Learn More About Our Areas of Practice

Buying & Selling Property

Whether you are buying a new home or selling an investment property we can help you with the Contract for Sale.

If you’re selling, we can make sure that we draw up a contract that works for you and your particular requirements. We’ll arrange all of the necessary documentation and liaise with your agent in regard to auctions or purchase enquiries.

If you’re purchasing we will scour the contract to make sure that there are no hidden conditions that will act against your needs, and negotiate to make sure that the contract is fair and suits your needs.

Different situations have different requirements, but we can assist with Contracts of Sale for:

  • Residential purchases

  • Auctions

  • Off the plan purchases

  • Strata units and apartments

  • Rural property

  • Commercial property

  • Vacant land

 

Contact us to discuss your specific real estate contract needs.

Civil Disputes & Litigation

What is Civil Litigation?
Civil litigation is the process of dispute resolution between members of a community through the court system. Civil law grants to individuals the right to sue for compensation or for specific action in matters such as breach of contract, defamation and negligence.

 

When can I sue someone?
If you feel that you’ve been wronged but it’s not a criminal matter to be dealt with by the Police then you may be able to commence a lawsuit against someone. The kinds of disputes that are dealt with under civil law include disputes between:

  • Neighbours

  • Customers and suppliers

  • Business partners

  • Landlords and tenants

  • Buyers and sellers of property

  • Home owners and builders

  • Employees and employers

  • Executors or beneficiaries in deceased estates

  • Owners of copyrights and patents

  • Creditors and debtors

  • Accident victims

Different kinds of legal cases have different time limitations imposed so it’s important that you seek legal advice quickly to find out if you can/should commence legal proceedings.

How to commence legal proceedings – the civil litigation process
Prior to court/tribunal proceedings being commenced, the first course of action is always to try and resolve the dispute, saving both time and money. There are a number of alternative dispute resolution methods which can be used to negotiate settlement before commencing proceedings and a lawyer can assist with this process.

 

Good objective legal advice will assist you to decide when to litigate and when to walk away, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, to estimate what litigating will cost you if you win or if you lose.

Once legal proceedings are commenced they progress through a number of steps which vary depending on the court/tribunal in which they are issued, the amount of the claim, the type of claim and any number of other factors. Such steps can include pleadings (where the dispute is described by the plaintiff and defended by the defendant), discovery (disclosure of documents by both sides), hearing (where the judge will hear the testimony of witnesses and make a ruling in the dispute), settlement and appeal. Almost invariably there will be some form of court ordered mediation/settlement conference prior to a final hearing.

The particular court/tribunal forms which need to be completed to commence proceedings vary according to the type of dispute and the State in which they are commenced so its best to seek legal advice in regard to this.

How we can help
Doug is an experienced civil litigation lawyer having dealt with a wide range of court/tribunal matters including:

  • Commercial litigation

  • Business litigation

  • Employment litigation

  • Unfair dismissal

  • Family law disputes

  • Estate (Will) disputes

  • Debt recovery

  • Building and property disputes

  • Dividing fence disputes

  • Breach of contract

  • Negligence

 

Contact us to  find out how we can help you.

Contracts & Commercial Law

We can provide assistance for a range of commercial and business legal matters, including:

  • Legal advice if you are starting a business

  • Advice in regard to business structures including partnerships, trusts and corporations

  • Business name registration

  • Partnership and joint venture agreements

  • Buying and selling a business

  • Lease agreements

  • Loan agreements and mortgages

  • Guarantees and security documents

  • Bankruptcy and debt collection

  • Estate and succession planning

  • Advice in regard to business management and administration

  • Employment law including employment contracts, employee rights, unfair dismissal and confidentiality agreements

 

Contact us to  arrange a consultation.

Criminal Law

If you’ve been charged with a criminal or traffic offence you don’t have to face it alone. The outcome of your Court case might be life changing, so give yourself the best possible chance with proper representation.

 

We will advise you of your rights, get you ready for your Court appearance and explain the Court procedures so you understand what’s happening. In Court we’ll present your case clearly and strongly to give you the best possible outcome. Doug regularly appear in the Magistrates’ Court in criminal matters and can also represent you in the County or Supreme Courts briefing appropriate criminal barristers where required.

