News

Expressions of Interest – Appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Government is inviting suitably qualified members of the public to submit an expression of interest to be considered for appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Appointments are for one or more of the categories below:

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • Deputy President

Deputy Presidents may exercise a designated leadership role as the head of a division or divisions. Deputy Presidents or Senior Members may also be assigned as a Deputy Division Head. Suitably qualified individuals who are interested in a Division Head or Deputy Division Head role are invited to submit an expression of interest accordingly.

The minimum requirements for appointment to the AAT are outlined in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act). The AAT Act provides that a person must:

  • be enrolled as a legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of a state or territory for at least five years, or
  • in the opinion of the Governor-General, possess special knowledge or skills relevant to the position.

The AAT is an independent statutory body that reviews a broad range of administrative decisions made by Australian Government ministers, officers, and authorities. More information about the AAT can be found at www.aat.gov.au/about-the-aat.

Further information about how to submit an expression of interest can be found on the Attorney-General Department’s website at www.ag.gov.au/About/Careers/Pages/default.aspx. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 8 September 2019.

An advertisement has been placed on the APS Employment Gazette at www.apsjobs.gov.au and was also published in national, state and territory newspapers on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August 2019. 

This expression of interest process will create a register of candidates from which recommendations for appointment may be drawn. The register will be valid for up to 12 months.

Please contact aat.appointments@ag.gov.au with any questions about the expression of interest process.

Kind regards

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Section

Attorney-General’s Department

Family Law Forms Updated

The Initiating Application (Family Court and Federal Circuit Court) and the Response to Initiating Application (Family Court only) have been updated. The amendments include:

  • changing the ‘gender’ options available in the forms
  • updating the description of parties (e.g. terms like ‘wife/mother’ and ‘husband/father’ have been changed to ‘parent’, ‘grandparent’, ‘party to a marriage’ and/or ‘party to a de facto relationship’), and
  • updating definitions in the ‘legal words used in court’ in the kit information.

The updated kits and forms are now available on the websites:

Additional time is needed to make these changes to the Commonwealth Courts Portal ‘guided’ version of the forms. To allow for these IT system changes, the ‘guided’ versions will continue to be accepted.

National Communication
Federal Court of Australia | Family Court of Australia | Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Law Society of Tasmania welcomes New Recorder of Titles

The Law Society of Tasmania today congratulated Robert Manning on his appointment to the position of Recorder of Titles (commencing 2 September 2019).

The Recorder of Titles is the statutory officer responsible for providing the community with certainty of title to land. This is achieved by the development and administration of legislation and policy governing land dealings in Tasmania.

Law Society President Evan Hughes said:

‘Mr Manning is an esteemed senior lawyer and valued member of the community and will bring to the role over 30 years’ practical experience in property, commercial and estate law.   He has also held numerous leadership roles over the course of his career including for Diabetes Australia as Chair of the Tasmanian branch and the Law Society of Tasmania as the Property & Commercial Law Committee Chair and Pro Bono Committee Chair.  He holds a strong record in driving innovation and reform, always advocating for efficiency and good law that serves the community.  He was the 2018 recipient of the Law Society President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the legal profession and industry.

The Land Titles Office faces challenges in the coming years as it deals with the effects of funding reductions and the prospect of electronic conveyancing. As its new CEO, I am confident that Robert will very ably lead the Land Titles Office through the reform that is required, and I have every confidence the integrity of the system, which underpins billions of dollars of Tasmanian real estate transactions, will be enhanced by the reform that needs to occur.  

Finally, Robert’s appointment will be a gain to the legal profession and community but a significant loss at the same time; the impact of this loss will extend well beyond that felt by his colleagues and clients. As one of the Society’s most active members of the Property & Commercial Law Committee, and as a friend and colleague to many committee members, Council members and staff at the Society, he will be sorely missed.’     

Evan Hughes
President
0418 321 146

17 July 2019

Attention Property Practitioners

FIDS FRUSTRATIONS – A TEMPORARY SOLUTION?

Frustrated with SRO findings that you believe are unintended consequences of the FIDS reform?
E.g. Did the government really intend that sc 444 Visa holders be caught only as a result of travelling to NZ for a brief holiday?   The Society doesn’t believe so.

The good news is that further to many Law Society, Treasury and SRO meetings and representations on such types of issues – the legislation is now under review for hopeful amendment at the end of the year (scope yet to be defined; although the definition of foreign person is included in the review).  The Law Society will be making detailed submissions this month.

