Employment Workplace Relations

Director, Philip Brewin is a specialist in Workplace Relations and heads our Workplace Relations Work Group.

Corporate and Business Law

The Nevett Ford Corporate and Business Law team has a wealth of experience and expertise and have established quality relationships with clients, including many small and medium business enterprises, across a wide range of industries.

Dispute Resolution ( Litigation)

Nevett Ford has wide experience in all manner of litigation.


Mediation is a process and set of principles designed to manage and resolve disputes between parties. It is an efficient and effective method of dispute resolution that can help to preserve relationships through the intervention of a third party, known as a mediator.

Property Law

Nevett Ford has been conveying Victorian property for more than 150 years.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Small Business Family Law Dilemma

Clients with small businesses often find themselves gobsmacked at the approach that the family law courts may take in relation to their business. A valuer is often appointed at significant expense and that valuer will place an astronomical value on a business that the client has no ability to sell, leaving them with a fixed asset of paper-worth but little by way of realisable value.

The situation that may result is a difficult one for many small business owners to face – that they will be left with just their personal-services business whilst their former spouse will keep the whole of a house and a significant proportion of their superannuation to boot.

Clients on the other side of this equation will often not appreciate the precariousness of the valuation that may come falling apart, or indeed how a business owner might readily lower their business incomes dramatically to avoid a genuine valuation of the business occur. Recent developments in the law regarding how ‘add-backs’ are considered mean that this becomes a particular risk for parties.

Not even considered in this situation yet is the impact such a valuation, or the forensic accounting exercise undertaken to get to a valuation, may have on the business partner(s) of a person undergoing a family law property division.

Judicious and early advice is the best answer to help you deal with the complex web of outcomes in such a situation, whether you operate the business or are the former spouse of such a person.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Can I register for Child Support when one parent lives overseas?

Either parent may be able to:
  • Apply for an Australian child support assessment;
  • Register a Maintenance Order, Assessment or Agreement from another country for collection in Australia if the Order, Assessment or Agreement was established in a country listed as a reciprocating jurisdiction for Australia;
  • Obtain an Australian Court Order requiring the other party to pay child support. An Australian Court Order can be registered with the Child Support Agency for collection. Collection options can be limited however, where a paying parent lives overseas especially if the parent lives in a country that is not listed as a reciprocating jurisdiction for Australia.
Please contact Nevett Ford Lawyers on 03 9614 7111 for further advice in this complex area.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Future of the Binding Financial Agreement

'Pre-nuptial’ Binding Financial Agreements are an important tool available to the cautious and well-prepared traveller through life.

They are particularly widely-requested from parties who have already been through one hotly-contested relationship breakdown and with good reason

These parties will often appreciate what people who have not been through litigation before will not; namely that any document or record of what happened at the beginning of a relationship is an invaluable tool should a relationship end.

They also have a more acute understanding of the legal system and the difficulties they may face in actually enforcing such a document, and so lawyers can take greater comfort in their client’s appreciation of this unavoidable difficulty.

The publicity surrounding swimmer Grant Hackett’s case, and his subsequently bringing claims against his former law firms will on the other hand give even greater pause to family lawyers than many already feel. Whatever the outcome, there will be valuable learning experiences in the case, and wise family lawyers will further strengthen and hone their advice as a result.

In the grand scheme of family law in Australia, the Binding Financial Agreement remains a novel document. Family lawyers should act accordingly cautiously, but at the same time take advantage of and advise about the advantages these documents can present to clients. They may form one part of a comprehensive asset-protection strategy, particularly for clients with an interest in a business or a small business with other partners.