[Form 10] Notice of Address for Service for the Federal Court of Australia

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When is a Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] required to be filed?

A Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] MUST be filed by a party (for example a Respondent after they have been served with an Originating Application [Form 15]) to notify the other parties in the proceeding of their Address for Service:

⚖️ Before the return date (i.e., hearing date) fixed in the Originating Application; AND 

⚖️ Before filing any other document in the proceeding.

The Applicant who filed the Originating Application [Form 15] does not need to file and serve a separate Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] as their Address for Service has already been provided within their Originating Application [Form 15].

What constitutes a valid Address for Service?

Under Rule 11.01 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth.):

✅ An Address for Service for a party MUST include the address of a place within Australia at which a document in the proceeding may, during ordinary business hours, be left for the party and to which a document in the proceeding may be posted to the party.

Legal Proceeding against a Business Name

⚖️ Under Rule 11.03 if an Originating Application is brought against a business name, the person served with the Originating Application must file an Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] in the person's name.

The Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] MUST be accompanied by:

✅ A statement setting out the name and residential address of any person with whom, at the start of the proceeding or the date specified in the Originating Application (if any) when the cause of action arose, the person carried on business under the business name.

Legal Proceeding against a Partnership

⚖️ Under Rule 11.04 if an Originating Application claims that 2 or more persons are liable as partners, a person served with the Originating Application must file a Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] in the person's name.

However, the proceeding continues in the partnership name.

Party with Legal Representation

If a party is represented by a lawyer who has general authority to act for that party, the Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] for the party MUST be the address of the Lawyer and include the telephone number, fax number and email address of the lawyer.

If the party is represented by a lawyer, the party is deemed by the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth.) to agree to receive documents at the lawyer's email address.

Legal Proceeding against a Corporation

⚖️ Under Rule 11.02 if a party is a corporation, a Notice of Address for Service [Form 10] MUST be filed by a lawyer.

⚖️ However, under Rule 1.34 a Court may dispense with compliance with the Rules.

A person appointed as a Receiver of a Party

⚖️ Under Rule 11.05 a person who is appointed as a Receiver must, within 7 days after the appointment, file a Notice of Address for Service [Form 10].

Self-Represented Litigant

If the party is not represented by a lawyer--

✅ The Address for Service MUST be the person's address, and include the telephone number, fax number and email address, if any, of the party.

⚖️ If the party is not represented by a lawyer but provides an email address, the party is deemed by the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth.) to agree to receive documents at the email address.

Note: Under the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth.) the parties may agree on how service is to be effected.

For example, the parties may agree that service be at a fax number.

Service of Notice of Address for Service

⚖️ Under Rule 11.08 as soon as practicable after a person files a Notice of Address for Service [Form 10], the person MUST 

✅ Serve a stamped copy of the notice on each other party to the proceeding.

Note: The stamp of the District Registry will be affixed to the Notice of Address for Service [Form 10]--see Rule 2.01(2)(a).

Change of Address for Service

⚖️ Under Rule 11.09 a person may change the person's Address for Service in a proceeding by:

✅ Filing a Notice of the Change showing the new notice of Address for Service in accordance with [Form 28]; and

✅ As soon as reasonably practicable serve a copy of the new notice on each party to the proceeding.

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What are the benefits of buying legal documents from us?

The majority of online Australian Legal Document providers are not law firms!

Whilst it is acknowledged that the legal document templates provided by the majority of [non law-firm] Australian legal document providers will generally have been prepared by lawyers and that the templates they sell are updated from time to time as required by legislative changes.

This does not change the fact that you are not dealing directly with a law firm.

In order to understand what this means from a practical perspective you need to ask the following questions …

What happens?

🧩 If and when you have a legal question?

🧩 If the other party wants to negotiate amendments to the legal document?

🧩 If the legal document does not meet all of the requirements of your specific facts and circumstances?

🧩 If there is a mistake in the legal document?

Lastly, what happens if you are not directly involved in the creation of the legal document?

🧩 What if your accountant, tax agent or financial advisor uses a [non-law firm] online legal document service on your behalf?

To help you answer this question, please read our FAQ: If I create a legal document for my client on your law firm’s website am I giving legal advice or am I a "mere scribe"?

