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Katherine Hawes
Top 10% Legal

Director of Education and Training at

Member Since November 2014

Warwick, RI, 0288

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I am the founder of New Age Legal Solutions and Aquarius Education. This is a different type of law firm as we believe everyone should have access to quality legal services with no hidden costs or expensive 'charging by the minute' for a reassuring chat. Small Business Owner? Find out more about our Small Business Packages to gain access to legal expertise on a routine basis for a fixed affordable rate.

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Legal
Legal

5 tips to protect your business from identity thieves

Most of us are well aware of the risk of personal identity theft, but what about business identity theft? There is no doubt that criminals have found identity theft to be very lucrative, especially when compared to the low risk involved. As a result, identity crimes have evolved far beyond petty crimes involving lost credit cards and stolen identities of individuals. In fact, identity theft has be...

Business Finance and Loans

The Top Four Things To Consider Before Entering A Commercial Lease

If you own a business, chances are you may need to consider entering into a commercial lease. So how do these differ from ordinary, residential leases? There are a number of things you need to look out for. This article will cover the four most important things to look out for before signing the dotted line. 1. Retail Leases vs. General Commercial Lease There are some important differences betwe...

Legal

Five Key Steps to Boost your Business on Social Media

Social media is the new big thing in marketing! It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use social media on a daily, or even hourly basis, so if your business isn’t taking full advantage of this great marketing tool – you need to. But having a social media presence isn’t enough. Most start-ups and even many big businesses still don’t have a clue on how to use social media effectively for...

Legal

Legal Tips to Protect your Family Home

The family home is the most valuable asset for almost every family. It therefore makes sense to take every step possible to protect it. Remember, if a person becomes bankrupt, all their assets become “vested in” their trustee in bankruptcy, who can then sell the assets to pay out creditors. No one ever plans to find themselves facing bankruptcy, but it is always important to safeguard yourself...

Online Business

Protecting Digital Assets

Introduction In an increasingly digital world and business environment, protecting your digital assets should be a prime consideration for any business owner. Digital assets include anything you own or have rights to that is accessed via the internet or any other form of digital technology. Some of the main digital assets that you should have access to and control include your businesses’: o ...

Legal

Protecting your online business with water tight terms and conditions

Do you have Terms and conditions on your website? Water tight and well written terms and conditions, go a long way to protect your business legally. They should also be easily accessible to anyone visiting your website and explain how your online business will operate through clauses such as privacy policy and refund policy. Below you will find a brief explanation of the clauses which will make yo...

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Separation and family business

Sad but true... 1 in 3 Australian marriages will end in divorce. Therefore, if you are a married business owner, this roughly equates to 1 in 3 family businesses breaking down or experiencing a shareholder dispute as a result of this separation.  The very nature of divorce is based on the fact that you and your partner can no longer be together. So if you and your partner are having irreconcilab...

Legal

Understanding your role as the director of a company

As the director of a company, you have the responsibility to fulfill certain obligations and responsibilities. These responsibilities often increase with the size of the company.    The duties and powers of directors are explicitly set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). These are: ·      A duty to act with care and diligence and to act in good faith. This means that as a director, ...

Legal

Advertising and promotion for your new online business

When advertising and promoting your online business, you should bear in mind that there are legal ramifications of your actions. By being mindful of the following few common advertising and promoting mistakes, you can make sure that you stay on the right side of the law!   Making misleading and false claims When marketing your online business and designing your website, you need to ensure that...

Social Media

SMEs and the Law: Protecting your online reputation

The Internet has provided an information- sharing arena where neither time nor space is a barrier. This power can be harnessed to spread a brand’s message far and wide in a relatively short amount of time. While these technological developments are advantageous for business owners, they can also have detrimental effects if not managed correctly! For example, if your business receives a bad rev...

Legal

5 tips to protect your business from identity thieves

Most of us are well aware of the risk of personal identity theft, but what about business identity theft? There is no doubt that criminals have found identity theft to be very lucrative, especially when compared to the low risk involved. As a result, identity crimes have evolved far beyond petty crimes involving lost credit cards and stolen identities of individuals. In fact, identity theft has be...

Business Finance and Loans

The Top Four Things To Consider Before Entering A Commercial Lease

If you own a business, chances are you may need to consider entering into a commercial lease. So how do these differ from ordinary, residential leases? There are a number of things you need to look out for. This article will cover the four most important things to look out for before signing the dotted line. 1. Retail Leases vs. General Commercial Lease There are some important differences betwe...

Legal

Five Key Steps to Boost your Business on Social Media

Social media is the new big thing in marketing! It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use social media on a daily, or even hourly basis, so if your business isn’t taking full advantage of this great marketing tool – you need to. But having a social media presence isn’t enough. Most start-ups and even many big businesses still don’t have a clue on how to use social media effectively for...

Legal

Legal Tips to Protect your Family Home

The family home is the most valuable asset for almost every family. It therefore makes sense to take every step possible to protect it. Remember, if a person becomes bankrupt, all their assets become “vested in” their trustee in bankruptcy, who can then sell the assets to pay out creditors. No one ever plans to find themselves facing bankruptcy, but it is always important to safeguard yourself...

Online Business

Protecting Digital Assets

Introduction In an increasingly digital world and business environment, protecting your digital assets should be a prime consideration for any business owner. Digital assets include anything you own or have rights to that is accessed via the internet or any other form of digital technology. Some of the main digital assets that you should have access to and control include your businesses’: o ...

