Our People Aren't Just Called to be Lawyers
We're called to be salt and light on this earth and in our practice of law
Welcome to the C&L Community page, where we get to share stories that demonstrate work as ministry.
We are thankful that our lawyers believe in the call on their lives to contribute positively to the fabric of this world.
In addition to our lawyers main role of performing legal work, we are pleased for the opportunity to devote time outside the four-corners of our offices and give back to various forms of community.
Just, Redemptive Outcomes® - It's not about us
The Just Redemptive Outcomes® section are our stories of character moulding, culture shifts and ministering grace.
These are stories of paved ways, providence, wisdom and insight on complex matters.
These stories acknowledge our calling and are accounts of finding order amidst chaos, restoration amidst injury, justice amidst injustice.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the odds can be against us. JRO® stories are about bringing order out of the chaos.
Just Redemptive Outcome® stories tell some of God’s story and our privileged and yet vital part in History. Telling and re-telling these stories, calls our attention to God at work (in our work) and evokes, with the eyes of faith, a re-imagining of our work as full of purpose.
We have historically acted in various matters where Buyers have needed to exit from their off the plan purchase contracts. In these stories it would have been unjust for the buyers to be forced to complete their purchase.
The stories usually involved buildings that were materially not built in accordance with the standard that had been represented to the Buyers at the time the off the plan contract had been entered into, with the result that the Buyers would have been significantly disadvantaged if forced to settle. These things substantially adversely affected the market value of the units at the time the buildings were completed.
Additionally, we have assisted Buyers where representations as to the future value of the property at settlement were made, and the Buyers acted in reliance on these representations to their ultimate detriment.
Only through persistent and significant negotiations were appropriate outcomes reached for our clients.
This matter involved a 3-year litigation regarding a family business.
Through the process, our clients stood to lose everything as a result of aggressive litigation. The effect it had, impacted their business, their personal property, their families, their clients and friends.
When we reached the mediation stage, there was a sense of hopelessness in that the other party were not willing to settle. In fact, the gap between settling the matter was so far removed, it would take a miracle to close the gap.
Our litigation team actively prayed for the matter and mediation. Against our expectation, we saw the gap begin to close in size.
The end result was one of settlement at a figure that took our clients by surprise along with favourable terms.
This allowed our client to go living their lives and running their business with peace and freedom.
Definitely Glory to God for settling the unsettle-able and giving our clients a just redemptive outcome®. (2018).
Our client was a community group that had become entangled in a costly civil litigation. Our client was being held accountable for the actions of some of its members and the first they knew of the civil action, was when they were served a Claim and Statement of Claim.
When we first met our client, they were open to the suggestion of starting our first meeting in joint prayer.
Our prayer was that God would help us to quickly ensure Court proceedings against our client were discontinued by the other side.
In a matter of days, a Notice of Discontinuance was received by our client. The swiftness of the matter being resolved quickly and cost effectively, caught even us by surprise. It freed their leadership group to refocus their energies on their mission and purpose with the limited resources they had.
This was one case where we were grateful to see God’s hand move (so tangibly) in bringing a quick solution for this client group. (2018)
Case 1: The Outback Pastor
We were approached by a traveling pastor who has spent the last 10 years ministering to and counseling those who are doing it tough in the far flung and truly remote areas of Outback Australia.
Travelling to places that others are unwilling to go and providing relief, support and vital aid to the people who live there, she performed her work on a full time basis completely pro bono, constantly putting other’s needs before her own. She had traveled in excess of 300,000 km in the last 5 years, but unfortunately, had also accumulated a number of demerit points in that time as a result of exceeding the speed limit in various places.
This ultimately resulted in the loss of her license while on a good behavior period.
Our client was both remorseful and embarrassed by her demerits and distressed at the prospect of being unable to continue her vital work during her lengthy suspension.
The legislation makes provision for the Court to issue a restricted license in circumstances where being unable to drive would cause severe and unusual hardship for the driver or their family.
These licenses are hard to come by and are usually issued in circumstances where the driver requires their license to earn a living.
Unfortunately our client’s circumstances did not quite fit into the kind of box anticipated by the legislation, but there was no doubt that the consequences of her loosing her license would be far reaching and severe.
We set about building a case to bring our client’s circumstances within the ambit of the legislation. Her prospects of success were not great, but the possibility was there and her cause worth fighting for.
Many people who had benefited from the work she had done came forward provided references in support of her and her work.
We prayed with the client and her friend before entering the Court room knowing we were as prepared as we could be.
Against all odds, the Court decided in our client’s favor and awarded her with a restricted license allowing her to continue the work of the ministry from her vehicle. The restrictions imposed on her license were minimal and well below those anticipated or ordinarily Ordered in the circumstances.
Our client is truly thankful for the favor extended to her and the opportunity to continue her ministry into Outback Australia.
This is no doubt a Just Redemptive Outcome® Story.