General Answer

A general answer is that online [non-law firm] Australian Legal Document providers are unable to assist clients directly, as they are unable to provide legal advice.

Certain [non-law firm] providers have adopted a business model whereby they earn a substantial ongoing 12 months+ plus referral fee for directing a client to a large directory of law firms who can assist.

This referral fee is charged to the law firm, who may decide to expense it as a marketing cost.

We submit that one way or another, it is ultimately the client who pays for the cost of the referral fee as it increases the cost of doing business for the law firm providing the service to them.

Feedback obtained directly from businesses who have used certain [non-law firm] online services

The valuable feedback we have  obtained is that:

❌ The quality of the online legal documents are basic, non-adaptive templates; such that

❌ The client is more often than not, required to seek assistance from a law firm in order to ensure their legal requirements are met.

As lawyers are required to undertake client interviews and make manual amendments to the legal documents, the final cost ends up much higher than the client could have anticipated, especially when the original online legal document was given away for free or at a nominal cost.

These kinds of business models may not rise to the level of bait & switch, however they may be found to constitute misleading and deceptive conduct.

In our submission, clients appear to be lead to believe that in the majority of cases they will be able to use the standard online documents without the need to engage a law firm to assist, when in actual fact this is not the case.

What are the benefits of purchasing legal documents directly from Blue Ocean Law Group?

When you purchase online legal documents directly from us, we have every incentive to ensure the quality of the online legal documents provided are as high as possible, and that you have all your questions answered.

List of Benefits:

✅ Our law firm already has a copy of your online responses so we can assist quickly and cost effectively.

✅ 1-stop shop. There is no need to wade through a directory of different law firms each time.

✅ Professional Indemnity Insurance (when you engage us for legal advice);

✅ Higher quality automatically tailored legal documents using Embedded Lawyer-Logic;

✅ Deal directly with a law firm, no need for middlemen;

✅ No referral fees built into the business model;

✅ Lower overall legal costs;

✅ Legal document delivered directly from our .law web domain so you know we created the legal document;

✅ Legal Professional Privilege; and

✅ Enhanced Confidentiality.

✅ Blue Ocean Law Group (as far as we are aware) are currently the only Australian law firm providing you with the option to create more than 210+ Personal & Business Legal Documents online using our ⚖️ [Self-Service] and/or [Lawyer-Assisted] services.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What is a Free Legal Health Check?

What is a Free Legal Health Check? ✅

Our Legal Health Check is a process that helps you identify + prioritise your individual + business (if relevant) legal needs.

How does it work?

1️⃣ Complete our Intelligent Questionnaire:

You will be asked to provide information about your personal and/or business circumstances;

2️⃣ Automated Report:

The process uses inbuilt Embedded Lawyer-Logic™ to help you identify key legal risks + concerns and prioritise solutions.

A customised (jargon-free) report is generated in plain english with actionable recommendations.

3️⃣ Deliver Solutions:

You can then consider the information in your own time, and when convenient, select the most appropriate self-service legal documents from our online 24/7 portal or reach out to our legal team to discuss your options in more detail.

What does it cover?

🧩 Estate planning;

🧩 Marriage and de facto relationships;

🧩 Tax structuring;

🧩 Dispute avoidance/resolution;

🧩 Investment properties;

🧩 Business sale/purchase;

🧩 Business financing;

🧩 Co-ownership arrangements;

🧩 Managing staff;

🧩 Commercial terms;

🧩 Websites and intellectual property;

🧩 Regulatory compliance.

Why go through this process?

This is an amazing way to quickly + proactively identify legal risks + opportunities to get your legal affairs in order!

Achieve Zen-like “peace of mind” knowing your legal affairs are in order

Our Buccaneer Package is designed for individuals + includes our constantly expanding library of [Self-Service] personal legal documents.

It is compelling value with pricing at less than $1 per day which entitles you to access heavily discounted [members only] prices.

You could save thousands $$$ on your legal bills!

Our Yachtsman Package designed for business owners includes our constantly expanding library of [Self-Service] personal + business legal documents.

It is compelling value with pricing at circa $3.50 per day [equivalent to the price of a cup of tea or coffee!] which entitles you to access heavily discounted [members only] prices.

