HAVE YOU BEEN CHARGED WITH ONE OR MORE CRIMINAL OFFENCES BY THE POLICE?
Please contact Bay Legal as soon as you are aware that charges or the risk of charges exists.
Bay Legal solicitors are experienced in dealing with criminal offences of various levels of severity and court applications before the Local Courts, District Court and the Supreme Court. We can help you whether your case is before the Court for the first time or if it is an appeal from the lower Court.
In general, we assist our clients in the following processes:
- How and when to plead to any charges you face – guilty or not guilty.
- Critical timeframes and your obligations e.g. Court attendances, bail, and AVOs.
- How and whom you should communicate with e.g. whether you are required to participate in a recorded interview with the Police.
- The severity of the charges you face and the possible range of penalties if you are convicted.
PLEA OF NOT GUILTY
If you wish to defend your charges, we can advise and assist you in the following processes:
- Review and analyse the witness and Police statements.
- Advise your prospects of success or the consequences of being found guilty by the Court.
- Preparing evidence, statements and interviewing witnesses that are favourable to the defence.
- For more serious crimes, appoint and instruct a respected barrister with an excellent track record to advocate for you in Court.
- Attend the hearing or trial on your behalf.
PLEA OF GUILTY
If you enter a plea of guilty, we seek to advise and assist you on:
- The prospect of a reduction of the charges you are facing in light of how you intend to plead.
- Negotiating with the Police or DPP for a lesser charge and/or for amendments to the statement of facts.
- Reviewing the reference letters you collect for your sentencing hearing.
- How best to mitigate or seek leniency from the Court in light of your plea – for instance, the prospects of a non-conviction under Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).
- Attending the sentencing hearing and making submissions on your behalf.
ARE YOU FACING ONE OR MULTIPLE TRAFFIC MATTERS?
Traffic offences, whilst often considered minor matters can be an extremely important area of the law with significant consequences for the parties involved. Laws have become increasingly tougher on traffic offenders and high penalties are often imposed. Little tolerance is afforded by the Courts to those who don’t appreciate the severity of their actions.
Suspension or cancellation of licence can have serious financial impacts on individuals and businesses. Accidents and other unforeseen events can have dire consequences if you are not aware of your rights and the potential risks from the authorities and/or other parties.
If you are facing a traffic offence e.g. speeding, running a red light, drink driving (DUI), reckless driving, driving whilst disqualified, negligent driving occasioning death or injuries etc, please seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Bay Legal solicitors can advise you on the strategy and evidence required to substantiate your defence and present your personal circumstances and evidence in Court to assist you in defending the traffic charges.
If you do not wish to defend the charges, our solicitors can also assist you in seeking a lighter penalty in Court.
DEBT RECOVERY / LITIGATION
If you or your company are owed money, you need competent, efficient and costs effective advice on how to recover it from your debtors.
Over many years Bay Legal has acted for individuals and small companies up to large multi-national companies and has delivered satisfaction to clients who had otherwise given up on ever recovering substantial sums of money.
We are also well appraised with the commercial consideration of our clients. In particular, litigation can be costly in time and money so we always strive to give our clients the full range of options every step of the way. If the matter proceeds all the way to a hearing or trial we endeavour to put our clients in the best position to recover the costs they have expended along the way.
Debts cost you money. The longer you are owed money the more it costs. To assist in the preparation and gathering of evidence for your case, it is generally preferable to act sooner rather than later. This also means that the gathering of evidence can be less costly when it is fresh in the memories of your key witnesses.
If your business requires different contingencies before litigation commences, talk to us about our full service arrangements. We can:
- Issue letters of demand;
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case if the debt is not paid;
- Advise the likely strength of the defence case and implications of a cross-claim;
- Explore other options for a negotiated outcome or mediation;
- Prepare, file and serve your statement of claim; Advise you throughout the course of proceedings how to protect your position and develop the best strategy to win your case and recover the money sand costs owed to you;
- and Manage the court process, including engaging specialised counsel if required.
DEFENDED MATTERS – IF YOU OWE SOMEONE MONEY
Our solicitors have conducted many successful cases for defendants of debt claims. Acting on “both sides of the fence” has strengthened our skills in negotiation and strategic management of cases to focus on the best outcome for our clients.
TERMS OF TRADE
Ask us about how our solicitors can assist you with the appropriate commercial terms your business should use with its debtors and about how to prevent the recurrence of bad debtors. This could develop effective commercial arrangements with your debtors and save your business from future bad debts.
