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Legal services include:                          

- police and court matters - all local courts in Sydney - see examples below
- traffic matters - driving offences, motor vehicle accidents (referral for personal injury matters)
- legal disputes
- consumer law disputes (e.g. NCAT aka NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal)
- tenancy disputes (e.g. NCAT)
- wills
- trade mark applications and registration

Leniency in Local Court matters

If you did it, doesn't mean you should suffer the maximum penalty or even any penalty.

The law (properly) mitigating penalty is available to everyone but not everyone knows how to access the criteria or have an expert lawyer assist them in putting themselves forward in the best possible light.

The laws can be complex but an indicative summary (as at July 2019) includes:
  • s.3A and 21A criteria in the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) ("CSPA")
  • s.10, and 10A of the CSPA
  • For driving matters - expense and time of completing a Traffic Offender Intervention Programme or TOIP course - especially for anything relating to unsafe driving including low range drink driving;
  • For more serious mental health episodes - expert report of psychologist and or psychiatrist (depending on treatment plan involving medication or not) under s.32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act (NSW)

It should be noted that a lot of experience and expertise goes into preparing the evidence, including subjective evidence (apology letter, character references) for a defendant on a mitigation plea. Issues of specific and general deterrence are in play and the court must be convinced of prospects of rehabilitation. But if the work is put in to best prepare a defendant then a lenient outcome with greater responsibility and citizenship can be a new direction and a new beginning.

For more serious matters the extra cost of counsel expert in court advocacy should be briefed to put verbal submissions in the most convincing way. This would apply for instance for those facing a gaol term as a maximum penalty.

Consumer law claims in NCAT

The rules in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal consumer division can be complex, and if not careful can involve exposure to legal costs at full market rate (making a consumer case unwise).

But if handled well, an NCAT claim can be affordable and quick and well worthwhile.

As at July 2019, we understand the jurisdiction extends up to claims of $40K but legal cost rules may apply against a losing party:
  • Above $30K claim, such that legal costs follow the outcome, and the loser usually  pays
  • Between $10K and $30K legal costs may apply against the loser depending on any wrongdoing or mis-conduct in the procedures of the case, or "special circumstances" meaning complexity of the case
  • Up to $10K claim, where usually one expects each party pays their own costs BUT special circumstances may still result in legal costs against the loser of the case. In short this jurisdiction is for relatively simple consumer disputes without complex evidence or legal controversy.

Assuming you do want to proceed in NCAT important legislation to keep in mind includes:

  • Australian Consumer Law or ACL - found in an obscure schedule to 2010 legislation here http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/caca2010265/sch2.html (yet so important all the same) which includes notaby:
    • s.18 - prohibition against deceptive conduct in business to consumer
    • s.21 - protection of particularly vulnerable consumers
    • mandatory guarantees regarding provision of goods (ss.51-59), services (ss.60-63)
    • s.267(4) - right to financial compensation for breaches of the service guarantees
  • At NCAT keep in mind this legislation:
    • guiding principle in NCAT that the parties strive for "just quick and cheap" resolution of disputes - no ambushes, no tricks, no dishonesty: Refer s.36 Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW)
    • s.79U of the Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW) regarding criteria to consider in Tribunal decisions (about imbalance of power and unfairness)
    • s.9 Contracts Review Act 1980 (NSW) - very similar factors for NCAT to consider as under s.79U above
  • worth remembering that some accommodation providers that are not covered by the Residential Tenancy Act 2010 (NSW) are covered by the ACL, so careful when choosing tenancy or consumer NCAT division for an application.

See an indicative (incomplete) list of legal wins by solicitor Thomas McLoughlin here:

(detail available on request)

