The fallout from the banking Royal Commission is ongoing as organisations in the Australian financial sector come to terms with new changes, and the government continues to consider others.

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry commenced in late 2017 before the Honourable Kenneth Hayne AC QC.

The intent of the Royal Commission was to examine some of the egregious and greedy behaviours which had been perpetuated in these industries for some years.

Let’s look at some of the misconduct the Royal Commission uncovered, and how losses may be redressed.

Types of misconduct arising from the Royal Commission

Some of the most concerning matters which were revealed as a result of the Royal Commission included the sale of ‘junk’ products, including insurance policies which could never have been claimed on by the purchasers, the charging of fees for no service by several entities and various other types of financial misconduct.

One of the types of misconduct identified included the provision of negligent or incorrect financial advice by financial planners or investment advisors.

This includes undisclosed financial interests by advisors in the products they were recommending to their clients, the provision of incorrect or inappropriate information or the inclusion of poorly described and veiled commissions and other secret charges

Adverse financial consequences for clients

These types of misconduct can, and on occasion have, resulted in very real financial consequences for unfortunate clients.

This includes people who have found themselves underinsured or with access to insurance products they cannot rely on in times of real need, clients who have paid excessive amounts of money for inferior products and customers who have ended up holding financial products which do not adequately meet their requirements.

Mechanisms for redress

As a result of the Royal Commission, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have increased their powers and are becoming increasingly focused on preventing bad behaviour amongst holders of Australian financial licensees and their authorised representatives.

In doing so, the corporate watchdogs are focusing on diminishing and remediating any consumer harm that has occurred as a result of the actions of financial services licensees, whether on an individual or systemic basis.

In addition to taking action through either corporate regulator, those who believe they have suffered as a result of the actions of their financial planner or advisor can also take action through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, a quasi-tribunal which hears and adjudicates on matters relating to financial misconduct.

Depending on the nature and type of losses sustained, clients who have been affected by financial professional negligence may also choose to take formal action through the court process.

This could be based on a variety of different causes of action, including formal claims of negligence, breach of contract, misrepresentation, fraud or commercial misconduct, to name a few.

Obtaining expert advice

At Pentana Stanton, our experienced lawyers can help you quantify your losses and advise on how best to find a solution to your situation. Contact us to find out how we can help you find your way through the minefield of redressing losses post-Royal Commission.

Most parents who separate at least start out with the best intentions for harmonious co-parenting and amicable future family gatherings.

However, the reality is that even in the most friendly and civilised separations, occasions will arise where both parents simply do not see eye-to-eye on certain matters. This is hardly surprising when you consider that, if everybody got along all the time, is it unlikely that a separation or divorce would ever have come to pass!

Perhaps you can’t agree on whether to allow the kids to spend time overnight with well-meaning but somewhat dotty Great Aunt Ethel. Perhaps one parent is fixated on the concept of an expensive private education, but is not prepared to contribute fairly to the costs of achieving this dream.

Or perhaps the informal agreement which was just fine when the initial terms of the separation were agreed on does not stand up to the test of time, different parenting styles or the introduction of new partners (and potential step-parents) to the situation.

Why formal agreements are necessary

Fundamentally, even the most amicable of separations, particularly where the interests of children are concerned, should have formally recorded property settlements and parenting arrangements in place. By arranging and recording any such agreements, the interests of both parents and, importantly, the children, are best protected if disputes arise.

This is particularly the case where there is a lot of disagreement as to how to approach post-separation parenting. In the event that general communication is difficult post-separation, as is often the case, a detailed parenting plan or agreement will clearly set out the rights and obligations of each parents in an objective document.

Whether your relationship with your ex-partner is a positive one or needs a bit of work, it is indisputable that negotiating about matters involving children is highly emotive and challenging.

By engaging a highly qualified and experienced family law specialist you can take the stress out of having to reach a resolution with your former partner, and make the process of negotiating and recording parenting plans and agreements as simple as possible.