LETTERS OF DEMAND
When a debt has arisen, prior to commencing proceedings you should issue a concise and strongly worded letter of demand to your debtor. The letter should specify the outstanding amount and convey the strength of your case to the debtor, with the aim of settling the case early.
If you initiate your case in Court without first issuing a letter of demand, it may lead to an issue on costs in any subsequent proceedings.
The debtors may respond to the letters of demand by paying the sum demanded, initiate negotiations on a settlement or dispute the debt. In many cases, the debtors simply ignore the letters of demand.
If the case fails to settle early, we can assist you in initiating proceedings in the relevant Courts.
CLAIMING A DEBT
Bay Legal can assist you to commence debt recovery proceedings in the Courts. Depending on the amount of debt that is outstanding, our solicitors could assist you to draft the necessary documents, prepare the evidence and lodge your claim at the appropriate Courts.
Mind your time limits. You have 6 years from the date the debt first arose to bring a claim in Court.
Litigation procedures are highly complicated and stressful. Each party has strict obligations to observe the Court rules and orders. We strongly suggest that you seek legal advice and representation as early as possible.
Going to court can be time consuming and costly. There are factors to be considered before you commence proceedings in Court, including but not limited to:
- the size of your claim;
- whether the debtor has capacity to pay the debt;
- whether there is sufficient evidence to support your claim;
- whether the debtor is filing a cross-claim against you; and
- the possibility of a costs order against you.
Settling a case early is always encouraged. If the debtor is able to repay the debt either by way of instalments or in a lump sum payment, it is an option worth considering as an alternative to a Court hearing.
Bay Legal solicitors can help you to assess your options and advise the most commercial and effective outcome for you and/or your business.
In the event you are successful in the Court proceedings, you may be able to recover a portion or all of your legal costs and the pre-judgment interest against the debtors. They will be added to the amount of judgment debt owed to you and can be enforced against the debtors through various enforcement methods.
WHAT IF THE DEBTOR DOES NOT RESPOND TO YOUR CLAIM?
If the debtor ignores your claim, you can apply to the Court for a default judgment to be entered against the debtor. A default judgment can affect the debtor’s credit rating and its ability to loan or apply for credit in the future.
A default judgment is recorded against the debtor for 12 years or until the judgment debt is fully repaid.
With a default judgment, you can then seek further orders from the Court to enforce the judgment debt against the debtor e.g. garnishee orders, writ for the levy of property and bankruptcy etc.
DEFENDING A CLAIM
If you have been served with a Statement of Claim, you have 28 days to file your defence. If you do not respond within this period of time, the creditor can seek a default judgment against you.
Our solicitors can assist you in preparing your defence, evidence and possible cross-claims in Court in accordance with the Court rules. We would prepare submissions and attend the pre-trial review and the hearing or trial on your behalf. If necessary, we will engage an experienced barrister to run the hearing or trial.
If you do not wish to go to a hearing or trial, we can advise you of your settlement options and assist you in negotiating with the creditor.
ENFORCING JUDGMENT DEBTS
If you have entered a default judgment against the debtor, you will have up to 12 years from the date of the judgment to enforce the debt.
The cost of enforcement and post-judgment interest can be added onto the judgment debt enforceable against the debtor.
You may consider enforcing your judgment in the following ways:
- Examination notice and order – to determine the financial position (assets and liabilities) of your debtor;
- Garnishee order;
- Writ for the levy of property;
- Writ for the delivery of goods;
- Bankruptcy; and
- Winding up a company.
EXAMINATION NOTICE AND ORDER
While there are several options of enforcement actions, it is always worthwhile to first find out whether the debtor is capable of repaying the debt and whether the value of the goods seized from the debtor would be sufficient to recover the debt owed to you.
You could request for information regarding the debtor’s financial situation by sending an examination notice and/or issuing an examination order. If the debtor does not attend the Court for the examination order, you could apply for an arrest warrant to be issued against the debtor.
You can apply to the Court for money to be taken from the debtor’s bank accounts or wages to pay the debt owed to you.
WRIT FOR THE LEVY OF PROPERTY
If the debtor owns a property, you could seek Court’s order to have the property seized and sold to pay the debt.
