New Judge?

January 28th, 2016

One well qualified silk is now returning briefs to solicitors. Without confirmation of an appointment I will not name that person. All hope that it is the next appointment to the woefully under resourced Family Court.

Merry Christmas from Barry.Nilsson.

December 18th, 2015

As the holiday season approaches I’d like to take this opportunity thank you for your continued support and wish you and your families a safe and merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Please note our offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will be closed from 3pm on Thursday, 24 December. Brisbane and Melbourne will reopen at 8:30am and Sydney will reopen at 9am, both on Monday, 4 January.

Enjoy your holidays and all the best from the Barry.Nilsson. team.

Court Delays

December 14th, 2015

Symbolic of the delay in obtaining hearings in the Family Courts are the queues now forming out to Tank Street just to enter the court building.

I know that many need to rely on the gradually breaking court system. For others, however, there is a choice.

There will be a big push to arbitrate financial disputes commencing next year.

The impetus towards the privatisation of dispute resolution is underway.

Allison Caputo

December 9th, 2015

Allison is the 8th Barry.Nilsson. family lawyer to become an accredited specialist. We have the largest team of specialists in Queensland.

Congratulations Allison.

Canberra Frolics

November 11th, 2015

Information out of Canberra is that the Attorney-General’s Department has been working on material amendments to Part VIII of the Family Law Act (the property and spousal maintenance provisions).

I’d suggest that their toils are misplaced. Part VII of the Act (the parenting provisions) needs to be simplified. The legislative maze of the existing legislation leads to time consuming processes and inefficiency.

The property and maintenance provisions of the Act are understood by experienced advisors. Outcomes are usually predictable. A change to the substance provisions will lead to substantially fewer settlements (at least in the short term) until a level of predictability can be restored as a result of court determined precedent.

With the court delays as they are, this could take many years and a marked upswing of work for the under resourced family law courts.



More Regulation

October 30th, 2015

A central part of a privatised family law dispute resolution system will be arbitration. I hear that the Family Court Rules Committee is considering material changes to the arbitration provisions of the Act. The changes encompass a series of rules going to procedural matters. Why?

The essential feature of the existing provisions is that the parties, in consultation with their arbitrator, can determine their own processes. Essentially well advised adults can agree to their own rules for an arbitration.

A nanny state intervention will introduce the many failings of our existing system. And why do Judges believe they are qualified to determine this?



Family Court Delays

October 26th, 2015

We are now told by the Family Court Registry that Judges are now undertaking case management and not Registrars.

An attempt this week to obtain trial directions resulted in a likely listing in “mid 2016” before a Judge who will then make trial directions.

Our best guess is a likely trial in 2017.

Why do lawyers continue to use this broken system?

It’s time we privatized the family law dispute resolution system.  More to follow.


2015 Specialist Accreditation

October 21st, 2015

2015 Accreditation candidates have received their results. A 22% pass rate has led to much disappointment. The pass rate has gradually reduced over the past several cohorts.

Is it tougher standards or candidates with inadequate experience?

With such a low pass rate, it’s time that the guidelines be reconsidered to make candidate eligibility tougher.

Domestic Violence

September 30th, 2015

Domestic violence has always been a major problem, but it seems the politicians are now keenly aware of it. Barry.Nilsson. Senior Associate, Kirstie Colls has her say here.

Ashley Madison

August 21st, 2015

I’m still waiting for the Ashley Madison avalanche to smother us in new work.  It just can’t be right that 250,000 accounts in Sydney, 213,000 in Melbourne and 118,000 in Brisbane have been opened.  No evidence for this – it just does not feel right.

What is clear is that the digital world provides just a façade of privacy and given its global reach, no recourse for a breach.  It’s no place for a philanderer.