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As soon as clients meet with Ritsa Balfoort, they want to have her on their team. They speak of real understanding and trust because she is a problem solver, someone who thinks outside the square.
Ritsa draws on extensive experience as a litigation lawyer in both top tier and boutique firms to advise her clients on risk and strategy. She leads the way in insurance, professional negligence, property and complex multi – party construction disputes, offering innovative and clever solutions that minimise stress and long-term negative impacts to the business.
“I achieve results by supporting and listening to my clients and not just talking the talk. Anything I do is in full consultation and partnership with clients and their business.”
building and construction disputes
misleading and deceptive conduct
risk management and planning
property and construction
A longstanding client Newfurn, a flooring supplier cooperative, was looking at losing hundreds of thousands of dollars after a member went under and was unable to pay what it owed. Newfurn had a major debtors QBE insurance policy which was denied because the insurance broker had not disclosed to QBE the true nature of the debt. Ritsa developed a loss of opportunity claim against the broker. By relying on the broker’s erroneous advice, Newfurn had lost the opportunity for the debtor to trade out of their debt. They had been expecting to recover little, if anything, but Ritsa’s creative thinking and knowledge of how the business works enabled the clients to recover more than half the debt.
Ritsa’s client, a firm of accountants acting on behalf of the plaintiff, received $1 million in their trust account to be held for the plaintiff. They found themselves in hot water after they received a call from a related client who told them to transfer the $1 million to him. They transferred the funds without doing the appropriate checks, unquestionably acting negligently. By claiming the fraudster was a concurrent wrongdoer, Ritsa persuaded the plaintiff that the Court would find the fraudster was more to blame than the accountant and was able to settle the claim. A trial would have had disastrous results for the accountant and his business.
A building surveyor issued building permits for a townhouse development in circumstances where the works were not covered by the requisite home warranty insurance. As the certificates had been issued for the correct property but identified a different builder, problems arose when the contracting builder subsequently became insolvent. Ritsa used mediation to help the claimant developer understand that arguably it was aware the home warranty insurance was defective, and therefore had failed to take proper care. This resulted in our client being able to heavily reduce liability through negotiation, rather than taking its chances at trial, with a potentially negative outcome.