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.

Who Runs the World? Lawyers.

November 15th, 2016 by

In recent years, Australia has seen no shortage of lawyers-turned-politicians. The likes of Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Julia Gillard, and John Howard have all cut their teeth in the legal profession, and followed a well-travelled route that would-be Australian leaders have been walking for years. However, it’s isn’t just Australian politics which favours a background in law – world leaders from Mexico to China have commenced their careers in law. Insights has compiled a list of five of the most noteworthy lawyers who became heads of state.

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.

What do the Government’s revised superannuation changes mean for you?

October 11th, 2016 by
Superannuation changes

The revised superannuation reforms have recently been announced. Nathan Yii, Principal Lawyer & SMSF Advisor of Nathan Yii Lawyers, spoke to Insights regarding the reforms. He is also delivering an intensive superannuation course for the College of Law in November 2016 and March 2017.

“The proposed changes will affect all Australians – some individuals will be worse off but others will be better off. Some might not even be bothered,” said Yii. “High net worth individuals who have higher balances in superannuation are likely to feel the pinch more as the changes either restrict them making contributions to superannuation or reduce the tax-breaks which were available in previous years.”

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.

Moving On Up: What firms look for when recruiting leaders

August 16th, 2016 by
legal practice management

How do you distinguish yourself as a promising potential partner? What traits do firms look for when recruiting their future leaders?

Insights spoke to Specialist Director and Management Consultant, Mary Hockaday to find out what law firms are looking for and how lawyers can skill up as leaders. Hockaday has over 20 years’ experience advising law firms, is Director of Education, Learning & Development for the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and a College of Law Lecturer and Course Facilitator for the College’s Legal Practice Management Course.

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.