You could save thousands $$$ on your personal + business legal spend!

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

What is Embedded Lawyer-Logic + how does it work?

What is Embedded Lawyer-Logic™?

Think of Embedded Lawyer-Logic as your way of gaining 24/7/365 access to the best legal minds in the relevant area of law to guide you through complex legal matters via one of our Legal Wizards +/or to instantly generate high quality legal documents, or an initial draft for review by our legal team.

More than 1000+ Australian lawyers use the same Industry leading Legal Document Platform to automatically generate high quality legal documents.

Step 1️⃣: Information Gathering/Legal Wizard

Our intelligent online questionnaire adapts to your answers and only asks relevant questions.

Simply follow the guidance and enter the requested information about your matter.

If you are using one of our Legal Wizards there may or may not be a document to be automatically generated.

Step 2️⃣: Document Assembly

The information is then sent to our back-end legal document generation engine, which follows a matrix of algorithms to make decisions about what should be in your legal document, just as an expert human lawyer would do.

The engine then draws from an enormous body of content to assemble a top-tier quality legal document that’s tailored to your situation + requirements.

Our Embedded Lawyer-Logic™ technology includes numerous quality control checks + automatic error-correction, massively reducing the risk of human error.

Step 3️⃣: Document Delivery

The finished document is then emailed to you in PDF format, ready to print and sign.

Optional: Lawyer Review/Assistance

Your answers to the online questionnaire and a copy of the finished document in both Word + PDF formats are automatically forwarded to our legal team.

If we notice anything out of-the-ordinary we will contact you to discuss.

If you are a subscribed member or opt for paid Lawyer-Assistance, we will use the allocated time to assist to clarify and resolve any questions you may have.

Optional: Full Service

If your matter is complex, high risk or you have never been involved in legal matters before, we highly recommend you opt for our Full Service.

Our legal team will contact you and assist you throughout the entire process.

If you are a subscribed member the cost for the time spent by our legal team to assist you is heavily discounted.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

When should I reach out to speak to your legal team?

Our [Self-Service] legal documents are designed to be completed "without the intervention of a lawyer".

This approach will be appropriate for the majority of routine legal matters, where you are experienced and have learnt what needs to be considered and have gained experience in using our 24/7 online document portal to generate your legal documents instantly.

Some routine matters maybe totally new to you (meaning that you will have questions and we recommend you select our [Lawyer-Assisted] service).

Other matters maybe unusually complex, or of such high-value or risk that involving our legal team is the prudent course to take.

For these matters we recommend you select our [Full Service] option.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

What does the Lawyer-Assisted service include?

Your upgrade to our [Lawyer-Assisted] Service includes …

⚖️ Professional Indemnity (Limited Liability) by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation;

⚖️ Access to Professional Fee Funding* / Disbursement Fee Funding / Family Law Funding (subject to approval by QuickFee our external legal finance provider);

✅ Allocated Time included to understand your circumstances + objectives, answer your queries + provide legal advice & make recommendations regarding alternative/additional options; and

✅ Create your standardised Legal Document based on your instructions.

Plus [+] Where Appropriate (at no additional charge)

⚖️ Use of proprietary fonts to maximise fraud prevention;

⚖️ Use of our Law Firm Letterhead;

➲  Send your Legal Document for electronic signature/s; and/or

🔒 Application of Trax Print Legal Document Security Technology for Fraud + Litigation Prevention.

* More Information about Professional Fee Funding:

Our firm has partnered with QuickFee and Splitit to provide you with an interest free payment option. While we remain your service provider, the payment method is provided by QuickFee, a specialist payments provider for professional firms.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Is the Legal Documents Portal Secure?

Yes we use the highest grade web-based security available 4096-bit SSL encryption

Our Legal Documents Portal uses 4096-bit SSL encryption.

A Future Proof Security Solution

The following has been extracted from a JScape's website article answering the question: "Should we start using 4096 bit …?"

In case you're curious where we got the idea of 2048-bit encryption keys being safe to use until 2030, check out the NIST Special Publication 800-57 Part1.
In Table 2 of that document, it says 2048-bit RSA keys are roughly equivalent to a Security Strength of 112.
Security strength is simply a number associated with the amount of work required to break a cryptographic algorithm.
Basically, the higher that number, the greater the amount of work required.
A future proof security solution can mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
We know that cyber criminals are always one step ahead of security professionals, so we're not 100% sure 2048-bit keys are going to remain unbreakable before 2030.