Crucially, their expertise will assist you in considering matters and circumstances which should be recorded in a formal parenting agreement, but which may not necessarily be obvious to you at first look.

How we can help

Regardless of whether you are at the beginning of your separation journey, or you might have already obtained advice which you have found confusing or unsatisfactory, at Pentana Stanton Lawyers, we can walk you through each step of the post-separation process. This includes discussing your key objectives and

priorities for the welfare of your children, negotiating with your former spouse and their legal representatives and drafting a cohesive and official parenting agreement which clearly records your intentions. Contact us today to assist you in reaching agreement with your former spouse in relation to the needs of your children.

Separation can bring with it many personal and financial hurdles. This is often a time of great complexity and personal stress. Good family lawyers understand that they are not simply dealing with a client – they are in fact helping an individual human being during a difficult life event.

A key question that a separating spouse will face is: How much am I entitled to? The answer to this might not be a simple equation.

Your family lawyers should be able to skilfully assess your settlement entitlements and manage your expectations during this difficult phase. For those who have yet to seek legal advice on separation and settlement, it is important to look for advisors who are experts in the latest developments of family law.

A simple split?

In all but a few cases, separating spouses will not be faced with a simple ‘50/50 split and we’re done’ scenario. This not because family lawyers are seeking a complex path.

The reality of life before and after separation is that many factors need to be taken into account in order to establish a fair settlement. In fact, some clients who are expecting only a small entitlement might find that they are entitled to more. 

Contributions during the relationship

Contributions are not restricted to simple financial input. Take for example a couple where one works outside the home and the other takes care of children and the household. Such non-pecuniary (‘non-dollar’) contributions must be accounted for under family law for the purposes of ascertaining settlement entitlements.

Family courts accept that when it comes to the size of an asset pool, it has usually taken more than just the input of money to make this grow.

Contributions before the relationship

In some cases, the law will recognise that certain assets were accumulated prior to the relationship. This might include cars, real estate or other items of value.

However, dealing with these might not be simple. For example, if a vehicle was brought by one party into a relationship that lasted many years, it might be the case that this is now simply considered to have become a part of general assets.

Conversely, one party might have brought a large real estate asset into a short-lived spousal relationship – and this can affect entitlements. It is important to know where you stand on such issues

Future options

The future also has a part to play in working out settlement entitlements. This might seem an odd statement, but family lawyers understand that courts will expect that settlement will occur in a way that is fair both now and into the future.

An important part of this is consideration of the future earning potential of the parties. If for example care responsibilities have placed one party in the position of having minimal future prospects of employment, then this can affect the division of assets. It can also play a part in establishing any child support or related entitlements into the future.

Consult the experts

For people facing separation, taking the first steps can feel daunting. At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, our family law solicitors will confidently act on your behalf in a way that will help reduce the stress of separation, while seeking to maximise your entitlements. We will always act in your best interests. To begin your journey, or to clarify your current position, please get in touch. We will be happy to provide you with expert one-on-one advice about the best way to receive a fair and positive settlement.

Many of us depend on our employer to provide us with our primary means of income.
In a perfect world, we’d all be working in a healthy work environment where our good work goes recognised. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If you’ve recently experienced an unfair or unjust termination from your employer in Victoria, you do have rights that you’re able to exercise. 

What is Unfair Dismissal?

The Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman describes an unfair dismissal as: “…when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.”

What is harsh? Unjust? An unreasonable manner? There is deliberate ambiguity to this description, and you don’t need to be a philosopher to know when you’ve been wronged. If you feel that you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you’ll want to argue your case in order to obtain a just resolution.

Fair Employment is a Two-Way Street

The Fair Work Act of 2009 outlines the obligations of employers and employees in Australia. Your employer can choose whether or not to hire you for the job, but once you’ve been working for them for a specific amount of time, depending on the size of the business, they cannot simply dismiss you on a whim.

Just as employees are protected by the law, so too are employers. Employees are expected to fulfil their obligations to employers, which includes factors such as being present for work as scheduled, showing proper conduct and behaviour, and much more. These terms can also be ambiguous, with much room for debate as to what is considered proper conduct.