In this matter, our employment & discrimination team were successful in assisting a School defend itself in a five day Anti-Discrimination Trial heard in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The matter involved numerous allegations of a parent, and her two children, against the School and the school’s staff members personally.
These allegations included claims of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and victimisation under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).
Our employment & discrimination team (on behalf of the School), argued that the nine (9) complaints of the Complainants be dismissed.
The Tribunal found in favour of the School, and dismissed all of the complaints. (2013)
In this recent case, we met a client who faced redundancy due to operational changes. The client was owed a $10,000 bonus, which the separation agreement did not mention or contemplate. The client was in a dire situation as the company vehicle assigned to her, served both business and personal use. Without the bonus, the client was unable to purchase another vehicle.
The client was a single mother with a disabled child.
Our lawyers provided practical advice regarding employment separation and how to negotiate the bonus with her employer.
After meeting with the client, our lawyers gathered and prayed specifically for a change of heart of the employer.
Within two hours, the client called us exclaiming that she had followed our advice and the employer had agreed to pay the bonus in addition to the separation amount.
A just redemptive outcome® indeed. (Dec 2015).
In 2016, we received a client who had been asked to formally respond to allegations within his workplace.
The client said he chose our firm because he had read of our Christian values and that where possible, we would seek to negotiate an outcome.
The client had served his employer for a lengthy period of time. At the time of our meeting, the client was feeling vulnerable, fearful, struggling with the alleged accusations and he admitted that the action against him had caused a ‘low’ in his otherwise successful career.
When he dealt with our team, he was appreciative of the non-judgment, assistance and care exuded over his matter.
Through our delicate handling of the client, caring of him through the process, we were able to negotiate an outcome that enabled a satisfactory closure over a lengthy period of service with an employer and restored dignity to the situation.
At its conclusion, the client wrote a kind letter to those involved in his matter thanking God and acknowledging our lawyers empathy, diligence, support and holistic counsel that in his words “turned out to be more valuable in the end than the pure legal advice”.
A Just Redemptive Outcome® indeed. (July 2016)
In 2008 we were retained by a Widow who faced loosing a significant part of her late husbands estate because of mistakes in the drafting of his Will by another law firm.
We were successful in assisting the widow obtain orders from the Supreme Court of Queensland under section 33 of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) to rectify the Will of her late husband.
This matter involved us placing before the court detailed Affidavits which we argued clearly demonstrated that the testator’s Will did not carry into effect his testamentary intentions.
A Just Redemptive Outcome® for the widow amidst a period of grief and loss. (2008)
Corney & Lind Lawyers assisted a Family Law client in successfully arguing that Australia had jurisdiction to deal with here Family Law matter.
In this case, the Husband and Wife had entered a “pre-nup” agreement in France (in Australia, these are known as a Binding Financial Agreement).
The Wife had commenced Family Law proceeding in Australia, seeking an alteration of the Property Interests.
The Husband sought to have the Australian proceeding permanently stayed on the basis that Australia was clearly an inappropriate forum.
Our Family Law Team (on behalf of the Wife) argued that Australia was clearly not an inappropriate forum, and the matter should be heard in Australia.
The Court found in favour of the Wife (our client). (2015).
When our client engaged our service, her matter had been pending before the Court for more than a year.
Our client was worn-out by the length of time and multiple matters pending.
Our client needed to protect herself, her children and immediate family members.
This particular matter was heading towards a hearing. However, on an occasion before the Court, the other party attempted to bring an application without following the proper process.
By highlighting these deficiencies to the Court and stating our clients predicament throughout the course of proceedings, our lawyer was able to achieve a result whereby the Court found in our client’s favour and granted her the requested protection orders without a hearing. Afterwards, outside of Court, our client was moved to tears as she explained to her mother the outcome.
Our client’s mother expressed gratitude to our lawyer and said that whilst she waited outside the Courtroom, she was praying to Jesus and asked for favour for her daughter’s case. She felt God reassure her that our lawyer was a God-send and this was confirmed to her with her daughter’s good outcome.
Joyful tears and a Just Redemptive Outcome® indeed. (2017)
Our client sought a fair and just settlement for her contribution to a lengthy marriage. The property pool was not insignificant. Even though the other party fought aggressively, we journeyed with our client to reach an outcome.
The journey taught our team much on ministry even when going through life’s trials. The team were continuously encouraged by our client at every stage, from taking instruction, court appearances, attending mediation.
Our client exuded Grace and Gospel to everyone she came into contact with – from the Barrister to the Uber drivers to court staff and the stranger on the street.
The end story is that the matter settled in her favour – and we learned a valuable lesson in that often God uses the most unlikely to reach the multitudes regardless of their situation.
Not only was it a Just Redemptive Outcome®, but it encouraged our faith to continuously look beyond our circumstances. (2017)
On a rare occasion, our lawyers get asked to step above the call of duty and help other legal practitioners. This morning, an event unfolded in Court where a blind mother needed assistance for parenting orders.
On this occasion, our lawyer helped draft the orders the Court made, and appeared on her behalf to Court.