How secure is 4096-bit encryption?

It was once said:

It would take the combined processing power of every computer in the world thousands of years to crack 4096-bit encryption.

You could be the weakest link. Be Vigilant!

Hackers will always look for the weakest link, which is usually a person who makes an error which opens up a gap in an otherwise secure system.

In a more general context (outside of encrypted secure website traffic/data) it has also been said:

Data with 4096-bit encryption (only protected by a password) could still be compromised within seconds.
How? Human error.
Easy pass-phrase, written down password, re-used password... etc. basically, always be on the lookout for the weakest link.
Trust the technology, but never trust the weak link - the user!

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Why does Blue Ocean Law Group℠ use a *.law website domain?

What is a *.law web domain?

⚖️ *.law is a top-level-domain (TLD) that aims to:

Promote trust in the professional legal community by creating a:

✅ Verified;

✅ Exclusive; and

✅ Reserved online space in which only accredited lawyers and law firms can establish a comprehensive digital brand.

✅ Website users can have confidence they are dealing with an authorised and licensed lawyer/law firm.

✅ *.law offers effective branding to those in the legal community, with the ability to secure a domain name that clearly communicates who you are + the legal resources you provide.

All about *.law domain names

Source: join.law - Why *.law?

Creating Legal Docs for clients. Is this giving legal advice?

When you create Legal Docs for Clients. Is this considered giving legal advice? or is your role that of a mere scribe?

If your role is merely that of a "scribe or scrivener" as outlined below it is unlikely you would be deemed to be providing legal advice or engaging in the practice of law.

Caution: Some Online Legal Documents have evolved!

Unfortunately this is not as easy as it once was … when online legal document templates were all static "fill in the blanks" one-size-fits-all templates.

Increasingly, the capabilities + complexities of legal document automation have evolved to cater to an ever widening range of facts and conditions.

Using the complex design + incorporation of what we call Embedded-Lawyer Logic it is no longer possible to avoid the automated tailoring of the online legal document to suit the client's circumstances + legal needs.

They are designed to produce a quality bespoke legal document just like a lawyer does.

The use of Embedded-Lawyer-Logic™ in the online process:

✅ Is now very similar to a client being interviewed by a lawyer;

✅ It drills down to ask the same questions and provide the same options a highly experienced + competent lawyer is required to do.

As a result the draft legal document created now has the potential to vary significantly based on the responses provided by the client.

We have now progressed to the point that the new normal online process is designed to cause your role to fall outside of the role of a "scribe or scrivener" alluded to below.

In the leading case on this issue Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 184; 35 WAR 59 (Simmonds J) noted at para. [152] that Brinsden J in Barristers Board v Palm Management Pty Ltd [1984] WAR 101 referred to Re Matthews (1938) 79 P 2d 535, apparently with approval, as follows at para. [108]*:

The court went on to say that where an instrument is to be shaped from a mass of facts and conditions, the legal effect of which must be carefully determined by a mind trained in the existing law in order to ensure a specific result and to guard against others, more than the knowledge of the layman is required and a charge for such services brings it definitely within the term 'practice of the law' [emphasis added].

How to limit your role to that of a "scribe or scrivener"?

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you advise your client to either:

✅ Create the draft legal document themselves + ensure independent legal advice is sought from our legal team prior to negotiation and execution; or

✅ Instruct you to create the legal documents using our Lawyer-Assisted option.

Doing this ensures your role is clearly limited to that of a "scribe or scrivener".

Our legal team will then take the responsibility for reviewing your client's individual circumstances together with the draft legal document in order to provide your client with the relevant legal advice, ensure your client understands their legal position and options, and to propose and make any required amendments to the legal document based on your client's instructions.

What is a "mere scribe or scrivener"?

In Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [supra]*:

… the court held that work of the mere clerical kind, such as filling out of skeletal blanks or drawing instruments of generally recognised and stereotype forms effectuating the conveyance or encumbrance of property, such as a simple deed or mortgage not involving the determination of the legal effect of special facts and conditions, should be generally regarded as the legitimate right of any layman because it involves nothing more or less than the clerical operations of the now almost obsolete scrivener (emphasis added).
(The scrivener was eliminated in England by the 1804 Act.).