Don’t leave it to employers to be the final arbiters of what is considered to be proper conduct. Seldom are employees dismissed for the reasons that employers may tell them. If they dismissed you due to your age, for example, they may tell you that it’s for unprofessional conduct or a wide array of other nonrelated reasons. Wrongful dismissal cases should be reviewed by a legal expert that can better argue these cases in your favour.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Unfairly Dismissed?

Firstly, you should have left your place of employment without engaging in destructive behaviour. Your feelings matter, but what matters more is setting things right. You’ll want to collect your thoughts and composure before taking action.

Don’t delay. Unfair dismissal cases should be dealt with within three weeks from the date of dismissal. This time is a perfect opportunity to consult a legal expert so that you can proceed with taking action the right way.

Employment law can be a complex field of jurisprudence that’s ideally approached with the assistance of a legal expert in that field. Contact a reputable firm such as Pentana Stanton and arrange for a consultation. Lawyers will put together a plan of action and guide you every step of the way through this process, even representing you if litigation is necessary.

Contact Pentana Stanton Today

Employment law isn’t something to be taken lightly. If you’ve been recently dismissed in an unfair manner, you may be eligible to seek remediation from your previous employer. Let our friendly employment law experts at Pentana Stanton help you achieve a favourable outcome.

‘No win no fee’ is a phrase which captures an agreement between a legal team and their clients that if the case is not won, then the client will not be charged. At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, this means that we assess individual cases, and offer this agreement if we believe that the case has a high chance of winning. 

How is a no win no fee agreement offered?

This means that we will assess your case. This will be based on the information you provide us with, including our interview with you. In some cases we will also need any medical reports or information from your employer. Whether your case merits a no win no fee agreement will be decided quite quickly providing all documents and reports are available and accessible by our lawyers.

What does a ‘no win no fee’ agreement cover?

This includes all billable hours by our lawyers. You will be kept up to date with invoices as your case progresses though you will not be required to pay until the case has been won.

The agreement, however, does not cover third party payments. This includes any court filing fees, or charges by doctors to release your medical records. In addition, any barrister fees or admin fees such as photocopying will not be included. 

What does it mean for me?

A no win no fee agreement has many benefits for a client:

  1. If you are strapped for cash and don’t have excess funds, then you don’t have to worry about your legal fees.
  2. You can let your lawyers work on your case stress-free since you will only need to pay the billable hours once the case has been won.
  3. You will be able to proceed with your case and expect to receive the same level of service as those paying along the way.
  4. It should give you confidence that your case is deemed winnable by our lawyers

Pentana Stanton – No Win No Fee

At Pentana Stanton Lawyers our professional team of experienced lawyers can offer you the right legal advice based on your case. Whether you have suffered an injury at work, been wrongly dismissed by your employer, been underpaid, or been left out of a will, you may be eligible for compensation. 

If you believe you have a winnable case but are concerned you cannot afford to pay for it, then do not hesitate to contact Pentana Stanton Lawyers. You can meet one of our experienced lawyers and receive a personal assessment of your case. 

Setting up and operating a business can be a complex affair. Commercial lawyers have professional knowledge of legal matters pertaining to the formation and establishment of businesses, advising and representing you through difficulties and negotiating resolutions where necessary, representing your business in court if required and litigating on your behalf to obtain a more favourable outcome.

Below are some of the areas of expertise that Pentana Stanton lawyers can assist with.

Dispute Resolution

In the world of business, litigation between businesses, with employees or dismissed employees, or with property managers or owners can result in long, costly affairs you’d probably rather avoid or resolve quickly.

If you’re being taken to court or would like to pursue legal action against another party (for example, in cases of trademark or intellectual property infringement), it helps to have professional legal advice from a reputable commercial lawyer. Why? In many instances, cases can often be resolved outside of court for a fraction of the cost. When this is not possible, lawyers will represent you and help you seek a fair judgment whilst ensuring that your rights are recognised.