WRIT FOR THE DELIVERY OF GOODS
A Writ for the delivery of goods can only be used in a recovery of goods claim. The Court may order that the goods be seized and returned to you. Other properties can also be seized by the Sheriff to be sold and pay the debt.
If an individual debtor owes you $5,000 or more, you can issue a Bankruptcy Notice against the person and declare the person bankrupt by applying to the Federal Court. This option may be costly and you should seek legal advice before taking this action. Please click on the subcategory of Bankruptcy and Insolvency for more information.
WINDING UP A COMPANY
If the judgment debt is above $2,000 and is owed by a company, you may wish to commence winding up proceedings against the debtor company. This could be an effective approach in recovering your debt, depending on the circumstances of the debtor company.
We could assist you in preparing a Statutory Demand against the debtor company which could show that the company is insolvent. If the debtor company fails to comply with or respond to the Statutory Demand within 21 days, we can help you to apply for a winding up order in Court.
Winding up proceedings are highly complicated and expensive. We strongly suggest that you seek legal advice before taking this action.
BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY
Our lawyers’ experience in bankruptcy proceedings gives our clients a high level of confidence that they are receiving the best advice to protect their interests. Our lawyers can assist with recovery of moneys from a bankrupt or, in the event you find yourself being made bankrupt, with how to manage this process.
Our substantial insolvency law and bankruptcy law experience means our clients can have confidence that their individual requirements will be met in a timely and cost-effective manner.
We pride ourselves on listening to our clients to establish their business priorities, making our people accessible to ensure prompt response times, and providing high quality advice. We offer our extensive knowledge of the legal issues and our commercially driven and practical advice to our clients to ensure that their pressing issues are resolved promptly.
We have a firm grasp of the wider issues involved in litigation, including its effect on reputation and brand. We make sure that we work with our clients to mitigate the risks of litigation.
For information about how our lawyers can assist you, please contact us.
Bay Legal’s lawyers are highly experienced in security enforcement and commercial disputes. We work closely with their clients to advise them on how best to protect their interests. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience advising on an extensive range of technical and complex legal issues and litigation claims arising out of workouts, reconstructions, and corporate and individual insolvencies.
In today’s ever changing world, insolvency and dispute resolution are closely linked. We ensure that our lawyers are also skilled in dispute resolution so that all options for quick resolution of our client’s instructions are exhausted. We have acted in a broad range of small to medium as well as high profile liquidations. This includes acting for Liquidators, Administrators, Receivers, Trustees or Directors.
Our experience extends to post and pre-lend reviews, workouts, voluntary administration, deed of company arrangement, receivership, liquidation, preference recovery actions, insolvent trading claims, bankruptcy and part X arrangements. We are well placed to advise on the Personal Property Securities Act, 2009, which came into effect in 2012. It has seen the introduction of a national register of personal security interests, improving the ability of individuals and businesses, particularly those of a small or medium size, to more confidently and efficiently raise capital by using all of their assets.
CIVIL LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
These legal disputes generally involve one or more parties seeking money damages or the specific performance of actions by another party. Whether you are making a claim of this type or defending against one, one of Bay legal’s experienced litigators can provide you with invaluable advice on your options and how to obtain the outcome you are seeking.
The civil litigation process can be divided into seven stages:
- Facts Investigation
- Discovery and Evidence
- Pre-trial Preparations and/or Negotiations
- Hearing or Trial
Not every matter that is commenced in Court proceeds through each of the above stages. It is usually in the parties’ interest to settle litigation and our lawyers can give you the best advice on strategies to achieve a satisfactory settlement. After a hearing, it is only a minority of cases that go to the appeal stage in a higher court. Bay Legal has successfully advised on a number of appeals when the lower court’s decision is able to be challenged.
Depending on the complexity of a case, litigation can take from a just a few months to a number of years. It is important that all scenarios are canvassed with you by an experienced lawyer so that cost, resources and outcomes are carefully considered before participating in the litigation process.
Bay Legal’s lawyers have expertise in the key skill sets that our clients require at all stages of the process. These include:
- Knowledge of the Court rules that govern the litigation process;
- Business aptitude and experience with the “commerciality” of litigations processes and options;
- Sound knowledge of the legal principles and ability to appraise the key issues;
- Ability to clarify complex legal and factual circumstances and communicate these in an effective way to clients so that the client is making the key decisions;
- Sound, tactical and strategic experience resulting in reduced risk for the party we act for; and
- Negotiation and mediation skills.