  1. 2012 - Ronny gets his $100,000 loan back from a family friend in trouble with planning authorities in regional NSW
  2. 2014-15 - 10 student free education protesters avoid convictions after arrest at University of Sydney in 2013-14
  3. 2014-16 - Phd student and lecturer wins unfair dismissal case and substantial (5 figure) compensation after fraudulent complaints by colleague shown to be invented
  4. 2014-19 - multiple leniency cases avoiding conviction, including for illegal possession under s.10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) 
  5. 2015 - $15K compensation for "Mary", victim of harassment and wrongful eviction under Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") by university accommodation provider
  6. 2015 - Leniency for 2 students responding to mis-conduct investigation regarding their protest in favour of Palestinian human rights - involved extensive submissions on UN resolutions supported by the Australian Govt
  7. 2015-16 - 40 international students saved a total of $4M from overcharging contrary to the ACL
  8. 2016 - Male medical student gets (maximum) 5 year personal apprehended violence order against fixated female stalker to  cease and desist stalking, menacing etc
  9. 2016-17 - international masters art student gets his degree early via credit for prior learning, after arguable breach of Australian Consumer Law by University of Sydney and NCAT agitations
  10. 2016 - refugee from Sri Lanka WZARH wins case 5-0 in the High Court of Australia instructing (now) silk Shane Prince of State Chambers
  11. 2016-2019 - 130 students successful prevent early closure of their art school by University of Sydney -  forced to teach out their degree at heritage Kirkbride complex at Rozelle.
  12. 2017 - A racist (?) motorcycle cop fails to get a conviction of local Chinese-Australian motorbike passenger with 'loose' helmet
  13. 2017 - Uni student who fails to lodge tax returns 3 years running, avoids $2,500 in fines by the ATO
  14. 2017 - refugee with one leg after Taliban attack in Afghanistan, wins appeal in Federal Court of Australia
  15. 2018 - Leniency for student subject to stiff fine of $750 for un-registrable power scooter in NSW
  16. 2018 - Leniency for Chinese student at risk of suicide, wrongfully charged with assault of Anglo boxing bullies 3 to a room in overcrowded flat
  17. 2018 - Chinese vet student gets her dog back from RSPCA - after local court battle - after ex boyfriend charged with DV
  18. 2018 - Chinese landlord sharks blocked from further rip-off of Chinese student household, lease terminated 6 months early without penalty
  19. 2018 - Compo for tenant for half value of a tv set impounded by bully ex-housemates
  20. 2018 - Chinese international student in car hire/fender bender case avoids fraudulent claim for existing damage for thousand$ by taxi company
  21. 2018-19 - Local student referred to big city pro bono firm for breach of sex discrimination laws while on work placement for degree
  22. 2019 - May - 2 uni students cleared of false claim of violent protest by media commentator Bettina Arndt, involving detailed analysis of video evidence. Arndt at risk of breach of s.10 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (giving legal advice without a licence)
  23. 2019 - May - Uni student with overnight guest gets compensation for breach of lease by intolerant ex housemates
  24. 2019 - June - Leniency for coloured exchange student after cops indulge in gross disparaging insult, taking into account personal hardship and systemic NYC racism
  25. 2019 - June -  $4K judgement for student client against rogue taxi driver in the Local Court in Sydney after originally facing $6K demand by taxi company for roundabout car accident
  26. 2019 - ongoing - Chinese student vigorous defence against Airbnb customer making demands for money with menaces

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Do you need to organise your estate? Every adult Australian whether young or old, in good health or not, should seriously consider preparing the following five documents in case they suffer severe incapacity such as a coma after a car accident:

- A Will;
- An Enduring Power of Attorney for finance and property decisions;
- An Enduring Guardianship for medical and lifestyle decisions;
- An Advanced Health Care Directive, also known as a living will, ususally made in consultation with your doctor, directing what medical interventions are acceptable and not acceptable at the end stages of life;
- A Binding Death Benefit Nomination ("BDBN") so your preferred dependent(s) receive your superannuation. (Super may not be left in a will, and your BDBN may need to be updated every few years.)

Thomas McLoughlin Solicitor can assist you with these important legal documents at a very affordable rate.
















TESTIMONIALS

2019 - August

"As a person of colour I have experienced systemic racism either directly or indirectly. I am very proud that I go to university as an exchange student.

I was shocked and disappointed when I was singled out for a personal insult by a police officer at the campus of the University of Sydney in April 2019. At the time I was outside my student residence and concerned about police closing down an authorised student celebration going into the Easter Holiday break.

I was arrested and charged with two public order 2 offences.

Thomas carefully listened to my instructions and viewed the video of the police conduct and my reaction.

I was due to fly home in a few weeks as funded by my school back home so I had limited legal options as far as due process or appeal rights.

Thomas organised representations to police on the facts in my matter, and a sentencing 5 days before my pre booked flight home. He also drafted a sworn statement outlining my personal circumstances and for pro bono counsel Rose Khalilizadeh of Forbes Chambers, who is an alumni of Uni of Sydney, to appear for me on the day.

The Magistrate was impressed with my personal references, youth, education, clear record and personal explanations. She accepted that I reacted to police action that triggered memories of extreme events back in my home country, and that arrest by police there can go from a trivial matter to life threatening. As a result I was given a conditional release order without conviction and ordered to pay court costs of $251.

