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Call us at (02) 9436 4329 admin@sorensenandbrown.com.au

Other Legal Services


Commercial Law

We offer advice in the following areas of commercial law:

  • Acquisitions & Mergers
  • Business & Transaction Structure
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Product Licences
  • Distributorship Agreements
  • Service Agreements
  • Consultancy Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Product Development, Invention, Manufacture & Delivery
  • IP: Copyright, Trademarks and Designs
  • Restrictive Trade Practices: Resale Price Maintenance, Refusal to Supply

Commercial Leases

Commercial leases often involve extensive periods of time, and large amounts of money in rent and other outgoings. A commercial lease should be in writing, so that both parties know the full details of their rights and responsibilities under the lease. We can draft or examine leases to make sure they will safely cover your arrangement into the future.

Entering a lease agreement

Much like buying a business, before entering into a lease, you should get legal advice about the terms and conditions.

Under the Retail Leases Act, potential lessees must be given a draft lease and disclosure statement – which is a summary of your rights and obligations under the lease, before making you an offer.

Contents of leases

The lease gives a detailed description of the property you are renting. It should set out the dimensions of the premises, their condition, what fittings or equipment is included in the lease, and which party is responsible for the maintenance.

Leases also specify the intended use of the premises. This description should be a full and accurate description, taking into account how the business might expand over time.

The lease will set out its term or how long the lease agreement will remain in effect. Leases often give the tenant an option to renew the lease for a certain period of time, which can be handy if the business is going well. The lease will set out the precise procedure that the tenant must follow in order to exercise the option. Retail leases must be for at least 5 years, although the tenant can get a shorter lease with a signed certificate from their solicitor.

The lease will set out its term or how long the lease agreement will remain in effect. Leases often give the tenant an option to renew the lease for a certain period of time, which can be handy if the business is going well. The lease will set out the precise procedure that the tenant must follow in order to exercise the option. Retail leases must be for at least 5 years, although the tenant can get a shorter lease with a signed certificate from their solicitor.

The lease will set out its term or how long the lease agreement will remain in effect. Leases often give the tenant an option to renew the lease for a certain period of time, which can be handy if the business is going well. The lease will set out the precise procedure that the tenant must follow in order to exercise the option. Retail leases must be for at least 5 years, although the tenant can get a shorter lease with a signed certificate from their solicitor.


Commercial Litigation

We offer experienced legal assistance in claims involving:

  • Misleading and deceptive conduct under the Trade Practices Act and under the Fair Trading Act;
  • Unconscionable and unjust conduct under the Trade Practices Act;
  • Breaches of the Corporations Law;
  • Contractual disputes;
  • Failure to properly advise contracting parties of known or anticipated risks where there is a duty to do so;
  • Professional Negligence;
  • Credit law;
  • Negligence;
  • Insolvency; and
  • Franchisee claims
  • Insurance claims are handled by our specialist Insurance Department.

Contract Law

The idea of an ‘agreement’ is central to contract law. A contract may be considered an agreement involving an offer and acceptance which the courts will enforce. However, not all agreements will be enforced. Determining why involves understanding how contracts are classified at law and what elements are required in order that they may be valid and binding.  Once you make a contract you will be committing a breach if you do not comply with its terms, or if you change your mind and decide not to perform your side of the contract.

If a party breaches a contract there are a number of remedies available, including:

  •  If a party breaches a contract there are a number of remedies available, including:
  • A Court Order requiring the party who has breached the contract to carry out his/her obligations;
  • An Order from the Court forbidding the party from breaching the contract;
  • An Order from the Court forbidding the party from breaching the contract;

The type of remedy and its availability would depend very much on the type of contract and the type of breach. A Solicitor can advise you as to the best means of dealing with the problem.

How can a Solicitor help me?

A Solicitor can:

  • Explain the terms of a contract and advise you as to your rights and obligations under that contract;
  • Advise you as to the consequences of entering into a contract before you commit yourself to it;
  • Discuss the contract with the other party or his/her Solicitor so that terms which you may not have agreed to or which might disadvantage you may be altered or removed;
  • Take instructions to prepare a contract for you to enter into with another party;
  • Advise and assist you if the other party breaches the contract; Advise and assist you if you are accused of breaching a contract.

