Case Closed: Interesting Court Cases from 2016

January 10th, 2017 by

As the 2017 working year begins in earnest, many lawyers will be looking back at the previous year’s landmark cases with pride, dismay, or bewilderment. Indeed, it was a varied 12 months for Australian law – the balance between Church and State was weighed, a game-changing precedent was set for big banks, and a concerning number of defendants claimed “stupidity” as a legal defence.

To help set a bar for the upcoming year, Insights has compiled a list of some of the biggest, strangest, and most significant Australian court cases to be tried in 2016.

Beyond Borders: Upcoming changes to CPD for Migration Lawyers

December 20th, 2016 by
Immigration law

For a long time, any Australian lawyer looking to practise immigration law has had to register as a migration agent and maintain that registration by, among other things, paying an annual registration fee to the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and completing MARA-approved CPD. However, with pending legislation set to remove legal practitioners from the Migration Agents Registration Scheme, along with recent changes by the MARA exempting legal practitioners from the requirement to complete MARA approved CPD, conditions are improving for both existing and prospective immigration lawyers.

Ciro Figaro – From Italy to Australia with Love

November 8th, 2016 by
Practice insights

Many foreign students move to Australia to fulfil their dream of being a lawyer. It’s a nation ranked among the Top 10 Countries in Which to Practise Law, which, combined with its #2 global ranking for quality of life, makes it a comely prospect for any would-be lawyer.

For Italian-born Australian lawyer Ciro Figaro, however, the pursuit of law was always more than a career. A soon-to-be graduate of the College of Law, Figaro began his legal career on the sun-kissed streets of Naples, where he dreamed of opposing the Camorra crime clans that were working to corrupt his city from within.

Champagne Style on a First Year Budget

November 1st, 2016 by
Lawyer Fashion

With the Melbourne Cup upon us, it’s more apparent than ever that dressing for success can make a major difference in any young lawyer’s career. It shows an eye for detail and respect for the workplace that employers and colleagues alike will value. However, the process of filling one’s wardrobe with designer clothes can be a costly one – especially for early-career lawyers.

Fortunately, you don’t need to earn a partner’s salary to look your best. Brianna McDougall of the Instagram blog @Lawyersfashion – family lawyer by day, fashion blogger by night – shared some tips with Insights on how to rock a champagne style on a first year budget.

Mandatory eConveyancing one step closer

September 27th, 2016 by

Electronic Conveyancing is closer to becoming mandatory in several Australian states, following the recent announcement by the NSW Government to accelerate the transition to electronic conveyancing. This would involve progressively phasing out paper certificates of title in NSW, with an overall plan to phase out paper-based conveyances by 2019. Steps are being taken in consultation with legal practitioners, conveyancers, financial institutions, and other entities involved in conveyancing to achieve an industry-wide shift to e-Conveyancing.

Marco Piazza discusses using social media to teach law at 50th LAWASIA Conference

September 6th, 2016 by

In August 2016, the LAWASIA Conference celebrated its 50th Jubilee in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In attendance was the College of Law’s senior lecturer Marco Piazza and Dr John McGill, Director of Practitioner Education. Insights spoke to Piazza regarding his presentation, which reflected on the use of social media in teaching, as well as the conference itself.

Making partner and striking out with your own firm: Advice from Carla Parsons

July 19th, 2016 by
Making partner

Carla Parsons made partner while studying her LLM (Applied Law) with The College of Law. Following graduation, Parsons became an Accredited Specialist in Succession Law (Qld), achieving top marks in the course. She also recently struck out to start her own practice, Parsons Law, specialising in Wills & Estates, and will soon be teaching in the College’s LLM (Applied Law) Wills & Estates subjects. Insights spoke to Parsons, Director of Parsons Law, about her career and study to date, what’s next for her, and what advice she might have for lawyers contemplating their next career move.

Practitioner Profile: Tiago Silva, the College of Law’s Best Graduating Student (Commercial Litigation)

June 21st, 2016 by
Commercial Litigation SRM Lawyers

Insights recently spoke with Tiago Silva, a Senior Associate at KWS Legal. Silva was the Best Graduating Student in the College of Law’s Commercial Litigation program in the LLM (Applied Law), sponsored by SRM Lawyers. Silva shared with Insights what motivated him to study law and to specialise in commercial litigation. He also spoke of his future plans and gave some advice for new lawyers looking to excel in their legal careers.

The ‘Firm of the Future’ – right now

June 7th, 2016 by
Legal Future

In recent years, the rise and rise of ‘NewLaw’ has continued at a gathering pace.

Many attributes of the traditional law firm business model have been questioned, marginalised and completely avoided by new entrants. For many law firms who until now have simply observed the developing trends, the pressure to at least iterate, if not fundamentally change, current business models has become overwhelming.

Matthew Burgess, a founder of 2 award winning ‘NewLaw’ businesses in the last 5 years, spoke to Insights about the benefits of, and misconceptions surrounding, the new normal for law firms and lawyers alike.

Practitioner Profile: Christopher Hill-Smith, Principal, Appleton Law

May 17th, 2016 by

Insights recently spoke with Christopher Hill-Smith, who founded Newcastle-based law firm Appleton Law after completing his LLM (Applied Law) majoring in Wills and Estates with the College of Law. Hill-Smith talked to Insights regarding his reasons for specialising in wills and estates, the benefits of obtaining his Masters through the College of Law, and the advice he had for those interested in striking out into succession, wills and estates law.