Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Information on being admitted as a legal practitioner, such as supervised traineeships, how to apply for admission and any admission certification-related queries are usually best answered by the Law Society. You can check the information on the website of the Law Society in each state or territory for more detail and how the rules apply for solicitors and lawyers. 

For the community, the Law Society of South Australia aim to provide leadership in law by: 

  • Reviewing proposed legislation to ensure it is fair and just 
  • Providing submissions to government where we identify issues 
  • Increasing community understanding of the law, their rights and legal services 
  • Advocating for access to justice to ensure all people have fair access to legal representation. 

Engaging a solicitor offers the benefits of: 

  • Guidance, advice and securing your wishes in legal documentation 
  • Entrusting your matter to a professional who understands current legislation and how it affects your interests 
  • Finding better alternatives to legal issues you may not have considered
  • Helping people avoid potential negative consequences if their issue escalates or becomes more complicated. 

You should see a solicitor when: 

  • Preparing or before signing a legal document  
  • Preparing a will
  • Buying or selling a home
  • Setting up or changing your business 
  • Negotiating financial changes (eg increase or decrease in wealth) 
  • Changing insurance
  • Experiencing domestic change
  • When liable for, or the potential recipient of, compensation 
  • If you believe a good or service breaches the law 
  • You need help with family matters such as divorce 

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) could be the best alternative to court actions, potentially saving money, time and the emotional toll of litigation. There are four main types of ADR: 

  • Mediation is where an independent and neutral person such as a solicitor helps the parties work out the issues in dispute, and come up with an acceptable solution.
  • Conciliation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral person, identify the disputed issues.
  • The conciliatormay have an advisory role on the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution, but not a determinative one.
  • Collaborative law involves both parties and their legal representatives signing an agreement to reach a settlement without resorting to litigation. 

Arbitration uses an independent arbitrator to act as a judge and make a binding decision. 

Some law firms advertise ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements. These arrangements mean that if the case is unsuccessful, the client does not have to pay legal fees for the law firm they have engaged. However, should the case be unsuccessful, the other party’s legal fees will still have to be paid and disbursements may be charged. These fees should be discussed in a preliminary meeting between lawyer and client. 

Litigation lenders provide funding to enable people to pursue legal action.  Litigation loans are most common for class actions and personal injury claims, but are also available for some family law and deceased estate cases. 

These loans are usually for expenses such as court fees and expert medical reports, but may also cover lawyers’ fees.  If you are considering this option, you should seek legal advice from an independent lawyer as well as financial advice beforehand. 

We want to ensure that our clients are well informed on their legal rights. Therefore, we offer first 30 minutes free consultations to our clients and potential clients.  

You can:

with any questions in regards to your case or on any other matter. We are committed to returning all calls and emails within 24 hours. 

You can expect to have experienced solicitors and attorneys at your disposal. Attorneys whom both prior clients and other lawyers are willing to refer due to their knowledge of our unique legal strengths, our ability to effectively advocate difficult and complex cases, and our desire to work cooperatively and ethically to attain favorable results for our clients. 

Yes, we have an emergency hotline where you can make a phone call. However, Dev Smith Nguyen recommend that you make it in the working hours for the higher possibilities of instant responses given that lawyers will be off the office after the intense workload of the day. 

Keeping our customers ‘information confidential is one of the strongest work ethics at Dev Smith Nguyen. All lawyers have to strictly obey to the code of conduct which is forced not only by Australian government but also by our company’s regulation. We take all possible actions to protect your data from being leaked out, even a single word without your permission. 

Commercial Law

A business name is a name that your business operates under. 

The Australian government requires you to register a business name if you would like to conduct a business within Australia that is a name other than your own. 

Anyone! That is, anyone over the age of 18 in Australia. You also must have at least 1 director who resides in Australia (for tax purposes) and have a registered address located in Australia. 

Yes, you can. There is no limit on the number of companies you can register. However, you will have to re-complete the form for each company you wish to register. 

You should be ready to provide all the required information. This includes details of your registered office address, company name, your intended officeholders and how you intend to allocate shares (ownership) in your company. 

Companies operate differently to being a sole trader. A company is a separate legal entity and it is an easy way to protect your personal assets from your business activities. Further, you will be taxed at the corporate rate, not an individual rate. Registering a company is a good option if you want to minimize your liability as a business owner. 

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit number which the ATO will allocate to you. This number is used on your business documents and invoices. 

You will need an ABN to receive all B2B payments, to register for PAYG and GST and to register .com.au domain and business name(s). Having an ABN will also enhance the legitimacy of your business. 

You are entitled to an ABN if you are carrying on an enterprise in Australia, a company or making supplies connected with Australia’s indirect tax zone. 

You will need to provide the following information when applying for your ABN: 

  • Proof of identity
  • The reason you are applying for an ABN
  • The date you require the ABN to be effective from
  • Your Tax File Number (TFN) 
  • Where your business is located 
  • Details of any officeholders in your business 
  • The industry your business will operate in 
  • The activities your business will engage in 

When you register a company, you will be trading under both an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Australian Company Number (ACN). Your ABN will predominantly be used for tax purposes (with the Australian Tax Office) and your ACN will be referenced in all your dealings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). 

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