Corporate Law

  • Corporate Insolvency advice and litigation
  • Liquidations, Administrations, Receiverships
  • Mergers and acquisition litigation
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Corporate and commercial advice
  • Directors’ liabilities and obligations
  • ASX Business and Listing Rules advice

Criminal Law

Federal Criminal Law is now codified in the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The Code, which now consists of eight chapters, ranging in subject matter from theft, through terrorism to sexual slavery, is prefaced by a comprehensive codification of the general principles of criminal responsibility. The Code is not yet complete. Some significant areas of federal criminal law – drug related offences are the most notable example – have yet to be brought within the structure of the Code. Since December 15 2001, however, all Commonwealth criminal offences are subject to the general principles of criminal responsibility set out in the Code.

As part of our responsibility to out clients, we are able to offer advice on:

  • General Principles of Criminal Responsibility
  • Corporate Crime and Cultures of Non Compliance
  • Federal jurisdiction
  • Theft, Fraud and Bribery
  • Foreign Bribery
  • Cybercrime
  • Customs Act
  • Drug Offences
  • Codification and the Constitution
  • The Civil/Criminal Divide
  • Forfeiture and pecuniary penalties
  • Federal Sentencing Law

Debt Recovery

If you are owed money you can take legal action to recover it. We can help you do it and in most cases the person that owes you money can be ordered to pay some of your legal fees!

Debts of up to $60,000.00 are recovered in the Local Court.

Debts of up to $750,000.00 can be recovered in the District Court

Debts exceeding $750,000.00 are usually dealt with in the Supreme Court.

To commence Court proceedings you (the creditor) file a Statement of Claim. This document sets out basic details of the debt and tells the debtor to pay the debt or to defend the matter within 28 days after service of the Statement of Claim. If the debtor does not file a defence and does not pay within that twenty-eight day period then Judgment will be entered against the debtor.

Once Judgment is entered it can be enforced. A number of procedures are available including-

  • Writs: A Court officer, the Sheriff, attends the debtor’s premises, seizes goods and sells them. The proceeds of the sale go to the creditor.
  • Examination Summons: The debtor is required to attend the Court to answer questions about how he, she or it can satisfy the Judgment. The information is then used to assist other debt recovery processes.
  • Garnishee Orders: A Court can issue an Order addressed to an unrelated party who owes money to the debtor. The Order requires the money to be paid to the creditor instead of the debtor.

Once Judgment is entered it can be enforced. A number of procedures are available including-


Disputes and Litigation

Whether it is a building dispute, contractual claim, insolvency issue, intellectual property or people-related matter, we have the experience to get issues resolved with the least impact on our clients as possible.

Keeping clients out of court and resolving business disputes in the least adversarial and mutually advantageous way is our first priority. To achieve this, we have experience in a range of mediation skills as well as access to external mediation facilities and legal and non-legal specialists.

But sometimes litigation through the courts is the most effective process for achieving resolution and compensation. In these circumstances, we will work with our clients to manage the conflict process in the most effective way, at all times ensuring clients are kept up to date with progress and are fully informed.

The statute of limitations for cases resulting from business disputes may vary from case to case, so it is highly recommended you seek legal counsel immediately.

 Business Dispute Services

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Industrial Disputes
  • Directors’ Duties and Responsibilities
  • Building Matters
  • Contractual Violations
  • Insolvency
  • Intellectual Property

Drink Driving Offences

There are two types of drink driving offences with which you can be charged, both of which are established by the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (NSW). The first is for driving while under the influence of alcohol (s 12) and the second is for driving with the prescribed concentration of alcohol (s 9).

It is most often the case that the police will charge you with the second offence because they will usually have a precise blood alcohol reading. The police will charge you with driving under the influence of alcohol, however, if they do not have a reading. This would occur if you refused to be tested, there was a technical problem, or there was some other reason why a reading could not be obtained. You should note, however, that refusing a breath test and refusing a blood analysis are offences in themselves.

