In Check Issue 81 | December 2018

18 December, 2018

Holiday season reminders The lead up to Christmas with the extra commitments and pressure is a high-risk time for mistakes and oversights. Be diligent and maintain your risk management practices— now is when you need them most. Here is a reminder of the top three areas where we see the most mistakes and oversights during […]

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Addition to Local Govt. Act 1989 (Vic): potential effects of cladding rectification agreements and charges on land

9 November, 2018

  New service charges may be placed on land pursuant to a new part 8B in the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) inserted by the Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Act 2018 (Vic). The new part came into operation on 30 October 2018 and provides for: councils to enter into agreements […]

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What did they expect?

17 August, 2018

When sued by a client, the reaction from some practitioners is ‘What did they expect for what I charged?’ However, a court will give little regard to your fees when determining the extent of your retainer and whether you discharged your duty. You need to be clear about the scope of your retainer, irrespective of […]

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New ipso facto regime has commenced

10 August, 2018

The amendments to the insolvency regime in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwlth) to restrict the rights of parties to enforce ipso facto clauses in new contracts came into effect on 1 July 2018. These clauses typically allow a party to terminate or exercise other contractual rights if the counterparty enters into an insolvency. Under the […]

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Confirm when discrete tasks are completed in general files

27 July, 2018

One risk of running ‘general files’ is failing to confirm in writing when your obligations in connection with discrete tasks are to be treated as concluded. If you fail to clarify this, you might remain ‘on risk’ for issues beyond the discrete task. In one claim, the practitioner acted for the owner of a nursing […]

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A bad plan

20 July, 2018

A critical issue for any purchaser of an ‘off the plan’ property is ensuring the actual property accords with what they intended to purchase. Therefore, when giving pre-contractual advice to purchasers, it is essential to identify any deficiencies in documentation that could hinder a proper assessment by the purchaser. In one claim, the practitioner was […]

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The trouble with DIY clients

13 July, 2018

Practitioners are finding that some clients are insisting on doing parts of litigation matters themselves, primarily to save legal costs. If you are prepared to accept a limited retainer, you need to manage the risks. In one claim, a practitioner acted on an appeal regarding a dispute over a debt. The client was self-represented at […]

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Every conveyance is unique

29 June, 2018

Conveyancing clerks and lawyers should not assume that what appears to be a straightforward conveyance actually is a straightforward conveyance. It is important to read and understand the contract of sale, section 32 statement and any other relevant documents before advising the client. In one claim, a firm acted on the purchase of a property […]

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Stop and think about loan agreements

10 November, 2017

When a client insists on entering into a risky loan agreement, it is essential to step back and think about whether the client has made an informed choice and you have documented their instructions and your advice. In one claim, the practitioner acted for a lender regarding a loan to a property developer. The practitioner […]

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Building and constructions claims

21 July, 2017

Building and construction claims arise in a number of practice areas including commercial, litigation, leasing and conveyancing with litigation and conveyancing having the most claims. Lack of experience is one factor which contributed to some of these claims. Several litigation claims arose out of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) […]

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