The other party failed to disclose that they had served time for criminal offences. The mother had been subject of significant domestic violence for a lengthy period of time and had physical scars for it. The lady was grateful for the interim Orders that she tearfully told our lawyer in the conference room outside that she had prayed that morning even though she is not a Christian and did not believe in God. Her prayer was made on the basis that God just ‘might’ happen to be listening – and if He was, to send her help this morning.
We were happy to tell her that our firm were Christians and believed that yes – prayers do get answered.
The mother left Court this morning relieved and with renewed hope.
In spite of our every day pressures, we live for days when we get that one window to use our calling to be salt and light to those in need of it. (2017)
In this story, our client needed to move interstate for a year to continue tertiary studies. She was the primary caregiver to two young children. Her ex-husband did not agree that the children should move with her and sought that they live with him instead. We were able to bring an urgent application to Court and successfully argue that it was in the children’s best interests to move interstate with our client, and continue living with her while travelling back to spend substantial time with their father. (2020)
In this matter, our client had been in a dispute about parenting arrangements for a significant amount of time. Both parties made allegations against the other relating to abuse and neglect, which they also strongly denied.
When the case began, our client wanted to spend weekend time with his children. The other party refused to allow anything other than supervised time at a contact centre. In less than 12 months, we were able to assist our client to move from supervised time to final orders which provided for immediate significant and substantial time with the children.
The lesson learned from this matter was that no matter how far apart two positions may seem, time and good discussions can bridge almost any gap. A Just Redemptive Outcome® for our client. (2020)
The Family Law Team are dedicated to ensuring that our clients transition through family separation with peace and integrity, especially when our clients are leaving relationships marked by domestic and family violence. In this case, our client survived fleeing her home country, sought asylum in Australia, and left a relationship characterised by domestic violence. She had 2 children, and was living in a women’s refuge.
Despite a lengthy and painful Court process, our client maintained her poise and was gracious throughout her matter. We submitted that the best interests of the children included keeping our client protected from coercion and control. We managed to get a good outcome, which was a sole parental responsibility order. In addition, we obtained 10-year protection order to ensure the safety and security of our client and her children. (2020)
This case is another domestic and family violence matter that spanned 30 years. In leaving the relationship, our client sought a just and equitable property settlement.
Despite the other party’s attempts to frustrate the process and hide or remove assets, we were able to ensure our client received the assets she needed to get a fresh start on life. Of particular note was our client being awarded the family home unencumbered to set her up for a new future. A battle, but worth the Just Redemptive Outcome® in the end. (2020)
- Tell us about Yourself, your People & your Country?
- What is your role within your Indigenous group?
- What are the things you look for when engaging lawyers to represent Indigenous groups?
- What has been your experience with Corney & Lind Lawyers?
This story pre-dates C&L but is part of “Our Story”.
My clients operated a large retail franchise business in the Brisbane CBD, with a huge monthly rental bill.
The market sector had turned down and the business was making large monthly losses. The clients were facing losing everything.
We met with a director of the Franchisor, a commercial lawyer himself, praying on the way in to the meeting that God may soften his heart.
The meeting commenced in a tough manner. Twenty minutes into the meeting the heart of the Franchisor changed and he offered to buy the business for a peppercorn and assume all the liabilities.
Commercially, the Franchisor could have let the business fail and picked up the pieces for a lot less out of pocket expense.
A rescue, without question. (Pre 2003).
In this matter, Corney & Lind Lawyers assisted a prominent private school in various legal proceedings spanning multiple jurisdictions.
This matter involved the school being forced to defend various vexatious claims brought against it by a parent of a child enrolled at the school including:
- Defamation allegations;
- Allegations of discrimination;
- Allegations of unconscionable conduct under the Australian Consumer Law;
- Allegations of unfair contracts and contract terms under the Australian Consumer Law;
- A personal injury claim;
- Numerous appeals;
- Applications in relation to bankruptcy; and
- An Application pursuant to the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2005 (Qld).
Despite numerous applications being made against our client in 7 different Court jurisdictions, the team at Corney & Lind planned and executed a strategy to ensure that each matter was responded to appropriately without compromising the overall strategy.
This was a high-profile matter that attracted significant media attention that risked tainting the hard-earned reputation of the school.
Our client was thankful for our highly responsive, considered and often creative approach, as well as the extensive legal experience of our litigation team.
We also worked with a PR consultant to ensure that both the legal response and the media response was consistent and complimentary.
Corney & Lind were ultimately successful in securing multiple judgments from the courts which saw all claims against the school dismissed. (2012 – 2014).
In this matter, our Schools & Education team were successful in assisting a School defend itself in a five day Anti-Discrimination Trial heard in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The matter involved numerous allegations of a parent, and her two children, against the School and the school’s staff members personally. These allegations included claims of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and victimisation under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld).
Our Schools & education team (on behalf of the School), argued that the nine (9) complaints of the Complainants be dismissed.
The Tribunal found in favour of the School, and dismissed all of the complaints. (2013)