Charity Wine Makers Masterclass and Wine Symposium

The annual Slater and Gordon Group Wine Makers Masterclass in support of SunnyKids was held earlier this month at the Events Centre Maroochy RSL. With 330 guests in attendance the event was a huge success! Over $48,000 raised for SunnyKids through live auctions and raffle tickets purchased on the day. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the lunch. It was also wonderful to have 4 wine makers join us on the day to show their wares and speak about their wines. A huge thank you to Mark Messenger of Juniper Estate, Darren DeBortoli of DeBortoli Wines, Adam Peren of Two Sisters and Justin Nugent of Bird in Hand.   

The Wine Symposium was another great evening with over 360 guests joining us throughout the event to mix and mingle with new and old friends and to taste a few wines. We appreciate all the support from our clients and referrers who continue to work with us and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Term 2 – $5k School Pay Day

A huge congratulations to St. Andrew’s Anglican College for winning the $5k School Pay Day. The Year 7 students will put the $5000 towards projects they are undertaking within the local community.

The students are working on a range of projects. Some include brightening the lives of very sick children in Nambour hospital, helping the homeless on the Sunshine Coast, raising money for cancer foundations, helping the elderly with chores, improving the recycling and composting efforts within their school.

Glass House Mountains State School held their Run4Fun

This morning, Glass House Mountains State School held their Run4Fun. It was great to be there and watch on as the students and their parents climbed up, over, through and under obstacles, sliding down the hill of foam and water with a little help from the fire brigade to hose them off. It is wonderful to see the $5k contribution go a long way by providing a fun event for the school, students and the local Glasshouse community.

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Slater and Gordon Group recognise high academic achievement on the Sunshine Coast

(left to right) Bronte Newcombe, Sarah Dennis, Kent Olive

(left to right) Bronte Newcombe, Sarah Dennis, Kent Olive

Slater and Gordon Group have donated $1,500 to the highest achieving law students from University of the Sunshine Coast, recognising their outstanding academic results.

Slater and Gordon Lawyer Sarah Dennis presented the donation at the Sunshine Coast Awards Night and congratulated the students on their outstanding efforts.

“Slater and Gordon Group are proud to provide support to excelling students to reward their high academic achievements,” Ms Dennis said.

“Many students go above and beyond during their studies, going that extra mile to ensure they are getting the most out of the opportunities available to them.

“The time and effort that they put into their studies should be commended and exemplified for future students to aspire to.”

Ms Dennis said the 2016 recipients had exceeded expectation and were sure to have prosperous futures ahead of them.

“The two winners were awarded high distinctions in their respective subjects, one scoring a flawless 100% overall,” Ms Dennis said.

“They have both set extremely high standards for their classmates and on behalf of the Slater and Gordon Group, I would like to wish them all the best through their future study and career.”

Each year the Slater and Gordon Group sponsor the Legal Awards, donating two prizes valued at $750 each to two of the highest achieving students.

Four Important Facts You Need to Know About Settlement

Courtney Barton 1. What is a Property Settlement?

When a marriage or a de facto relationship ends, the parties should always finalise their financial ties with one another.  This may involve the transfer of ownership of real estate, cash, superannuation or other property from one party to another.  For example, if the matrimonial home is in joint names the parties may agree that the house be sold and the proceeds divided. Alternatively, the parties may agree that one party receives the house and makes a cash payment of some nature to the other party to ‘buy out’ their interest.

When you are separating, it is important to obtain legal advice from a Solicitor specialising in family law, in order to determine your entitlements.

2. How do I formalise our property settlement?

Any agreement reached between you and your former partner should always be formalised (recorded legally).

There are two ways of recording a property settlement agreement between two separated parties:

  1. A Consent Order; or a
  2. Binding Financial Agreement.

A Consent Order is an Order which both parties have agreed to and the Family Court approves before making the Order, to ensure it is just and equitable.

A Binding Financial Agreement is an agreement between parties which has not been scrutinised by a Court to ensure it is just and equitable however the parties must consult with a Solicitor to make the agreement valid.