Purchasing a Business

If you’ve got a great business idea but don’t know where to start in terms of acquiring and forming the business, consider consulting with a commercial lawyer. There are many types of business formation, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Each has its unique characteristics, and it will affect your liability and responsibility as a business owner or partner.

Any aspect of purchasing or selling a business should be considered in well-written contracts that protect your rights and ensure you’re getting your end of the bargain. Commercial lawyers can analyse contracts and provide recommendations and can also draft and submit legal contracts on your behalf. 

Purchasing a business also involves many other parties such as landlords of the business premises, equipment hire and supply contracts, council permits, food handling and health and safety matters.  You may be purchasing a franchise that has further considerations. It is crucial to have a commercial lawyer handle every step of your business purchase or sale to ensure that things are done right and you can focus on the business with peace of mind. 

Corporate Insolvency

Many businesses fail every year. Dissolving your business and repaying debts doesn’t necessarily mean your options are exhausted. You may be able to liquidate your business entirely, for example, if you have no intention of salvaging the company. It’s best to retain a reputable commercial lawyer if you’re considering dissolution of your company in order to better understand your options so that you may enjoy more beneficial terms.

Commercial Lawyers at Pentana Stanton

At Pentana Stanton, our expert commercial lawyers are able to assist you with all of the above and more. Our friendly yet professional approach will give you peace of mind and confidence that you and your business are taken care of.

Workplace safety in Australia is a serious matter that isn’t to be neglected. Australian society bears the huge burden of cost, loved ones must care for the injured employee, and employers lose valuable labour.

Although Australia is, in general, safer than many other countries when it comes to occupational health and safety, it’s still a danger that costs billions of dollars every year.

Just have a look at some of the statistics on workplace-related injuries in Victoria from Safe Work Australia:

  • A cost of $14.6 billion for injury and disease;
  • Accounts for 23.5% of Australia’s injury costs;
  • 21.8% of cases representing 24.9% of Australia’s workforce are reported are in Victoria;
  • One case costs $126,500 on average.

If you’ve experienced an injury at work, here are a few things you need to know.

1. Ensure You Receive Medical Attention

If you’re injured at work, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Workplaces must have first aid kits on hand and they should always be fully stocked with plasters and bandages to deal with cuts and swelling. In serious injury cases, hospitalisation may be necessary. Ensure you receive the medical attention you need to have the best prospect of healing and recovery. Don’t rush your recovery, follow the medical advice given.  The last thing you want to do is harm your best chances of full recovery.

2. Lodge a Workcover Compensation Claim

As soon as possible after the incident, you’ll need to fill out a Workcover compensation claim. It’s best to do this immediately because the details regarding the incident ought to be fresh in your mind. More accurate claims may lead to more successful compensation claims.

To ensure that you’re filling out the form properly, consult a personal injury lawyer.

3. Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Injury is no joke, so you’ll want to ensure that you’re receiving what you’re entitled to when filing workplace injury claims. That’s where personal injury lawyers such as Pentana Stanton can help. Our expert lawyers are accustomed to workplace injury cases in Victoria and can help you complete and submit all required forms as well as representing you in cases where employers or employees choose to dispute your claim.

4. Keep all Medical Receipts and Documents

If your injury requires you to visit your GP periodically, you should always document and keep records of all receipts. This allows your personal injury lawyer to better serve you and to prepare a more thorough compensation claim. In cases of dispute, all medical appointments and treatments stemming from the injury will need to be reviewed and thus it’s in your best interest to come prepared.

5. Obtain a Fair and Just Resolution

Submitting a claim and receiving compensation is not always a straightforward affair. There are many factors that may be relevant, depending on your case, so a thorough analysis of all factors can help ensure that your compensation claim is complete and accurate.

Once you’ve submitted your claim, it’s possible that disputes may arise. Retaining a lawyer can help to put your mind at ease knowing that legal experts can represent you during litigation cases in order to achieve a more favourable outcome.