In the meantime, is there a temporary solution to problems such as the SCV subclass 444 issue and certain trust matters?

You / your clients may want to attempt to take advantage of the Treasurer’s ex-gratia discretionary powers.

The Treasurer has the power to consider applications for ex-gratia payments to reimburse taxpayers where they have been levied for tax due to an unintended consequence of legislative drafting.

A request for ex gratia consideration can be made by simply writing to the Treasurer to explain what has occurred, noting that you don’t believe it was the intention of the legislation that your client be caught by the FIDS, and asking that he consider your client’s matter for ex-gratia reimbursement of the tax paid by your client.  Requests are considered based on the merits of each case.  

Contact:  treasureroffice@dpac.tas.gov.au (marked for the attention of James Abbott, Senior Adviser)

Cybersecurity Alert – Phishing Emails

Dear Firms, Practitioners and Personnel

A number of practitioners have received emails purporting to be from the President of the Law Society of Tasmania.  Some emails have included references to names of other lawyers known to them.   

The emails we are receiving are becoming more targeted and more sophisticated.   

Please be assured that in many instances, including with my email, no ‘hacking’ of the sender’s system has occurred. The would be scammer has simply masked their true email address and used information from the web to make the email appear genuine.

Please continue to notify the practitioner if you receive one of these emails.

Some practical information:

  1. By clicking on “reply” you can check the return address to see if it matches the sender. I am advised this can be done safely as long as you do not send the reply.
  2. If you are receiving these emails then contact your IT service provider to check your email settings. These emails (differing send/return addresses) can and should be filtered out and never received.
  3. Take the time to report it to the email service provider where the email came from. (eg Gmail). It takes 20 seconds to notify them their service is being used for criminal activity. They can shut down the address and this forces the scammer to create a new one. It also gives the mail provider information to block future attempts by the same “person” to create a new mail account.

Legal practices of course need to remain vigilant in staff training and treatment of emails received, particularly if the subject matter relates to financial transactions. 

All of this assists to ‘counter-phishalise’ this activity. The harder we are as a target, the less likely we are to become one.

Please circulate this to all members of your practice.

Yours faithfully,

Evan Hughes
President, Law Society of Tasmania

Cybersecurity Alert – Phishing Emails

A number of practitioners have received emails purporting to be from the President of the Law Society of Tasmania.  Some have also included names of other lawyers known to them including Council members.  Please remain vigilant and circumspect in your treatment of emails received, particularly if the subject matter relates to financial transactions.

Often the sender’s email address will be spoofed so that it appears to be legitimate.  When you receive an email, checking the return address / return path can sometimes assist (is it different?).  If looking at the return address cements your suspicions, consider referring that email to your IT department together with a request that they review your spam settings.  It may also be worth asking the question in any event: does our e-mail perform SPF checks?

Claims against the Guarantee Fund Arising from Default by ACN 079 275 120 Pty (In Liquidation) trading as Avery Keal

LEGAL PROFESSION ACT 2007 (TAS)
NOTICE INVITING CLAIMS ARISING FROM DEFAULT
BY ACN 079 275 120 PTY (In liquidation) TRADING AS AVERY KEAL

TAKE NOTICE that on the 18th day of February 2019, the Supreme Court of Tasmania ordered that ACN 079 275 120 Pty (In liquidation) may have been in default as a result of fiduciary default by John William Avery. ACN 079 275 120 Pty (In liquidation) was previously called Tas Law Pty ACN 079 275 120 and traded as Avery Keal during the period July 1997 to 5 March 2001.
In this Notice ACN 079 275 120 Pty (In liquidation) is called “the incorporated legal practice”.
Section 371 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 provides that a claim may be made against the Guarantee Fund to the Solicitors’ Trust by a person who has suffered pecuniary loss because of the default.
If you believe that you have suffered loss because of the failure of the incorporated legal practice trading as Avery Keal to pay to you trust money that was received by the incorporated legal practice in the course of legal practice, where the failure arises from acts of John William Avery involving dishonesty during the period July 1997 to 5 March 2001 then you should contact the Executive Officer of the Solictors’ Trust to obtain a Claim Form.
If you have already received a Claim Form from the Solicitors’ Trust then you do not need to respond to this Notice.
Completed Claim Forms must be received no later than 31 January 2020. After that date claims against the Guarantee Fund relating to the default cannot be made.

The Solicitors’ Trust
28 Murray Street
HOBART TAS 7000
Email: solicitorstrust@bigpond.com
Telephone: 0418 994 574