Legal

Protecting your online business with water tight terms and conditions

Do you have Terms and conditions on your website? Water tight and well written terms and conditions, go a long way to protect your business legally. They should also be easily accessible to anyone visiting your website and explain how your online business will operate through clauses such as privacy policy and refund policy. Below you will find a brief explanation of the clauses which will make yo...

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Separation and family business

Sad but true... 1 in 3 Australian marriages will end in divorce. Therefore, if you are a married business owner, this roughly equates to 1 in 3 family businesses breaking down or experiencing a shareholder dispute as a result of this separation.  The very nature of divorce is based on the fact that you and your partner can no longer be together. So if you and your partner are having irreconcilab...

Legal

Understanding your role as the director of a company

As the director of a company, you have the responsibility to fulfill certain obligations and responsibilities. These responsibilities often increase with the size of the company.    The duties and powers of directors are explicitly set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). These are: ·      A duty to act with care and diligence and to act in good faith. This means that as a director, ...

Social Media

SMEs and the Law: Protecting your online reputation

The Internet has provided an information- sharing arena where neither time nor space is a barrier. This power can be harnessed to spread a brand’s message far and wide in a relatively short amount of time. While these technological developments are advantageous for business owners, they can also have detrimental effects if not managed correctly! For example, if your business receives a bad rev...

Legal

Advertising and promotion for your new online business

When advertising and promoting your online business, you should bear in mind that there are legal ramifications of your actions. By being mindful of the following few common advertising and promoting mistakes, you can make sure that you stay on the right side of the law!   Making misleading and false claims When marketing your online business and designing your website, you need to ensure that...

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Phil Khor
Phil Khor, Founder at

Legal

What are the most recent legal related changes affecting small business?

Unfortunately this question is too board for me to answer because it would depend on the business you are operating. Which raises a good point about relying upon information found on the internet or via google search, it is not the same of obtaining legal information for your specific business.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

What was the last case you read?

Bryan v Howard in the Family Court about using social media to serve documents which is now allowed under the Family Court Rules. Also recently researched for a client the legal issues surrounding the obtaining of information from facebook accounts to demonstrate mental illness to the Court

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Is it legal to pay your employee in crypto currency like Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is not considered money. however it can be used to pay an employee via a valid salary sacrifice scheme but it will be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

What's your favourite case to read?

Mine is Macdonalds vs McWilliams Wines under the previous s52 of the Trade Practices Act that is now s18 of the Australian Consumer Law, about whether a person is confused between a one litre bottle of red wine called the Big Mac and a hamburger by the same name.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Legal

What trips up the most budding entrepreneurs?

From the legal aspect

* failing to set up the structure of their business appropriately, that is not understanding that the debts of a sole trader and partnership are personal debts, not business debts. The only structure that provides protection is a company structure.

* contracts - not having well drafted contracts with clients and customers, that clearly set out the expectations on behalf of both parties.

*insurance - failing to take out insurance to protect the business and their income

*permits - failing to obtain the right permits and licences to operate the business.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Disclaimer text: is there any point to it?

Yes a well worded disclaimer clause that is clearly stated will be enforceable. There are a number of different types of disclaimers or exclusion clauses. One type you have identified is on the bottom of emails but they are also found in most consumer contracts such as gym agreements, mobile phone contracts etc. They are enforceable as by signing those documents you are stating that you have read and understood the terms of the agreement and consent to waiving your rights. Exclusion clauses are also found in car parks, again if clearly displayed and worded will be enforceable. My advice is always make sure the clause clearly states what you are excluded, if it is vague it will be unenforceable.

In terms of indemnify the company from inappropriate - remember you are vicariously liable for the actions of your employees. That means in simple terms -- you are responsible for every idiot you employ and the actions of that idiot. However if you have a clear social media and email policy then it could be a disciplinary action against the employee.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Employment Law

Are HR Issues always tied to Employment Law?

Hi Jeff,

In a general sense yes HR issues are tied to legal issues. For example I have a client who wanted to dismiss an employee via text message, which is a legal issue and could end up with your company being sued for unfair dismissal. It is important to always have the legal aspect of HR covered when dealing with employees for instance understanding the National Employment Standards which set out rights and entitlements , that are legally enforceable. Having good HR policies and procedures means less chance of litigation. The one area I wold like to remind employers is that of social media. It is good to also have a social media policy about what can be posted on to personal website relating to work issues and work functions. The better you communicate your policy the better you will be covered from a legal point of view.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Yee Trinh
Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

Legal

What are the legal aspects of online retailing that I need to be aware of?

It is very important that you remind online retailing is still covered by Australian Consumer Law and you have the same responsibilities as a retailer with a physical location. You still have to give refunds and ensure the goods as safe for use.

Katherine Hawes answered this question

Peter Jones
Peter Jones, Founder at LinkSmart

Business Growth

Does anyone know a company who provide extended warranties service?

You need to be aware of your obligations under Australian Consumer Law relating to consumer guarantees. I suggest you visit the ACCC website about consumer guarantees and when extended guarantees are illegal. Under Australian Consumer Law there is already inbuilt consumer guarantees that relate to the product and repair guarantees without the need to purchase extended warranties. Choice has also undertaken some work in this area.

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