The view of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia ... ^

Timely reminder

The 2007 case of the Legal Practice Board v. Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd* serves as a timely reminder to members that there are legislative provisions in each state and territory which prohibit a person who is not a legal practitioner from engaging in legal practice.
This prohibition is mirrored in the Institute’s regulations relating to public practice (regulation 1207).
However, there are differences between the jurisdictions as to how the prohibition is framed.  

Even so, members who use the services of document providers are urged, as a minimum, to:
✅ Use only reputable document providers whose services are backed by competent legal practitioners;
✅ Ensure that they abide by the terms and conditions of the document providers as to the use of the documents and their supply to clients; and
✅ Avoid redrafting of documents to suit the circumstances of individual clients, unless appropriate legal advice is obtained by the relevant parties.

Seek legal advice

The Institute believes that the recent WA case does not require any change to a member's legitimate use of this type of service in accordance with their terms and conditions.
However, if you have any concerns or queries about the use of document providers, you should seek legal advice.

Sources:

* Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 184;

^ Extracted from the article: Court case raises issues about preparation of legal documents.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How to Verify a Trax Print Protected Document?

How do I Verify the Authenticity of a Trax Print Protected Legal Document?

You can use any of the following Trax Print Document Verification Methods

1️⃣ Double-Click to Verify the Details of the Document

Note: You can find the Trax Print QR Code on the bottom of the first, last or every page, depending upon the preference set by the author of the document.

✅ By way of example, Double-Click on the below sample Trax Print QR Code within the PDF document:

You will be taken to the TraxPrint.com website and a message similar to the following will appear:

2️⃣ Email to Verify the Contents of the Document

The ability to email a document for automated verification has never been done before.

The Trax Print Email Verification Process

✅ Send an email with the PDF document attached to check@blueocean.law

The Trax Print system checks the Trax Code and compares the entire document to the one that was originally protected.

Trax Print will detect even a one pixel difference within a 1000 page document.

❌ If the PDF document is not authentic a reply email rejecting the document will be send back to you.

If the PDF document is authentic, you will receive a reply email with the following attached:

✅ Certificate of Authenticity (including our law firm details & the timestamp of when the document was Trax Print Protected); + 

✅ The Original Trax Print Protected document.

Try it Yourself

🌊 Email check@blueocean.law with any random PDF document attached (that is not Trax Print Protected).

🌊 Then send a second separate email to check@blueocean.law with one of our Trax Print Protected PDF's attached.

For example:

🌊 Download our Trax Print Protected Brochure called Business Legal Essentials attach it to your email.

🌊 In both cases you will automatically be emailed the results!

Note: Blue Ocean Law Group are also notified if one of our Trax Print Protected Documents is verified.

This enables us to take appropriate action if the verification was not authorised.

3️⃣ Scan to Verify the Contents of the Document

✅ Download the free Trax Print App from the iOS AppStore or Android GooglePlay

Register + Sign-in to the App then ✅ Scan the Trax Print QR Code to Verify.

4️⃣ Drag n' Drop to Verify the Contents of the Document

✅ Drag n' Drop the PDF Document File into the designated area.

You will receive an instant response regarding the authenticity of the document.

This feature is coming soon and we aim to make it available via a dedicated page on our website.

Further Reading: Are your Legal + Identity Documents Securely Trax Print Protected to Provide Fraud + Litigation Prevention? ➲ It's a no-brainer!

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

Can I create a Legal Document from my phone?

Yes, you can create a Legal Document from your phone

The below iPhone 12 screen shots demonstrate what we mean by "^anywhere (even from your mobile phone, if necessary)".

iPhone 12: Portrait Mode
iPhone 12: Landscape Mode

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How do I negotiate my civil dispute whilst protecting myself?

You have the right to remain silent … in your civil legal dispute

By the time you approach a lawyer to assist with your civil legal dispute you may have already discussed the matter in detail or sent text messages/emails to the other party, their agent, insurance company or lawyers.

Whilst you might think you are progressing the matter:

➲ This is generally a mistake!

