Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

Is your Personal Property Safe?

A recent court decision has provided direction to legal practitioners on the necessity of registering all personal property which is subject to a lease/ hire agreement on the Personal Property Securities Register (the PPSR).

Since the introduction of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Qld) (the PPSA), it has been emphasised that persons with an interest in personal property must secure these interests. Simply put, all personal property (e.g. equipment) the subject of an agreement whereby you enable another person or company to have possession or use of your personal property before the obligations (i.e. full payment) of the agreement that is the basis of this arrangement are performed, must be registered on the PPSR to ensure your rights to that personal property are not outranked by entities with competing rights. The PPSA highlights that personal property is nearly all types of property other than real estate.

In the Australian case of White v Spiers Earthworks Pty Ltd [2014] WASC 139, Spiers Earthworks Pty Ltd (Spiers) entered into a hire agreement (the Agreement) to sell its business to BEM Equipment Pty Ltd (BEM). Pursuant to the Agreement, BEM took possession of personal property with a market value of greater than $1 million from Spiers.

Unbeknown to Spiers at the time, Spiers had not registered its interest in the personal property on the PPSR. As a result, Spiers lost the majority of its assets when BEM became insolvent. The appointed receiver that was to distribute the assets to BEM’s creditors denied Spiers had a legal right to the personal property subject to the Agreement as it did not have a secured interest, that is to say, Spiers had not registered the equipment in question on the PPSR.

Thus, title to the personal property was considered to have passed to BEM upon possession and accordingly became part of the asset pool which was distributed to creditors who had registered their interests and as a result took priority over Spiers. Spiers lost all rights to its personal property and sustained a loss of more than $1 million.

Sadly for Spiers, this loss could easily have been prevented. Spiers could have registered its interest in the personal property on the PPSR and the receiver of BEM’s assets would have had to release the personal property back to Spiers. This case emphasises that the courts are now enforcing the provisions of the PPSA.

If you have personal property that is not in your possession, it is vital that you protect your interests in this personal property by seeking urgent legal advice on the way the PPSA affects you., Hall & Co Solicitors will be happy to assist you with any enquires you have relating to the PPSA and the PPSR.

Domestic Violence and Lawyers

Family and domestic violence occurs when a family member uses violence or abusive behaviour to control another family member.

Factors that may indicate family and domestic violence include (but are not limited to):

1. Family Law Act 1975; and
2. Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.

Contrary to common belief, domestic violence is not just physical as many people are also victimised though verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse.

A recent study has shown that over 16,400 adults in Australia aged 18 years and over fall victim to this heinous behaviour with up to 100 victims dying as a result (Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, Survey Studies). Unfortunately many people do not report the actions of the abuser to the proper authorities for fear of the repercussions or for fear that they will not be believed.

Recognising that this abuse is happening and realising that it must stop is the first step in preventing this abusive behaviour from continuing.

Law practices are here to assist victims of domestic violence from a legal perspective and are able to advise the victim on their rights and take the next step on their behalf to reduce the likelihood of further abuse from occurring.

It is important to remember no one is alone. Domestic violence is not something to be embarrassed about and there are numerous government and other organisations set up to assist. Safety and self-respect is the most important thing and we are ready, willing and able to assist you in taking the next step to protect people from domestic and family violence.

Should you require further information about the legal processes involved in dealing with domestic violence, please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 3219 3830 or call the Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 811 811 for assistance.