 

Criminal matters we can handle for you include:

  • Traffic and vehicle offences – exceed the prescribed content of alcohol (drink driving), drive while disqualified or suspended, drive without a licence, other driving offences

  • Acts intended to cause injury – including common assault, serious assault resulting in injury, stalking, serious assault not resulting in injury

  • Justice procedure offences – breach of intervention orders, resist or hinder police, breach of bond, suspended sentence, or community service order

  • Theft – including theft from retail premises, receiving or handling the proceeds of crime, theft of intellectual property

  • Illicit drug offences – possession, cultivation or dealing in illicit drugs

  • Public Order offences – disorderly conduct, criminal intent, riot and affray, liquor and tobacco offences, offensive language or behaviour, cruelty to animals

  • Fraud offences – obtaining benefit by deception, forgery of documents, dishonest conversion

  • Property damage – graffiti, fire and explosion

  • Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons – driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance (DUI), dangerous or negligent driving

  • Prohibited weapons – misuse, unlawfully obtain or possess a prohibited weapon or explosive

  • Threatening behaviour

  • Sexual assault – aggravated sexual assault, child pornography

  • Robbery, blackmail, extortion

 

Worried about the likely penalty? Ready to get some common sense legal advice? Contact us and make an appointment.

Divorce & Family Law

In Australia, there is no need to provide any reasons for divorce other than that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. If you’ve been separated for more than 12 months the court takes this as evidence of the fact, and even if you still live under the same roof you can still obtain a divorce provided you swear to the separation in your divorce application.

 

What do I need to apply for a divorce?
You will need your marriage certificate, identification, and proof of citizenship (if you were not born in Australia).

How long does it take?

When you lodge your divorce application the court will advise the date of the hearing, usually within 2 – 3 months. The hearing is not long and you may not need to attend. The divorce order becomes final in one month and one day from the date of the hearing, provided it is granted.

What about the children?
The court needs to be satisfied that your children are being taken care of before a divorce will be granted, but will not expect that you have a formal agreement in place in regard to child custody.

 

What about property?
You may be able to reach agreement with your ex-partner without having to go to Court. However, bear in mind that if you can’t reach agreement, a formal application for property orders must be lodged within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.

 

We can provide assistance for a range of matters relating to family law and de facto relationships, including:

 

Marriage, De Facto and Divorce Law

  • Prenuptial agreements (prenups)

  • Divorce in Australia including preparing and serving divorce papers

  • Legal separation issues

  • Property settlements

  • Binding Financial Agreements

  • Domestic and family violence and intervention orders (seeking or opposing)

  • Family Mediation

 

Children’s issues

  • Child support and enforcement of payments

  • Parenting plans for children spending time with each parent

  • Parental rights, father’s rights and grandparent’s rights

  • Children’s Court

Contact us to arrange a consultation.

Wills & Powers of Attorney

Planning for your family’s future after you’re gone is a really important legal task.

 

If you take the time now to make an effective legally binding Will and Testament you can save your family not only stress but money in what will undoubtedly be a difficult time for them. We can help:

  • Advise you in regard to estate and Probate laws

  • Write a will that maximises the inheritance for your family

  • Set up family and testamentary trusts

  • Advise you in regard to choosing executors and guardians

  • Minimise the chance that your will is contested and subject to litigation

 

At the same time as considering your Will we strongly recommend that you also put in place plans for any future incapacity through Power of Attorney and Guardianship documents. This will ensure that if you somehow become unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment or living arrangements then the person or persons who you trust to make these decisions can do so unhindered.

 

If you’ve been left out of a Will, or have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of your inheritance you may be able to make a claim against the estate.

 

Who can dispute a Will?
It varies from state to state, but some of the people who may be entitled to claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:

  • Wife or husband

  • Defacto or same sex partner

  • Former spouse or defacto partner

  • Child, stepchild or grandchild

  • Parent of a child of the deceased

  • Parent, brother or sister

  • Someone who was financially dependent on the deceased

  • Carer of the deceased

 

This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.

 

Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. You have only 6 months from the grant of Probate. In certain circumstances, you might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit so please contact me to discuss your situation.

 

What if I don’t believe the Will was valid?
You can challenge a Will if you believe that the will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. You can also challenge a Will if you believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.

 

How do I make a claim?
First, contact a lawyer, who can assess your claim and discuss the particular circumstances of your claim. If it’s worth continuing I will contact the executors and notify them of your claim. I will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make an offer to the executors. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.

 

If the matter isn’t resolved then we can lodge documents with the court to initiate proceedings on your behalf. We can still negotiate and in some cases mediation will be required by the court.

 

Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing wherein the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.

 

We can help
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will it’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees, but if it comes down to court we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.

 

Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation to make your will or challenge one.

Doug Parker & Associates

Lawyers

12 Winterhill Link

Bundoora Victoria 3083

+61 3 9467 3910

©2018 by Doug Parker & Associates Lawyers. 

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