Whether or not you wish to plead guilty to the drink driving offence you are charged with, it is advisable that you get legal advice. In some circumstances you may be able to get a legal aid solicitor to deal with your matter, but in most instances you will need to retain a private solicitor.

A solicitor will be familiar with the procedures of the local court – where your matter will be heard – and will be best placed to present your case in the appropriate and indeed, most advantageous fashion. If you refer to a solicitor well in advance of your court date they will be able to ensure all evidence is provided to the court on the day, and further, that other action that will assist your case is taken prior to your appearance.

It is particularly important that you consult a solicitor if you have been charged with a major drink driving offence (for example, your prescribed concentration of alcohol is 0.15 or more) and you have already been charged with a major traffic offence, or if there are significant aggravating features. Aggravating features include the following:

  • There were passengers in the car (particularly if of a young age)
  • The drink driving lead to an accident
  • The drink driving led to an accident and somebody was injured

If either is the case, you may be running the risk of a custodial sentence and your solicitor will need to consider asking that a pre-sentence report be prepared. The report must be ordered by a magistrate, so you would first need to appear in court and your solicitor would request your matter be adjourned so that the report could be prepared. Once ordered, you would need to see a probation or parole officer. The magistrate would make an order that you see an officer closest to where you live.


Industrial & Employment Law

The law relating to employment and industrial relations is complex and drawn from a wide variety of sources – Federal and state legislation, awards, collective agreements and common law make up the mosaic that is employment law. It is important legal advice is obtained on specific employment contracts or workplace situations.

In this area of growing complexity we can offer advice and assistance to employees on a range of issues:

  • Unfair dismissal;
  • Discrimination;
  • Harassment;
  • Employee entitlements, conditions and enterprise agreements;
  • Occupational Health and Safety;

Liquor Licensing and Prosecutions

We will assist you with the following matters:

  • Processing applications and permits under the Liquor Act 1992 and Wine Industry Act 1994
  • Maintaining a register of licences and permits
  • Investigating and resolving complaints
  • Conducting prosecutions and other disciplinary actions for non-compliance with the legislation
  • Maintaining and improving the regulatory framework for the liquor and wine industries
  • Implementing and maintaining alcohol restrictions in the 19 Indigenous communities identified in the Meeting Challenges, Making Choices strategy
  • Researching, monitoring and evaluating industry trends
  • Educating the industry and the public about the provisions of the legislation and the responsible service of alcohol
  • Undertaking training and awareness programs

Police & Traffic Matters

There are four types of court proceedings which are likely to result in a student being served with a summons: traffic, criminal, civil, and intervention orders.

Traffic matters, such as speeding or careless driving, can result in fines and loss of driving licence. In very serious cases, such as driving while disqualified or where there are prior convictions for serious offences, gaol terms are possible.

Criminal matters, such as wilful damage or theft, can result in fines and community service orders and, in serious cases, gaol terms. If you have previously been found guilty of other offences by a court, you are likely to get a heavier penalty than a first offender.

Your future may be harmed by a criminal record in various ways, such as affecting employment or being unable to obtain a visa to enter overseas countries.

If you get a traffic or criminal summons, see us as soon as possible. We can give you an assessment of the problem and the likely penalties, and what, if anything, can be done to improve your position. We can also advise you how to handle your own court hearing, if appropriate, or arrange representation at your court hearing, if that is desirable.


Probate & Deceased Estates

When a person dies leaving assets, somebody, usually the Executor of the person's will, has to deal with the person's estate. That generally involves;

  • Collecting or gathering in all assets of the deceased
  • Paying any debts, funeral expenses etc.
  • Distributing the estate to the persons entitled to it.

In order to carry out the tasks above a Grant of Representation may be required.

Grants of Representation

A Grant of Representation is a legal document issued under the seal of the Court which enables the person(s) named as Executor(s) or Administrator(s) to deal with the assets of the deceased. It allows money of the deceased held in banks, managed funds etc, to be collected, property to be sold or transferred and debts to be paid. The Grant is proof to anyone wishing to sight it that the person named in the Grant is entitled to collect and distribute the estate of the deceased. There are four types of Grants of Representation issued by the Court.

