Expert Advice

Contracts: Black and White, not read all over
Business Law
If everything isn’t black and white, I say, “Why the hell not?” - John Wayne Can two people read the same sentence, but take away different meanings?  The answer to that question, depending on the people, is ‘Yes’.  But what is the legal consequence, and how can a contract be enforced, should that occur? That was the question asked of the...
Succession planning can avoid sudden crisis
Business Law
In 2007 a car accident took the life of a business partner of Mark Love and his colleagues. This was not only a tragedy but also potentially devastating for their business. The director of Bradley Allen Love business and corporation section, Mr Love said a shareholders' agreement was already in place as part of a succession plan. This plan, backed...
Women’s super, not so super – RSM tackles the gender gap
Accounting
Women who raise children and care for ailing members of their family are often left with the least amount of superannuation for their retirement. Across Australia, most women have on average about $157,000 in their superannuation fund when they retire. According to RSM Australia, this is woefully inadequate and well below the recommended amount of $545,000 required for a single...
Human Rights Commission reveals sexual harassment at work is increasing
Business Law
Last Wednesday, the Australian Human Rights Commission released the results of an extensive survey, showing that sexual harassment remains a prevalent issue in today's workplaces. The 2018 survey, which includes sexual harassment towards men and women, found that sexual harassment at work had increased significantly since previous surveys in 2003 and 2012. Speaking at the National Press Club, Sex Discrimination...
On the back of a napkin: when is a contract really enforceable?
Business Law
It’s a Friday night, and you and your best mate are sitting at the pub having a couple of drinks. He’s telling you about his new business and lamenting that if he only had the money for a great website to promote it, he could be making a fortune by years’ end. Knowing you’re a web developer, he asks you...
How to know if you’ve been unfairly dismissed
Business Law
  According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, losing your job ranks eight out of ten on the list of life’s most stressful events. But when it is unexpected, or happens as a result of something that seems unfair, it can be even more traumatic. In the 2016-2017 financial year, 11,160 cases of unfair dismissal were brought against employers...
ACT Work Health and Safety law changes for major construction projects
Property
On 7 June 2018, an amendment to the ACT Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT)(the WHS Act) was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly. If the amendment passes the Assembly, it will come into force on 1 January 2019 and impose new Work Health and Safety (WHS) obligations for Canberra construction companies running projects worth more than $5 million. The Work Health and...
Building or buying a new home in Canberra? Beware the pitfalls
Expert Advice
Property development in Canberra is booming, with a swag of new land releases open to the public over the past few years, and new developments popping up right across the territory – from Tuggeranong to Kingston, Braddon, Belconnen and Gungahlin. It’s exciting times for many Canberrans, who have had the opportunity to secure never-before-lived on land, or snap up brand...
Tax time: If you’re a public servant or small business, make sure you’re claiming these deductions
Accounting
We’re fast approaching the busiest time of the year for accounting firms—tax time! Whether you view the end of the financial year as an opportunity to reconcile, review and reflect on the year that’s been, or you simply view it as a pain in the backside, most of us are focused on one thing—to avoid paying any more tax than...
6 Quick Security Tips: What steps can you take to protect your business’ data?
Business Law
As threats to business’ security and data grow ever more complex and diverse, businesses must be on constant guard against the next danger, especially where they must notify individuals in the event of a data breach. The new mandatory data breach notification regime has now come into operation. Having only begun on 22 February (Meyer Vandenberg has previously written on the topic...
Navigating loans secured over personal property: avoid getting caught out by the PPSA
Business Law
For some businesses, this headline should be met with the reaction, “Really? Again?”. However, many businesses do not yet realise that the security regime established under the Personal Properties Security Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) is a fundamental part of doing business in Australia. It is apparent to us that many Canberra businesses remain unaware of the system. Unfortunately, we keep...
Property Conveyancing: What, Why, How?
Property
Buying a home can be so much fun – from checking the listings and visiting properties to imagining your future life and signing the purchase papers – your dreams are coming true and you have good cause to be excited. There are a few necessary steps after house hunting that may not seem as exciting though, and conveyancing is one...
Good Wills Hunting: Risks of using DIY Will-Kits
Family Law
Think you’re sorted if you prepared your own Will using a Will-kit from the newsagency, or one you downloaded from the internet, or one you’ve freestyled and typed up yourself? Think again! If you don’t complete a Will correctly, you may cause more of a burden for your family than if you’d passed away without a Will. Yes, you might...
Are you a first homebuyer that wants to know more about the process?
Property
When taking the first steps into the property market, most people are confronted with a lot of legal jargon and might not even know if they are deemed eligible by lenders to borrow money to purchase a property. This is why local law firm Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers and Goodwin Blain Financial are running a series of First Home Buyer Seminars...
Bankruptcy in Canberra: How to avoid it
Accounting
Having to declare bankruptcy is a scary proposition for many. And while no one ever wants to find themselves in a situation where there’s no other alternative, sometimes life’s events simply make it inescapable. Unfortunately, small business owners make up a high percentage of those who end up filing for bankruptcy or personal insolvency in Canberra. Poor cash flow, bad...
Defined benefit plan: what does retirement look like for you?
Accounting
Most people adopt a ‘set and forget’ approach to managing their super, but if you’re a Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS) or Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) super fund holder, there are a few changes you need to be aware of. On 1 July 2017, a reduction in contribution limits came into effect along with the introduction of the Total Superannuation...
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