I am grateful for the legal service provided by Thomas. This was a weight off my shoulders and allows me to continue with my career in the caring professions where I believe I can help many other people and fully realise my potential."

2019 (July)

"Thanks so much for all your help, it is a huge weight off my shoulders. So happy about this result."
  • Mosman resident, after $4K judgement against taxi driver in the Local Court in Sydney after originally facing $6K demand by taxi company for roundabout car accident

2019 (March)

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2018 (November)

" Hi Thomas, it's XXXX here. I am planning to have lunch with you and another friend who suggests me seeking [your] help to celebrate the success of my case at Din Tai Fung (a Yum Cha restaurant) at Central Park Shopping centre level 2 at 1 ....  All the best wishes to you. You are an excellent solicitor .... l just received the payment from USYD. Thank you very much! ... Will we be able to have a lunch celebration at any time when you are available (either Tue or Fri) before this semester ends ? "
October 2018 - Grateful Chinese international grad student with successful $10K consumer claim for deceptive conduct by education service provider.

2018 (October)

 "Thomas was sensitive and very helpful in winning my legal matter. He organised pro bono counsel, expert evidence, other legal supports. He dealt with police and the court procedures in a complex and unusual case including medical history. I was able to re-group and return to my studies after serious set backs most people would never have to cope with. Thankyou Thomas!"

  • Local uni student facing serious local court matter

2018 (March)

"I am suffering a life threatening illness involving dialysis, muscle fatigue and mobility issues. I have worked as a police officer in the past - in another country - and am a religious person.  

I was arrested by police on public transport when I got into an argument with the bus driver for failing to stop at my bus stop causing me great distress. Then another passenger berated me for stopping the bus which made things worse. I just felt very victimised about my situation.

Thomas was very compassionate and insightful. He made representations to police and organised a meeting with expert counsel, Ms Julienne Levick at Ada Evans Chambers. He drove me home from the court. He organised medical evidence from my specialist as to my very serious health challenges and my legal team put the best position forward to the magistrate at Bankstown.

The judge agreed to a good behaviour bond without conviction."

2015

Email from legal intern - Vietnamese Australian law graduate - who now works (2019) as an associate in a top 10 law firm in Sydney:

"Hi Thomas,

I hope you have had a good day so far!

I was just wondering if I could pop in some time today or tomorrow with my ANU legal work experience form for signing off. I've filled everything out - the only part left is the signing off and submitting it to ANU for approval.

Your supervision of my legal placement has been greatly appreciated and it really helped boost my confidence in my Compliance interview with [big Sydney based finance company]. I can honestly say that i might not have gotten the role without the work experience I gained at SRC Legal, so thank you for everything you have done for me Thomas.

Kind regards ...."

2012

"Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, High Integrity"

I recently hired Thomas for a legal matter. I am pleased and satisfied with his thorough research, excellent advice and professional work. I have known Thomas as a friend and colleague for 20years, and consistently found him to be very dedicated, hard-working, ethical and honourable. In my experience with lawyers, these are very rare qualities, that makes Thomas' work outstanding in his field.” November 5, 2012

  • Tony Hastings, friend and client in late 2012, resident of the NSW South Coast.
 
"Thomas is thorough and meticulous in his analysis. He is an organised and dedicated lawyer.” December 9, 2012
  • Shreeya Muthusami, former colleague at SBA Lawyers, and now A/g Assistant Director at Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Canberra Area, Australia Legal Services
 
"Thomas and I were committee members on the Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance in Sydney representing over 30 groups. I found Tom to be hard working, friendly and cooperative with a keen interest in promoting a sustainable Sydney. He also demonstrated a strong background knowledge regarding media, and local, state and federal government issues."
 
  • Lynda Newnam, Management Committee Member, Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance, Sydney 20 December 2012

2013
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2013

"Thomas helped me collect a $800 debt for my family. He told me the legal solution at the Small Claims Division of the NSW Local Court. Thomas explained his low cost and small Court fee. Thomas made a plan for a Letter of Demand. He also planned Court papers for the debt, plus penalty interest (10%), plus my legal costs. The debt to my family would get bigger every day under the law. I told the debtor myself that we had a lawyer now and showed Thomas's card. The debtor got nervous. The debtor decided to pay the debt to save paying even more money, avoid Court, and keep his credit record. We are very happy."
 
  •  Chinese student client, Eastwood Sydney

 
 
















Telephone: 0410 558838
Email: tmsolicitor@tpg.com.au
Web: www.thomasmsolicitor.com
ABN: 50 634 794 495
Address: 6/12 Muston St Mosman NSW 2088 Australia