Q & A


Q: What are the requirements for recognition of foreign judgments in Australia?

Recognition of foreign judgments in Australia are governed by the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth). However, the details principles are varied on a case basis. In general, The following conditions must be satisfied:

The foreign court must have exercised jurisdiction that Australian courts recognise under Foreign Judgments Act 1996 and the Regulation;

The foreign judgment must be final and conclusive;

The judgment must be for the payment of a debt or definite sum of money;

The judgment debt has not been wholly paid by the debtor in the foreign country;

The judgment must be enforceable in the country of the original court; and

The identity of the parties to the foreign judgment must be the same as the parties to the Australian enforcement proceedings.

Conveyancing & Property

Q: What is the cap for the Stamp Duty Exemption?

For any existing homes, if its dutiable value is less than $650,000, transfer duty is fully exempt. If the dutiable value is between $650,000 and $800,000, the applicant is eligible for a concession. For any new homes, if its dutiable value is less than $800,000, transfer duty is fully exempt. If the dutiable value is between $800,000 and $1,000,000, the applicant is eligible for a concession .

Q: What is the requirement for stamp duty exemption?

To apply First Home Benefit Assistance Scheme, you must:

  1. Be the purchaser of a Contract for purchase of a whole property dated on or after 1 July 2017; and
  2. Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident over 18 years old; and
  3. Never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia; and
  4. Never have received an exemption or concession under FHBAS; and
  5. Move into the subject property within 12 months after completion of the agreement or transfer; and
  6. Occupy the subject property as your principal place of residence for at least six continuous months.

Commercial Law

Q: What is a bank guarantee?

A bank guarantee is an unconditional promise by a bank, on behalf of the bank’s customer, to pay the recipient of the guarantee the amount of the guarantee on written demand. It is an alternative to providing a security deposit or bond to a supplier, vendor or landlord. Bank guarantees require security in the form of cash held on deposit held with the bank, or real estate.

Q: Who bears the cost of the commercial lease?

In the past, the general approach had been that the tenant was liable for the entire lease costs. However, the recent trend is that each party bears its own costs for the lease. When the premise are difficult to lease, the tenant may negotiate with the landlord and seek concessions such as the landlord should bear its own legal costs of preparation of the lease.

Divorce & Family Law

Q: My spouse and I have recently separated, can I now commence divorce proceedings?

No, spouses must have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months and 1 day before either party can file an Application for Divorce – this Application can be made either solely or jointly. It is noted that spouses can still live together in the same home post-separation, as they will still be considered to be separated.

Q: My spouse and I reconciled our relationship for a few months, but we have now ended the relationship again, do I have to restart “the 12-month waiting period” before commencing divorce proceedings?

If spouses reconcile their relationship or resume cohabitation for a period of less than 3 months and then separate a second time, the original period of separation can be included.

If spouses reconcile their relationship for a period of more than 3 months before separating again, the original period of separation cannot be included and the “12-month waiting period” must recommence from the more recent date of separation.

Notary Public

Q: Do I need to understand the content and consequence of the document I am signing before I have an appointment?

Yes, you must understand the content and legal effect of the document. Otherwise, you must obtain independent legal advice.

Q: Can you witness my signature upon the documents as a Notary Public Solicitor via video link?

Sorry, we cannot do that. We note that there is new policy for witnessing signature during COVID 19, however, Notary Public Authority clarified to all Notary Public Solicitor that notary public service cannot be done via audio or video link.

Immigration Law

Q: How can I check my visa staus?

If you want to know whether your visa is valid or not, you can have a VEVO Check by using the information listed in your IMMI Grant Letter.

Trade Mark

Q: How can registering a trade mark make a difference?

A business may leave its marks unregistered. When an infringer uses an unregistered mark or similar ones to suggest a false connection to the business, the business may rely on the laws against ‘passing-off’ and ‘misleading or deceptive conduct’ to stop such use. However, the business will have to prove the reputation behind their marks. Evidence in this regard, sometimes even requiring market surveys, may be expensively to collect.

By registering the marks as trade marks, the business instead needs to prove that an infringer, without the business’ authorisation, has used the trade mark or similar marks on goods and services that the trade mark is registered with – a simpler, more cost effective process.

Q: How does a registered trade mark work?
A business may have various marks such as bands, logos, slogans and packages etc. Such marks may be registered with a national register of trade marks in Australia. Each trade mark is registered in respect of certain classes of goods or services, so that the trade mark owner can use the registered trade mark on or in relation to those goods or services, such as affixing it to the package of goods, or using it in the promotion of the goods or services. A person may infringe a registered trade mark if he or she, without the trade mark owner’s authorisation, uses the trade mark or similar marks on the goods and services that the trade mark is registered with.

Criminal Law

Q: Will convictions stay on my criminal record for life?

Most convictions will become ‘spent’ after a certain period of time. ‘Spent’ means that the conviction will no longer be on your criminal record.

Q: Who can charge you?

Depends on the type of criminal offence you allegedly committed and where it happened. For example, you could be charged by: NSW Police, Federal Police; Transport for NSW (TfNSW)(formerly known as Roads and Maritime Services or RMS); Councils; Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions or Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions; and NSW Environment Protection Authority.

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