Pentana Stanton Personal Injury Lawyers

Don’t take your chances when it comes to personal injury in the workplace. Come visit us at Pentana Stanton and ask us about our “No Win No Fee” availability for personal injury claims. 

Divorce rates may be stagnant, but they are still at an all-time high. While many people will talk about asking the right questions when getting married, they will rarely reflect on the right questions before planning for divorce. 

If you feel frustrated with your partner and marriage, and feel divorce is the only way out, then it is important to ask yourself the right questions before going ahead initiating the process. This is particularly the case if you have been married for over a decade and more. Your assets are probably combined, and your children are probably grown – planning for a future alone may be scary. 

1. Why do I want to get divorced?

It may be difficult to be objective with a question like this, but boredom in a marriage isn’t always solved by divorcing. Many couples reach a point where routine can become monotonous and mundane. It could be time to change things rather than run for a divorce.

2. How will it affect my children?

If you’ve been married for around 20 years, then it is likely that you have a teen or adult children. How will divorce affect them? Are you experiencing empty nest syndrome? How will your children react? For many adult children, while they wish their parents to be happy rather than be in an unhappy marriage, they also want their parents to get on. It is difficult to be expected to take sides.  Just because your children are adults does not mean they will find it easy. You will need to be prepared for this.

3. How do I feel about dating or marrying again?

If you are someone who does not enjoy being alone, then it is worth thinking about how you will feel about entering the dating scene after 20 years. While many may find it exciting, it can also be daunting and disappointing. Those you date are likely to have separated from their partner and have children and possibly grandchildren in their lives.  There is a lot to deal with in repartnering. Instead of potentially victim to the “grass is always greener” mentality, it might be worth thinking about whether it is worth investing more in your current relationship.

4. Can I give up other relationships?

Divorce isn’t just about losing a life partner. If you get on with your parents in law, for example, it may mean ending that relationship too. Moreover, if you have couple friends, you may find that people stop inviting you over too. Divorce will mean a change of dynamics and while hopefully you will maintain your friendships and those important in your life, there may be relationship casualties that you did not anticipate.  It is important to accept that there will be a lot of change in many of your personal relationships.

Pentana Stanton Family Lawyers

If you have mulled over every consequence of divorce and still believe it is the right path for your marriage, then it is time to contact your local law firm. 

At Pentana Stanton Lawyers our professional team of experienced family lawyers can guide you through the divorce process, ensuring that you have a fair and agreeable outcome. We can help negotiate an out of court agreement, and if necessary, we can also represent you in court too. Get in touch today and we will assist you all the way.

Many of us spend long hours working to provide for ourselves and our families, and quite often it’s a daily affair with little reason to think of contacting a lawyer. But what should you do when the unthinkable happens and you suddenly require a professional legal expert for workplace-related issues? 

Employment law can be complex, and many employers can intimidate you and leave you feeling hopeless. Don’t despair, employment law experts can help you navigate your rights and provide you with professional legal advice and representation as required. Here are some of the most common reasons that you should consider seeking help from an employment lawyer:

Unfair Dismissal

One of the most common enquiries we receive involves unfair dismissals. If you’ve recently been terminated for reasons that you believe are unfair, it’s possible that your employer violated your rights and you may be entitled to compensation. 

Employers and employees alike must abide by Australia’s Fair Work Act, but there may be times where your employer has violated this act either knowingly or unknowingly.  We can help you to seek redress if this has occurred.  

Losing your job can have many implications.  It can take time to find new employment and you will need to pay all your bills regardless of losing your job.  If you are entitled to additional payments this will help you to get through.  

Discrimination & Harassment

Workplace discrimination and harassment comes in various forms. If you’ve been discriminated against on the grounds of your ethnicity, gender, age, or personal beliefs by your employer, it’s best to contact a lawyer to help you out. Likewise, sexual harassment has no place in today’s workplace but unfortunately still occurs.

If you’re a victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, it may feel like there’s nobody to turn to. Lawyers can help preserve your dignity and help you seek justice for unfair treatment in the workplace.

