Legal Updates

The information published on this website is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.

Dispute over Superannuation


David Miller, Partner

James McIntosh died without leaving a will.  His mother, Elizabeth McIntosh, was granted administration of his estate.  Elizabeth and James’ father, John McIntosh, were divorced and their relationship was acrimonious.

James’ ordinary estate was relatively modest.  However, the death benefits under his superannuation accounts totalled about $500,000.

WA Workers’ compensation “stress claims” resulting from disciplinary meetings


Ken Grunder, Solicitor

The matter of Department of Education -v- Azmitia [2014] WADC 85 involves an application for leave to appeal from a WorkCover decision, where the arbitrator found that the respondent worker, Ms Azmitia, suffered a stress-related disease in the course of her employment.

The decision demonstrates the influence procedural matters have on stress related claims and their influence on the ability to plead section 5(4) defences.


Forcing the pace of construction disputes; use but don’t abuse statutory demands


Tom Darbyshire, Partner and Katrina Welch, Associate


A number of Australian States have legislation to ensure that disputes arising under construction contracts do not stop the timely payment of progress payments.  Generally speaking, the legislation provides a process for a rapid resolution of certain payment disputes. 

Behme -v- Royal Perth Hospital [2014] WADC 53 – Work Injury and Subsequent Motor Vehicle Injury


Ken Grunder, Solicitor

On 25 January 2011, the applicant, Ms Behme, suffered a compensable back injury, after transferring a heavy patient while working at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH).

On 9 October 2012, Ms Behme was involved in a motor vehicle accident that did not arise in the course of her employment. However, she submitted that the workplace injury was a material contributing cause to the incapacity she experienced after the motor vehicle accident because her existing back symptoms "flared up".

PPS eh? Statutory Review of the Personal Property Securities Act


Louis van Aardt, Partner


On 4 April 2014 the Attorney General announced that the Government will undertake a review into the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA).  The review is to consider the operation and effects of the PPSA and will pay particular attention to the experience of small businesses.