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Expert legal advice from Cessnock and Newcastle’s lawyers

If you have a query about any type of legal issue, just contact the professional team at Emery Partners, who can handle all sorts of legal matters for your convenience. In the meantime, we’ve included some relevant publications and links to articles below, which provide further information about our work and about current legal developments within Australia.

International Presentations

emery partner liberty

Work Choices? The Changing Face of Industrial Relations in Australia

The following paper was presented in New York city on 4 th July at New York University Law School

Nada Vujat, Emery Partners: nvujat@emery.com.au

On March 27, 2006, the Commonwealth Government of Australia (the former ‘Howard Government’) introduced amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) which completely overhauled and revolutionised the face of industrial relations in Australia. 

By using the corporations power deriving from Part V, section 51 (xx) of the Australian Constitution, the Commonwealth assumed control over some 85% of Australian employers and their employees. The amendments came into effect via the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005, commonly referred to as ‘Work Choices.’ 

The advent of Work Choices met with great confusion and panic from both employer and employee groups. The Howard Government expended millions of taxpayer dollars on an advertising campaign exposing the merits of Work Choices. Unions, who had their long fought for powers stripped by the legislative amendments, similarly concentrated their efforts and member’s monies upon exposing the injustices inbuilt in the legislation. 

In November 2007, the Howard Government was voted out of office. The nation had collectively spoken. Most commentators agree that Work Choices was responsible for the Howard Government’s decline. This presentation explores the mechanics of Work Choices and the psychological impact it has had (and continues to have) upon the Australian nation.

For more information: CLICK HERE

Employment Relations in Australia under the Fair Work Australia 2010 Regime: The Pendulum Swings Again

The following paper was presented in Berlin on 17july- 23 July’2011 at Humboldt University 

Nada Vujat, partner solicitor, Hunter Valley, Australia: nvujat@emery.com.au 

In November 2007, a long-serving Government was ousted owing to public outrage concerning its industrial relations package, Work Choices. It has taken the existing 157 government some two years to modify and replace this system. On 1 July 2009 and 1 January 2010, the primary components of the Fair Work Australia regime were implemented. 

This paper shall overview the new system and its ramifications for Australian workers and businesses who have endured radical shifts in ideology and entitlements in just four years. Fair Work Australia has, in essence, removed the focus from the individual and re-established the bargaining power of the Collective. The voice of the Unions has been restored after a brief period of silence. The ability of workers to challenge their employer's decision to terminate their employment has also been restored (in part). 

The Award ratification process is nearly complete - a process which lies at the core of the nationalised system, and common to both political parties. A new election is looming, and once again, industrial relations has become a hot topic in Australia. Ironically, Fair Work Australia is still in its fledgling stage, not having made its first Anniversary as yet. How the nation has adapted to such radical change in such a short space of time is the focus of this paper.

For more information: CLICK HERE  (Go to page - 161)

General Protections Pursuant To Fair Work Australia: A New Remedy

The following paper was presented in Amsterdam on 17 july’2013 at NH Grand Hotel of Krasnapolsky

Nada Vujat, partner solicitor, Newcastle West, Australia: nvujat@emery.com.au

Over the past six years, Australia has experienced radical changes in industrial relations. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) establishes the current national system of industrial relations, which applies to about 85% of Australian employers. Fair Work Australia commenced on 1 July 2009 (Labour Government). The legislation was intended to increase protections available to the labour force which were arguably diminished pursuant to the previous Work Choices regime (Liberal Government). 

Part 3-1 of the FWA is titled General Protections. This presentation explores the nature of these new remedies in detail, how the Federal Court of Australia is applying them, and the impact the introduction of such remedies has had and is likely to have upon the relationship between employers and employees.

For additional information:   CLICK HERE  (See at page - 22)


It is important to put measures in place to ensure that our “blood, sweat and tears” accumulated over our lifetimes fall into the right hands after we are gone.  We may want our children to profit from our labours; our favourite charity to flourish from our endeavours; our spouse to be secure.  The legal instrument that enables us to look after those we leave behind is known as a will.  It is of paramount importance that the will is drafted to accurately reflect your wishes; to allow for the contingencies of life; and is valid.  

If a will is invalid you may as well not have bothered creating one in the first place.  An invalid will is discarded and legislation then dictates how your hard-won labours are to be distributed. This same legislation operates if you never made a will and died intestate. The legal process addressing this situation is known as Letters of Administration and is far more expensive than obtaining Probate in relation to a valid will. 

Steps to Probate 

1. Seek legal help 

Lawyers are knowledgeable with respect of legislation and case law associated with the creation of a valid will.
Don’t fall afoul of the rules like Mr Burge who determined to “go it alone” and amend his will himself rather than seeking professional legal advice: Burge v Burge [2015] NSWSC 289.  

In that case, Mr Burge had consulted solicitors who had drafted a valid will on his behalf in 1983.  

Thereafter, and at varying times until his death in 2013, Mr Burge, himself, prepared various amending documents including a later will and handwritten notes on the original will.  

These documents were found in different locations.  

After two-plus years and two appeals incurring enormous legal expense, it was determined that the 1983 will would prevail.

2. Keep your legal instruments in the same place.  

Most lawyers offer their clients a deed packet facility whereby your legal instruments can be stored free of charge.  

Emery Partners has offices in both Newcastle and Cessnock and offers this facility.

Nada Vujat, Legal Practitioner Director, Emery Partners, Newcastle and Cessnock 

National Presentations

Public Liability

A Transcription from the ABC Law Report discussing Safety on the Beach and the Duty of Care, featuring Michelle Lawrence - December 2007.

For more information: CLICK HERE

Personal injury damages in NSW: Workshops (4 hours)

Nada has done workshops on this topic on multiple occasions and locations, including Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

For more information: CLICK HERE . Also please refer CLICK HERE   (See at page- 22)

Call us today on 02 4993 9400 or 02 4016 5100
for expert legal advice in Cessnock and Newcastle.

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