Selecting a Lawyer who is right for you*
Before selecting a lawyer, consider your matter and what kind of assistance you may require. It is in your best interest to engage a lawyer who is experienced in the area of law which you require assistance.
When choosing your lawyer, it is suggested you compare different lawyers’ experience and costs.
Please see our ‘How do I find a lawyer or legal service?’ to find further information.
What kind of Lawyer do I need?
Lawyers have specialisations in specific areas of law. The table below may assist you in finding an appropriate lawyer.
|AREA OF LAW||AREAS OF ASSISTANCE|
|Family Law||Divorce & Separation; Child matters; Family Violence restraining orders; child custody; Family Court orders; criminal injuries compensation|
|Criminal law||Traffic offences, applying for bail, appearing in Court, Appealing Court judgements, Trial; criminal injuries compensation|
|Property Law||Buying & selling your home; tenancy law; strata|
|Environmental Law||Rural land issues; pollution & EPA; property development|
|Wills & Estates||Making a will, setting up a trust, being an executor|
|Employment law||Unfair dismissal; harassment; worker’s compensation|
|Personal injury||Medical claims, public liability, asbestos, car accident injuries|
|Consumer law||Faulty goods, class actions, goods not fit for purpose|
|Intellectual Property||Patents, trademarks, copyright|
|Taxation Law||Trade or business expenses, failure to file, joint liability|
|Immigration Law||Partner visas, migrating to Australia, refugee & protection claims, student or work visas|
|Banking & Finance||Starting or closing a business, buying a franchise business, debt recovery|
Areas of Law in which Lawyers can work
Some of the issues that a lawyer may be able to help you with include:
- legal advice;
- preparing a will;
- buying or selling property or business;
- setting up and running a business;
- protecting your rights;
- debt and bankruptcy guidance;
- insurance and finance;
- family law;
- motor vehicle accidents;
- help with immigration issues;
- personal injury claims and compensation;
- employment issues; and/or
- Consumer protection.
Jurisdiction & the Western Australian Legal System
The applicability of a legal decision or judgement is called jurisdiction. For example in Western Australia, the extent of power to make legal decisions and judgements by Western Australian courts and tribunals is limited to Western Australia. If a matter does not have jurisdiction in Western Australian Courts, many lawyers will not assist on that matter as they are not qualified in other Australian jurisdictions which may have different processes and laws. Therefore it is important to understand whether your legal matter has jurisdiction in Western Australia.
Generally speaking, if a legal matter occurred in Western Australia, it has Western Australian jurisdiction. However this is not always the case. Below is the list of Courts and Tribunals that operate either at a State or Federal level. Further information on each of the Courts or Tribunals can be found on their respective websites.
Further information on the legal services provided in Western Australia can be found at the Department of Justice.
- Supreme Court of Western Australia
- District Court of Western Australia
- Magistrates Court of Western Australia
- Family Court of Western Australia
- Children’s Court of Western Australia
- Coroner’s Court of Western Australia
- Warden’s Court of Western Australia (mining matters)
- State Administrative Tribunal
- Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
- High Court of Australia
- Federal Court of Australia
- Federal Circuit Court of Australia
- Family Court of Australia
- Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Social Security Appeals Tribunal
- Human Rights Commission
- Knowmore Legal Service (National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse)
- Legal Practice Board of Western Australia
- Prisoner’s Review Board
Conflict of Interest*
A conflict of interest is where one party may derive benefits over the other party through either professional or personal conflict. This means that if your matter involves another party, you are not able to engage the same lawyer that they are using.
Your lawyer must not allow their own interests, or the interests of someone that is known to them, to conflict with those of a client. A lawyer generally cannot act for you if they have previously provided legal advice to a person you are in dispute with. If you believe that your lawyer may have a conflict you should raise this with them. If there is a conflict, you will need to find another lawyer to assist you. There may be severe repercussions for your lawyer if they act for you when a conflict persists, as well as to your matter.