure their personal property.
We regularly assist with preparation of trade terms and conditions and registrations on the Personal Property Securities Register.
Insurance disputes may arise from claims for property, business loss, professional negligence, product liability and other insurance disputes and claims. Our firm has experience against major and boutique insurers throughout Australia in respect of various disputes, including interpretation of finite terms and exclusions within insurance policies. Quite often, these disputes can be resolved with minimum cost to you provided that you act quickly and take a strategic approach to a resolution. If you consider that an insurer has not properly assessed your claim, or is taking an unreasonable position in relation to any indemnification under a policy, we can assist you to achieve a more favourable outcome.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property is an extremely valuable asset of any business. Accordingly, disputes may arise over intellectual property breaches or general disputes over various intellectual property. This can include disputes in respect of:
- Patents; and
- Copyright material.
Our firm has been engaged in the higher courts regarding intellectual property disputes and litigation. In the event that you have notice of an intellectual property breach, then you must immediately obtain legal advice so that you may protect your position and the value of the intellectual property.
Wills and Estates Disputes
Disputes may arise in respect of the administration of a Will after someone’s passing. It is a very stressful and difficult time for families dealing with a loss of a loved one. In the event that there has been a challenge to a Will or if you consider that you have a right to challenge a Will, then our firm may be of assistance. There are very important time frames in attending to a “family provision” claim and accordingly it is important to seek urgent advice as to whether one wishes to challenge a Will. In addition, if you are the administrator of a deceased estate and require expert advice in this regard, then we invite you to contact our office.
There is also the ability for a probate action to be filed contesting a Will and in turn, grant probate. This includes in the event that the testamentary capacity for intention of a testator has not been affected by the Will. Important time frames apply in respect of these actions, and we would recommend that urgent advice is received in the event of such claim arising.
Injunctions, Freezing Orders and Urgent Court Applications
We are experienced in bringing applications to Court seeking injunctions restraining (or compelling) conduct of a particular party, obtaining freezing orders in respect of assets, and other urgent applications to Court. If you have an urgent matter, please contact our office and we will attend to your matter immediately.
CLASS ACTIONS AND REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDINGS
We have experience in acting for plaintiffs and class members in representative proceedings (also known as class actions) in Queensland and the Federal Court jurisdictions. Our firm has also acted for defendants opposing class actions and have been successful in obtaining early commercial outcomes for our clients. We are skilled in the formal processes of class actions to ensure that the proceedings are conducted correctly, efficiently and in accordance with the requisite practice directions. We also advise potential class members in relation to their opt-out rights under the class action regime. If you are considering commencing a representative action, have received an opt-out notice, or have been served with a class action naming you as a defendant, our experienced team of solicitors will be able to guide you through the matter and work with you to achieve your desired outcome. We have experience in liaising and dealing with litigation funders and acting in matters where litigation funding has been provided to the Plaintiffs to pursue a class action. We can advise on litigation funding agreements and plaintiffs about the nature of the litigation funding proposal.