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Sofia inherited her passion for the law from her lawyer father, but her strong work ethic is her own.
Working with business owners, significantly in the franchising space Sofia enjoys and understands the human element of her work. Knowing her clients are emotionally as well as financially invested in their business, she is motivated to work hard to achieve successful commercial outcomes for them. For Sofia it’s not just about going through the process and ticking all the boxes, she wants to add value to her clients’ businesses.
Acting in all manner of dispute work, Sofia’s commercial mindset and calming presence can mean the difference between a clear, strategic way forward or a costly litigation.
“Clients say that I am a good operator and I get the job done but at the same time am open and honest with them. It’s about taking the logical steps and guiding clients through their matter.”
Sofia was part of the team representing several liquidators of an owner/landlord company in a complex, multifaceted and multi-party Supreme Court proceeding. At the heart of the dispute, involving a tenant, the liquidators, the mortgagee, a third party purchaser/developer and its financiers, was the liquidators’ decision to disclaim the tenant’s lease. Through heated negotiations held before a former Federal Court judge, all parties involved were able to settle the dispute. This meant the clients’ decision to disclaim the lease was valid and could no longer be challenged. It also meant a multi-million dollar contract of sale could proceed and the creditors of the company would receive greater dividends than they would have received otherwise.
Sofia assisted a receiver to recover a tax debt in excess of $300,000 from a taxpayer who had defaulted under the terms of a Deed of Settlement. Acting swiftly, Sofia served a Notice of Appointment and a Letter of Demand on the taxpayer and two individual guarantors, putting them on notice of the receiver’s power to take possession of the property and to sell it to recover the debt. In less than a month, Sofia was able to negotiate and reach an agreement with the taxpayer’s solicitors for the entire debt to be paid within 30 days. Thanks to Sofia, the receiver was able to report to the ATO that the payment had been received in full, without the need to incur further legal costs.
Sofia was called on to prepare an urgent injunction application on behalf of a franchisor who was seeking to enforce restraint of trade provisions under a Franchise Agreement. Sofia worked under immense pressure and extremely tight timeframes to prepare the successful application to the Supreme Court. The parties were ordered to attend mediation, where the matter was ultimately settled with the ex-franchisee agreeing to the restraints of trade in both area and period. This result was extremely important for the franchisor, as it set a precedent for other franchisees in the network and allowed the franchisor’s brand to flourish.