Most people [unless they are experienced in litigation or legal dispute resolution] will unknowingly proceed to make these communications with the other side on an "open” basis.

This means that everything that is said or written might be capable of being used by the other parties in any subsequent legal proceedings.

We recommend you don't say or write anything until you have spoken to your lawyer

It is generally known that in any criminal matter, you have the “right to remain silent …” as this is well-covered territory on TV/Movie Legal Dramas and in the media.

When it comes to civil disputes we recommend you adopt the same position.

Our advice may be spot on when it comes to large $$ civil disputes.

Proceeding without your lawyer

When the matter is only a minor one, you may not want to go to the time and/or expense of engaging legal advice specific to your situation.

Q: How then can you proceed?

A: Very carefully, and with the assistance of some very specific legal phraseology which you may or may not have seen before.

Please refer to our blog article “How to cast a magic legal spell? The protection afforded by Without Prejudice Settlement Negotiations." for more information.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How do I ensure I get the pre-litigation steps right?

How do I ensure I get the pre-litigation steps right?

If you have a written agreement with the Debtor/standard terms of trade

The identity of the Debtor and their address for service (incl. email +/or fax) should already be clearly specified in the agreement, or provided by the Debtor as part of your standard business processes.

We also assume that the terms of your agreement will provide permission to serve notices via email or fax (if required).

If there is no written agreement

You will need to consider whether you already know the actual identity of the Debtor/Defendant and their address for notices/Service.

The Debtor/Defendant may not be the person with whom you made the original agreement, or the person who actually published the defamatory statement.

The person you might consider is the Debtor/Defendant may have been acting/dealing as an agent or employee of another person, the actual owner/s of the business, a sole trader, partnership, unincorporated association, company, etc.

If you only have the name of the business, you can start by conducting a free ASIC business names index + business names holder organisation/person searches to determine the owner of the business name, followed by a paid ASIC search to determine a valid + current address for Service.

connectonline.asic.gov.au

If the Debtor/Defendant is a Company

Before sending a Letter of Demand/Statutory Demand/Concerns Notice to a Debtor company, we strongly recommend you conduct a paid current ASIC Company Search (min. cost $9) to confirm that:

✅ The Debtor/Defendant company is not currently under administration/in liquidation; and to

✅ Ascertain the companies current registered office address for service.

Legal Assistance

If you have any questions regarding the above please contact our legal team to discuss.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What are the downsides if you delay claiming legal rights?

Generally speaking, to help ensure you obtain the best possible outcome, it is recommended that as soon as practical you:

1️⃣ Proceed to obtain legal advice;

2️⃣ Instruct your lawyer to inform the other side that you have a claim against them, and attempt to settle the matter; and if this is not successful

3️⃣ Proceed to take steps to enforce your legal rights without any further delay.

Apart from the risk of the lapse of any Statute of Limitations Period, if your claim seeks equitable relief, failure to provide notice to the defendant that you have a claim and intend to enforce it, may open the door to allow the defendant to seek reliance on the equitable defence of laches, or more generally estoppel with the circumstances of the case unfolding in support of these defences the longer the defendant is able to show inaction on your part.

What is the equitable defence of laches?

Laches is a defence only available to a defendant in equity, where a plaintiff's lack of diligence and activity in making a legal claim, or moving forward with legal enforcement of a right, is viewed as conduct which allows the defendant to develop a belief that the plaintiff will not be seeking to make any claim and to continue about their life dealing with their affairs in reliance on this belief. Wikipedia

In Streeter v Western Areas Exploration Pty Ltd (No 2) (2011) 278 ALR 291 at para. [635] per McLure P considered:

"Whether the conduct of the plaintiff amounted to an acquiescence or caused the defendant to alter their position in reliance on the plaintiff’s acceptance of their actions”.

Consequently, a defendant may be able to argue the equitable defence of laches on a much shorter time frame than the relevant statutory limitation period.

In Hourigan v Trustees Executors and Agency Co Ltd (1934) 51 CLR 619 per Rich J:

The Court will not “disregard the election of the party not to institute his claim and treat as unimportant the length of time during which he has slept upon his rights and induced the common assumption that he does not possess any”.