You should talk to your Solicitor about which form of agreement is right for you.

3. Why is it important to formalise your property settlement?

There are several reasons:

  • A Consent Order & Binding Financial Agreement are legally binding. This means that if the other party does not comply with the agreement, you have recourse to the Court to enforce compliance of the agreement.
  •  It finalises your financial relationship with your former partner. This means that your former partner cannot make a further property settlement claim against you.

4. Why is it important to do your property settlement promptly after you separate?

If you do not finalise your property settlement promptly after separation, this means your financial ties with one another have not been severed and you leave yourself open to a property settlement claim being made against you in the future, subject to relevant time limitations.

The value of the asset pool is not the date of separation it is when you make an agreement or when a Judge determines your matter.

This means that if your super interest increases, or you acquire a new asset or you improve the value of an asset post separation, but prior to a property settlement, it forms part of the property pool to be split between you and your former partner.

You should not leave yourself open to your improved superannuation entitlements,  or assets acquired/improved by you post separation,  forming part of your  property settlement.

Alternatively, if your former partner sells an asset or wastes away funds in the property pool, post separation, and applies the income for his/her own benefit, the property pool is reduced therefore reducing your entitlements. This is because the Court cannot deal with assets that no longer exist.

The only caveat to the above is that the Court has discretion to take into account financial contributions of the parties or wastage of matrimonial assets post separation.

It  is in your interests to formalise your property settlement sooner rather than later so that you can re-establish your financial position without a potential property settlement application hanging over your head in the future depending on time limitations.

Slater and Gordon Group Support the Sunshine Coast Surf Season

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Coolum Beach Surf Club – Sarah Dennis

Dicky Beach - Liz Catton

Dicky Beach Surf Club – Liz Catton

Mudjimba Surf Club

Mudjimba Surf Club – Michael Callow

Surf clubs across the Sunshine Coast have received a cash bonus to support their nippers as part of the Slater and Gordon Group Surf Cheque initiative.

The initiative which ran throughout the lifesaving season recognized the important contribution surf clubs make to the Sunshine Coast community by awarding $1000 towards their junior nipper program.

The winning surf lifesaving clubs included:

  • Dicky Beach SLSC
  • Alexandra SLSC
  • Mudjimba Beach SLSC
  • Coolum Beach SLSC
  • Sunshine Beach SLSC
  • Metropolitan Caloundra

Principal Lawyer Michael Callow said it is important to support our local surf clubs to ensure our beaches are kept safe.

“The Sunshine Coast surf lifesaving clubs are the heart and soul of our beaches and many members volunteer their time each summer to ensure the safety of beachgoers,” Mr Callow said.

“It is important that we continue to support these clubs and the hard work and dedication their members deliver to the community, especially when it comes to the great training programs they provide to the nippers.”

Senior Associate Liz Catton said Slater and Gordon Group are proud to support surf clubs on the Sunshine Coast.

“Surf Clubs are often run by volunteers and rely heavily on donations from the community,” Ms Catton said.

“The Slater and Gordon Group Surf Cheque initiative recognize the importance of these training programs and are proud to assist in the training of our future lifesavers.”

Mudjimba Beach Surf Club Junior Activities Chairman Adam Amos said the club were extremely grateful for the donation made by the Slater and Gordon Group.

“The $1000 went towards paying for half of the registration fees for our surf sport participants who competed at the branch championships,” Mr Amos said.

“We were also able to pay for half of the registration fees for 12 youth to undertake SLSQ Camp Commando Program.”

 

The Importance of Engaging a Family Lawyer

Angela Tondelstrand DSC_8770Angela Tondelstrand, Principal Lawyer of STOLaw, part of the Slater and Gordon Group at North Lakes, explains the importance of engaging a lawyer when separating and that not all matters will end up in court if all appropriate avenues and steps are been taken.

Q1. Why is it important to engage a lawyer in the early stages of separation?  So that you can be aware of your rights and responsibilities upon separation, the likely effect of changes in circumstances, and can take steps to protect your rights if there is a risk that time and changing circumstances can have a negative effect.