Probate

Probate is the process of officially proving the validity of a will, that is, establishing the validity of the will as the last will of the deceased. A Grant of Probate is issued in cases where the deceased’s last will is proved by one or more Executors named in the will.

Letters of Administration with the will annexed

Representation in these cases is ordinarily granted where the deceased has left a valid will but the named Executor cannot or will not apply for a Grant. The Grant is generally made in favour of the person with the greatest proprietary interest under the will. Where there are several persons equally entitled to a Grant the Court will usually make the Grant to the person first applying. In cases where there are competing applications the Court, as a general rule, is disposed to make the Grant to the applicant who is most likely to deal with it to the advantage of the estate and to the benefit of the creditors and beneficiaries.

Letters of Administration

If a person dies without a will or any will made is not valid, the Court issues a Grant of Letters of Administration. In most instances the Grant is made to the next of kin of the deceased. For example, the spouse, domestic partner or a child of the deceased.

Limited Grants

Ordinarily each of the above Grants are made in unlimited form i.e; the Grant extends to the whole of the estate and endures for the whole period of its administration. In appropriate circumstances, however, each of the above Grants may be limited both as to the estate to which it is to extend and the time or purpose for which it is made. An example of a Limited Grant is one made in circumstances where property must be administered pending the outcome of legal proceedings concerning the will or property of the deceased. When the original purpose of the Limited Grant has been fulfilled, an applicant may apply for a cessate or Full Grant in the usual manner.


Property Law

When a person dies leaving assets, somebody, usually the Executor of the person's will, has to deal with the person's estate. That generally involves;

  • General commercial advice and litigation
  • Joint venture advice and disputes
  • Rent review disputes
  • Valuation negligence claims
  • Lease disputes and recoveries

Retirement Village Matters

It is widely recognised that village residents enjoy many benefits that would not be available in a large family home.  Some of these include:

  • The reassurance of knowing that assistance is never more than a phone call away.  All villages should have an emergency call system that is monitored 24 hours a day by staff who are trained in first aid as a minimum requirement.
  • The burden routine home and garden maintenance can be erased as your surrounding are designed for comfort and convenience – whether you attend to them yourself or use services made available by your village. Your villa can even be cared for while you are away!
  • The benefit of companionship that thrives in the village environment.  You have access to facilities and a variety of activities that you can share with like-minded people.
  • As you have your own private villa you can enjoy as much privacy as you desire and continue to welcome the company of family and friends in your own home.  You continue to control what you choose to incorporate into your lifestyle.

As with any home, the selection of a village is motivated by personal and other priorities. It is ultimately you who determines what value the village has in your life.

When considering all the implications of settling into a retirement village, you need to be assured your rights are established and maintained. We will advice you on these rights and obligations according to the village of your choice.


Sale of Business

When a person dies leaving assets, somebody, usually the Executor of the person's will, has to deal with the person's estate. That generally involves;

We provide advice and prepare documentation in relation to all types of business transactions, including:

  • Sale and Purchase of Business
  • Contracts for Sale and Purchase of Goods and Services
  • Distributorship and Sales Agreements
  • Finance documents and transactions
  • Franchises
  • Foreign Investment Approval
  • Industrial Agreements
  • International Trade – Import and Export
  • Tax including Goods & Services Tax and Capital Gains Tax issues for business
  • Terms and Conditions of Trade

Trade Practices Law

  • Unfair competition claims
  • Misleading or deceptive conduct claims
  • Products liability
  • Consumer claims
  • Business conduct and anti-competition claims, predatory pricing, resale price maintenance, secondary boycotts

  • Commercial Law
  • Commercial Leases
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Contract Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debt Recovery
  • Disputes and Litigation
  • Drink Driving Offences
  • Industrial & Employment Law
  • Liquor Licensing and Prosecutions
  • Police & Traffic Matters
  • Probate & Deceased Estates
  • Property Law
  • Retirement Village Matters
  • Sale of Business
  • Trade Practices Law