The need for debt recovery is a common occurrence. At D’Angelo Legal we assess, with you, the likelihood of recovery with the most cost effective approach. Simplifying the process, an unpaid invoice is a breach of contract. Disputes arise when parties to a contract don’t do what they agreed too. In these situations it is paying for products or services supplied by you.
Debt collection may involve a few stages:
- First, we review our client’s agreement with the debtor to ascertain whether legal costs and interest can be claimed – quite often the terms and conditions are silent on this point, which triggers a recommendation the client have the same redrafted to avoid future issues;
- A letter of demand is issued to the debtor and an outcome can sometimes be negotiated if the debtor responds – this may result in full payment, or a deed of settlement being prepared to finalise the dispute between the parties;
- If an outcome cannot be agreed, the litigation team at D’Angelo Legal take steps to assist the client in taking the matter to court, if able and if instructed to do so.
Our Commercial team commence assisting clients with these matters, before passing the same to the Litigation team, if required.
Clients are provided with a risk analysis of their claim and are asked to consider the commercial / financial risks as well as other costs as each client has different appetites for risk.
We pride ourselves on providing practical advice on a wide range of Disputes without the need for court proceedings. However, we realise that not all disputes can be settled without court involvement and if you should require this for your matter we will discuss the most cost effective way forward. This will include advice on the risks of the matter, process and prospect of success, ultimately leaving the decision up to you, following our recommendations.
We have experience in the following areas:
Property Disputes are disagreements in relation to land and can include:
- Fencing disputes;
- Tenancy disputes;
- Ownership of land; and
- Settlement delays.
Contract disputes relate to differences between parties in relation to either written or verbal contracts and can include:
- Breach of terms in including damages;
- Interpretations of terms; and
- False, misleading and deceptive pre-negotiations.
Lease disputes concern disagreements arising from a property lease agreement and can include:
- Rent monies;
- Lease term;
- Bond; and
Building disputes generally arise from agreements made regarding building operations. Such disagreements can relate to
- Tradesman / Workmanship;
- Length of Time; and
- Variation to plan.
Shareholder, Partnership and Unit holder disputes arise from differences with partnership agreements and can include:
- Breaches of partnership agreements;
- Acting without authority;
- Future direction of business; and
- Division of assets.
Director Disputes can concern disagreements such as:
- Dispute over the direction of the company;
- Breach of an agreement;
- Acting without authority; and
- Breach of a director’s fiduciary obligations.
Taxation Disputes may arise if you believe you have been incorrectly assessed in relation to income, GST, capital gains or fringe benefits tax. If you have a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) relating to an assessment we can provide you with advice on what to do and assist with informal challenges or formal reviews depending on which stage the assessment is at. This is usually done in conjunction with your Accountant or Financial Controller and in necessary circumstances, with the appointment of Counsel, who specialise in taxation matters.
Defamation (whether in print or verbal) is a communication from one person to at least one other that lowers or harms the reputation of a third person. Usually the communicator has no legal defence and there is no legal basis (such as truth) to which the communicator relies on. The law of defamation aims to balance free speech with the right of an individual to enjoy a reputation free from an indefensible attack.
For you to be successful in a defamation action, you would have to prove three things:
- that the communication has been published to a third person;
- that the communication identifies (or is about) the plaintiff; and
- that the communication is defamatory.
It is important to note that actions in defamation have a limitation period of one year from publication. Therefore it is vitally important to seek legal advice immediately, especially if you are wanting a court order to prevent further publication of the defamatory material.
Challenging a Will or Estate According to the Law
There are various reasons why an estate may be disputed. This may include:
- You believe the will-maker lacked capacity or was pressured at the date of the will;
- You believe a will is fraudulent;
- A promise was made to you in the will makers lifetime that was not noted in their will as agreed; and/or
- You were not adequately provided for in their will, or not provided for at all.
Even though it is a person’s right to choose who will inherit his or her estate, there are often situations where the law allows a will to be contested.
Challenging a will or a deceased estate is often a complicated and expensive matter. This is because there are many other factors to consider other than the legislation or the current case law which regulates how and when someone can challenge a will or a deceased estate. This includes who is allowed to challenge a will, the size and value of the estate and whether your portion or lack of is grounds for contesting.
It is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible as there are time limits that may affect your right to challenge an estate.
If you have any concerns regarding your will or have an enquiry about challenging an estate we would be more than happy to discuss this further. Often we can resolve matters by way of informal negotiation or mediation. This will prevent you from needing to go to trial saving you time and money. If the circumstances require the need to go to court our litigation team can assist.