Equine Law

Equine Law

Why use a Williamson & Associates Lawyer?

We invest so much time and money into our horses, but often fail to take appropriate steps to ensure that our rights and interests in relation to those horses (or horse related business ventures) are adequately protected at the outset. Williamson & Associates can assist in a number of areas, including:

Contracts of Sale or Purchase

If the transaction has yet to be completed, and there are other interested parties, it may be best to consider entering into a Contract of Sale.

If you are a Seller, this is an excellent way to avoid ‘time wasters’ and secure an enforceable sale.

If you are a Buyer, you may wish to secure the purchase but don’t wish to do so without first obtaining a satisfactory veterinary inspection. The problem with this however, is that the horse may be sold to another buyer while you arrange an inspection.

We can assist you in drawing enforceable contracts that provide you with certainty about the transaction.

Bills of Sale

If the transaction has already taken place without a written agreement having been entered into, then you may wish to have a Bill of Sale drawn up to evidence that the transaction has taken place.

Leasing Agreements

Leasing is a common arrangement but one that often becomes fraught when the scope of each party’s responsibilities in relation to the horse are not set out clearly to begin with. We can assist you in drafting an agreement that will avoid potentially costly disputes down the track. If the horse being leased is your own, we can also assist in ensuring that your exposure to risk due to injury or other form of loss or damage is limited.

PPSR Interests

If you are leasing a horse for a period of two years or more, we can assist you in registering your interest on the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR). We can also assist you to conduct a search of the PPSR if buying a valuable horse (or a horse you consider might have been registered on the PPSR) as part of your due diligence prior to purchasing, or if included in your a Contract of Sale.

Agistment

Agistment can be a great way to earn a bit of extra income if you have the land, but it can also expose you to risk – particularly if you are taking on full or part care of the horses agisted. If you are considering agistment on your property (or already do agist) then we can advise you on risk management and liability, and also assist you to prepare agistment agreements which will protect you and make clear the rights and obligations of all parties involved at the outset.

Risk

We are able to advise on potential areas of risk and risk management in respect of many equine activities (including agistment arrangements, riding schools, trail riding facilities, training ventures etc.) and can assist you in managing this risk. With respect to avoiding potential negligence claims, outlining the scope of your duty of care at the outset can not only help cover you later on, but can also assist you in preventing issues from arising in the first place.

Riding and Horse Accident Claims

Whether you have been injured, or have had a claim made against you by someone who has, we can assist you to navigate the issues that arise in negligence disputes, including advising on complex liability issues and assessments of loss and damage (quantum).

Veterinary Disputes and Negligence Claims

Prior to returning to Williamson & Associates, Jaimee Lee predominantly acted for hospitals and medical professionals in relation to negligence claims. She is well placed to advise and act in respect of a number of veterinary issues including disputes or claims which may arise as a result of poor surgical outcome or treatment, and failure to detect or diagnose underlying issues in a pre-purchase inspection (or otherwise). She can also assist your practice in drawing consent documents and pre-purchase agreements, which limit your exposure in the event of a poor outcome.

Insurance Disputes

Williamson & Associates can assist you in respect of a number of issues that might arise with your insurer, including indemnity/cover decisions and assessments of loss.

Purchase and Sale of Equestrian Properties

There are a number due diligence and other issues which are unique to equestrian properties, including planning issues, transfer of water licenses, biosecurity registration and requirements and transfer of any interests incorporated into the contract (including agistment agreements or business/training arrangements). Williamson & Associates can assist you in drawing special conditions for your sale or purchase contract, completing due diligence enquiries, transferring running interests, and managing the conveyancing process itself through to settlement.