High Court decision underlines vulnerability of financial agreements

9 February, 2018

The recent High Court case of Thorne v Kennedy [2017] HCA 49 further illustrates why family law financial agreements are fraught with risk. In that case, the plurality comprising Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Edelman JJ held two substantially identical financial agreements voidable due to undue influence and unconscionable conduct. The parties met online […]

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Snapshot – Family law

6 February, 2018

Snapshots provide data and main causes of claims in areas of practice as well as risk management strategies at a glance. Click the image to enlarge or download above.                        

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In Check Issue 77 | December 2017

12 December, 2017

Thorne v Kennedy on financial agreements The recent High Court case of Thorne v Kennedy [2017] HCA 49 further illustrates why family law financial agreements are fraught with risk. In that case, Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Edelman JJ held two substantially identical financial agreements voidable due to undue influence and unconscionable conduct. Nettle […]

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Managing risks in the wills and estates area

27 October, 2017

LPLC has published Wills and estates, the latest in our series of snapshots which are designed to provide data about claims against practitioners in specific practice areas as well as risk management strategies at a glance. This snapshot shows that between 2007 and 2017, claims in the wills and estates area accounted for eight per […]

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Time to retire retirement village claims

20 October, 2017

Since 2013/14 LPLC has seen 18 claims involving aged care facilities and retirement villages. The current estimate of the cost of these claims is in excess of $4million. Claims arise in the three main areas of: buying and selling retirement villages or aged care facilities advising on retirement village contracts for residents drafting wills. With […]

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Stay within your limits when using counsel

25 August, 2017

It is high risk for practitioners to act outside their area of expertise, even when assisted by counsel who is an expert in the relevant area. In one claim, a practitioner acted for a client in a property dispute with the client’s ex-girlfriend despite the practitioner’s lack of expertise in family law matters. The client […]

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Focusing on family law

15 August, 2017

Introduction As family law clients are often preoccupied and in emotional distress, they require particular care. It is an area where simple risk management steps can make a difference. The scope of the retainer needs to be carefully defined and documented. Documenting advice and instructions, and keeping the client informed about the progress of the […]

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Stay on the estate

1 June, 2017

Practitioners handling estate matters should not get involved in family disputes. As disputes between family members arise frequently in estate matters, practitioners need to be alert to their duties to executors and beneficiaries as well as potential conflicts of interest. LPLC has received claims where practitioners handling an estate were not proactive in distancing themselves […]

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Know your limits

11 May, 2017

Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge by the lawyer that the time limit exists, or failing to […]

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In Check Issue 70 | March 2016

31 March, 2016

Cyber-crime – how alert are you? Lawyers and the legal profession are increasingly becoming targets of cyber-crime and while many law firms may not appreciate it, they hold information about clients that may be valuable to cyber-criminals. The cyber-criminals can on-sell client personal or transactional information. They can also lock down a firm’s information and […]

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