Q2. How can a lawyer assist someone going through a separation? By advising a party of their options, tailored to the circumstances of the client, whilst also informing of the various opportunities, risks and costs that those options pose.  The lawyer would then follow the client’s instructions to navigate a resolution, usually by negotiation with the other party.

Q3. What is the most important factor/s to consider when separating? Obtaining timely advice from a specialist legal advisor who is not afraid to tell you what you need to know, and not necessarily what you want to hear.

Q4. There is a common misconception that seeing a lawyer will mean you will have to go to court. Is that correct? Absolutely not!  In my experience most matters do not require a court process to resolve, and except in limited circumstances, lawyers should attempt negotiations if reasonably and practically possible, to avoid unnecessary waste of a client’s time and money.

Protecting your property

Leisa Toomey Leisa Toomey, Practice Group Leader of STOLaw, part of the Slater and Gordon Group explains the importance of engaging a lawyer when separating and that not all matters will end up in court if all appropriate avenues and steps are been taken.

Q1. Why is it important to engage a lawyer in the early stages of separation?  To understand your rights and obligations and to ensure you make an informed decision on matters regarding children and property settlement.

Q2. How can a lawyer assist someone going through a separation? By providing relevant advice and guide them through those things that have to be considered to ensure a fair and just outcome for them.

Q3. What is the most important factor/s to consider when separating? Seeking out skilled and informative advice from a lawyer that specialises in this type of work to understand what options are open to you to resolve your matters.

Q4. There is a common misconception that seeing a lawyer will mean you will have to go to court. Is that correct? No, this is not correct. Lawyers in this area of law should always investigate settlement prospects through mediation to avoid unnecessary expense and the wasting of valuable time for the client.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” FREED!

It’s a short tune consisting of only six notes, but one which is known and used around the globe yet until earlier this year, “Happy Birthday to You” was considered to be subject to copyright held by Warner/Chappell Music.  The birthday compilation is thought to have had its genesis in a Kentucky kindergarten in around 1893 at which it was sung to kindergarten children as “Good morning to you”.

Since then, the copyright has changed hands a number of times and has resulted in Warner/Chappell Music reaping millions of dollars in royalties each year because whenever it is used in television shows, movies, print or even publicly, Warner/Chappell claimed to be entitled to a royalty fee.

But all that has now changed because a US Federal Court Judge has recently ruled that the copyright originally filed by another entity in 1935 only gave them rights over specific arrangements of the music rather than the actual song itself.

The decision may seem rather trivial but it means that people can sing or play the song now in restaurants, schools, clubs,  and other public venues  without fear of being hit with a law suit by a music industry behemoth from across the globe.

So now, when it’s that special day of the year for you, feel free to sing that familiar tune as loudly and boldly as you like, because you can’t be made to pay for the privilege!

 

by Travis Schultz

Merry Christmas from STOLaw, part of the Slater and Gordon Group

Wow! What an exciting and eventful year STOLaw, part of the Slater and Gordon Group has had.

We have been very privileged to have been able host and support a number of community events which have taken place throughout the year.  These include the Young Achievers Awards, Junior Team of the Week, monthly Surf Cheque award to local surf lifesaving clubs, Hot 91 Random Acts of Kindness, Wine Makers Masterclass in support of SunnyKids, BMW Gala Ball in support of Wishlist, , Race Across America in support of Montrose Access, Wishlist Row for Cancer, Wishlist Spring Racing Gala,  and to conclude the year – Christmas Carols at Kings Beach .

All of these events couldn’t have been made possible without the support of our great team, clients and other corporate partners.

We’d like to wish you all, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year and look forward to working with you in 2016.

STO Law Winemakers Masterclass Lunch

STO Law Winemakers Masterclass Lunch in support of SunnyKids

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Carols on Kings, Caloundra

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Young Achievers Awards 2015 – Winners Tim & Sam Aitken

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Surf Cheque – December Winners Coolum Beach

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Wishlist Spring Racing Gala Committee