In Gillespie & Ors v Gillespie [2013] QCA 99 MARGARET WILSON J (with whom MARGARET McMURDO P & WHITE JA agreed) at para. [79] of her judgment provided a summary of the applicable law regarding the equitable defence of Laches:

"Laches is an equitable doctrine, under which delay can bar a claim to equitable relief."
Deane J (with whom Mason CJ agreed) observed in Orr v Ford that the ultimate test is that enunciated by the Privy Council in Lindsay Petroleum Co v Hurd
“… whether the plaintiff has, by his inaction and standing by, placed the defendant or a third party in a situation in which it would be inequitable and unreasonable ‘to place him if the remedy were afterwards to be asserted’: see Erlanger v New Sombrero Phosphate Co, and also, per Rich J, Hourigan.”
The learned authors of Meagher, Gummow and Lehane’s Equity Doctrines and Remedies posit that there are two types of laches –
(i)         delay with acquiescence, where prejudice to others need not be shown; and
(ii)        more commonly, delay with prejudice to others.
However, in Fisher v Brooker Lord Neuberger said –
“Although I would not suggest that it is an immutable requirement, some sort of detrimental reliance is usually an essential ingredient of laches, in my opinion. In Lindsay Petroleum Co v Hurd (1874) LR 5 PC 221, 239-240, Lord Selborne LC, giving the opinion of the Board, said that laches applied where ‘it would be practically unjust to give a remedy’, and that, in every case where a defence ‘is founded upon mere delay… the validity of that defence must be tried upon principles substantially equitable’.
He went on to state that what had to be considered were ‘the length of the delay and the nature of the acts done during the interval, which might affect either party, and cause a balance of justice or injustice in taking the one course or the other, so far as relates to the remedy’.”
Trying the validity of the defence on equitable principles involves the balancing of equities.  
In Erlanger v New Sombrero Phosphate Co Lord Blackburn said –
“…it must always be a question of more or less, depending on the degree of diligence which might reasonably be required, and the degree of change which has occurred, whether the balance of justice or injustice is in favour of granting the remedy or withholding it.
The determination of such a question must largely depend on the turn of mind of those who have to decide, and must therefore be subject to uncertainty; but that, I think, is inherent in the nature of the inquiry.”
And in Fysh v Page Dixon CJ, Webb and Kitto JJ said –
“If a plaintiff establishes prima-facie grounds for relief the question whether he is defeated by delay must itself be governed by the kind of considerations upon which the principles of equity proceed.
If the delay means that to grant relief would place the party whose title might otherwise be voidable on equitable grounds in an unreasonable situation, or if, because of change of circumstances, it would give the party claiming relief an unjust advantage or would impose an unfair prejudice on the opposite party, these are matters which may suffice to answer the prima-facie grounds for relief.”

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What to consider before commencing legal proceedings?

Prior to deciding whether to commence Legal Proceedings

Laches + Limitation Periods

Please read our FAQ: What are the downsides to delaying 1️⃣ Informing the other side of my claim against them; or 2️⃣ Filing my claim with the Court?

Litigation Risk

We strongly recommend you obtain legal advice + assistance regarding:

✅ Determining whether the Debtor has the potential financial means to ultimately pay the debt + interest + legal costs should you be successful in your claim;

✅ If the Debtor is an individual, conducting a Bankruptcy Search;

✅ If the Debtor is a company, conducting a Bankruptcy Search;

✅ Determining whether the Debtor has been or is currently involved in other legal proceedings;

✅ The legal merits of your claim; and

✅ Ensuring you understand that it is extremely rare to recover your legal costs in litigation; and

✅ The inherent Litigation Risk of potential liability for the Debtor's legal costs in commencing legal proceedings in a Court, as opposed to a Tribunal;

✅ The cost + availability of litigation funding, +/or litigation insurance.

Valid + Effective Service

The requirements for valid + effective Service of a Filed Application or Statement of Claim vary depending on the relevant Court or Tribunal.

We strongly recommend you obtain legal advice + assistance regarding:

✅ The selection of the appropriate Court or Tribunal to bring suit; as well as

✅ The drafting of the required Application/Statement of Claim; and

✅ The compliant Service of same on the Debtor once legal proceedings have been filed.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.