Termination & Severance Package Negotiations

It’s normal in most business cycles to go through peaks and troughs, and employees are often let go when times are rough. If you’re having trouble receiving a severance package or feel that you’re not getting a fair deal, an employment lawyer can help you negotiate for a better deal, minimise impacts to your future employability, and secure any payments that may be owed to you.

Quite often, many Australians choose to leave their current employer before retirement age to turn over a new leaf. This may mean foregoing retirement packages at times, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot negotiate for a fair exit package altogether.

Workplace Injuries

Occupational workplace safety is a great concern not to be ignored. Unfortunately, Australian workplace injuries are very common and can often be avoided altogether. If you’ve been injured at work, it’s important that you understand your rights and take action where necessary to seek appropriate compensation. 

Our lawyers assist workers who have been injured in the workplace to obtain what is fair and reasonable and help them into the future. 

Reviewing Job Offers

Pondering a new job offer and not sure it’s right for you? Employment contracts can be long and full of unpleasant surprises that may be overlooked, or even worse, may violate your rights as an employee. A legal expert can help to review and assess your employment contract, negotiate fair terms to ensure that your new job contract can be signed with confidence.

Starting a new job can be exciting.  Often the only focus is the job and the detail in your contract gets overlooked until issues arise. Our lawyers will help you handle this transition with confidence and ensure that your best interest is looked after. 

What Should You Do?

Don’t take your chances if you feel that your employment rights have been violated. If you’re in Melbourne or Dandenong, come visit us at Pentana Stanton Lawyers. Our friendly legal experts can help you negotiate a fair outcome and provide you with professional representation should you require it. 

A major area of family law is divorce. Unfortunately, divorces can create all sorts of additional difficulties if handled improperly and without professional legal guidance. If you’re going through a divorce, don’t despair. Pentana Stanton can help advocate on your behalf and arrange for guidance and representation throughout the divorce process. Here are five common difficulties of divorce and how you can overcome them.

1. Stress

Divorce can be an overwhelmingly stressful experience. Not only are you dealing with adjusting to an ended relationship, but you also have the added stress of dealing with legal disputes over property settlements and/or child custody. Pentana Stanton Family Lawyers can help you achieve favourable resolutions and will provide you with a personable yet professional approach every step of the way.

2. Co-Parenting Arrangements

If you’ve got children from your marriage, you need to ensure that your rights of custody are fair and equitable. The thought alone of being left with heavy alimony payments and no visitation rights can be unpleasant and stressful, not only on you but also on your children. The best way to negotiate for a better co-parenting arrangement is by allowing our professional solicitors to represent you.

3. Division of Property and Assets

If you’ve got a significant amount of property that you stand to lose, you’ll want to consult with a family law expert in order to help you retain as much of your assets as possible. In property settlement, one big mistake many people make is that they don’t properly account for all of their assets and end up losing more than expected to their spouse. Documentation, financial reports, and income tax statements can all help your lawyer to accurately ascertain your equity and thereby settle for a more favourable division of your assets.

4. Telling Friends and Family

Don’t neglect the emotional impact of divorce when it comes to telling your friends and family. Although you may be tempted to disclose frustrating aspects of the divorce with your friends and family, specific details should be best left to your lawyer during the divorce proceedings.
It may help you to confront your fear of telling friends and family, but don’t go sharing everything on social media! Be cautious about revealing details until a settlement or verdict has been reached.

5. Making Decisions During an Emotional Time

Clouded judgement, frustration, and stress can all lead to irrational or emotional behaviour during the divorce. While easier said than done, try to remain calm and composed and temper your emotions when dealing with your divorce. Professional family law practitioners can remain pragmatic and ply their expertise and knowledge of family law in Australia to help reduce much of your burden.

How to Overcome Divorce Difficulties

Overcoming divorce can be made much easier by getting the right support from experienced family lawyers. This way, you are not alone, judgement won’t be clouded by emotions and the process will be handled as professionally and efficiently as possible.