find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Court quicker than tribunal, says lawyer

Court quicker than tribunal, says lawyer

Taking insurance or superannuation disputes to court often results in a quicker resolution than going to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), according to a Maurice Blackburn lawyer.

Michael Bates – who specialises in superannuation – responded to comments made by participants of a recent roundtable about the increasing early involvement of lawyers during disputes. Participants had claimed such early involvement undermined the ability of the SCT to resolve the matter.

According to the Australian Administration Services chief information officer Tim Buskens, lawyers would usually get involved in the mid-to-latter stages of the process, but they were now emerging from the outset.
However, Bates said early or earlier engagement of lawyers in superannuation disputes sped up the process, criticising the SCT for the length of time it takes to resolve a case.

“The SCT has, certainly in more recent times, become a tribunal that's very slow to deal with matters,” said Bates.

“Even in cases we've taken to the SCT, the delay has been so significant that we now have to advise our clients that taking the matter to court is in fact going to result in a quicker resolution.”

From his experience, Bates said the Tribunal would usually take 12-18 months – sometimes even up to two years – to deal with a matter.

“If you put that into context, that is a period of time after the claim has been lodged, considered and presumably rejected, which in itself is another 12 months,” he said.

“So you have somebody who has an insurance entitlement under superannuation that they've worked hard for all their life, they then suffered an injury or illness, they've stopped working, they've got bills to pay and a family to look after.”

After the claim is lodged, it usually takes the superannuation fund or their insurance company six to 12 months to get a decision. If that decision is to reject the claim, they can either ask for the decision to be reviewed or they can go to the SCT.

“That means you're putting another two years on top of that, which is a significant period of time for somebody who has a disability to be waiting to receive what really should be theirs."

Bates added superannuation disputes are often complex and require a legal expert.
 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Court quicker than tribunal, says lawyer
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...