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

surfcheque5

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.

De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay 2015

De Bortoli Sacred Hill ChardonnayThe value end of the retail wine spectrum is a busy if not duopolistic space, but if you can look past the “specials” promoted by the Coles and Woolworths operations, there are some Australian made wines punching well above their weight.  Like the De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay 2015.

It’s a product of the Riverina region near Griffith in New South Wales where the warm dry climate is well suited to growing high volumes of white wines like Semillon and Chardonnay.  Such is its suitability to viticulture that the Riverina is, in fact, now the second biggest wine producing area in Australia!

Unlike many of its competitors at the quaffing price point, the Sacred Hill does not give the impression of being a mass produced product best stored in cardboard!  It shows lively fruit throughout yet possesses great poise and balance.  The nose is somewhat unyielding but reveals its French oak exposure from the outset with perhaps just a slight hint of nectarine.  Once on the palate, voluptuous pear, stone fruit and honeydew melon characters embrace gentle acids and drive their way to a long crisp finale.

It’s a remarkable wine given its $5 price tag and well suited as a quaffer or when catering for the crowds.

 

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is a practice group leader of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers, part of the Slater and Gordon group, and lover of fine food and wine

Chard Farm River Run Pinot Noir 2013

Chard Farm Pinot NoirWhilst wines stored in your cellar need constant, if not coolish temperatures, it’s an entirely different rule for winemakers applying their viticultural skills to the developing fruit in the vineyard.  Around the world, growing regions with the greatest variation in daily and seasonal temperatures tend to produce the best fruit for winemaking purposes and there’s no better example than Central Otago on New Zealand’s South Island.

In Otago, the semi-continental climate experiences seasonal extremes with hot dry summers and cold, snow packed winters. And the impact on fruit quality is obvious, especially in Pinot Noir from the region.

Chard Farm is one of the well-established wineries in Central Otago, having some 25 years or so of production under its belt and it’s now turning out some world class Pinot.  Their River Run Pinot Noir 2013 is selling at a $35 price point and exhibits all of the characteristics that have put the region on the viticultural map.

In the glass, the vibrant ruby redness telegraphs a fresh liveliness that will have your tastebuds salivating well before the first sip.  Take a whiff and the red cherried fruit aromas are a prologue for the arrival of spicy violet and sage notes across the mid palate, while fine tannins, minerality and a gentle acidity provide elegance to a lingering strawberry epilogue.

It’s a world class wine, but without the Burgundian price tag.

Mount Michael Pinot Gris 2015

Mount MichaelChardonnay may still be the world’s biggest selling white wine varietal, but at least in the United States, the star of Pinot Gris is well and truly on the rise – so much so that it’s now comfortably the second biggest selling white wine in that country.

Amongst Australian wine consumers the style lags well behind sales of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, but it’s growing every year.  And it’s cooler climate regions like Adelaide Hills in South Australia and Central Otago on New Zealand’s South Island that are leading the charge thanks to maturing vines and an ideally suited terroir.

Across the ditch, examples like the Mount Michael Pinot Gris 2015 ($30) are delivering a new level of opulence to a style that is traditionally dry and demi-sec.

The Mount Michael hails from a single vineyard at Lowburn and is a much richer offering than the traditional styles that arrive from Alsace in North-Eastern France.  It’s a style that is textural, complex and surprisingly low in acid.

The nose you’ll find floral and honied, but once you take that first sip the aromatics work their way across the palate where flavours of Nashi pear, quince and ripe nectarines meet a spiciness in the middle, and an apple pie at the conclusion.

The medium palate weight makes it a style that is easily consumed on its own, yet also an ideal companion for spicy Asian dishes, especially when chilled.